Saturday, March 23, 2019

Nights (and days) around the Round Table

Roaming Rita's latest post is delightful. And not just because it is about our family. When family gets together to break bread, whether at home or away, it's great that everyone has a great time. Whether we like one another or not, a party in which the hosts do all they can to make everyone feel welcome is a foreshadowing of a promised party at the end-of-time. It's a party to which all are invited.
BBQ, birthday party, Christmas Eve, Easter Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, anniversary, Thanksgiving, lunch, dinner, Saturday morning pancakes... "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" And shared meals, from breakfast to banquets are fractals.


    Mystification

    The Bulwark mystifies me. Even after communicating with one of its principals who emphasizes in return, "The Bulwark is not the Weekly Standard," the presence of a significant number of clearly non-conservative writers is a puzzle. Does "never-Trump" mean "anyone but Trump"?
    The initial logo for the site, includes the subtitle, "Conservatism Conserved."
    As of Today (?) or earlier this week, I think, the subtitle has changed:
    "Slightly Dangerous" -- that clarifies things.

    Thursday, September 27, 2018

    In defense of Jonah...

    I have been admirer of Jonah Goldberg for two decades. I read his columns and have all of his books.
    His most recent book, Suicide of the West has been getting hammered by reviewers from the orthodox Catholic side, I think unfairly.
    Such reviewers jump on the, yes, surprising and discomfiting assertion Goldberg offers up front - "There is no God in this book." Maybe because of my longtime familiarity with his writing, I knew immediately that this would prove to be false. And, I think that even his post-publication explanations, that he is trying to reaching the potentially persuadable non-believers is tongue-in-cheek, at least in part.
    Of course God is in the book; he can be found on every page. And, like his OT namesake, this current prophet knows it; he's just playing, you see. The engine of modernism, free enterprise, is driven by mutually recognized dignity - of the entrepreneur, employee, and customer, and, oh, the competitor, too.
    Tag! reviewers - you're it. He gotcha. 
    And, if any self-described liberals/progressives do actually pick-up the book because of the "bad" reviews from the red side, maybe they, too, will be ensnared.

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    In the appendix of the paper I reference below is a summary derivation of the relationship  between entropy and fractals (power laws). The appendix is also posted in another blog, Plate Frames. The introduction to the post reads...
    In a paper published a couple of years ago (Pilger, 2012), I describe the application of a simple principle, transformed into a distinctive abstract object, to an optimization problem (within the plate tectonics paradigm): simultaneous reconstruction of lithospheric plates for a range of ages from marine geophysical data . It is rare that the relation of the principle, maximum entropy, with a particular transformation, power-series fractals, is recognized, since Pastor-Satorras and Wagensberg derived it. I'm unaware of any other application of fractal forms to optimization problems analogous to the paper. The following derivation is taken from the 2012 paper, with slight modification, in hopes that it might prove useful in other fields, not merely the earth sciences, but beyond. I'm investigating  applications in a variety of other areas, from plate tectonics, to petroleum geology, and, oddly enough, the arts.
    Pilger, R. H., Jr. (2012) Fractal Plate Reconstructions with Spreading Asymmetry, Marine Geophysical  Research, Volume 33, 149-168. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11001-012-9152-6. (rexpilger (at) gmail (dot) com.)

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Fractals and Plate Tectonics

    Can fractal criteria be used in deriving plate reconstructions of asymmetrically spreading ridges? See: link.


    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Peer Review

    An article in Physics World describes an "experiment" in peer review and its effect on the quality of published scientific research.
    Just a small number of bad referees can significantly undermine the ability of the peer-review system to select the best scientific papers. That is according to a pair of complex systems researchers in Austria who have modelled an academic publishing system and showed that human foibles can have a dramatic effect on the quality of published science.