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Biomedical and Electrical Engineer with interests in information theory, evolution, genetics, abstract mathematics, microbiology, big history, and the entertainment industry including: finance, distribution, representation

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.@JSEllenberg I wish I could afford @BillGates as a book publicist...

 

#IndieWeb Raison d'etre #55: Freedom of the press trumps atrocious comment moderation

2 min read

Last week I wrote up "Some Thoughts on Academic Publishing" after reading “Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone” from Science | AAAS which made some heavy rounds in social media, particularly in academic spheres. Originally I began typing my thoughts/comments into the Disqus box on their website. After getting to the third graph, I began thinking, I should be writing this on my own website as a standalone comment/piece of content and just POSSE it over to their Disqus box.

Despite the fact that the editors/moderators of one of the most venerable science journals of our day will allow internet trolls like CPO_C_Ryback and CPO_C_Rybacks_Mother to go thirty rounds on nearly every comment on their featured piece for the week, my slightly more tempered comment is still sitting in their moderation queue untouched. 

My poor pending commentary

Fortunately I had the foresight to have self-published it before hand, or the not-insignificant time I spent thinking and writing about the topic at hand would have been gone the moment I pressed send. It's one thing to get lost in the shuffle of hundreds of comments amidst trolls, it's another thing altogether to be moderated out of existence. The IndieWeb movement has prevented me from feeling like I did two decades ago after writing a term paper for hours only to lose it after discovering that I hadn't hit control-s to save what I'd written. The additional benefit was that I was able to post those same thoughts on multiple other networks effortlessly while still being able to own what I'd originally written.

The greatest irony of the whole affair is that in conjunction with the particular article I was commenting on, Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief Science Journals, published a companion piece about the high costs and attention to detail and quality that journals try to maintain in their digital presence. Apparently this massive expense and terrific effort doesn't go as far as preventing internet trolls like those mentioned from running roughshod over their own site (which is "moderated" by the way) while keeping out commentary that may add to the discussion and community that they're apparently not attempting to foster.

 

 

Evolution of a Scientific Journal Article Title (from Nature to TMZ)

2 min read

It's interesting to see the evolution of the title put on a story from its publication in a scientific journal to its reportage in a science-based magazine, and then its final form in the broad-based popular press.  

Below is a chronological list of titles that moves from Nature Materials to Quanta Magazine to Wired Magazine and finally ends with TMZ. My hypothesis (or guess, for the TMZ crowd) is that almost everyone could have easily matched the title of the article to the publication. Very telling about the process is that the Wired article is an exact reprint of the Quanta story, the only change was in the title.

Curvature-induced symmetry breaking determines elastic surface patterns

vs.

A Grand Theory of Wrinkles

A collaboration between mechanical engineers and mathematicians has revealed universal rules for how wrinkles form.

vs. 

The Fascinating Math of How Wrinkles Form

vs.

Pruned People -- Guess Who!

 

Okay, I'll admit that the TMZ article, has nothing to do with the original article, but only because it isn't sensational enough to make their publication - perhaps if Yeezy, The Biebs, or Kim K were invloved. You will notice, however, that the article is in fact genuine and actually appeared on TMZ.