Critical Section

Monday,  04/26/04  10:23 PM

The Ole filter makes another pass...

John Maynard SmithThe University of Suffix has issued a press release, announcing John Maynard Smith, the world renowned "evolutionary biologist", has died.  "Maynard Smith was remarkable for the breadth of his contributions to biology, including his radical application of game theory to understanding evolutionary strategies, and his clear definition of the major transitions in the history of life.  Maynard Smith was always enthusiastic about new data sources and continued to be a driving force in the use of molecular data to answer biological questions."  I first met Dr. Smith's ideas in Richard Dawkins' classic The Selfish Gene.  The idea of an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy (ESS) seemed particularly novel; a strategy which remains successful even when competing against itself.

J. Craig VenterThe Scientist has an interesting "First Person" interview with J. Craig Venter.  Dr. Venter is best know as the founder of Celera Genomics, the company which contributed so significantly to sequencing the human genome as part of the Human Genome Project.  He's also a fascinating guy.

Q: What's it like to be J. Craig Venter?
A: My mind is always very active, and I'm always dealing with a lot of continuous, complicated issues.  I have the wonderful, fortunate position of being able to work in areas that I find intellectually stimulating.  I have to be deeply asleep and unconscious to not be thinking about what I am doing in my life.

P.Z.Myers, of Pharyngula, has started a blogging series called The Tangled Bank, "in which we highlight weblogs and articles on the broadly defined topics of biology, medicine, and natural history."  Planned as a weekly moveable feast, a la the Carnival of the Vanities, this is going to be a great showcase.  Check it out!

synthetic lifeThis is cool; Scientific American has a story about Synthetic Life.  "Biologists are crafting libraries of interchangeable DNA parts and assembling them inside microbes to create programmable, living machines."  The goal isn't necessarily to create organisms, it is to create genetic machines comprised of "BioBricks".  This is going to be big - a cool new way to exploit nanotechnology.  Somehow I think John Maynard Smith and Craig Venter would be in favor.  (As would P.Z.Myers :)

Think bloggers aren't journalists?  Then check out this post about the South Dakota senatorial race.  I don't have a rooting interest regarding Daschle v. Thune, but I am definitely a fan of this kind of reporting, which is critical to the democratic process.  Excellent stuff.

The NYTimes has some interesting stuff on this race, too :)

New Yorker - Oct 21, 1991I met Betsy Devine at BloggerCon, and she pointed out a terrific New Yorker cover which wasn't included in our recent gallery.  So here it is (click thumbnail for larger view)...

Betsy also pointed out my little blog was recently Feedster's Feed of the Day.  That's awesome - Thanks!

There's been all this news about the pending Google IPO.  I'm on record already - it is not going to be a huge success.  I'm sorry, Google is a great service, but the company doesn't have an eBay-like business model (or even a PayPal-like business model).

Plus, they're doing stuff like this which is, well, troubling...

And they're doing stuff like this which is, well, even more troubling...  And Evan's response isn't helpful.  Their cockiness is apparent, and it isn't pretty.

Steve Gillmor interviews Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who doesn't seem like he would be behind the troubling stuff.

The NYTimes details Google's ownership.  [ via Dave Winer ]

Dave suggests we check out Gigablast as a Google alternative.

Technology Review has an interesting article about Google and Akamai, their similarities and differences.  (Akamai had a moon-shot IPO in 1999, but has struggled since.)

By the way, can you even believe eBay?  Just when you think the stock must be overvalued, they double their quarterly profit and raise guidance, again.  Wow.

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained