Posts by starstryder


Big Data and our Humanity: A Talk

Big Data and our Humanity: A Talk


Posted By on Mar 20, 2018

[Background: The week of March 11, 2018 I attended the “Computing Morality: Artificial Intelligence and ‘Big Data’ in Science and Faith” conference at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. This was a conference with talks ranging from how we train self-driving cars to handle people dashing in front of the car, to how we understand understanding. I was asked to give a talk introducing the theme of moral issues that...

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I travel a lot. I travel for conferences, for planning meetings, for NASA collaboration meetings, for filming, for launches… for a ton of things that are related to my work. I can’t really complain about the travel; I get to see the world while being exposed to new ideas and new opportunities, and to cultures and cuisines I’d never experience in the confines of St Louis. I can’t complain about the business travel, but I can wish...

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Why I fly American

Why I fly American


Posted By on Jul 16, 2017

Today I’m flying from St Louis to San Diego on Southwest Air and I feel a bit like a traitor. For years, I’ve flown on American Airlines pretty exclusively. One of my only speaker requirements is that my travel gets booked on American. This isn’t because they have the best planes, the most delightful staff, or the best frequent flier program; it’s because they have saved my frequently flying butt more times than I can count. This...

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To quote Randall Monroe: “Saying ‘what kind of an idiot doesn’t know about the Yellowstone supervolcano’ is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time.” In astronomy education, we spend a lot of time saying “what kind of idiot doesn’t know about lunar phases.” I think it’s time to ask ourselves why we get upset that people...

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Because I wanted to take a pretty photo, Google Maps tried to kill me. I’m currently in Utrecht, the Netherlands for a conference. My hotel is in the city center, and the conference is a few kilometers away at the University. The conference site recommended biking, so I rented a bike for the week. No. Big. Deal. Bikes here are just enough different from bikes at home that I’m not as comfortable zipping around and weaving...

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