Mary Chernyshenko

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Mary Chernyshenko's Shortform

Those brilliant guys made a plane from mud and sticks. It could not fly. It just stood there.

But even a man who could not understand a word of their language; who knew nothing of their way of life; who would never come to visit, - even such a man could see this thing out of his cockpit and know what it meant. And he would translate it, this only thing ever, into his own words and tell others.

Because the plane that never flies is a sign.

We have them polished in museums and rusting in abandoned hangars. There, we imbue them with meaning which is allowed to be personal.

...But you make one life-size model with one single possible interpretation, and suddenly it's cargo cult.

Is Success the Enemy of Freedom? (Full)

I have changed occupations thrice - from a PhD student (dropped out) to lab technician (in a different lab, for children), from LT to bookshop cashier/..., from BC to the-one-who-proofreads-articles-and-stuff in a lesser research journal. I kind of expect to switch at least once more, to a librarian or postman.

All of it revolves around the need to be home for the kid, and around hating some aspects of the job. (The lack of science; the late hours; the cold; and currently, the need to be reputation-wise.) And there was freedom in every thing I've done, although not exactly freedom to do what I wanted to do. Just - freedom to see the world. I think it should not be underestimated.

Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020

Thank you. It looks even more unfeasible than I thought (given the number of species of mycorrhizal and other root-inhabiting fungi); I'll have to just explicitly assume that Y does not have an effect on X, in a given root system from the wild. At least things seem much cheaper to do now)))

Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020

So I've read Pearl's The Book of Why and although it is really well written I don't understand some things.

Say we have two variables, and variable X could 'listen' to variable Y, Y--->X. But we don't know if it is qualitative or quantitative. I would have appreciated it if the book included a case study or two on how people plot their studies around this thing.

For example, we want to know what features of an experimental system can influence the readout of our measuring equipment. Say, Y (feature) is the variety of fungi species inhabiting the root system of a plant, and X is the % of cases in which we register specific mycorrhyzal structures on slides we view through a microscope (readout). And our 'measuring equipment' is a staining/viewing procedure.

Conceivably, if there are several species of fungi present, the mycorrhizal one(s) might form fewer (or more numerous) specific structures. This would be what I mean by a quantitative effect. Also conceivably, only some species or combinations of them have this effect on X. This would be qualitative.

Measuring both Y and X is more or less impossible, since you either stain a root or try to obtain a mycorrhizal culture from it (which is expensive.)· Even if we do try out some number of combinations of fungal inoculum, who knows how it compares against the diversity in the wild.

So... does this mean that we should split Y into Y-->Y1-->X and Y-->Y2-->X... or what?

· we don't consider some stains which maybe allow both.

Observe, babble, and prune

(After reading the first half of the post) usually, I find it uncomfortable to equivocate between the topic and what is said about the topic so freely. After all, if choosing a strategically bad intermediate job ruins your whole career, then it ruins your whole career.

What is the right phrase for "theoretical evidence"?

Could be "framing conditions". I mean, it's one think to say "masks should help to not spread or receive viral particles", but it's another thing to say "masks can't not limit convection". Even if you are interested in the first, you have to separate it into the second and similar statements. Things should resemble pieces of an empirical model besides intuitive guesses, to be updateable.

I mean, it's fine to stick to the intuition, but it doesn't help with modifying the model.

What posts do you want written?

An overview of the common disagreements between landscape designers, interior designers etc. and their clients. (A friend of mine had to explain that she liked her windows shaded by the tree, it made the house cooler during summer.) As in, what people tend to miscommunicate, overrule, not order, repair etc.

What colour were the shadows?

Thank you :) It was frost, we rarely get snow so early. I stood there and watched it evaporate in real time :) I didn't have a camera on me then, so the photo is recent (and taken much later in the day).

What posts do you want written?

A review of the history of translations of Aesop's and other similar fables with the emphasis on what was added, subtracted or equivocated by the translators. Such as, did the original Fox tell himself the grapes were sour, or did he announce it to the world at large?

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