Adding a custom Snazzy Map to WordPress

Designers are incurable perfectionists. They always seem to want things that push just beyond what the current tools we as developers have available.

Until recently, outside widgets like Google Maps gave us a line in the sand. So that blue that Google uses for water doesn't quite match the blue in the logo? Too bad. Either use what we've got, or scrap that map and make a JPG.


Not your father's prejudice

In our information overloaded age, censorship no longer works as well as it used to. From the NSA, to Ferguson, to DNLee, to attempts to muzzle reports on climate change, we see one theme recurring over and over again: people using channels previously inaccessible to them to tell their stories. Attempts to silence them have only made the story all the more compelling, made it spread faster and further, as it did for DNLee.


Nature gives everyone free beer

Most political movements are composed of individuals whose goals are similar enough to work towards a common outcome, but which are nevertheless distinct. The soundest way to defeat a movement is usually not through brute force, but to expose these distinctions in such a way that the individuals simply fragment, when they begin to believe their interests were not so common, after all.


Bookshelf: PHP Cookbook

Most negative reviews of programming books are written by people the book is not for. So let's get that out of the way, first.

  • This book is not an introduction to programming.
  • This book is not an introduction to PHP.
  • This book is not for people who hate PHP or think it's not a "real" programming language.
  • This book is not the PHP Manual.


I am not a scientist anymore (And so can you!)

I have had a half-baked post in my mind now about my new job (yay!) and about what it means for my self-identity (at least career-wise), but I never did manage to figure out the right angle for it. I haven't started at the job yet, and I tend not to be a person who looks back, so reflecting on my life in academia seemed a bit pointless, while I didn't have anything at all to write about the future.


On the emptiness of failed replications: the best parts

I've had essentially no time for reading lately as I'm doing SAHD thing, moving into a new house, and coding like a maniac whenever I get a spare hour, but there was so much buzz on Twitter around Jason Mitchell's essay about replication studies in social psychology that I had to take a half-hour to read it. And for all that is holy, let me just say: What. The. Fuck. That's 30 min of my life I can't get back. I will replicate the highlights below so that you don't have to read it yourself.


Clay Shirky's "Cognitive Surplus" and the open science movement

I recently finished Clay Shirkey's "Cognitive Surplus" and there are a number of great points in here relevant to the open science movement. This might seem a little surprising given the central thesis of the book: for academics, contributing to knowledge creation and dissemination is not really "surplus", it's their job. Nevertheless, the values at the heart of the open source software movement, Wikipedia, and so on, are really the inspiration for open science, with the added kick that if so much has been done by people working for free, a class of professionals paid to contribute to human knowledge should be able to do even more.


PNAS envy

Last week, Nature published a news item analyzing the use of the so-called "contributed" track at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (also called PNAS). For those who aren't aware, members of the National Academy of Sciences "can submit up to four papers per year to [PNAS], through the 'contributed' publication track. This unusual process allows authors to choose who will review their paper and how to respond to those reviewers' comments."