Tuesday, February 12, 2013

twic (7) Happy Darwin Day!

I follow Boingboing and nearly daily read Cory Doctorow opine on copyright issues.  Some time ago, Freakenomics got into the discussion with Who Owns the Words that Come Out of Your Mouth.  I hope I can quote this section:

DUBNER: Coming up on Freakonomics Radio: What is the going rate for a word once written or spoken aloud by Winston Churchill?
SINGER: I used 3,872 words of Winston Churchill’s in the book. And that cost me £950, which is roughly 40 cents a word.DUBNER: Hello, British copyright law! And, it turns out, Barry Singer is not the only one who doesn’t like it:
Rohan SILVA: We were having a coffee a few years ago with Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and they said to us that they’d been looking at the intellectual property regime in the U.K., and they thought that they actually couldn’t have started Google in the U.K.

The whole post -or listen to it as a podcast here - is interesting and Winston Churchill was a remarkable man, but the content is important to anyone who includes realgia in their writings.

Daniel Fincke discusses writer's block at Camels with Hammers.  He also has been so busy that it has interfered with his blogging.  I know how he feels and want to get back to blogging daily.  Soon.  From a Fincke post on his schedule:
I’ve missed blogging a ton. I suffer something analogous to withdrawal when I don’t write every day. Tonight, soon as I get minimally settled at the new place, it will be time to make Camels With Hammers a daily blog again. Thanks to countless of you for your patience, loyal readership, and personal support these last few months. Please come by every day this week. It encourages me to write more!
See Darwin's creative process in action.
These two drawings, separated by 22 years, are a perfect illustration of the creative process in scientific thought. On the left is the first ever evolutionary tree, and on the right is Darwin’s final tree from On the Origin of Species.When he sketched out this first tree, Darwin had already spent years coming up with and expanding on his idea of transmutation (what we call evolution). I think about this drawing as a proof, a way to visually evaluate what he had been mulling over for so many years. He used this figure to take a bunch of independent thoughts and pull them together to address one big question: how do the species we see today relate to species that existed in the distant past?
The author goes onto further detail, emphasizing Darwin's "I think" written at the top of his first drawing.  The man had the idea, the flash of genius, but needed time to test and adjust it before considering it complete.

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