Articles to 2017-05-29

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


All the violins in Fritz et al. were evaluated in large concert halls and we find that the highest valued are also the loudest playing ones. In a BBC science program one commentator on these new results remarked, that in her experience genuine Stradivaris were at their best when played piano in smaller chamber surroundings and that this was where they were truly superior to modern ones. If I remember correctly, these were the circumstances under which soloists blindly evaluated instruments without an audience in the earlier studies by the same authors. Another possible objection was, that the instruments used may have been museum pieces and not the regularly played ones owned by other soloists.


Fantalkin & Finkelstein offer strong (imho) counter arguments against last week’s two articles by Garfinkel.


I do not immediately see an application of Wan et al.’s result to the antibiotics problem, but resistance is a far more general problem in any part of human interaction with nature. A strong proviso and cautionary objection to all this is, that it will only work where resistance incurs an appreciable cost for the species in question.


Admittedly, my inability to tell the difference between a content-free hoax and serious theoretical debate in the humanities probably says more about me than about the texts in question. But when this disability is shared by the editors and reviewers of respected journals from a leading publisher, we should begin to take a serious look.

Boghossian & Lindsay is the followup to last week’s Lindsay & Boyle. Practical jokes have a long and honourable tradition, but jokes on non-scientists are generally frowned upon as being akin to stealing a blind granny’s milk. Every once in while, though, it becomes unavoidable just to prove a point.

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