Christmas and social networks

Pascal Cuoq - 30th Dec 2011

I would use a social network where the discussions are about the near future's zeitgeist. As they are, people just use them to discuss what is happening now (\what are you doing?") which does not have the same usefulness.

Case in point: Christmas just came and went; presents given and received are discussed. Tons of great ideas if you are following people with interests similar to yours. But just a bit too late to use for yourself either for giving or as suggestion. Just wait till next year! For instance I learned that French science TV show "C'est pas sorcier" is available in a new 38 DVD complete set. Well I could use one of these if you see what I mean. Did I mention that Christmas 2012 is barely 360 days away?

Reminiscing about this TV show I remembered their one slip-up an episode with an allusion to dowsing. My memory is hazy but I think it was just a parenthesis inside a larger and hopefully more researched topic.

I would recommend the friend who gave this DVD set to his child and is now ripping them to a more convenient format to remove that episode but in truth the episode is no different from the others. They all seem magical. If a professor of physics comes on record to explain something you implicitly trust him to know about the scientific method but as long as you do not reproduce all the experiments both positive and negative and the reasoning you're just watching a TV show.

I googled various keywords hoping to find a reference for that partially remembered episode. No luck. Let me just warn you against googling "science dowsing". It made me sad. But here's a link about the scientific method that I found amusing. Key quote (people who want to believe in dowsing forget all the time that the dowsers have agreed to the conditions of the tests that later show nothing special is happening):

"Now just to be clear " Harry said "if the professor does levitate you Dad when you know you haven't been attached to any wires that's going to be sufficient evidence. You're not going to turn around and say that it's a magician's trick. That wouldn't be fair play. If you feel that way you should say so now and we can figure out a different experiment instead."

Pascal Cuoq
30th Dec 2011