Science journalism, expertise and common sense

On March 27, the Johns Hopkins University said an article published on the website of the Centre For Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP), a Washington-based think tank, had used its logo without permission and distanced itself from the study, which had concluded that the number of people in India who could test positive forContinue reading “Science journalism, expertise and common sense”

Some notes on empiricism, etc.

The Wire published a story about the ‘atoms of Acharya Kanad‘ (background here; tl;dr: Folks at a university in Gujarat claimed an ancient Indian sage had put forth the theory of atoms centuries before John Dalton showed up). The story in question was by a professor of philosophy at IISER, Mohali, and he makes a solidContinue reading “Some notes on empiricism, etc.”

Of small steps and giant leaps of collective imagination

The Wire July 16, 2015 We may all harbour a gene that moves us to explore and find new realms of experience but the physical act of discovery has become far removed from the first principles of physics. At 6.23 am on Wednesday, when a signal from the New Horizons probe near Pluto reached aContinue reading “Of small steps and giant leaps of collective imagination”

A future for driverless cars, from a limbo between trolley problems and autopilots

By Anuj  Srivas and Vasudevan Mukunth What’s the deal with everyone getting worried about artificial intelligence? It’s all the Silicon Valley elite seem willing to be apprehensive about, and Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom seems to be the patron saint along with his book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014). Even if Big Data seems like it couldContinue reading “A future for driverless cars, from a limbo between trolley problems and autopilots”

Can science and philosophy mix constructively?

Quantum mechanics can sometimes be very hard to understand, so much so that even thinking about it becomes difficult. This could be because its foundations lay in the action-centric depiction of reality that slowly rejected its origins and assumed a thought-centric one garb. In his 1925 paper on the topic, physicist Werner Heisenberg used only observable quantitiesContinue reading “Can science and philosophy mix constructively?”

Can science and philosophy mix constructively?

Quantum mechanics can sometimes be very hard to understand, so much so that even thinking about it becomes difficult. This could be because its foundations lay in the action-centric depiction of reality that slowly rejected its origins and assumed a thought-centric one garb. In his 1925 paper on the topic, physicist Werner Heisenberg used only observable quantitiesContinue reading “Can science and philosophy mix constructively?”

Bohr and the breakaway from classical mechanics

One hundred years ago, Niels Bohr developed the Bohr model of the atom, where electrons go around a nucleus at the center like planets in the Solar System. The model and its implications brought a lot of clarity to the field of physics at a time when physicists didn’t know what was inside an atom,Continue reading “Bohr and the breakaway from classical mechanics”

Bohr and the breakaway from classical mechanics

One hundred years ago, Niels Bohr developed the Bohr model of the atom, where electrons go around a nucleus at the centre like planets in the Solar System. The model and its implications brought a lot of clarity to the field of physics at a time when physicists didn’t know what was inside an atom,Continue reading “Bohr and the breakaway from classical mechanics”

A clock without a craftsman

Curiosity can be devastating on the pocket. Curiosity without complete awareness has the likelihood of turning fatal. At first, for example, there was nothing. Then, there was a book called The Feynman Lectures on Physics (Vol. 3) (Rs. 214) in class XII. Then, there was great interest centered on the man named Richard Feynman, and so,Continue reading “A clock without a craftsman”