Posts by Richard Dearden

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Hermit kingdom

    or nation, if you prefer!

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report

  • Southerly: Gerry Brownlee: “I Like To…,

    You may be interested to know that this piece was composed while using a nail gun.

    I now have a marvellous vision of David swivelling back and forth between nailing up interior walls and launching nails across the room at the keyboard. There's a remarkable lack of typos!

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report

  • Hard News: Open or not?,

    This would mean having to know a name, and to search across multiple names to find appropriate articles/research.

    Presumably you used the Journal's search engine on keywords. I find that Google does just as well, and isn't limited to a single journal.

    The irritating thing in my field is that many/most people already archive late drafts of papers on their own sites,so the move to the Gold OA model will largely cost additional money with no benefit whatsoever.

    It's also worth pointing out that universities will not be able to give up their subscriptions even if all UK science is published open access as they will still have academics requesting the non-OA articles. Effectively, this move will mean that UK universities pay for access twice (and is also why library subscription money can't be transferred to pay OA fees).

    Given that most reviewing, and much editing of journals is done by academics for free, abandoning the old journals and starting on-line OA substitutes with high acceptance standards seems like the way forward. This has already happened in my field with journals like JMLR and JAIR, both of which are comparable in quality with the best commercial journals in the field.

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report

  • Southerly: Deconstruction and Construction,

    How many paving stones can you lift in the time it takes to count 5907 paving stones?
    Oh, and I particularly like the way the "notoriously camera-shy Dalziel" remains notoriously camera shy!

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report

  • Hard News: Friday Fun with Brickface,


    Never thought I'd quote Reagan.

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report

  • Up Front: Fairy-Tale Autopsies, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Who are all these people? It's like the visible part of the universe versus the dark matter.

    Ummm, that would be me.

    To be honest, as a Kiwi living elsewhere, I read the discussions to keep up with what's going on in the country and what people are discussing (and also because you're reliably entertaining and thought-provoking), but I often don't have much to say because I'm missing some of the context (and also, Like Paul, because I read it 12 hours after you write it)..

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report

  • Cracker: Cup of Tea and a new Electoral System,

    Zach's flatmate need not worry about proportional representation as at present it looks like the referendum will be about whether to change the system to alternative voting (or preferential voting as it's called in the rest of the world). The odds of the BNP winning a seat are probably lower under PV than FPP.

    The dilemma now is, if what you want is proportional representation (by whatever scheme), how do you vote in a referendum between AV and FPP?

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report

  • Hard News: That Summer!,

    Did it actually smell of chocolate as well?

    It still does, quite a lot of the time. Until a little over a year ago I lived just off that map. I didn't look at houses closer to the chocolate factory in case I stopped loving the smell.

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report

  • Hard News: Mo' Indexing,

    Warning: some boring analysis of the stats follows:

    But our cumulative lifetime incidence of 4.3% for cocaine is not only far behind the US (16.2%), but well behind the rate for countries not included in the WHO survey, but for which good data exist. Britain, for example, and Italy and Spain.

    But Italy and Spain are in the WHO survey, with significantly different numbers for lifetime cocaine use to the ones in the European data you linked to (For Spain, 7% vs 4.1% in the WHO data). So clearly there's a methodological difference between the two surveys. The only one I can see is the age ranges (15-64 for the European study, 18+ for the WHO one, for the Spanish data).

    Assuming there are no other significant differences in the sample group, that suggests that in Spain the 15-18yo group makes a surprisingly large difference to the statistics for cocaine use.

    Since the NZ data is for 16+ rather than the 18+ (or more) used in all the other national studies, and the 15-18 group significantly distorts the Spanish figures, one could easily conclude that the NZ data cannot be compared with any of the other countries.

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report