A great article on “Ten Scientific Concepts Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing.

Thanks to Julia Minton for bringing it to my attention.

Number 3 in particular I want to emphasize in light of a recent radio show discussion.

This misconception is an exploitation of quantum mechanics by a certain breed spiritualists and self-helpers, and epitomized by the abomination, [the movie] What the Bleep Do We Know? Quantum mechanics, famously, has measurement at its core. An observer measuring position or momentum or energy causes the “wavefunction to collapse,” non-deterministically. (Indeed, I did one of my first columns on “How smart do you need to collapse a wavefunction?”) But just because the universe isn’t deterministic doesn’t mean that you are the one controlling it. It is remarkable (and frankly, alarming) the degree to which quantum uncertainty and quantum weirdness get inextricably bound up in certain circles with the idea of a soul, or humans controlling the universe, or some other pseudoscience. In the end, we are made of quantum particles (protons, neutrons, electrons) and are part of the quantum universe. That is cool, of course, but only in the sense that all of physics is cool.


I’m guilty myself of at least one misuse, and from now on instead of “statistically significant” I will say “statistically discernible.”

The promo for next Thursday evening’s show:

“Free will.  Does it exist?  If so, how is it possible?  What are the implications for the our social system depending on our beliefs about free will? Can anyone justifiably be held accountable for his or her actions?  Join Eric Kirk and Bob Froehlich to address these questions and others relating to the question of free will…on All Things Reconsidered, Thursday night at7:00 pm.”

I will join Lee Ullansey and at least one other guest to discuss this last election and its aftermath.

Thursday night at 7:00 – KMUD, 91.1 or 88.1 in the north county.


And I’ll be on KMUD tonight for the Community Park show, also at 7:00.


And I have my show next Thursday, but that’s a work in progress.

A man casts his vote during Mali's presidential election in TimbuktuLost Coast Outpost has predictions and coverage.

What are your predictions?

For D.A., I’m predicting a runoff between Elan and Maggie, with Maggie breaking 40 percent and Elan at 35.  I think Alan will take 15 to 20 percent and Arnie will take 5 to 10 percent.  All bets are off for November if there’s a runoff.

I’m predicting that Virginia will come out on top of Chris 54 to 46 percent, but if I was in Virginia’s shoes I would be very concerned about the enthusiasm within the Kerrigan campaign.  Kerrigan’s team – they actually think they can win this thing.  And in a low turnout election, that can be very dangerous for an incumbent.

I don’t think Sharon can beat Ryan, and probably will have a hard time breaking 40 percent.  Could even be as low as 30 percent – she just came in too late as an unknown with too little money against an incumbent against which maybe 20 percent of the voters hold a grudge.

But all of these predictions can be frustrated if you get out to vote!  I’ve never understood why anyone who isn’t basically cynical doesn’t make the effort.

Any turnout reports?  It was very light at the First Covenant Church in Eureka this morning – maybe 15 people in my precinct had voted by 8:30.

KMUD will be airing extensive coverage of the races of several counties.  I’ll be there blabbing away with some other people.  If you like to hear my blabber, tonight will be a good night.

Interesting article.


That’s the last sentence of an excellent TS editorial.

And by the way, Nathan is not a “conservative.”  He’s reacting to what he sees as science illiteracy, and quite frankly while I remain agnostic on the subject, there are plenty of anti-GMO activists who really don’t know what they’re talking about.

The Lost Coast Outpost article has all the info.

Tooby Event

He’ll be joining me on Thursday Night at 7:00 on KHSU to discuss the June election campaigns.  Call-in format as usual.

From the Kerrigan campaign

August 2014
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