Two Fortnights of Links – 14 Dec 2013

Two fortnights for the price of one!

Randy Schekma, upon winning the Nobel Prize in medicine says he will not publish in Science, Nature or Cell (top science journals). Interesting commentary on this move by Michael Eisen and Jon Wilkins.

Mother’s Milk, Literature Sleuths, and Science Fairies. Katie Hinde on the importance of actually reading the sources you cite.

The Hand-Waver’s Guide to The Brain at Neuroskeptic.

The Teacher-Centric Universe (or, Galileo Would Be Ashamed) food for thought at Math with Bad Drawings.

What Are Traffic Waves and Why Do They Happen So Much? Matthew Green at KQED (one of my two favorite NPR stations found in Davis.)

The Invisible Consequences of Mistaking Plastic for Dinner. Chelsea Rochman (UCD GGE 2008 cohort) describing the ecological effects of plastics in our oceans.

Why You Need Not Fear the Poor, Misunderstood Brown Recluse Spider. Nadia Drake at Wired.

Why Biology Belongs in the Study of Politics by John Hibbing guest-posting at the Monkey Cage. I find this whole discussion fairly frustrating. Mostly because biology ≠ genetics. Maybe I’ll write a post about this someday.

What’s the deal with inclusive fitness theory? Ben Allen blogs about his new paper with Martin Nowak and E.O. Wilson.  I find little to disagree with here (other than calling my very first blog post “heated.”) Models make assumptions. Models are used for different purposes. These assumptions are often wrong, but sometimes useful. Sometimes assumptions useful for one purpose are not useful for another. I think there is still confusion here between inclusive fitness accounting and inclusive fitness theory, so my opinion of the older Nowak/Wilson paper is unchanged. I also like Jon Wilkins’s bear video.

The United States is Isolated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations. A blog post using network analysis at the Monkey Cage by Gabriel Michael.

Google Honors Grace Hopper…and a “bug” Gwen Pearson at Charismatic Minifauna. A mix of entomology and etymology. Also, an old (and awesome) video of Grace Hopper on Letterman.

Conference Chic, or, How to Dress Like an Anthropologist.  An anthropologist I know calls the AAA’s “the ethnic sweater convention.”

The Mental Glitch That Makes Us Throw Good Money After Bad. A short introduction to the “Sunk Cost Fallacy” by Dave Nussbaum. Biologists tend to call this the Concorde Fallacy (from a 1976 paper by Dawkins).  One interesting (though dated) discussion  in The Adaptive Toolbox from Gigerenzer’s group:

The lack of information flow between disciplines can hardly be underestimated. A brilliant example is the sunk cost fallacy... Hundreds of papers were written in economics and psychology on the sunk cost fallacy, and hundreds of papers were written in evolutionary biology (by some of the most eminent biologists) on the Concorde fallacy — which is the same fallacy. There is not a single cross reference in these hundreds of papers, nor any awareness that both fields came to opposite conclusions: in economics and psychology, it is taken for granted that humans often commit the sunk cost fallacy, in animal biology,
no conclusive evidence has been found that a single animal species would commit the sunk cost fallacy (Arkes and Ayton 1999).
Entertaining (in that internet sort-of way):

Realistically Colorized Historical Photos

How to interact with the introverted…

Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World

Awkward Things About Email at Wait But Why .

Road Bike Party video.   Wow!

There are travel posters for some of my favorite science fiction planets (and many more).

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