Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Skeptical Software Development Manifesto

From the defunct Hacknot blog, here's an enlightening skeptical eye on some Agile methodology woo.


Hacknot Essays on Software Development by anant_phenany9684

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Paul Conneally: Digital humanitarianism

Here's one good example on how we can use technology and crowd-sourcing for a cost-effective solution on efficient disaster recovery/relief effort. I think a similar system can be put into use for disaster preparedness or even for emergency alert system.

I wonder if there some local group here in PH who have started on working on a similar system.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Baloney Detection Kit

People tend to believe in a variety of things, to be credulous and just accept stuff that appeals to their emotions and biases at face value. So is there something wrong with being a believer of something? Yes there is if we don't think critically about these things.

Carl Sagan, one of my favorite astronomer, science writer and popularizer, succinctly summed up with the following quotes why we humans are susceptible to believe just about anything:


“You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe”


"Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves."


In his New York Times best seller book "Demon-Haunted World", Carl Sagan provided the fine art of critical thinking and skepticism that people can use to tell if a claim is authentic or just deception and baloney. One of the best chapters in the book is entitled "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection" where Carl Sagan laid down the fundamentals of critical thinking and skepticism. It's an excellent jump start guide for anyone willing to arm themselves with the tools on detecting pseudoscience and other false claims. Unfortunately, the book is rare in the local bookstores here in the Philippines. I was fortunate to have bought the book at Fully Booked at Greenbelt 5. Personally I find it sad that such book like the Demon-Haunted World is not so much a common book that you can find in bookstores here in the Philippines.

Michael Shermer, a well known science writer and skeptic, offered an extension of the baloney detection kit based on Carl Sagan's original version. It's also a good reference and I highly recommend people to watch the YouTube video below:



From the video, Michael Shermer discussed 10 questions that should be ask to verify certain claims:


1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
2. Does the source make similar claims?
3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
4. Does this fit with the way the world works?
5. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
6. Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
7. Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?
8. Is the claimant providing positive evidence?
9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?


So if you're someone who believes on the stories from these books:



think critically and apply the baloney detection kit. You may realize that you're just wasting your money on these junk books.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Earthlings

What do Racism, Sexism and Speciesism have in common?



EARTHLINGS is the single most powerful and informative documentary about society's tragic and unforgivable use of nonhuman animals, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix with soundtrack by Moby. Directed by Shaun Monson, this multi-award winning film by Nation Earth is a must-see for anyone who cares about nonhuman animals or wishes to make the world a better place.

http://www.earthlings.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What really motivates us

It's all about autonomy, mastery and purpose. Money is not really a good motivator. Surprised?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Preserving & Cherishing the Earth: An Appeal for Joint Commitment in Science & Religion

The recent tragedy of the Ondoy rampage at my country, which is perhaps a sign of the consequences man has made to his/her environment, reminded me of this joint commitment spearheaded by Carl Sagan, to unite leaders from the scientific and religious groups to face a common enemy. Carl Sagan believed that despite of the fundamental differences between science and religion, it is still possible to unite these groups and work on a common goal which is to preserve our species and our place in the universe.

It's is tragic also that despite of these efforts on consolidating global effort to fix the problem we all have made, there are no significant progress. We are still occupied with our short-term goals and narrowed-mindedness on how we are all in this problem together, whether rich or poor, atheist or religious.

http://earthrenewal.org/Open_letter_to_the_religious_.htm

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Earth Hour, March 28, 2009 Saturday, 8:30PM

In support for our most precious heritage, our planet, Earth.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pearl Jam announces reissue of band's debut album, TEN!

A must for Pearl Jam and grunge rock fans! I have always wanted to have a copy of their 1992 MTV unplugged gig. Finally, they're going to release it!


PEARL JAM ANNOUNCES THE REISSUE OF BAND’S DEBUT ALBUM, TEN:
FOUR SPECIAL EDITION PACKAGES IN STORES MARCH 24, 2009
TEN CLUB PRE-SALE OF SUPER DELUXE BOX SET BEGINS NOW

Album extras include:
Remaster of original Ten album + remix by producer Brendan O’Brien •
DVD of previously unreleased 1992 Pearl Jam MTV Unplugged performance with 5.1 surround sound audio remix • LP of the band’s 1992 “Drop in the Park” concert • Replica of Pearl Jam three-song demo cassette with Eddie Vedder’s original vocal dubs • Recreation of Eddie Vedder composition notebook • Never before seen memorabilia • Bonus tracks and more.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fight Fire With Fire in Cello

Metallica's trash metal classic played by cellists!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Matrix Runs on Windows

Take the red pill. Get the blue screen.