“It is widely accepted that population genetics theory is the cornerstone of evolutionary analyses. Empirical tests of the theory, however, are challenging because of the complex relationships between space, dispersal, and evolution. Critically, we lack quantitative validation of the spatial models of population genetics. Here we combine analytics, on and off-lattice simulations, and experiments with bacteria to perform quantitative tests of the theory. We study two bacterial species, the gut microbe Escherichia coli and the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and show that spatio-genetic patterns in colony biofilms of both species are accurately described by an extension of the one-dimensional stepping-stone model. We use one empirical measure, genetic diversity at the colony periphery, to parameterize our models and show that we can then accurately predict another key variable: the degree of short-range cell migration along an edge. Moreover, the model allows us to estimate other key parameters including effective population size (density) at the expansion frontier. While our experimental system is a simplification of natural microbial community, we argue it is a proof of principle that the spatial models of population genetics can quantitatively capture organismal evolution.”
“You can access NDFD elements via file transfer protocol (ftp), http, eXtensible Markup Language (XML), or web browser. Links to the data, supporting information and software are listed below:…”
“The “performativity thesis” is the claim that parts of contemporary economics and finance, when carried out into the world by professionals and popularizers, reformat and reorganize the phenomena they purport to describe, in ways that bring the world into line with theory. Practical technologies, calculative devices and portable algorithms give actors tools to implement particular models of action. I argue that social network analysis is performative in the same sense as the cases studied in this literature. Social network analysis and finance theory are similar in key aspects of their development and effects. For the case of economics, evidence for weaker versions of the performativity thesis in quite good, and the strong formulation is circumstantially supported. Network theory easily meets the evidential threshold for the weaker versions; I offer empirical examples that support the strong (or “Barnesian”) formulation. Whether these parallels are a mark in favor of the thesis or a strike against it is an open question. I argue that the social network technologies and models now being “performed” build out systems of generalized reciprocity, connectivity, and commons-based production. This is in contrast both to an earlier network imagery that emphasized self-interest and entrepreneurial exploitation of structural opportunities, and to the model of action typically considered to be performed by economic technologies.”
“…Yet we should be wary of getting wrapped up in the practicality of it all. For that hardly explains the mythology, the fact that this or that feature of the landscape is a sacred place, that the Songlines were traced by culture heroes of animal nature. None of that is necessary for the merely practical end of accurate time-keeping, though it might be useful to have a story to give some content to the narrative stream. To measure a long stretch of time, and thus a long distance, one could simply count to some sufficiently high number while walking and singing at a steady pace. Counting to an arbitrarly high value, however, is a relatively recent human accomplishment, one not present in preliterate cultures. One could also use very long strings of nonsense syllables, but they are very difficult to memorize accurately, as thousands of undergraduates in decades of psychological experiments know all too well; such things simply don’t have much purchase in the human brain. So one sings the song of a culture hero’s journey, while tracing that journey oneself, and in the process, one becomes that hero. We are in the world Val Geist hypothesized, in which our ancestors imitated the calls of animals in order to manipulate animal behavior. In the process of imagining the wilderness though the persona of an animal one assimilates that wilderness to the categories and needs of human culture.”
What is the biggest impact Open States has had to date?
I suppose it depends on what kind of impact we’re talking about. Governments are slowly coming to terms with this and we’ve seen states like Minnesota and Kansas start to move towards machine-readable access of their data—and I think we can take some of the credit for that. A big part of it is that they just have smart people working there that get the importance of making this data available in as many ways as possible.
I’m particularly partial to the impact that the project has had on individuals. Sunlight open sources everything we do, and as a result, we have over 130 projects on GitHub. Most of these projects aren’t things that the average developer uses, so they don’t see a ton of attention from outside developers. Open States has been a real success in a unique way—it has gotten developers that were otherwise unaware of open government involved. We’ve had contributions from approximately 50 developers, ranging from minor tweaks to a parser to fix an error that a user noticed to entire states contributed. I think it has made a real impact in providing a gentle introduction for developers looking for a way to contribute.
These are my Pinboard.in links for May 16th from 06:43 to 06:47:
Why train departure information is not currently open data « Placr News — Going back in history, until February 2009 ATOC licensed train departure information under commercial terms to a very small number of organisations, mostly within the rail industry. Kizoom published the only smartphone app at that time, the free MyRailLite for iPhone. Then a dispute arose between ATOC and Kizoom, and ATOC withdrew Kizoom’s licence to use the train departure information. Kizoom complained to the ORR, who conducted an investigation (PDF) into whether ATOC had abused a dominant position under competition law. ORR decided that ATOC did have a dominant position in the supply of train departure information, but they “found no evidence that ATOC’s conduct in granting access to Darwin had prevented a new product from coming to market or hampered the emergence of new technology” in November 2009. When the free MyRailLite from Kizoom was taken off the market, it was immediately replaced by a £5 iPhone app from Agant which was marketed under the National Rail Enquiries brand.
G8 vs INTERNET — After 15 years of fighting the sharing of culture in the name of an obsolete copyright regime, governments of the World are uniting to control and censor the Internet. The black-out of the Egyptian Net, the US government’s reaction to Wikileaks, the adoption of website blocking mechanisms in Europe, or the plans for “Internet kill switches” are all major threats on our freedom of expression and communication. These threats come from corporations and politicians, unsettled by the advent of the Internet.