Friday, February 5, 2016

Popper and the Dark Matter Matter.


Although the ongoing public debate on string theory has captured the limelight and the public's attention (at least, the interested public's attention) leaving dark matter in the dark (pun intended), chances are my readers have heard/read about the latter.

Together with the slightly more recent dark energy (and the even more recent and highly controversial dark flow), dark energy is another hot topic in contemporary physics.

But, what is dark matter? How was it discovered? More importantly for my own purposes: how does it fit in the great Popperian scheme? The following video clip, accessible to the wider public, provides an overview as useful as it is entertaining:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Plagiarism.


"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". (Charles Caleb Colton)

(Source)

Wikipedia expands on Google:
"Plagiarism is the 'wrongful appropriation' and 'stealing and publication' of another author's 'language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions' and the representation of them as one's own original work."
Universities all over the world generally have explicit policies against plagiarism (the University of New South Wales and the University of Melbourne, for example) and they tend to be quite similar: the idea is that plagiarism is unethical, goes against academic integrity and honesty.

At UNSW, for instance, they give this brief additional characterization of plagiarism: "Plagiarism at UNSW is defined as using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own."

At the other hand, Internet post Keynesians, based abroad, are not fond of definitions and enjoy re-defining words to suit their purposes, so things might be different with them.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Liberal Panic.


Speaking about the growing hostility among American liberals against Bernie Sanders' political campaign and their increasingly obvious pro-Hillary Clinton bias (as evidenced, among others, by Paul Krugman, who just re-embraced the "Very Serious People" title he until recently derided), Prof. David Ruccio explains liberal ideology:
"That’s how liberal ideology works in economics. And, as it turns out, that’s exactly how liberal ideology is being deployed in our current political debate -- to normalize one, very limited set of options and to marginalize any discontent or desire that threatens to go beyond them."
Even though Ruccio largely limits himself to the American political scene, I believe his exposition has more general application.