Today is Martin Luther King Day in the US, a civil rights holiday. I heard a recording of this address by King to the 1967 meeting of the American Psychological Association, and then couldn’t find a copy of the text… until now, when I searched the web with two critical typos in the search terms.
The Role of the Behavioral Scientist in the Civil Rights Movement
By Martin Luther King Jr.
There are certain technical words in every academic discipline which soon become stereotypes and even clichés. Every academic discipline has its technical nomenclature. You who are in the field of psychology have given us a great word. It is the word maladjusted. This word is probably used more than any other word in psychology. It is a good word; certainly it is good that in dealing with what the word implies you are declaring that destructive maladjustment should be destroyed. You are saying that all must seek the well-adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities.
But on the other hand, I am sure that we will recognize that there are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted. There are some things concerning which we must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will. We must never adjust ourselves to racial discrimination and racial segregation. We must never adjust ourselves to religious bigotry. We must never adjust ourselves to economic conditions that take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. We must never adjust ourselves to the madness of militarism, and the self-defeating effects of physical violence.
I’m on a self-imposed blog fast until I finish sending out thank-you notes for all of the love, support, and baby gifts I’ve received over the last few months. (Plus there is a book manuscript on my desk with hundreds of copy edits to make…)
But I’m breaking my rule to announce that I’ve been selected by Technology Review as a TR35 Young Innovator. Thanks for the kind words and support I’ve received! Also, thanks to my colleagues at IHME and elsewhere for all of the hard work; without this labor, my innovations would languish in obscurity.
Healthy algorithms has been quite for the last two months, because I have had a new project to keep me occupied: Sidney was born May 1 at 12:32 AM. Now that he is 2 months old, I think I can get back to the blogging. At least a little bit.
Hello Dear Readers,
Can someone help me quickly get up to speed on the Elsevier boycott? I’ve had a read through thecostofknowledge.com and even skimmed through Tim Gower’s statement of purpose. What I’m missing is what are the demands of this boycott? I’m delighted to have an excuse to refuse a request for refereeing, but how can my boycott be genuine about this if Elsevier has no way to make things right?
I had a long day today, but it’s nothing compared to my brother-in-law. He just went to Greenland. The sun doesn’t set there for months! He’s got some great pictures from his trip. It’s not all pretty pictures, though. There’s a new volcanic ash cloud floating his way, which means serious delays on his lost luggage. He has a great internet connection there, so he’ll be able to see how many page views his blog is getting, so go take a look, maybe a lot of web traffic will distract him from the fact that he has only one pair of underwear in a 1000 mile radius.
I’ve been in meetings literally all day, but I’ve got so much to say that I’m still here… this is a newsletter that IHME put out yesterday, and it’s got me in the front cover photo. How can I pass up announcing that? It’s mostly for my mom, but PyMC fans might also appreciate the shoutout I managed to Anand Patil, who authored the PyMC Gaussian Process package that I’ve been urging people to use lately.
I’ve been away from the keyboard, and that’s because I’ve been moving. But it’s the last time for a while, because Jessi and I are not renters anymore. Yay!
And bonus, I love my new commute. The Seattle waterfront is a nice thing to see everyday, even if it’s sometimes overcast:
I guess I’m one to follow the latest fads. I have a blog, right?
I held off even considering “Twitter” for a long time, however. Who cares what I’m doing, right now, in 140 characters?
But that’s not actually what twitter is about (at least its not all that twitter is about). It’s more like having an IRC chat room, but in a public park. But the fauna is synthetic.
Anyway, I’m giving it a try. You can see how it’s going for me here.
My ego does depend a little bit on how many “followers” I have, but I’ve got practice dealing with this. When I was a college radio deejay, I usually had no idea if anyone was listening out there in radio land, so I’d put on my most depressive college radio voice, get on the mic and ask for callers. Then while I waited to see if anyone would call in, I’d dedicate this song to myself:
Filed under general, videos
I need a break from the health and algorithms posts for a second, to include something about the situation in Palestine. For the last two weeks, the hot war has been on my mind too much. I can’t keep writing about math movies and python tutorials without acknowledging it. Continue reading
I didn’t make any best-of-the-year lists, but I support the idea. I also support new year’s resolutions, but I’m not going to write about mine.
But the internet picks up the slack.
FlowingData has a 5 Best Data Vis of the year list, which I’m fond of. It includes the beautiful Streamgraphs of Byron and Wattenberg. Their technical report has some fun applications of combinatorial optimization to aesthetics.
Lance Fortnow has a nice Complexity Year in Review on the Computational Complexity Blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have a beautiful illustration of Prasad’s result that Unique Games Conjecture implies semidefinite relaxations have optimal approximation ratios.