Busy with a Side of Traffic

When I was still in grad school (was that over a year ago?) the common theme was that everyone was too busy to do anything except what they were doing (or what they decided they wanted to do).  "Busyness" is of course the way Academia likes to define its worth, and that trickles down fairly rapidly to the proletariat.  Advisors are so busy they have no time to meet with grad students; grad students are so busy they have no time to meet with undergrads they are teaching...and everyone talks about it all the time.  I've seen this since I've started my current job, but only tangentially, and I blame circumstances more than culture (maybe more on this later).  In many places, chronic busyness is a badge of honor, because if you aren't scrambling, you aren't trying to do all the things.

This brings me to bicycle commuting, of course.  I ride to work every day, year round, and have done so for at least five years now.  It's not a long commute.  For the record, I had a vehicle during grad school, and now we have a family vehicle, but I don't use it to commute.  What I've noticed about commuting (and speaking with other commuters) is a similar badge of honor: how much your ride here sucked.  This can be expressed in number of drivers ("there was so much traffic"), as quality ("man, I saw so many bad drivers today"), or as machine bringers of death ("I almost died so many times last year").  

The problem with all that is the difference between talking to fellow commuters about this ("I feel your pain") and talking to the rest of your social circle (or strangers).  It's a mixed message, especially when speaking with people who don't commute by bicycle.  On one hand, you're trying to convince them (aren't we all?) by telling them how wonderful it is (the exercise! the sights and sounds!  the freedom!  the savings!)...and on the other hand you're complaining about how much it sucks.  That's right--all that "poor me, I almost died" is turning people off to commuting!  Isn't that crazy?  If you were listening to this, which side would you believe?

New Preprint: Comparing size of morphospace occupation among extant and cretaceous fossil freshwater mussels using Elliptical Fourier Analysis

A new preprint of some of the work from my Master's thesis is now available at PeerJ, authored by myself and my MS and PhD advisor, Joseph Hartman.  We're looking for honest, science-y feedback in order to improve the paper before publication, so please check it out!

Burton-Kelly M, Hartman JH. (2014) Comparing size of morphospace occupation among extant and cretaceous fossil freshwater mussels using Elliptical Fourier Analysis. PeerJ PrePrints 2:e626v1 http://dx.doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.626v1

Selecting Wells without a Zone in Techlog

Open the Zones Inventory (under Quick Data Mining).  You'll get a list of zone names.  Find the one of interest.  The two columns "Wells where present" and "Wells where absent" are magic--if you right-click, you can filter ("Project filter") to show (in the Project Browser) only the wells listed in those cells.

An additional tip is that the Zones Inventory is dynamic with the Project Browser, so if you filter in the Project Browser to only show one group of wells, then click the Refresh button the Zones Inventory window, you'll get results only from that group.

Productive Echo Chambers

Do they exist?

Thinking about the idea of repping/upvoting comments (Streetsblog, for example).  If someone gets enough upvotes on an insightful comment from the "echo chamber" community, is this a) positive reinforcement and b) likely to get them to move outside the echo chamber and engage other people to cause change?  Or will this person become habituated to the praise he or she receives in the echo chamber, to the point where criticism from outside is either ignored or taken very personally?

See also: Participation awards.