Hits of the Year

Have you folks seen Ed Yong’s massive multi-part year-end round up at Not Exactly Rocket Science? Let’s just say he’s currently on Part Nine, with little sign of slowing down.

Here at Cosmic Variance we’re not nearly as prolific as Ed (there are only seven of us, and one of him), but the idea of a year-end wrap-up is a good one. I.e., it seems to create content in the slow intra-holiday period, without actually coming up with anything new. So here are some of my own favorite posts from the last year, with a few guest posts thrown in for good measure.

If I were a braver person, I’d do a corresponding list of my worst blog posts of the year. And if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a trolley.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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8 Responses to Hits of the Year

  1. Bruce Keener says:

    I’ve saved several articles to Instapaper for later reading (in some cases, re-reading). Lots of splendid topics. Thanks for the great work you do in keeping us informed and in sharing your insights.

  2. Joseph Smidt says:

    You guys always do great work around here Sean and that list is great. My favorites were seeing Sam Harris flip out over you pointing out the obvious, the fine structure constant being constant and the gratitude for effective field theory.

    Effective field theory does deserve a lot of praise, especially since that may be all we have to work with to make theories that can actually be tested at low energies. (I mean, at the energy ranges theories like String Theory can be actually tested effective field theories basically can cover all the bases.)

  3. Matt Dodds says:

    Sean, thanks for the list. I enjoy reading your blogs, they are very informative and allow me to take a time out from your text book. 🙂

  4. Low Math, Meekly Interacting says:

    Only major disagreement: Your critique of Avatar was spot-on, and you shouldn’t back off. Cameron has more money than God, more so now than ever because of the profits he made off his iteration of the Great White Hope fable. Nobody in that positions deserves any slack whatsoever.

  5. psmith says:

    Yes, you have some great posts there and we are all richer for your writing. Keep it up.
    But it wasn’t all good, especially when you unrestrainedly give in to your biases and abandon any attempt at careful reasoning.
    I am referring of course to Insane Clown Posse Channels Walt Whitman
    As you said, “Now, I really like Walt Whitman, but this was not his finest moment”, to which I can only reply:
    “Now, I really like Sean, but this was not his finest moment”

  6. charles slavis says:

    I now suggest the unification theory of Religion and Science. If you consider that God may be everything eternally evolving, then that not only fits most of the religious qualifications for God, but it also gives Science lots of physical data to explore…….Of course we can’t examine everything……just that which we have the ability and time to examine….leaving God only partially known……If everything came from God, then it must all be an extension of God. So, why don’t we have God’s powers? We do, in our infinitely tiny way…..but there is lots more power out there far greater than us……

  7. charles slavis says:

    It took 16 billion years for my combination of atoms to evolve, (Yours too!) I suggest that we all just got very lucky, or Something gave us each the opportunity to exist………..I think of that Something as God. If I remove God from the equation, then something exists here in my place, but it is not very likely to be me…….God doesn’t play dice…….God plays billiards……..and we all got the break……

  8. charles slavis says:

    Your guess is as good as mine.