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Check out this 8bit-clean compactification of notes, written by mine own hand, during a recent seminar delivered for the organic chemistry department, on the subject of academic publication, by a doctor named Neville Compton, who spoke as representative of a publication conglomerate; out of respect for the academic process, and the prudence necessary for correctness, I will give credit where credit is due, although the full names of audience members are not disclosed out of respect for their privacy:
2019-02-18T15:42:33 notes during SOC Seminar, 2019-02-14T15:00 Dr Neville Compton von Ang.Che, EIC 'forest vs trees' cf numbers: Erdos, Bacon... worandie Bell curve for the Nobel graph? unidimensional academic noise: launch/land density of journals/societies didimensional research mappings: lat/long are only relevant at lowest&highest resolutions, languages (of publications&conferences) are more relevant 'What Would Hipassus Publish?' re: publication (cf lateral vs longitudinal communication, ie, 3+1- metric): "language all over the place", in abstracts (and the rest of the paper), he means that authors conflate vernaculars with 'standard english' [noshit.gif] "none of our editors are active in research" cf tenure - academic vs editorial "publication ethics" academic ethics from the editor's perspective: plagiarism, misdirection, interest conflicts, exclusivity violations (in no particular order) journals use antifraud software!? drywear!? what idiocy is this. 'who will fuzz the fuzzers?' Editor's Note: Please do not shout from the gallery! datafraud detection: are graphics considered wrt viewing on screens, printed, or as raw data? this I asked at the end, and he claims: they've only launched systems for raw data, and are still mulling over presentation forms. citation DAG: prune early, prune often! reviewers are not necessarily a blindable factor, so journals (at least, those owned by his conglomerate) consider author recommendations and interest-conflict disclosures "new vs innovative" - what's the difference between 'novation' and innovation? this is 'patent nonsense', mais c'est pumpernickle! everything becomes FeNi when it's all fini. journals respond in a variety of manners, rejection does not necessarily mean the research itself is invalid, and could just be an opportunity to revise its draft for publication; often the editor will offer comments (their own, and/or based on peers' reviews) elaborating why exactly the draft was rejected rather than accepted with suggested modifications. speaker presents a "pyramid" graphic, reminiscent of food pyramid, but I, sitting aside Umberto's ashes, think of that trivial Manutius<->Garamond pingpong... editors accept responsibility for the whole review ensemble's opinions, thus suffering appeals, blames, etc: they are the diplomats of academia! the manager-psychologists, calm-skinn ed thick-headed lizards, soaking up environmental energy. What would Malaclypse do? social media leads to rapid dispersal yet also to rapid fragility of shifts (cf orders of phase transition, fragility in the literal, engineering sense) ... at which point, RA comments in tangential response to NC's question "if you hadda earna million pounds in twenty seconds, what would jesus do?" that he'd ask for a fistbump. initially I misinterpret, since RA and I communicate as silently as practical, knowing that the entire classroom hears our every word, as I do not whisper, and superfluid tetranucleomers do not sign. my interpretation entails social media's brittlifaction of the infosphere as arising from electrodynamics in a manner similar to friction. final thought, before stage is opened for audience questions: the challenge of 'social engineering' the publication process hinges upon an editor's (thus also their peers') susceptib ility to influence by 'screen numbers', i.e., number of followers. not all numbers are created equal, although some numbers are more equal than others!
Postscriptum: The documentation processor aimed at conventions wherein a doublequote indicates speech by the presenter, and a singlequote indicates stenographer neologism.
nota bene: - please include statement to be proven, at top of file, - along with the assumptions deemed indispensible, - not necessarily in that order. - thank you *** 1a1 student assumed: - field of positive integers - from which, logarithms are extracted at a sufficiently high base - autopsist has enough humorsense to creatively disinterpret names of chosen variables in the context of locally-smooth metrics. for your consideration: - the integer constants in this exercise had historical meanings for the current operator of the autopsy machine. *** 1a2 student simulated: - piled cannonballs until reaching closed-form series collapse likely assumptions: - familiarity with common integer sequences - access to well-indexed encyclopedia **** for the benefit of Mr Kite: there will be a show tonight, with cannonballs. how about these classes of complexity computation? - i. naturals are either a constant, or sums of a constant. - ii. triangles are sums of all consecutive positive integers. - iii. squares are sums of two consecutive triangular numbers. - iv. square pyramids are sums of all consecutive square numbers. - v. now, you are thinking with exponential implosions.
The remainder of the proof mistranslations are left as an exercise for the future.
Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty walk into a bar; not at the same time, of course, and most likely through different doors, on different days of weeks occasionally synchronized and often wholly missing, until after a decade of such temporal anisotropy, they wind up sitting as near as politely possible: as philosophers dine, they've left an empty stool betwixt for the Lady, and scattered charms to ward off bad tramps and divert the ones in need of redirection.
Since it's been centuries since The Fall, cancellation, reboot, shoot, toot, and least importantly, endless academic deconstructivism of the theological substrate radiation and reflexive mechanical reassembly of leftover operators, they end up discussing that long-lost mutual friend, that lalalamamafaka: General Relativity.
Sherlock does do his best, but Moriarty is asking the questions this time. Soon enough, Mycroft finishes pouring a trivially hypergeometric shuralgebraic or two, slaps'em down on the bar without a drop spilled, not before instinctively ensuring that its level plane is locally flat, soft yet insufficiently malleable to serve as an example of ductility, brittle yet not enough to crack under the stress and strain of tension and solvation, and most importantly, roughened imperceptibly to their fingertips by abrasion against shattered glass and feathering tools.
Silence reigns. You can hear every conversation, for a distemporal ephemerality.
Mycroft scatters compasses of all parities, arbitrarily parting the arrangement with an unwieldy doubly straightedged knife upon which are engraved the words:
You got me!
... but "the story is true", so I'll tell it the way it should have happened, and leave the retrosynthetic ungineering to the paralegal information police:
Shortly after entering some fast-track research program at the chemistry school of the exact sciences department at Tel Aviv University, expressely advertised in their printed materials as being aimed at those most enterprising youths who's life goals found themselves radically shifted outta the transcendental extension after Breaking Bad, I found myself sitting in a lecture hall watching that cool genius preparing to hold forth on the local consequences of immutable truths, while excitable students chattered all about me as I silently lamented the vanishing chance I'd ever recalibrate the long-abandoned disparser.
HER: I'm so hungry! I'm so bored! I'm so, so, so... HIM: Oh, you're hungry? I had such an amazing breakfast today, if you'd stayed the night like I wish I'd offered you to, I would've denatured you some eggs like you always wished. HER: ...! HIM: Yeah, no joke. Sunny-side up, over-easy, scrambled, any style you like... they're all dead, long dead, and delicious. The only problem is that it takes so long to cook properly: you need to first spend about a life and a half learning the art, and another seven generations amassing familial wealth that will allow your children to train in the same, and then you actually need to allocate time for the work itself! HER: Wha---
At which point I leaned my phonicone in their direction:
ME: You can save a few seconds in your daily egging by using only one hand per egg. Trivial once mastered, and you've got an entire life to practice, neh? HER: [spinning round] Ahhhh, I bet YOU are the chef who went back to cooking school!
Damnit, Lady, doan blow ma cover; shut up and listen to the man teach kinetics!
In the time that's passed since the last nucleation radiation, forces dark and wondrous have conspired to invalidate the crumbly metaphor, forcing the use of another. What's the use? Rice won't refuse, scattered by the handful or sleeping, steeping, waiting for thermobaric renaturation, perhaps hoping for a date with the polite intestine... or merely biochemical amylysis; what a ruse!
- Cutoff Time
- What's That Trash?
- Shelter From The Worm
- Diamond Anvil Recycling
- Monarchy Retirement Plan
- Who's Bass Is It, Anyway?
- Donald Rumsfeld's Omission
"Let us learn to joke... then perhaps we shall love the truth. But let us beware of telling our jokes till they have been bettered by the wakes of conversation." - l'Ourobohr
Just as compressing a fluid past a first-order phase transition inevitably catalyzes hitherto unemerged phenomena, so will the aggressed square-packing of a lecture hall eventually collide the elliptic peg with a dodecahedral hole; for although most students, whether having undergone graduation like so much unwashed glassware, or yet bearing the whips and scorns of time-worn institutions, resemble Euclid's nonsense better than a brick of solid oxygen, the rare exceptions emerge differently shaped from the factory schools. Amusing in retrospect as may be the lattice defects that emerge from such collisions, they do tend to strain the participants.
I found myself sitting right near the audience geocenter, a similar-humored friend at my left having dogged me to my seat, which I had picked not due to its vacancy, but due to the occupant to its right. I'd yet to speak with her, but thanks to the curse of uncorrected distance hearing, I'd heard enough to tumble headfirst down the slippery slope of puppy infatuation: she'd related to friends of the same dual-major that her new hobby was treating her daily dogpark visits as the opportunity to meet Mr Right. Sadly, I had no familiar canine excuse to present myself to her in such a manner, having parted ways from my best friend two years earlier. Reminding myself that even if we'd met while watching our dogs sniff eachother's butts, we probably wouldn't be imitating them right away, instead wasting countless kilolitres of air exchanging nonsense in the hope of breaking the proverbial ice (or at the very least, thawing it out a little).
Naturally, somatic vessel of the flaggelar germline that I am, I sought an opening; and naturally, being bored to death (and back again) of the inane claptrap flapping about between the well-packed squares all around, I sought an original opening. As I fished for worthwhile words, she began fishing for the right pen in her cute little case... on which were printed, in block capitals, three to a side, the words:
SO MUCH WORK SO LITTLE TIME
... which, in case you're unfamiliar with the physical sciences, is the six-word story of everything we learned that semester. Blinded by coincidence, I blurted out a shot from the hip, taking the time to neither draw nor even greet my opponent: "... that a special case for thermodynamics class?"
Her response, short and sweet, was painfully close to "LOL!", but lo and behold: she elided that second coronal lateral fricative as an unpronouncable terminal phoneme, leaving instead the last first word a man wants to hear.
"WE EVEN HAVE EARMUFFS, IF ANY OF YOU WANT A COUPLE."
Fine, the rest of this story will not contain shouted words, although the use of CamelCase at the start of sentences may be preserved; anyway, it pertains to a multiple-choice exam sat by the author recently, where the primary hindrance presented to the students consisted of FAA-compliant noise. Noting that nobody needed even a single muff, the proctor glanced at my choice of seating.
I nod, scattering allergens to assure the poison sniffers that the correct ghola had showed up for the Mentat Bowl, and prudently leave my cheating machines concealed yet readily accessible. Another proctor kindly wished me good luck, although the whorls of spacetime conspired me to think of the all-too-recent practice wherein children were forced to conform to seating limitations regardless of neurology. Ah well, we all bleed our age one way or another.
"Good luck!" said just about everyone, whether aloud, to themselves, or just to pretend they hadn't run out of mere politeness (quite the scarce resource).
Eventually, I notice a unital (as opposed to unitary, i.e. dimensional) discrepancy. These buggers are pernicious, especially when the exam purports to pertain to the physical sciences, but in truth does not contain a single SI-qualified value, opting instead for alphabet soup interspersed with "happy particles". I flag down a passing professor.
"You have a question for this one?", he mimes, doubtlessly thinking of the overworked teaching assistant.
"YES, YOU SILLY GOOSE, WHO ELSE?" I shout at nobody in particular, while nodding silently to respect the silence theater quivering at the brink of metastability. He walks over, punts my question at the nearest underspecified constant, and wanders off to give polite hints to less helpful questioners.
I guess it's time for me to eat more rotting fructose, since competitive thermodynamics is an awfully energy-consuming game: time is in finite supply, proportioned according to the Cayley-Hamilton nulleph (if you've got that sphere mapped; if you don't, please do: see Poincare's cut if you've already passed Dedekind). I don't blame that professor for my inevitable failure at this exam, as he'd actually given quite a helpful hint: he could tell I was asking for him to make a public clarification regarding a sloppily-worded question, the correct answer to which was painfully obvious, so he instead reminded me that the Grand Canon controlls how many ells deep drinks the spider.
Teacup - empty; birdseed - messy; orange - too flagrant a juicy snack, and there's still half the alloted time left! What could I possibly do now, other than start to actually work out the silly little calculus exercises? Maybe asking the proctors to unplug the noisy desktop computer fanning itself for no apparent reason, or at the very least tell us which prion it was busy refolding for the good of humanity, although somehow I suspect the answer to that would've been closer to:
Hush, little baby; don't say a word! ... never mind that noise you heard. It's just the wormholes in your ear, crawling thru that strength we fear.
At which point, the student to my right gets up, hands in his papers, and moves to leave.
"No! Stay!" quoth an audience member, who had elected to sit the exam undercover, out of true respect for the process.
"Sorry, honey, I've got a plane..." he replies, politely ignoring her "Can't it wait?" as he glides out, better than the most professional of bettors.
At least the desktop had decided to continue cooking its motherboard in silence by the time our friendly noisemaker began running his own fans overhead.
Lying along the shoals of inattentiveness, listening to each phonon (yes, I know how to use that word uncorrectly, too;) surf along the pitch black glideway, way below, I realize I've begun overhearing yet another conversation that never happened.
TRIGGER WARNING: IF YOU KNOW ME FROM SCHOOL, YOU MIGHT KNOW THESE PEOPLE TOO; ONLY THE WORDS, LEXEMES, AND CORRELATES HAVE BEEN CHANGED, TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF THE UNNOTICED AND THE SANCTITUDE OF YOUR MIND.
Three doctors - of philosophy, naturally - are quibbling over which rights to violate when administering the exam, in the hope that one will be sufficiently distrauchted by some best jest that a quick bid for the silverware could be made.
Quoth the theoretician: "First of all, the exam must be as fair as possible; all students who are required to pass the exam, must have an uncorrelated likelihood of passing the exam, and any students who wish to pass the exam, must have an uncorrelated likelihood of passing the exam, and any correlations arising unintentionally must be uncorrelated with each other correlate, in so far as --"
He's been interrupted by now: "That's a load of nonsense. You've written the exam by now, so why don't you tell us what's unfair about it? Noone will be judging you. Why don't you... do it in the code?"
Before he can deliver the correct, coherent, counterpoint, the third one suggests: "Any unfairness unavoidable in the exam should be biased in favor of those students who have attended lectures, in some power per portion of time wasted together."
"WHAT!?" is the inevitable reply, so he continues, explaining exactly what he means: "The exam is unfair, and always will be, so I'd rather at least encourage us to all waste our time together. I don't want academics to devolve into each student spending a semester in a silent sterile cube with a pay-per-view port to some quintessence datahose and a shelf full of dead-tree graffiti painstakingly curated by some long-dead Adlai."
Silence. You could hear a pin drop, land right-way up, and blow up the tire of the next hrududu blundering down the street (and what a fine alarm clock that'd be!).
"Did you just use a student's name as an expletive?", asked the practician of theoretical jurisprudence.
"Yes, because we all know exactly what I meant by that; if you have a problem with what I said, say whatever you want instead, but let me finish my gottanjecture."
After one of the department events, opening or closing one semester or another, I joined a circle of students chatting over pizza and beer on the lawn. Not wanting to make uncontextual interruptions, I listened...
"The system here is so unjust!" said one student to the one sitting next to her. "It gives priority to graduate students who accept teaching positions, over those who do other kinds of work, or even don't work at all, preferring to focus on their own research."
"Word", he said, sipping his pizza, biting off the top of a beer bottle, or whatever it is that the males do on your planet.
"This is especially unjust to me, because I can't teach," she continued. I listened a little longer, but we'll skip over the bits that I did when I interrupted:
"Why did you say earlier that you can't teach?"
"Because I can't."
Maybe it had something to do with the part of the conversation over which I skipped, or maybe nobody had ever even offered her a chance to see that she's probably not the only person around who understands whatever she understands however she understands it. I guess her teachers, however faithful they may have been to the blessed curriculum, must have neglected the more important lessons.
I left her talking to the guy with whom she had chemistry; life is too far from equilibrium for useless reactions.
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. - Kilgore Trout
I've led a rather blessed life, so far: I've never had to perform acts of mortal violence against people, nor have I witnessed the salty splashed remains of such action. Ironically enough, those who profess a desire to save lives and heal, are more likely to end up playing the roadside autopsy game, where harm done is measured as correctness of identification rather than reduction of inflammation. But I digress, and nobody cares much about my military service; after all, as I told my lab partner just before the last sunset: "All I ever really did myself was tell other people what to do."
Some people I've known personally over the years are dead by now, as often happens to people after you know them long enough. What's less common, although does occur once you know enough people of the various kinds, is that they die by their own hand. Three times in my life have I encountered the news that yet another doctorate in practical existentialism has been granted, and coincidentally enough, none of these volunteers for an early afterlife deigned to leave behind their dissertation. I don't blame them; after all, annealing such thoughts into human language is messy enough work without the added challenge of not being around to edit the result.
On the one hand, I've already mentioned elsewhere the second instance, and I'm loathe to elaborate upon it, for a variety of reasons. The only one which matters in this case is that that story forms a brief chapter in my long-forgotten upcoming memoir. On the other hand, the third instance is simultaneously too personal, and too impersonal, and too soon, and - although that friend's memorial service just the other day triggered the thought-helix leading to this post - no, I'm not telling that story yet, either. The first instance really shouldn't count, although black humor can be found even in such sanguine remains, so I'll give it a shot - just like the instantiator himself!
One guy who went through basic training together with me was quite the basket case: the kind of dork who literally hits himself after realizing how stupid he's been, without even any bully around to mockingly tell him to stop hitting himself. This poor shmuck had glasses thicker than his own skull, and his skull was quite thick, because he spent most of basic hitting himself, because this poor shmuck just couldn't get anything right. He was the kind of kid who couldn't get through the morning routine without getting toothpaste in the barrel, gun oil on his pants, and boot black on his face. Soldiers are rarely nice people - the average platoon could make a kindergarden playground look like a safer space than the campus of Snowflake University - and we soon had a nickname for this shmuck: we called him Shock.
Shock must've had a good heart, because he volunteered for medic training. Not only did he surprise us all by actually surviving medic training (they do some rather gruesome hazing, if the stories are to be believed, but those are not mine to tell), he also volunteered for the most thankless assignment: yep, Shock went back to that part of the desert where men are turned back into boys again, where the worst of humanity is strained out and molded into rank and file: Shock went to minister to the next crop of drafted children. One day I hear the following brief tale:
"Hey, remember Shock who went to become a medic? We need to find him a new name. One of the kids there shot himself in the shower. Poor old Shock found the remains, and now he's no longer in shock!"