My media week 17/10/10

On ABC Radio’s The Science Show David Spiegelhalter uses the example of Paul the octopus allegedly  predicting football matches during the 2010 World Cup to argue that the public has a minimal understanding of probabilities: Probability – public show the understanding of an octopus

Also on ABC, By Design features an interview with Richard Rogers, one of the world’s most celebrated living architects who is responsible for the Pompidou Centre in Paris and, in London, the high tech headquarters of Lloyd’s, the Millennium Dome and Heathrow Terminal Five.

In The Guardian Joe Moran argues that The printed book is not dead yet. I particularly enjoyed the comments about George Mackay Brown, the luddite Orkney poet who regarded the industrial revolution as an unmitigated disaster. He would rail against voguish inventions such as transistor radios and telephones.

In The Boston Review Stanford biologist Deborah M.Gordon looks at Ant Colonies. Here is an extract:

Our fascination with ants has led to engaging stories about them, from the Iliad’s Myrmidons to Antz’s Z, as well as a growing body of research by biologists. Though the ant colonies of fable and film often are invested with the hierarchical organization characteristic of human societies, a real ant colony operates without direction or management. New research is showing us how ant colonies get things done without anyone being in charge. Ants, it turns out, have much to teach us about the decentralized networks that operate in many biological systems, in which local interactions produce global behavior, without the guidance of any central intelligence or authority.

The article is called Colonial Studies.

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