There’s an interesting thing about ancient China, because if you read through the history, almost every single major invention of the world was invented in China first, and sometimes it took hundred of years for each to either it to make it’s way to Western Europe or to be reinvented in Western Europe. That includes paper, printing, steel, gunpowder, the compass, rudder, suspension bridges, etc. It’s almost everything, and for a long time China led the world in civilization because it was able to make these things long before anyone else. But there was one invention that China did not invent, and it would turn out to be the most important invention, and that was the invention of the scientific method.
There’s still a question about why China didn’t invent that, which was invented in the West. Because of that one invention, the West suddenly had a method for inventing new things and finding new things that was so superior that it just blew past all the great inventions of China and invented so many more things because of the power of this one invention. And that invention—the scientific method—is not a single thing. It’s actually a process with many ingredients, and the scientific method itself has actually been changing. In the very beginning it was very simple, a couple of processes like a controlled experiment, having a control, being able to repeat things, having to have a proof. We tend to think of the scientific method as sort of a whole—as fixed in time with a certain character. But lots of things that we assume or we now associate with the scientific method were only invented recently, some of them only as recently as 50 years ago—things like a double blind experiment or the invention of the placebo or random sampling were all incredibly recent additions to the scientific method. In 50 years from now the scientific method will have changed more than it has in the past 400 years just as everything else has.
So the scientific method is still changing over time. It’s an invention that we’re still evolving and refining. It’s a technology. It’s a process technology, but it’s probably the most important process and technology that we have, but that is still undergoing evolution refinement and advancement and we are adding new things to this invention. We’re adding things like a triple blind experiment or multiple authors or quantified self where you have experiment of N equals one. We’re doing things like saving negative results and transmitting those. There’s many, many things happening with the scientific method itself—as a technology—that we’re also improving over time, and that will affect all the other technologies that we make. —
(Source: inthenoosphere, via notational)
Postgres outperforms MongoDB and ushers in new Developer Reality
The first mouse was invented in 1965, but it took until the mid-1990s for mice to be a standard computer feature. The first packet-switched network was invented in 1969, but the internet didn’t become mainstream until the late 1990s. Multitouch interfaces were first developed in the early 1980s, but didn’t become a mainstream technology until the iPhone in 2007. That suggests we shouldn’t underestimate the disruptive potential of technologies, like self-driving cars, personalized DNA testing, and Bitcoin, that seem exotic and impractical today. — Newspapers weren’t late to online news — they were way too early - Vox (via infoneer-pulse)
When I catch the developers building HTML in the database layer
There are a few ways to tell “the story of the internet.” You’ve got your military infrastructure turned academic tool, turned loose. And then there’s your Whole Earth Catalog, power-to-the-people-in-garages angle. Despite resembling opposites, they’re both valid narratives, and how you weigh them usually has more to do with your politics than anything else. But then there’s the story of Paul Otlet. Born long enough ago that he lived in an imperial Belgium, the problems Otlet, a visionary and entrepreneur, hacked away on are the same we deal with today: nationalism, war, and information overload. The solutions Otlet worked for also resonate today, perhaps nowhere more surprisingly than the means by which you’re reading this very article. Decades before even the first microchip, Otlet was calling for screens at everyone’s desk and the creation of a “réseau mondial,” a worldwide network. Or, yes, a web. — The Man Who Envisioned the Internet Before Computers, Without Computers | Motherboard (via notational)
Intel: Always the bridesmaid? -
I was in San Francisco last week, as a guest of Intel. Their big Developer Forum (IDF) was taking place at Moscone, and the company had invited a group of analysts to soak up the atmosphere, talk with partners, and participate in a set of pre-arranged briefings.
The afternoon before things…
Loaders and Spinners - a collection by Tim Holman - CodePen -
An awesome collections of CSS only loading spinners
Is there a creativity deficit in science? | Ars Technica -
"The unwritten rule…is that when applying for funding, one should only propose experiments one has already done."
This kind of framework has so taken over academia that funding for the arts works the same way. That’s a travesty for a field that should be pushing creativity further. Sure, I can understand the need for accountability….but the way this logic drives creativity from these systems really bugs me. Bad faith.