Scientific Credit

Blackhole
It looks like black holes are rather unremarkable in appearance (much more remarkable in context), but the hole you see in the center is about the size of our solar system.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the first ever picture taken of a black hole here it is. The image was assembled five days ago using data from a global telescope array that collected around 5 petabytes of data (1 million gigabytes) which was then compiled using this vast amount of data to give you the image you see here, now on my blog.

But I haven’t come here to discuss the implications of the black hole or the methods used to give us this image of a collapsed star located 55 million light years away from the nearest Krispy Kreme. Rather, I want to talk a little more about the process of science and the way things work now. Continue reading “Scientific Credit”

The Best Things Marxism Brought, Part I: Early Anthropology and Franz Boas (1858-1942)

The topic of Marxism in academia is┬áhot, as it has been since The Communist Manifesto hit the presses more than 150 years ago in 1848. I’ve been reflecting on the prevalence of postmodern approaches in anthropology for a while, a topic which is especially more relevant now that more and more people are discussing them after hearing more publicly its criticisms by social science popularizers like Jordan Peterson. Continue reading “The Best Things Marxism Brought, Part I: Early Anthropology and Franz Boas (1858-1942)”

Anthropological Theory

I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people have issues with Marshall Sahlins. From his anti-sociobiology standpoint and disagreements with Napoleon Chagnon on the matter which lead to Sahlins’ resignation from the National Academy of Science six years ago to his complaints about the degradation of anthropology as a discipline through its rejections of its roots two years ago, Sahlins has been a disliked figure on both sides of the science wars.

Capture
Sahlins’ rant on the end of anthropology as we know it.

Continue reading “Anthropological Theory”

The Evolution of Eyeglasses

I’ve been reading about the history of glasses today, and I came across the most interesting article on the use of bifocals in the animal world.

Eyeglasses
…and change, they did. Probably for the best.

It’s kind of surprising to me that eyeglasses are nearly 800 years old in the West. Invented sometime in the 13th century, they’ve become a necessary part of life for many of us in the computer age. Interestingly enough, before their invention, the use of reading stones was fairly common in the Middle Ages (I guess before these came along you just squinted). Not much happened between the invention of glasses aside from significant improvements in optics and changes in style until Benjamin Franklin came along.

Continue reading “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”