It’s that time again. Ice cream day and the weather beavers are foretelling that I can maybe actually eat some today. And I also have to hawg out a lot of unremarked tabs. So be prepared for the chaos that yawns. And yes, I did have to drag myself out this morning.
The starting article [Link] has the rather spanning title “Is PubMed Hurting Scientific Journals?” I gather that PubMed, an obvious pun on ClubMed, is a repository of medicalist articles. Its use has been directed by the Yankee government for YG funded research. Anyway, a recent study by a “consultant” indicates that articles on PubMed are more widely read than journal articles, and if the article is on both a journal site and PubMed, the readers are passing up the journal site.
At first this looks like a colossal duhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Given the choice of a free or paid site which do you opt for? But it goes beyond that to folks showing this preference even when the journal site is free. The article, or at least the journalism, now fails in its kritik and misses the idea that if one source has more good stuff than another the usage of the first will be disproportionate. That’s the duhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Anyway, the moaning is about the readers missing all sorts of stuff on the journal site that aren’t articles. Announcements and organizational stuff. And the readers, poor sods, are missing this. Well, I hate to tell you but they would have even in the days when the journal arrived via the YG postal service. Even medicalists, who are arguably only maybe scientists, are busy and do not do much browsing. Scientists read the journals that cover their area of interest and only those parts. The only time they read the social and organizational stuff is when they are either going to a conference or deciding whether to renew the subscription because the journal is tanking. So the message is be happy they aren’t reading those things because if they were the journals would be in worse shape than they are now.
Next, an article [Link] by the biologist E. O. Wilson declaring that one can do science even if one cannot do maths. He claims that many bright, promising students go over to the business shule because they can’t do maths and hence believe that they can’t do science. As I have noted here, the worst maths users I know of are biologists (flat can’t,) economists (do it WRONG!,) and historians (strange and often mystic.) We both went to the same undergraduate shule, the campus of the Black Warrior and my perception of the sorting he talks about is a bit different. If you can do maths and physics you can be a physicist. If that’s too hard you can be a chemist or an engineer. If you can’t do maths and physics, then you can do biology or geology. If you can’t do that then you go to business or education. About all the maths that biologists were required was rote memorization statistics and not very much of that. I don’t think biologists were expected to know the difference between a mode and a mean, or what normal meant. But my impression was that the folks who ran away from biology did so because they couldn’t do biology, not because they couldn’t do maths.
And if you run away, you can’t do science. As is, I see too many who didn’t run away, and are not only not good at science but they aren’t good at whatever they are doing, like administration. Which is not to say that Wilson is wrong, just that there is another side to his argument. But I do dismiss his claim that one can do almost everything without maths. That’s like saying a color blind person can design fabric patterns. What they can do is the things that don’t require maths. And while they are numerous, they are not all, or even, in my perception, the majority.
Next, on a happier note, I see [Link] that Winders Ate has now gobbled up 0.03 of the marketplace.
“Windows 8 was released to the general public on October 26, 2012, over five months ago, and only just recently captured 3% of the total desktop operating system market share.”
I suspect MegaHard is scurrying hard on W9 to return to something the PC minority can use on their boxes. And maybe lick its wounds over its dismal showing in the cellular telephone marketplace as well? This all gets summed up in a comment I heard the other day on a Linux podcast about the Ubuntu (Unity) phone: “Who cares?” The tile GUI is rapidly outshining the Edsel as an act of stupidity.
On which note, I ran across a Linux article [Link] with this lovely quote:
” I believe those of us who do introduce Linux to the general computing populace need to pick our targets carefully. If the person you are helping utters, “Be patient with me, I’m computer illiterate…
Pass them by.”
I find this reassuring, coming from someone whose calling, as an extrovert, is to do a lot of interpersonal things. As an introvert I try and all it takes is one negative to send me into hiding for six months. Stupidity is a cancer.
More to the point, if you;re under eighty and say you are computer illiterate, you are likely going to stay that way because you have had opportunity and failed. If you’re over eighty then you will probably stay that way because of ossification of the change node. I know that sounds ageist but it’s a fact of human aging so get past it.
Even if you aren’t, I am not going to take any great effort any more unless you show some enthusiasm and honesty. Drug addicts backslide. Windows addicts are worse. And I am glad that others in the community are coming to the same conclusion. Linux is a good thing; Winders is a bad thing and if you won’t help yourself, my time is being wasted on you.
Some slaves cannot be freed.