URLs (December 29, 2010)

http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-scientists-factors-news-agenda.html

Scientists map what factors influence the news agenda

http://www.springerlink.com/content/978-3-642-15327-3/contents/

Algorithms unplugged

https://lsadc.org/info/documents/2010/press-releases/2010-12-media-advisory-annual-meeting.pdf

Linguistics Society of America Annual Awards

http://cacm.acm.org/news/102934-ibm-supercomputer-watson-to-challenge-jeopardy-stars

IBM’s Watson

http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/datasets

New n-gram datasets from Google

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/12/polanski.html

Polanski

http://www.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/12/02/world.cup.qatar.opinion/index.html?hpt=T2

Qatar 2022

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1009/soccer.2022.world.cup.stadiums.qatar/content.1.html

Proposed stadiums for Qatar 2022

http://www.economist.com/node/17460678

Climbing Mount Publishable

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2741

“Untranslateable” words

http://www.cs.unm.edu/~aaron/blog/archives/2010/10/storytelling_st.htm

Story telling (by Aaron Clauset)

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/10/21/opinion/20101021_Oplunch.html?scp=8&sq=healthy%20food%20cafeteria&st=cse

Lunch line redesign

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/opinion/08judt.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=judt%20new%20york&st=cse

Tony Judt on New York

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11710831

Houellebecq wins Goncourt Prize for his new book “The Map and the Territory”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/opinion/05iht-edcohen.html?hp

Change or Perish

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/11/22/am.tsa.snl.spoof.cnn?hpt=T1

SNL’s TSA spoof

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6007/1032.full.pdf?sid=2dd73c30-a5de-482a-90c7-92c5be9ec5df

Handful of U.S. Schools Claim Larger Share of Output

http://chronicle.com/article/Decoding-the-Value-of-Computer/125266/

Decoding the value of Computer Science

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/17/books/17words.html

In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture

Physicists, sociologists, and linguists

Eszter Hargittai recently wrote about “Isolated Social Networkers” in
her blog.

Her claim (inspired by some earlier discussions on the INSNA SOCNET
mailing list) is that physicists working on social networking problems
rarely cite the relevant prior work in sociology. She includes a
diagram by Lin Freeman that supports this claim in a graphical form.

I am personally of the opinion that both sides of the picture have
contributed significantly to the field and should not be calling each
other names but that’s not the point of my posting. Reading Eszter’s
story, I couldn’t help remembering a discussion from a few years ago
between a group of physicists in Italy (Benedetto et al.) and Joshua
Goodman (a computer scientist at Microsoft Research).

Benedetto et al. had published a paper (”Language Trees and Zipping“) in a good Physics journal
(Physical Review Letters) in which they showed a compression-based
method for identifying patterns in text and other sequences.

According to Goodman

“I first point out the inappropriateness of publishing a Letter
unrelated to physics. Next, I give experimental results showing that
the technique used in the Letter is 3 times worse and 17 times
slower than a simple baseline, Naive Bayes. And finally, I review
the literature, showing that the ideas of the Letter are not
novel. I conclude by suggesting that Physical Review Letters should
not publish Letters unrelated to physics.”

Benedetto et al’s rebuttal appeared in Arxiv.org