Journalismi uhkaa älyä: Miten Helsingin Sanomat edistää sosiaalidarwinismia ja pseudotieteellistä rasismia

14. maaliskuuta 2017

Stephen J. Gould kirjoitti vuonna 1996 kirjassansa "The Mismeasure of Man" miten biologisen determinismin suosio nousee niihin aikoihin, kun politiikka heiluu konservatismia kohti. Aivan kuin todistuksena siitä, että elämme taantumuksellisia aikoja, maanantaiaamuna vuonna 2017 esiintyy HS:ssa sosiaalidarwinismityylinen artikkeli kahdelle sivulle läiskäistynä (HS 6.3.2017 B 12 Tiede: "äly uhkaa hiipua: koulutusgeenit harvinaistuvat, ja varusmiesten älykin laskee"). Sosiaalidarwinismissa ihmisen asema yhteisössä heijastaa hänen biologisesti määräytynyttä "arvoaan". Syntyperäiset valkoihoiset yläluokkaiset miehet huipulla. Maahanmuutt... (Click text to read more).

Journalism threatens intelligence: how Helsingin Sanomat promotes social Darwinism and pseudoscientific racism

14 Mar 2017

Stephen J. Gould wrote in the 1996 revised edition of his book "The Mismeasure of Man": "Resurgences of biological determinism correlate with periods of political retrenchment and destruction of social generosity." As if to actually prove that we are living in reactionary times, on a sunny Monday morning in 2017 a social Darwinist article is splashed over two pages in Helsingin Sanomat (Finland's leading daily newspaper). (HS 6.3.2017 B 12 Tiede: "Äly uhkaa hiipua: koulutusgeenit harvinaistuvat, ja varusmiesten älykin laskee"; Translated as "Intelligence threatens to die down: education-genes become rarer, and intelligence of army ... (Click text to read more).

Seascape: an experiment in standalone graphic web app

18 Mar 2016

Seascape is an experiment in writing a standalone graphic web app that feels like a native app when run on smartphones and tablets.

You can install the app to the home screen on an iPhone/iPad, by choosing "Add to Home Screen" from within Safari. Similarly, from Chrome's menu on an Android device. From Firefox on Android devices, bookmark the app address and then from the bookmark's "Options" choose "Add to Home Screen". Of course, on all devices (including desktops/laptops), you can run it inside a browser window.

In all cases, it should work also when off-line, and automatically update when updates are available and the device is connected. The checking for updates and updating itself are done in the background, and there is no need for user intervention.

Finally, on desktops/laptops and Android devices you can click on the upper right corner to go to full screen mode.

Code repository for my WebGL programs

13 Mar 2016

A repository for my WebGL programs is now available on my GitHub page.

The javascript library that I wrote for my WebGL apps is also available on a separate repository at GitHub.

WebGL experiments

05 Mar 2016

After spending some time and effort learning OpenGL and working with its C interface, I moved to writing WebGL programs that can run in web browsers. I added today my earlier experiments with WebGL to the showcase section of this website. These programs are not particularly efficient or of production quality, but rather represent the trace of a learning curve. I have licensed all code for these programs (JavaScript, GLSL shaders, CSS, and HTML) under the Apache License, version 2.0. Have a look!

Some of the programs use a third-party minimized script for building Voronoi diagrams. The script is copyrighted (C) 2010-2013 Raymond Hill, released under MIT license, and its source code is available on GitHub.

Evolution, efficiency, and politics

31 Dec 2015

Conservative "thinking" and "values" are a hodgepodge of internal inconsistencies, misconceptions, misinformation and outright lies, mostly designed to keep the downtrodden, the uneducated, and the misinformed, downtrodden, uneducated, and misinformed. And so we find in the same political camp, the religious fanatics, who deny modern science and modern evolutionary theory, and the free market fanatics, who embrace their distorted and abused version of evolutionary theory, to promote their dog-eat-dog view of economy and society. A sliver of commonality however can be found between those two groups of fanatics. They both strongly be... (Click text to read more).

Nature bright with gladness

2 Nov 2015

We took those photos back in June. I forgot all about them until we synced the camera to the computer last evening. They reminded me of the following paragraph in the Origin of Species: We behold the face of nature bright with gladness, we often see superabundance of food; we do not see, or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life; or we forget how largely these songsters, or their eggs, or their nestlings, are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey; Charles Darwin, page 78 in The Origin of Species, 6th ed., P. F. Collier & Son, New York, 1909.... (Click text to read more).

Volumes of the pious

5 Aug 2015

The 19th century philosopher and political economist John Stuart Mill is known to have said during a parliamentary debate: "I did not mean that conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally conservative." Traveling from Victorian England to Netanyahuian Israel, we can paraphrase as "Those that belong to the nationalistic/political-right/religious camp are NOT generally church- or mosque-burners, or teenager-/baby-killers; but those who perpetrate such hate crimes are generally of that political camp." Following the horrific events of last week, the leaders of that political camp did not lose a secon... (Click text to read more).

Scientific publishing with HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript

15 Nov 2014

This post accompanies the experiment in scientific web publishing that I published today on this website (see also the papers section of the website). The experiment explores, among other things, rendering of mathematical expressions and equations (written as LaTeX directly into the HTML document) using MathJax (a Javascript library). Depending on the horsepower of your device it may take some seconds to render the mathematics. In addition, the experiment demonstrates automatic equation numbering and referencing, as well as bibliography and citation generation, multi-column layouts and automatic hyphenation (the last two being CSS3... (Click text to read more).

The promise of HTML5 and CSS3

6 Oct 2014

As the new web standards of HTML5 and CSS3 continue to crystallize, new opportunities for professional self publication are now available to anyone. HTML5 provides a markup language that allows for meaningful structuring of documents as well as for easy embedding of all sorts of multimedia (photos, video, audio etc.). CSS3 provides the means to present the structured document in an appealing and effective way. An example is this website, which is written completely in HTML5 and CSS3. The pages of this website do not include even a single line of Javascript (the main programming language of the web), at the moment. In the future, I ... (Click text to read more).

A new hope

16 Sep 2014

Finally! A web presence that is entirely of my own. Not automatically generated by Google, Facebook and their like. Better late than never. (Well, it is still a little bit automatically generated using a home-brewed sort of a content management system that consists of XSLT scripts, CSS3 stylesheets, and some Makefiles and Unix shell scripts thrown in.)

This website is meant first of all as a creative outlet for myself. On the one hand, to present writings and ideas outside the stuffy and oppressive traditional means still embraced by academia (mainly, the current system of academic journals). On the other hand, to present them outside the current trendy social-networking fads that are perhaps not as traditional, but are still similarly unimaginative and limiting platforms.

At the moment, the website only presents a summary of my professional life so far. New stuff will hopefully follow soon.