Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Boingboing's Science

Anyone who knows me or knows this blog is aware that I frequent the Boingboing website. I love it and hate it at the same time. It offers some very cool info/links (I just shared the article on Google Maps' new ocean feature not half an hour ago on Facebook) but it also has an obvious bias towards technology and general hipster and/or liberal subjects.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it gives the site a sort of voice, but the editorializing can turn some folks off. I prefer to simply take it in, chuckle at times, and read on.

But, every once in a while, (as we've seen in the past) I just have to call them on it and point out some of the issues I have.

Today I came across this article that talks about the debunking of some of the allegations made in a NY Times piece that seems to point out issues with the whole "cloud computing" thing and the wastefulness of data centres. The article supports the debunker's claims that the initial article's reasearch is flawed because, in part, they couldn't possibly have had access to sufficient data to make such a claim.

Ok, cool. I'll buy that. Makes sense. The debunker seems to know his stuff and, if what he says is accurate, then, yes, the research would seem to be lacking in data and perspective. Good article, Boingboing. Thanks!


Soon afterwards, Boingboing then posts this article about cyclists and how they are nicer than they are perceived to be, and that anyone who sees cyclists as dicks must be doing so because they have a perception bias.

The science behind this article? The observation of some cyclists in one city by a cyclist advocacy group (!) and the empirical data on cyclist fatalities in nine others. (which, obviously, can be correlated to the dickishness of cyclists nationwide, right?)




So much for pushing for stronger research. But if the half-assed results are in your favour...

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