Every year the folks at Edge send the same question out to a large number of scientists, artists, etc and publish their answers. The 2007 question was “What have you changed your mind about?“. As with every year this, like TED, is a good way to judge what is currently “big” in the world of academic discussion. The four big things that leap out at me this year are dissatisfaction with superstring theory, the popular public rise of atheism, the surge in interest in neuroscience and, most interestingly, the amount of people questioning the fundamentals of the scientific method.

My favourite essay so far is from Kai Krause who points of that if a current scientific simulation will take 3 years to finish on current computer hardware it is better to take the grant money and “sit by the beach with umbrella drinks for 15 months and then finish it all at once with some weird beowulf-cluster of machinery and still beat the original team by leaps and bounds” as the advances in hardware will more than make up for the downtime with pina coladas…

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