Adam Becker was invited to write for Inference, a "quarterly review of the sciences" backed by billionaire Peter Thiel. Inference covers all sorts of interesting subjects, but has an alarming tendency to make no distinction between pseudoscience and the real thing: think Omni but with the dry imprimatur of academic style instead of cool paintings. So Becker went down the rabbithole (instead of getting paid by it) and wrote up a profile of the publication for Undark.
A declaration in italics on their masthead gave me pause: “We have no ideological, political, or religious agendas whatsoever.” This struck me as unusual over-emphasis, so I did a little digging and came across a 2014 blog post by the computer scientist Jeffrey Shallit, where he muses on the first issue of this new “science” publication, adding: “the weirdness is strong — very strong — with this one.”
It sounds like the kind of thing I'd love—indulgent longreads about weird science—but the reality of such things in 2019 is climate denial and creationism and Noam Chomsky not responding to press inquiries about why he's on its board.
(Pictured above is, in the lack of Inference having any screenshottable visual character whatsoever, my own devising of what a Boing Boing Journal of Junk Science might look like -- perhaps it is time!)
Researchers successfully revived ancient microbes, some more than 100 million years old, that were buried in the seafloor. During an expedition to the South Pacific Gyre, the scientists from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and their colleagues drilled into the ocean sediment almost 6,000 meters below the surface. “Our main question […]
My family stopped wiping down all our groceries to “disinfect” them a couple months ago, mostly because of hygiene exhaustion. Then in May, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention clarified its own Web page about how COVID-19 spreads to state that “based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about […]
I’d totally go.
We get it. You don’t have to go to the office anymore. That’s no excuse for letting your grooming go positively feral. We’re not saying you need to be GQ cover model-ready every Monday through Friday. But at least put in some effort to keep yourself relatively trimmed, clean, and on point. Even if you […]
With everybody cooped up inside right now, it’s no surprise that many houses are starting to get a little bit…well, funky. Yeah…they smell. With everybody running around and sweating and working and cooking and everything else, odors get trapped inside your home. And don’t even get us started on what happens when litter boxes and […]
If you’re a big fan of ink, but not such a big fan of the forever side to tattoo body art or the pain, the Prinker S Temporary Tattoo Printer might just be your favorite creation of the century. Winner of 2020 Red Dot and If Design awards, the Prinker S is kind of like […]