Feb 27 2012

The case for open computer programs

Tag: Informática LegalJoaquim Anguas @ 11:50 am

To some extent we all have the impression that the scientific method makes things move forward based on a set of principles and when one thinks on science, peer reviewed publications and credibility, the concept of reproducibility stands tall.

Making available all the components of a scientific experiment may be a complex task, but guarantees that the community can fully validate the produced results.

In this article from Nature the authors make a reflection on the impact of code un-disclosure when it comes to science.

Much of the debate about code transparency involves the philosophy of science, error validation and research ethics, but our contention is more practical: that the cause of reproducibility is best furthered by focusing on the dissection and understanding of code, a sentiment already appreciated by the growing open-source movement.

Forensic activity cannot fully match to science practice. Of course we can talk about “forensic sciences” as the body of knowledge related to our activities, but we forensic experts (most often) work over concrete instances, not general or abstract matters. But the concept of reproducibility is key to provide support for the basic principles of due process, especially for the impact it may have on the principle of contradiction.

From the forensic perspective we should think about the implications of code un-disclosure in the rights of people.

P.S. If you do the cliking to Nature, don’t miss this.

Via arstechnica.

May 19 2010

Foucault’s pendulum is sent crashing to Earth

Tag: (i)realidadJoaquim Anguas @ 8:58 pm

If there were ever any truth in the esoteric tales of Umberto Eco’s bestselling novel Foucault’s Pendulum, it seems that the key to that knowledge has been lost.

The original pendulum, which was used by French scientist Leon Foucault to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth and which forms an integral part of Eco’s novel’s labyrinthine plot, has been irreparably damaged in an accident in Paris.

The pendulum’s cable snapped last month and its sphere crashed to the marble floor of the Musee des Arts et Metiers.”

Foucault's Pendulum @ Musée des Arts et Métiers

TimesHigherEducation via BoingBoing.

Jul 14 2008

Science and Computation

Tag: (i)realidadJoaquim Anguas @ 12:38 am

Cellular Automata

This is a world where massive amounts of data and applied mathematics replace every other tool that might be brought to bear. Out with every theory of human behavior, from linguistics to sociology. Forget taxonomy, ontology, and psychology. Who knows why people do what they do? The point is they do it, and we can track and measure it with unprecedented fidelity. With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves.”

Those days I’ve found some references to what’s called “Science 2.0”.

Starting with this more conservative approach, to this radical one, being inspiring, to me they all present a fancy position.

Read this and this to get things into context.

What’s next? Are you guys going to state that P=NP because we can use “The Cloud” as the oracle in an Oracle Turing Machine?

Give me a break!