Easily Grossed Out?

There are lots of straight lines here but I’m going to avoid them.

Easily Grossed Out? You Might Be A Conservative!

“Participants who rated higher in disgust sensitivity were more likely to oppose gay marriage and abortion, issues that are related to notions of morality or purity. The researchers also found a weak correlation between disgust sensitivity and support for tax cuts, but no link between disgust sensitivity and the other issues.”

News flash: In most companies, it’s harder for women | IT Leadership | TechRepublic.com

Hear, hear (or is it, “Here, here” — smile)

News flash: In most companies, it’s harder for women | IT Leadership | TechRepublic.com

“Across the industrial spectrum, in organizations both small and large, we need more women leaders. The evidence is clear that women CEOs usually deliver better numbers than their male counterparts regardless of sector. And, as importantly, senior teams with greater diversity usually develop more creative approaches to challenges faced by the company. We need more creativity in these times.”

Please don’t give us software that works | ZDNet.com

Here’s an odd backhanded compliment to Apple’s iLife software:

$800 Mac Mini? I’m all set, Apple | Education IT | ZDNet.com

“However, even iLife has its drawbacks in an educational setting. It simply hands so much to the students that they struggle with software (whether Windows, Linux, or even pro-level software on the Mac) that isn’t so brilliantly plug and play. Yes, iLife rocks in many ways, but the level of spoonfeeding it encourages actually makes me think twice about using it widely, especially at the high school level.”

What’s the issue here? That the software is so easy to use that people might come to think computers are useful? That they’ll be frustrated with software that sucks and complain?

(Also, to kvetch, the software doesn’t encourage spoonfeeding although it might encourage dependency…)

It’s about time!

I hope that we manage to follow through:

climate change envoy vows ‘dramatic diplomacy’

“‘The time for denial, delay and dispute is over. The time for the United States to take up its rightful place at the negotiating table is here,’ Stern said.

‘We can only meet the climate challenge with a response that is genuinely global,’ he said. ‘We will need to engage in vigorous, dramatic diplomacy.'”

This makes me happy!

Yes Virgina, you can fool some of the people…

Sad, funny, story about quality, quantity and the consumer society:

Interview: iPhone dev gets existential about “crap” apps

“What High said next, however, is perhaps a bit more telling: ‘I think Apple does a good job of featuring apps that are well designed and well though out. I just don’t know if well thought out, beautiful apps are what the majority of iPhone users want.'”

Tim Cook on Apple

Time Cook’s vision of Apple

“We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross pollenization of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly. we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company and we have the self honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.”


academia is a damn ugly place, especially for women

Basics – In ‘Geek Chic’ and Obama, New Hope for Lifting Women in Science – NYTimes.com

From a purely Darwinian point of view, expecting a young woman to sacrifice her reproductive fitness for the sake of career advancement is simply too much, and yet the structure of academic research, in which one must spend one’s 20s and early 30s as a poorly compensated and minimally empowered graduate student and postdoctoral fellow, and the remainder of one’s 30s and into the low 40s working madly to earn tenure, can demand exactly that.

That’s damn straight. Science is geared towards a particular sort of maleness. This, however, is a good sign:

Dr. Mason and her colleagues found that while two-thirds of the respondents either had or planned to have children, 84 percent of the women and 74 percent of the men expressed worry about the family-unfriendliness of their intended profession, and many had changed their plans accordingly.

I’m heartened that so many males are getting a clue and understanding that family is important.

(On the other hand, as far as I know, all academic positions are some measure of the publish or perish, hunt for tenure, etc. Why is science in a worse position?).

Debugging real situations is also hard

Removing cats to protect birds backfires on island

“The unintended consequences of the cat-removal project show the dangers of meddling with an ecosystem — even with the best of intentions, the study said.

‘The lessons for conservation agencies globally is that interventions should be comprehensive, and include risk assessments to explicitly consider and plan for indirect effects, or face substantial subsequent costs,’ Bergstrom said.”

foaf builder – it was all going so well and then

(update: on the other hand, it appears to have worked… My spiffy FOAF URI is http://foafbuilder.qdos.com/people/gwking.myopenid.com/foaf.rdf)

I was trying to add myself to FOAF builder (just because). It was slick. It was nice. It was using OpenID. But then:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function sparql_put_string() in /usr/local/src/foafbuilder/application/controllers/WriterController.php on line 295

sign. computers. still. suck.