Thursday, November 26, 2009

Links ...

  1. Janet Stemwedel at Adventures in Science and Ethics: My work has been plagiarized. Now what?. She offers some advice; and so do her readers.

  2. Spiegel interview with Umberto Eco: 'We Like Lists Because We Don't Want to Die'

    ...I realized ... that the [Louvre] exhibition [that I would curate] would focus on lists. Why am I so interested in the subject? I can't really say. I like lists for the same reason other people like football or pedophilia. People have their preferences.

    SPIEGEL: Still, you are famous for being able to explain your passions …

    Eco: … but not by talking about myself. Look, ever since the days of Aristotle, we have been trying to define things based on their essence. The definition of man? An animal that acts in a deliberate way. Now, it took naturalists 80 years to come up with a definition of a platypus. They found it endlessly difficult to describe the essence of this animal. It lives underwater and on land; it lays eggs, and yet it's a mammal. So what did that definition look like? It was a list, a list of characteristics.

  3. Larry Hardesty in MIT News: Explained: The Discrete Fourier Transform.