Conference – Dimensions of Measurement

Dimensions of Measurement (Poster)

For the coming three days the Center for interdisciplinary Research at Bielefeld University will host a conference on various aspects or dimensions unfolding around theories and practices of measurement in science and beyond. Internationally well-known scholars, such as Alfred Nordmann, Hasok Chang, Nadine de Courtenay, Mary Morgan and Simon Schaffer have made their way to Germany and up the hill in Bielefeld to discuss the epistemic value of visual data, calibration, models and simulations and politics of measurement and many other ideas.



ScienceOnline 2013 #scio13 – Chronicles

ScienceOnlineLogo_smallAfter a 16 hour journey from Cologne to Munich to Charlotte Claudia and I finally arrived in Raleigh, NC. Our hosts are wonderful and we are excited about all the new people we will meet at ScienceOnline 2013. This post will be a kind of a timeline of our impressions and experiences at ScienceOnline and we hope at least some of you will enjoy it.
Cheers Hergen Read on…

Equal odds – heaven and earth in the salon of Louis XIV

Some claim the major importance of Newton’s mechanics is that it can be applied to the stars as well as to everything on earth. Speaking in terms of  a natural philosophy, perhaps the mechanics were offering a certain equality of heaven and earth. Nothing of this can be seen in two of the most decorative items of popular knowledge of the years 1680, the pair of globes fashioned by cosmographer Vincenzo Coronelli for a salon of Louis XIV.

2050 pathwaysFrom their conception on the globes were scientifically outdated, which certainly does not diminish their appeal to the eye. Following the tradition of the 16th century, Coronelli produced one globe presenting the sky and another presenting the earth. The pair of globes can currently be seen in an exhibition of the Bibliothèque Nationale « Les globes du Roi-Soleil ». The celestial globe is kept in a dreamy blue, showing the signs of the zodiac in a rather tidy manner.  Read on…

Überlegungen zum Witz – Exkurs 2: Sigmund Freud, der Witz und die Zensur des Unbewussten


In meinem zweiten Exkurs zu den Überlegungen zum Witz (Blogpost vom Okt.2012) möchte ich nun auf den “Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unbewussten” im gleichnahmigen Buch von Sigmund Freud eingehen. Dieser beschreibt den Witz  als Mittel zum Lustgewinn, als Möglichkeit äußere gesellschaftliche, wie auch innere (Selbst-)Zensuren zu umgehen und so unterdrückte Emotionen und Aggressionen ausleben zu können. Mit dem erneuten Aufgreifen der Beziehung Witz und Zensur künpfe ich dabei zugleich auch immer wieder an den ersten Exkurs zum Witz im Werk von Heinerich Heine an.

Read on…

Überlegungen zum Witz – Exkurs 1: Witz und Satire als Mittel gegen die politische Zensur im Werk von Heinerich Heine


Mit diesem Eintrag möchte ich an den Blogpost „Überlegungen zum Witz – Elemente einer Ideengeschichte“ anknüpfen. In zwei Exkursen sollen diese „Überlegungen“ um einige Ausführungen zum Witz in den Werk von Heinerich Heine und Sigmund Freud ergänzt werden. Im Zentrum dieser Exkurse sollen dabei (anders als im ersten Blogpost) weniger die zahlreichen semantischen Verschiebungen des Witzbegriffs, als seine Beziehung zu verschiedenen Formen der Zensur stehen. Es soll insbesondere gezeigt werden, in welcher Hinsicht dem Witz und seinen Formen und Techniken im 19. Jahrhundert und zu Beginn des 20 Jahrhunderts eine spezifische Funktion zugeschrieben wurde – nämlich die Funktion, Zensuren zu umgehen.

In diesem ersten Exkurs werde ich daher den Witz in Gestalt der Satire, in der Erzählung „Ideen. Das Buch Le Grand“ aus Heinerich Heines Reisebildern und dessen Verhältnis zur politischen Zensur in den Mittelpunkt stellen.

Read on…

Big data – the clouds are gone, the sea begins

Big data are, when the internet is going down to earth and we are immersed in digital information. Looking at metaphors for what is “online”, we once had the spidernet, the lofty cloud, and now the deep ocean. That there are data structures to be found in this sea, defined and explicable, is a topic in fields as different as philosophy of information, innovation studies and marketing research.

2050 pathways

Two conferences in the second half of this month are asking for the right questions to address a world dissolved in flowing data. The rhodes social impact group is hosting “Big Data and Their Epistemological Challenge” on the 31 January. A nice introduction into questions about big data can be found in a video of Luciano Floridi, main speaker of this conference. Equally in Britain, Liverpool University is presenting “Live Data: Research in Real-Time” on the 24 January. Read on…

A pair of wings on our feet? Sustainable energy reconsidered

To Mr MacKay, the laws of physics won’t change, but our lifestyle will. The physicist, who is advising the British government, wants to be clear about the limits of offering sustainable energy. To this end he today hold a speech at the Institut Henri Poincaré, presenting his book, freely available on the net, « Sustainable energy without the hot air ». 2050 pathways Although the book is not about financial matters, its author wagers a bet that the price of renewables will fall significantly, compared to the looming effects of climate change. Partly, new technology will help humankind, like heat pumps installed in buildings offering a nearly lossless reversion of energy between hot and cold states. The largest influence will remain our lifestyle, says the Cambridge Professor.
In his function as an advisor to the British government, David MacKay is involved in the development of the free and open web tool 2050 pathway, Read on…

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