Friday links: statistical vanity plates, 2018-19 ecology faculty jobs board, and more

Also this week: the complete beginner’s guide to writing mathematical equations, Philip Kitcher vs. Errol Morris vs. Thomas Kuhn, why do (some) scientists get angry about weird stuff, Meghan vs. Jeremy, and more.

From Jeremy:

Philip Kitcher on Errol Morris on Thomas Kuhn. (ht Marginal Revolution)

In one of my rare forays onto Twitter, Carl Boettiger mentioned how useful it would be to have a Strunk & White-type “style guide” to writing mathematical equations. Covering everything from completely basic stuff like “you can’t let the same symbol stand for two different things” to difficult stuff like stochastic calculus, in which notational details are intertwined with subtle conceptual issues. My casual googling turned up this very useful guide to the basics of writing math, Terry Tao’s advice on good notation, and this undergrad project reviewing the history of mathematical notation and discussing the general issue of what makes notation “good” or “bad”. And see these useful references from Chris Eliot.

Stephen Heard asks why the list of science-specific topics most likely to draw unreasonably angry comments on science blogs is such a weird, random list. Interesting question to which I don’t know the answer. Even though you’d think I’d have some insight since I’ve made “getting weirdly upset on the internet over random stuff” my life’s work. πŸ™‚ Possibly related (though it’s mostly focused on why people some people express anger on the internet, rather than why they express anger about the topics they do). Also possibly related.

Terry McGlynn on non-preferred reviewers and editorial discretion. Related old post of mine with an excellent comment thread. And see this old post for discussion of Functional Ecology’s interesting and comprehensive dataset on authors’ preferred and non-preferred reviewers and their reviews.

How to see what your Twitter timeline would’ve looked like 10 years ago if back then you had followed the same accounts you follow today. (ht @kjhealy)

This is what happens on the rare occasions when Brian or Meghan has the same post idea as me. πŸ™‚ (ht my dad) Carl Boettiger independently sent me the same link, but suggested a different joke to go with it. A commenter here sent it to me as well. My online interactions are highly optimized to deliver me fox-related news. πŸ™‚

Actually, this is what happens when Meghan and I have the same post idea. πŸ™‚

My question is actually more of a comment…” πŸ™‚

I like to imagine that the car in the next spot has an “R” plate. (ht @jtlevy) Also, someday I want to get an antique car with a “SUPERANOVA” vanity plate to boost my old school science cred. πŸ™‚

From Meghan:

The 2018-2019 Ecoevo Jobs Wiki is up. (Jeremy adds: which means it’s time for you to help me identify all the ecologists hired into N. American TT faculty positions advertised in 2017-18! Email me at

4 thoughts on “Friday links: statistical vanity plates, 2018-19 ecology faculty jobs board, and more

      • Looks like is now up and redirecting to the 18/19 wiki. There was also an β€˜unofficial’ sheet linked in the 17/18 wiki. Major kudos to the maintainer whoever they may be!

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