Thx to Avery for getting the right link to 4 below. The one I linked to earlier went nowhere. This one works.
- An editorial on Big Data by Gary Marcus (here). It seems that the "hype-cycle" is cresting and that people are beginning to consider the problems with Big Data Science (BDS). BDS is the idea that big data sets can substitute for standard scientific practice whose aim is to uncover the causal structure of things. BDS seems happy substituting correlation for causation, the idea being that enough of the former and we can dispense with the latter. The recent Google flu failure has brought home to even the enthusiasts that there is no such thing as thought free science. At any rate, Gary here goes over in bullet form some of the drawbacks.
- Pedro Martins sends me this link to an interesting interview with Marc Hauser. Those who want their bio-ling fix can get it here.
- Talking about the "hype-cycle," here's a reaction to the MOOCification of education by someone that would have to implement it. Janet Napolitano (formerly head of the Department of Homeland Security, so not one of usual go-to people) is the head of the UC system. Jerry Brown is a big enthusiast of MOOCs, seeing these as a way of providing a quality education to all at a reduced cost. Napolitano talks about the costs of MOOCs and what kinds of service they could provide. It is a reasonable reaction, IMO. Note her observations that these will not really save much money, if any. This, I believe, is a big deal. The fight is about transferring money from universities to education entrepreneurs. The total cost will not change much, if at all.
- Last, here's a video of a recent talk by Chomsky at Keio (thx, Hisa). This one should occupy you for at least as much time as it takes you to read one of my long post.