Dried Leaves of Journalism

We come once more to the back end of week out and time to trim tabs. Given computer failures this week that isn’t much of a problem.

Yesterday, I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

which reminded me of how I rather dislike brown bag seminars/discussion groups. I suspect it has to do with the ingestion of food triggering digestion which takes energy away from the brain. Or perhaps it’s that having gotten one’s mouth moving to bite and chew it is all too easy to operate the vocal cords without the intercession of the brain. Or perhaps the two are connected?

Anyway, next I ran across an article [Link] entitled “5 Unanswered Questions That Will Keep Physicists Awake at Night.” I should first of warn that this is a Scientific American article and in this case SA is living up (down?) to its recently degraded reputation as genderist and bullying. The simple matter is that this is rather egregiously Yellow journalism. While physicists do often stay awake at night wrestling with physics “problems”, the fact is that only particle physicists and cosmologists habitually spend these nightime moments on the questions advanced. Most physicists are NOT particle physicists or cosmologists and they lie awake at night worrying about other physics questions. Sadly however, at least to money grubbing journalists, such as SA, these other types of physicists aren’t considered – by the journalists – to be newsworthy at this time. So they can be ignored. Which is why SA is a basically a ponyless pile of poo.

And meanwhile, I can stare at the ceiling at night and wonder about all manner of difficulties in dissipative physics and organizational mechanics. And neither elementary particles nor cosmic coefficients intrude.

But I did run across a rather intriguing article [Link] about a cosmologist who has some very nasty – and accurate – things to say about tea partiers. I just have to wonder if there are any such in physics? Maybe not, but plenty at SA.

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