Monthly Archives: April 2006

The Paper and Writing Daily

I’ve been working on this paper for some time, and it’s become clear that if I’m to finish it by the deadline I must make a dogged effort to devote time to writing it regularly: writing occasionaly for hours at a time hasn’t been working for me.

Today is the first day. I intend to do an hour a day for five days a week, no matter how productive it feels, until it’s done. I may vary the plan as I go, but that’s it for now.


I’m on Ducky… and I hate AIX

I finally got access to our new supercomputer, “ducky”, but it’s running AIX which is a total pain in the ass. Now I remember why UNIX kind of went away for a little while — all of these proprietary unixes, none of which are quite compatible with each other. I’m spoiled by Linux / BSD which are pretty much standard across the board, modulo some differences in filesystems.

ADDENDUM 2006-04-24 @ 11:11 CDT: Apparently some of my problems are because LONI (the Louisiana supercomputing network) is not allowed to carry Internet-1 traffic, only Internet-2. Probably because of the DoE, but they didn’t tell me exactly which party was concerned with it. *sigh*

Happiness is a Warm Cluster

11058 btice RUN *g_1mm.par Apr 16 09:24
11059 btice RUN *g_2mm.par Apr 16 09:27
11060 btice RUN *g_4mm.par Apr 16 09:27
11061 btice RUN *g_6mm.par Apr 16 09:28
11062 btice RUN *g_8mm.par Apr 16 09:29

The queue’s not too full on easter. The cluster has been very busy for the last few months, which makes it hard to set up new simulations because you can’t interactively test the job scripts. Today things were open enough that I could do so.

Peer review, fraud, and “Media Science”

There’s a great article on spiked science covering the recent stem cell fraud and why peer review ultimately succeeds in keeping research honest.  The scientific tenet that for research to be valid, it must be reproducible by others is pivotal in this.

spiked-science | Article | Peer review and ‘media science’

As we have seen, peer review will not necessarily detect if someone deliberately sets out to falsify data. There is often no way of knowing this until the paper is published and others in the scientific community have the opportunity to scrutinise the work. However, if Hwang Woo-Suk’s paper hadn’t been peer reviewed, and he had gone directly to the media with his ‘results’, it would have taken far longer than six months for the fraud to be discovered and rectified.

A tip on calendar use in GTD

Users of the GTD methodology should know that only two things go on your calendar: things that must be done on a certain day, and ‘tickler’ type reminders, if you choose to put them there.  Items that need to be done but don’t have a specific date associated with them belong on Next Action lists, not in the calendar.  The calendar (aside from the tickler bit) is a hard landscape of what has to be done and when.

As much as I understood that from the get-go, I had a hard time with it.  I wanted to plan in lead time for goals — how was I supposed to do that without scheduling the Next Actions ahead of time?

I have discovered the answer: frequent reviews of the calendar.

It’s essential in GTD to review the calendar at least daily, but that review needn’t and shouldn’t be restricted to the current day. It should extend into the next few days and even the next week. Thus, when deciding what to do next from the available Next Actions, upcoming deadlines can be considered.

This seems so simple it’s stupid — and perhaps it is. But, just in case you, like me, were confused about the calendar, be confused no more.