Hello there. I decided to get on WordPress.com to post short notes about programming and other computer relevant stuff. If you find anything helpful here, please let me know.
So being a programmer and a mathematician, I was pretty excited to see a link to a blog called “Sex, math, and programming.” However, after searching through the pages and the search box, I haven’t found anything about math. You say you’re studying mathematical models of sexual selection? That sounds interesting, and I have no idea what it is! Why don’t you write about that, instead of “what programming language should I learn?” or “why education sucks”? (of course, these topics can be interesting to read, they just weren’t what I was looking for after seeing your title) It seems this is more of a personal opinion blog on books, politics, religion, philosophy, education, and very general topics in programming and technology, not about sex or math at all. (Do I dare say I haven’t seen any code on the site at all?)
Insofar as your haploid genetics library goes, the manual on its homepage assumes too much knowledge of genetics for me to understand its motivations. Of course, I know what an allele is, but an bewildered what “evolution of allele frequency” means and why you’re studying it. On the other hand, I’m literate enough in C and mathematical language to follow the technical bits. I would totally enjoy an explanation of your research from a mathematician/programmer’s perspective, and would love to see what results have come from the availability of the library.
If I’m wrong, and there is good math content here, then you should improve the organization of your blog because I just can’t seem to find it. Otherwise, you should consider changing the name of your blog to something more pertinent to what you actually write about.
Thanks for reading! I’m really glad you’re interested in my research. I’m sorry there’s not very much about it here, but this blog really serves a different purpose. If you’d like information on my research, I suggest you go to my homepage or my lab’s webpage. Your concerns about the content of my blog show that if you were to find what you wanted, you would expect it to be of high quality. I’ll take that as a compliment.
As for Haploid, I’m so glad that you’re interested in it! A little about myself: I’m getting a Ph.D. in biology, although I have formal training in both biology and math. I call myself a mathematician because I think and work like a mathematician, but you might prefer to call me a biologist. I’m sorry that you’re having trouble understanding the manual: the manual is written for other evolutionary theorists like me. I know plenty of them that need a recombination algorithm, and wanted to provide one that was free software, well-documented and readily available. I’m glad you’d like to learn about it and discuss it — I’m surprised you even looked at the manual. The right places to discuss Haploid are the bug tracker, technical support request forum and mailing list on Savannah. Please go there and check it out! You don’t have to have a Savannah account to use the mailing list and you can post bugs annonymously.
As for the title of the blog, first of all it’s a joke: it’s a play on “Sex, drugs and rock and roll.” To paraphrase Mick Shrimpton (then drummer of Spinal Tap), I could do without the drugs but would keep the sex and rock and roll. The subtitle is “My blog about research and technology.” The first operative part is “my blog,” as in, it’s personal things I feel like sharing with people. This is not a research forum. I mainly started the blog because my family kept asking me what was going on, like when I would be giving talks, and I refuse to use Facebook. However, I don’t do talks that often, but quite often I have opinions about research (including education) and technology. I also get a lot of readership by having the word “sex” in the title, and I’m happy to have those people even glancing. If someone learns about software freedom when he came looking for sex, then my job is done, and I don’t consider it deceptive. So there you have an explanation of the title.
After seeing your blog, we might have a difference of opinion about what blogs are good for. I don’t believe that blogs, or much of the internet — except for things germane to computers and technology — is a good place for formal discussion. I have been using the internet for almost twenty years (since long before blogs) and that always came with the knowledge that what the internet offered was expedience. If formal discussion came along, that was okay, but we shouldn’t expect much in the way of good technical stuff (again, except for computer stuff). If I want technical expertise, research or to learn about something, I don’t even think about looking at WordPress. I look instead at published articles, books and Wikipedia. When I publish some of those, I’ll let you know here in this blog.
I’m aware that other people agree with you: there are other people who believe blogging should be the primary thrust of information on the internet. Some people even believe that blogging should replace the academic publishing process. I disagree.
If you were hoping to find something useful here and you didn’t, then I’m sorry. However, I will point out that many people do find useful stuff on my blog — the most popular search term other than “sex” is how to get the headphone jack working on my laptop. I’m glad people find useful stuff here, but that’s not why I have a blog. If someone buys an X100e because they found out from me how well Fedora works on it, then that’s great, but I’m not working for Lenovo, am I? I’m mainly blogging so that I’ll have a place to practice my argument skills, vent my ideas, and point things out to my friends — things that I think they should read.
Thanks again for reading,
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