Web Science

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Spectrum Spectrum's picture
Web Science


Spectrum Spectrum's picture


Web Science



Any ideas here on how the institutions and social interactions might participate in such an endeavour?

See more here at [url=http://cep1133.blogspot.com/2008/09/web-science.html]Web Science[/url] for further consideration.

Also See: Can Science Help Solve the Economic Crisis



Brian White

I am glad you made this thread. My pulser pump which was in a magazine 20 years ago has not yet been researched. I talked to my brother on the phone recently and It is still working. There are no patents or anything but "real" science has not researched it yet. Videos about it get watched over a hundred times a day. (Much more in poor countrys than in rich ones). So there is a definite problem with the current system. Unfortunately we have to be real careful with the web approach. There is a lot of "free energy" stuff on the web. These are creations that break the laws of thermodynamics. They should not be allowed because they are hoaxes.  

There are 4 big problems with web science in my view. Self appointed gurus who know their piece of science fairly well but are unaware of other fields and impervious to reason. Hostile people who take over threads with flames. People who believe anything and the info consumers who want to expand their knowelege but never use it practically.  I have put stuff on the web for colloberation but very few people are actually there for that reason.

You get very little back and most of it is asking you to do more work. The power of 1 is minimal. The power of several is way greater but that power seems to be confined to open source software. 

Very few people do science. 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Hi Brian,

There is no doubt there is a need for the entreperneurial spirit in developing of products for the market. That one has to be very good at research and developement as well to understanding whether these poducts will be of benefit or not. Product developement then, is a another whole issue in itself in regard to identify niche markets and seeing the trends based on that need in the future.

Finding people of like mind in terms of the spirit of invention, and there is a whole list in terms of hisorical personsage that one can find for reference, where ths interest in science was motivated by the questions of that same science. Apart from being in the trade, it can become the hobby per say. It has been this way for myself, yet am not truly qualified to speak on any issue, it does not dimish the need for the understanding of that science and the scope of it, can be applicable to our daily life.

Finidng those leaders and working along trying to uderstand their perspective does require a lot of time and education. One has to be willing to take that time recogizing the institutions of education that are crucial to developing new methods to the openness  of science to the public. The "PI institute" is one of these institutions, and they have an archive for video talks that can help push ones perceptions forward under tutorial leadership demonstrated in the methdology for young persons, and persons of interest in that science.

Canada has been very lucky to attract many leaders in science through that Institute. Neil Turok, Lee Smolin, and especially Stephen Hawking of late.

 Associating with these young professionals can be very rewarding.

Some have learnt to use blogs to keep close to the public and I find this very honouable that they take the time to share their perspectives in their research and other interests, to associate with elements of the public in this way to advance our knowledge.


Brian White

I read the PI institute stuff and it is very grand. They are into theoretical physics in basically the old university framework.

I see web science as something different. My hobby is solar cooker research. I got into it totally by accident. I won little prizes in science competitions on instructables last year. Even though it is basic stuff, it has not been studied by the big universitys. I think that is the web science niche. Last year, I collaborated with people from France, USA, South Aftica, Phillipines, and  New Zealand on an informal basis over the internet.

I see web science as these cooperations done on a more formal and tighter basis. Like how software is develloped. This science cannot have the same high standards as "real science" because amateurs cannot afford all the equipment and blank tests and controlls  that real science has.

But I think there are lots of areas where the directed professionals have totally missed the plot.

Solar cooking, it is a big market, potentially billions of people but I bet less than 1 million dollars per year is spent on solar cooking research!

Scientists reach for the stars. Why not make practical use of one first?




Ten or so years ago, there was a question put forward about what was the most influential invention of the last millenium.  Most, and I agree with them, identified the moveable type printing press put together by Guttenburg.

What it did was allow not just the dissemination of ideas, but also the testing and refuting/confirming of ideas and observations at a radically accellerated pace.

The internet seems to me to be like the printing press on steriods and a million red bulls.

What is slowing things down, particularly for the "amature" scientist, engineers and general tinkerers and the like is the development, because too much power is given to the middle men, who steal patents, for example, or control distribution to the point where the economic return for the backyard inventor is a pipe dream, at best.

Even for the professional types, journals that solicit papers from scientists pay little for those papers, but charge outrageous subscription fees for anyone who wants to access the new ideas, as we have read here on rabble.ca.




one of the Scientists I admire the most is Will Bakx.  He was a soil science professor at Berkeley, i think.  he now runs the "organic" part of the county recycling operation, meaning they take in all the "yard waste" (i wouldn't call it waste), wood chips, duck manure, chicken feathers, etc. and turns it into 3 different varieties of soil that they sell to the vineyards.

 they use the hot composting method.  accelerating 2-5 years of plant-de-composition into about 2 months.  it actually heats up to about 160 degrees F.

 their facility takes in about 350 tons a day of yard waste.  the whole facility is about 22 acres.  basically several dozen football field size compost piles, turned & processed by automated equipment run by about 30 employees that Will supervises.

 it's a real-life lab that's actually doing something useful.

 all this stuff used to go into the landfill.

i took Will's class at the local JC.  it was great to hear his comments about Monsanto.

 i don't know if this has anything to do with web science.  web soil science, maybe.

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