Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Tim Hunt and being #Dawkinsed

For a couple of days my Twitter notificiations have been flowing fast and furious.  Here's why.


Getting the last laugh is (I believed) a common English idiom.  It has nothing to do with belly laughs and little to do with jokes, hence what I felt was a cleverly constructed Tweet.  Let me explain; to me it means despite early ridicule a person goes on to achieve more than those who mocked. Usage might be something like this -

They mocked him at school for his shyness with girls but got the last laugh when he married the prettiest woman in the lab, followed by a Nobel prize!

Clearly achieving greatness and then being mocked is not getting the last laugh.

Long version for those with interest in who Professor Tim Hunt is, sock puppets and more

Right now, Tuesday evening, the number of retweets and favourites for Dawkins response stands at 53 retweets and 239 favourites.  Follow the link to check for any updates, and maybe check out who all these Dawkins fans are.


Odd eh?    So what's going on?    I'll fill in more as time permits but thought I'd better jot down some notes while I have time.   I did find this rather interesting, and probably relevant blog post that seems to relate, and well worth reading.

The Value of 3 Degrees of Separation on Twitter by Hilda Bastian.

Distinguished Me

As for Dawkins's question, I assumed it was rhetorical, since If I was properly distinguished he'd already know who I was, and perhaps even leap to my defence - after all I'm a 50 year old white Englishman and lifelong atheist.  Well except as a young child, since my parents had the sense to protect me from indoctrination.  However I did go to school, so have a reasonable, if imperfect, command of my native language.  Which, IMHO, is the significant matter here.   What??? you screech in a determined effort to be offended by my lack of regard for a Nobel laureate.  Well take a look at this -


And if you favour the spoken word there's this -

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme - Tim Hunt

Though not distinguished I am from time to time available for a chat.  So if you'd like to meet and discuss any of the things I do have real knowledge of, and Tim Hunt isn't one, I'll be in London a couple of times in coming weeks.

Digital Design Weekend at the V&A  26 and 27 September.


Mozilla Festival 7 and 8 November.

I'll make no claim that meeting me would justify the ticket price, but fortunately it's an absolute bargain anyway if you have even a passing interest in technology, the web, and our freedom to express ourselves online.

Final word

Afterword (10 Nov 2015)

The campaign to exonerate Tim Hunt for his sexist remarks in Seoul is built on myths, misinformation, and spin.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Digital Design Weekend

September saw the return of a small Met Office team of volunteers to the V&A for Digital Design Weekend. This is a wonderful event that is growing each year, not just in size, but in confidence. This year there were new many collaborators, including clever folk from Uniform, who expertly, and very quickly, crafted a book to capture the maker spirit of the event.  You can read about the book on the Uniform blog.
What I find most rewarding about Digital Design Weekend, through the very informal meetings and Skype chats where Irini (V&A curator) helps us develop a vision and thinking about what we might do, is that it remains so open ended.  Yes the event happens, but of course each thing that happens causes other things to happen.  Which is why, in early April, I'm writing about something that happened in September; because in truth it really happened for me in September 2013, and will happen again this September.  So far, for me, Digital Design Weekend is very different each time, and each time new, amazing, things happen as a consequence.
Ian and Jasmine of BBC R&D wrote a blog post about Open Collaborative Making at the V&A.

It was also a pleasure to be joined by Genevieve Smith-Nunes and dancers who rehearsed and performed the digital ballet [arra]stre in a room shared with hackers and museum visitors.  There's an interesting blog about the data and visualisations by Peter Cook -  [arra]stre Data Animations.