Comments on What does a trillion dollars look like? | zero hedge

Visualizing data is an important aspect of science communication. This post at zero hedge¬†[link gone] scales up from a “mere” $100 bill (coming from PA, Ben has a soft spot in my heart) to a trillion–obviously the “real money” of the federal budget. It works, but it might work better if the visualization was manipulated […]

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Twitter, Facebook, and social activism: newyorker.com

Jon Breschak, the PhD student working with me, is a voracious reader of both academic works and more popular media interpretations of social science and networks. Consider this recent e-mail… You may already be aware if you have read any of Gladwell’s material (Blink, Outliers, etc.) that an underlying theme he walks around without ever […]

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Meaning and Understanding on BBC: The One Ronnie Preview

What do we actually mean when we say things? Do we agree on meaning? This clip (from the BBC) is funny, but it also suggests that shared meaning and understanding matter. In natural resources, we have plenty of different definitions for the same word (e.g., conservation, protection, education) that often place us in distinct camps. […]

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Conserve, Conservation, Conservative: The Politics of Conserv*

Marketplace, the business news show on public radio, ran a piece on residential “green” energy initiatives. From the Marketplace site: Bringing both sides for conservation: Like a lot of things, environmental conservation is another issue that divides conservatives and liberals — but maybe it can turn into a bipartisan issue with a little bit of […]

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Style and Substance: The Economics of Attention

I recently finished a fascinating book, The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information (University of Chicago Press, 2006), by Richard Lanham. Lanham is an emeritus professor of English who draws on Homer, Peter Drucker, and Barbie to suggest that our society and economics are redefined. The basic premise is simple: […]

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