Capturing BibText entries with Org, BibTex-Mode & Google Scholar

There have been numerous articles written about how to generate bibliographies in orgmode documents from BibTex. But not a lot has been written about collecting those references in the first place. I tend to add twenty or thirty references on a slow week. If I am deep in research mode I can easily do that many in a single day. [...]

You are the only person working within a fifty-mile radius

The entire geographical footprint of a college campus illuminated all night every night, gently enhancing its desolation during the weekend. During the school week the university belongs to no one. It buzzes and throbs with people coming and going. But the whole place is different on a Friday at midnight, when the university belongs to you. Smug in the presumption that you are the only person working within a fifty-mile radius, you accomplish just enough to feel justified in being naughty. In the rhythm of these Friday nights beats the honest, humble heart of science, and it also explains how discovery and mischief are two sides of the very same coin. [...]

QOTD: Moby Dick, The Glider

Oh, grassy glades! oh, ever vernal endless landscapes in the soul; in ye,—though long parched by the dead drought of the earthy life,—in ye, men yet may roll, like young horses in new morning clover; and for some few fleeting moments, feel the cool dew of the life immortal on them. Would to God these blessed calms would last. But the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm. There is no steady unretracing progress in this life; we do not advance through fixed gradations, and at the last one pause:—through infancy's unconscious spell, boyhood's thoughtless faith, adolescence' doubt (the common doom), then scepticism, then disbelief, resting at last in manhood's pondering repose of If. But once gone through, we trace the round again; and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally. Where lies the final harbor, whence we unmoor no more? In what rapt ether sails the world, of which the weariest will never weary? Where is the foundling's father hidden? Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it. [...]

An apology for using IRC for FOSS Projects

Drew DeVault has a spot-on post that presents a salient argument for using IRC chat for FOSS projects over whatever the flavor of the day might be. Today that flavor seems to be Slack (who, ironically, started out as IRC with history) and really took off when it added, attachments (eg images, code snippets) avatars and an embarrassment of emoticons. [...]

Floods and Racks and My Back Oh My!

[2015-08-11 Tue 10:15] I doubt many people noticed, but we've been down for a week. It all started around June 29 or 30 when the rains came, and they came and they came…. The building next door has been under massive renovation for the last month and a half. And since their building is four floors tall, and ours only two, the workers have made it their mission in life to drop as many bricks, scraps of wood and chunks of concrete onto our roof as possible. The fact that we have a corrugated steel roof amplifies the sound of impacts by orders of magnitude. So from 7am till 6pm six days a week it has felt like we've been under a constant aerial barrage. [...]

Launched StudyHall Blog

[2015-07-30 Thu 12:40] We finally have the new StudyHall Blog up and running. Next up is the StudyHall Wiki which will be where all of the materials we are developing for coursework will be maintained. The wiki used GitHub's Gollum wiki engine. Gollum supports a wide variety of wiki syntaxes including org-mode, my precious. The wiki is working on a dev server at the moment and should be pushed to our web server in the next day or two. [...]

StudyHall Introduction (part 1)

[2015-07-25 Sat 16:12] Studyhall is a template designed to re-imagine education in 21st century. Today, most education still uses a variation on mass educational that evolved to meet the needs of an industrial age workforce. [...]

The Strategy

[2015-07-21 Tue 10:13] The poet Charles Olson said that when Aristotle came up with his classification system, it was a turning point where, as Heraclitus said, "man is estranged from that which is most familiar", and from there man became separated from the world, and knowledge began a relentless process of fracturing and branching into increasingly more and more specialized sub-disciplines and knowledge domains that would continue until the last quarter of the 20th century when knowledge had become so fractured that it looked like scientific progress itself was in danger of stalling because we had become so specialized that no one understood how their specialized domain of knowledge was related to any other domain of knowledge. [...]

Introduction to Scopic Templates

[2015-07-21 Tue 11:55] Been trying to figure out how frame the model village concept, and it just hit me that it should be approached in the same way as studyhall is being done – as a template. Studyhall was conceived as a template that included a body of knowledge that could be used anywhere to establish a school based on the studyhall concept. [...]

The Big Questions

[2015-07-20 Mon 12:16] The undertaking that were are proposing is something that is meant to span not only centuries but millennia. It's taken 20 years of research, study and development to get to the point where we feel that we are beginning to understand the scope of what will be required and begin to ask the right questions. [...]