miscellaneous

Some articles for you, at your service!

The first is a blogpost by Katie Mack about a paper she wrote with Robert McNees. It’s about the possible vacuum decay of our universe (so just relax). I wonder why this isn’t used more in sci-fi (or does anyone know of an instance where this is a plot device?).

The second grows out of my grudging infinitesimal acceptance of the occasional interestingness of the philosophy of science: it’s a not so recent post by Sabine over at Backreaction about the philosophy of physics with some interesting remark in the comment section (but flooded with crackpot nonsense of course).

The last one is an article about the linguist Geoffrey Pullum which starts with the wonderful paragraph:

Imagine a world in which biology was taught using no textbooks written later than 1795; a world in which the advances of the science since the publication of On the Origin of Species – or even since Charles Darwin was born – were ignored. The theory of evolution would remain untaught; the existence of bacteria would never be mentioned. Biologists would be furious. So imagine how Prof Geoffrey Pullum feels when he sees the same thing happening in his own field every day.

followed by his remark

“Linguistics is a scientific subject,” he says. “It’s of a rather peculiar kind, but it is a science.

Amen to that.

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