Friday links: what was blogging, and more

Happy New Year! At least, I sure hope it will be.

From Jeremy:

What was blogging? Absolutely correct for that title to use the past tense. It’s striking to me just how many people who blogged during the oughts either (i) never gave it up, (ii) are trying to reinvent it (see Medium and Substack), or (iii) gave it up but miss it. In contrast, I’ve yet to hear of anyone say “I blogged a lot in the oughts, but gave it up because Twitter and Facebook are so much better.” On the other hand, I don’t see many people who never blogged saying “I’d like to give up Twitter and Facebook and blog instead.” So, [shrug emoji]. (ht Meghan)

Can you do Pavlovian conditioning on…[wait for it!]…Paramecium? In the early 20th century, Beatrice Gelber thought so and did experiments to test it, but her results were criticized and forgotten. A new preprint argues that the time is ripe for reassessment. I have not read this yet and so cannot vouch for it. Just passing it along in case you are interested; I plan to read and assess it myself. (ht Marginal Revolution)

A flowchart to help aspiring philosophers decide what sort of philosopher to be. 🙂 Very funny, and more than a little true. Somebody should do this for EEB.

#pruittdata only occupies the 4th and 5th spots on this list of the year’s most notable retractions? Gotta say I’m surprised. Personally, I think it’s a much more notable case than, say, some nonsensical paper that got retracted from an obscure Macedonian medical journal.

Life goals. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Friday links: what was blogging, and more

  1. Happy New Year to you and your readers!

    Regarding #pruittdata being quite low on the list of retractions: I find it a bit annoying that retractions seem to correlate more closely with social media outrage than the seriousness of the scientific consequences.

    The Top 2 entries on that list were an opinion piece and an essay. Personally, I think people holding backward or outdated opinions is less harmful to science as a whole than widespread fraud. I also reckon that pseudoscience published in obscure journals (e.g. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences) wouldn’t have had any effect if it wasn’t picked-up by online conspiracy theorists. In these instances, the question should be “how did these papers get published in the first place?” Someone on the editorial boards messed up and the system for quality-control failed.

    By contrast, the Pruitt-retractions weren’t crackpot ideas in unknown journals; these papers were published in the top journals in our field. They didn’t slip through because of sloppy peer-review or poor standards, but were careful fabrications of mainstream ideas. Editors, reviewers, grant agencies and even readers were duped *even without messing up or letting standards slip*! I find that much more concerning.

  2. And Happy New Years to you all, and many thanks for continuing to take the time to write this blog. I get hours of enjoyable, thought provoking reading in the posts, in the comments, and in the links. Reading DE has often been responsible for me being late to work. I can’t imagine the time and mental energy it takes to think up and write these posts. Hoping the DE team continues to find writing this blog and husbandry of the greater DE community worthwhile in 2021 and beyond. The blog is dead. Long live the blog!

  3. A smart contrarian take on that xkcd cartoon:

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