Thoughts on Persuasion

A talk so good I went out and bought the book. Given I was in a foul mood at this point in the event, that was a big suc­cess for the speaker.

I’m not sure how much I can use this; I’m not inter­ested in mak­ing sales. It is inter­est­ing to know about thought to see how you can be unin­ten­tion­ally per­suaded by oth­ers actions.

Going into space? If you can’t wear a blue shirt then make sure you have a red…

Going into space? If you can’t wear a blue shirt then make sure you have a red one.

Significance magazine has ana­lysed the cas­u­al­ties in Star Trek:TOS. Everyone knows that wear­ing a red shirt on the USS Enterprise is like wear­ing a giant shoot me sign. But what every­one knows might be wrong.

Matthew Barsalou has ana­lysed the cas­u­al­it­ies and found blue is the safest col­our. He’s also found more red shirts died than any other col­our — but on the Enterprise there are more red shirts any­way. The situ­ation is made more com­plic­ated by secur­ity, engin­eer­ing and oper­a­tions all wear­ing red shirts even though they do very dif­fer­ent jobs.

If you’re a space cadet this is essen­tial reading.

Reshared post from +K. Llewellin

#startrek   #stat­ist­ics  

Keep your red­shirt on: a Bayesian explor­a­tion — Web Exclusive Article — Significance Magazine
Keep your red­shirt on: a Bayesian explor­a­tion. Author: Matthew Barsalou. The idea of red-shirted char­ac­ters being fre­quently killed in Star Trek: The Original Series has become a pop cul­ture cliché. B…

A new dark sky reserve

There’s another dark sky reserve in the UK. The prac­tical effect is that the coun­cil will be tak­ing light pol­lu­tion ser­i­ously in order to keep the status. If you’d like to see what a dark sky looks like AstroCamp is there in May: http://​astrocamp​.org​.uk/

I’m pleased about this news as I’m hop­ing that it’ll mean the local council’s open to redu­cing light pol­lu­tion else­where in Powys. I live in a more sparsely pop­u­lated region to the north of the Brecon.

Brecon Beacons win dark sky status
Brecon Beacons National Park has become Wales’ first and only the fifth des­tin­a­tion in the world to be gran­ted the status of an inter­na­tional dark sky reserve.

Deal or no Deal?


There’s a crime­wave in south­ern England. Deal Town Council have been been reck­lessly using the coat of Arms gran­ted to Deal Borough Council in 1968. As her­aldry afi­cion­ados will know, Deal Town Council cov­ers a slightly dif­fer­ent area than Deal Borough Council. Therefore there’s been a stretch of almost 40 years of law-breaking since the bor­ough coun­cil was dis­ban­ded in 1974.

Deal Town FC have also been told their kit is illegal due to their badge. Presumably because people might con­fuse them with the entirely non-existent Deal Borough FC.

Embedded Link

Town and foot­ball crest ‘unlaw­ful’
A town and its foot­ball club are told that it is unlaw­ful to con­tinue using their crest.

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Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day is due out in April


I missed this till now. There’ll be a fourth instal­ment of the Science of Discworld. If you haven’t read any of the Science of Discworld books, they’re dif­fer­ent to the usual Science of… books in that Discworld doesn’t run on sci­ence so there’s not much point explain­ing how it could work sci­en­tific­ally. Instead it fol­lows an exper­i­ment by the wiz­ards of Unseen University to cre­ate a world that runs on rules instead of nar­rativium. Roundworld has no magic so how does a world come together and how does life col­on­ise it?

Science of Discworld II: The Globe was about the devel­op­ment of Mind with the aid of two play­wrights and Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch looked at how the idea of evol­u­tion was inven­ted again and again until Charles Darwin made it stick.

For Science of Discworld IV the Omnians have dis­covered about the Roundworld pro­ject. A world that is actu­ally round but has no gods is a bit of a prob­lem for the Omnians who believe that the disc is a globe, but are very keen on a God.

The cur­rent pub­lic­a­tion date is April 11.http://​www​.ran​dom​house​.co​.uk/​e​d​i​t​i​o​n​s​/​t​h​e​-​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​-​o​f​-​d​i​s​c​w​o​r​l​d​-​i​v​-​j​u​d​g​e​m​e​n​t​-​d​a​y​/​9​7​8​0​0​9​1​9​4​9​792

There was also a talk on the sci­ence of Discworld in Dublin last year.

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