Flaky Cosmic Notion Gets Good Press

first_img(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Does the universe grow like a giant brain?  If anyone but a scientist said that, it would be in the cartoons.Live Science gave good press to a physicist who proposes that galaxies and brains grow by similar physical processes.  “Universe Grows Like a Giant Brain,” reporter Tia Ghose wrote about the views of a team including Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at UC San Diego.  What, exactly, was proposed?  Only that “some undiscovered, fundamental laws may govern the growth of systems large and small, from the electrical firing between brain cells and growth of social networks to the expansion of galaxies.”  Maybe she should have waited till it gets discovered.An outsider from the study said, “At first blush they seem to be quite different systems, the question is, is there some kind of controlling laws can describe them?”  Maybe they should wait till they have some evidence.The team used a computer model as evidence, unaware of the problem of investigator interference.  By programming their computer to compare “the universe’s history with growth of social networks and brain circuits, they found all the networks expanded in similar ways: They balanced links between similar nodes with ones that already had many connections.”The eerie similarity between networks large and small is unlikely to be a coincidence, Krioukov said.So what “unknown law governs the way networks grow and change, from the smallest brain cells to the growth of mega-galaxies”? Ghose asked.  Krioukov told Live Science, “This result suggests that maybe we should start looking for it.”Yes, go look for it so we don’t have to hear your weird speculations.Let’s analyze this.  Somebody at a university calling himself a scientist has assumed galaxies form networks like brains, but this is an argument from analogy.  He thinks there is an undiscovered law of nature out there, but he hasn’t started looking for it.  Instead, he has been playing computer games at work.  Conclusion: he must be desperate for funding.If anybody else propounded fact-free tales this outlandishly, grotesquely capricious, he would be either repudiated as a nut or become a special guest on The View (not necessarily mutually exclusive options).  Why do scientists get away with it?Do you sometimes get the feeling that scientists are warming up to their role as modern cultural shamans and taking advantage of it?  We need a new Gershwin hit, “Whatever reliance you put in Live Seance it ain’t necessarily so.”last_img read more

Naveen orders SIT probe into Kunduli gang-rape case

first_imgChief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that the State government will take immediate steps for handing over the investigation of the cases pertaining to the alleged gang-rape and suicide of a girl in Kunduli area of Koraput district to a Special Investigation Team (SIT). Terming the alleged gang-rape “an extremely tragic incident”, Mr. Patnaik said that the SIT probe will be monitored by the court. “It is my firm belief that law should take its own course and justice should be done without fear or favour,” he said.Judicial enquiryIn addition to transferring the case to the Crime Branch for investigation, the State government had also instituted an independent judicial enquiry with a sitting judge nominated by the High Court, Mr. Patnaik informed. “Because of the extraordinary circumstances of the case after the death of the victim, my strong faith and conviction in the principles of natural justice and commitment to safety and dignity of women, the State Government will take immediate steps for handing over the investigation of the cases to a Special Investigation Team with a prayer to be monitored by court,” Mr. Patnaik told press persons.The State government is committed that justice should be delivered at the earliest and in the most transparent manner, he said.The National Human Rights Commission has also initiated a probe into the case. Opposition demandThe 14-year-old Dalit girl had alleged that she was raped by four men in uniform on October 10 last year while she was returning to her home. She committed suicide at her home on January 22.On the other hand, the Opposition — Congress and BJP — has been demanding that the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation for investigation.last_img read more

Nitish Kumar hints at amending prohibition law

first_imgBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday gave an indication of a possible amendment to the prohibition law to prevent its misuse, especially by government officials.“People in the government machinery are taking advantage of the provisions under prohibition law but they are under scanner…the poor and downtrodden who were earlier engaged in liquor business have been given alternative means of livelihood and are happy”, said Mr. Kumar while addressing a youth conference organized by JD(U) on the occasion of World Environment Day in Patna on Tuesday.Mr Kumar further said that he would keep reviewing every aspect of prohibition but “the matter of prohibition law is before Supreme Court now.”Earlier too, while introducing the prohibition law in April 2016, I had sought opinion and feedback from people and political parties too, Mr. Kumar said.“I’ve been regularly monitoring it as well…it has benefitted a large section of the society, especially the poor and downtrodden segment,” asserted Mr Kumar.Over 1 lakh arrested in two yearsAccording to the records, as many as 1,41,861 people have been arrested under the stringent prohibition law since April 2016 in the State. Over 8,000 are in jail.The police and excise department officials have conducted 7,62, 416 raids while 1,17, 283 cases have been lodged. Total 20.47 lakh litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and 9.25 lakh litres of country-made liquor have been seized.The stringent prohibition law has been under constant attack by opposition parties and a section of society but Mr Kumar said, “I’m willing to face all the criticism and consequences of my actions.”last_img read more