E.G. (elainegrey) wrote,
E.G.
elainegrey

Yesterday evening Christine and i had a long and involved discussion about cladograms and phylogeny. Cladograms are the visual representation of an analysis of DNA that reveals the relatedness of organisms. I'd bumped into something that she had a strong concern about in a conversation months ago, and yesterday there was a NSF announcement of grants for "GoLife" - the "Genealogy of Life." Christine knew that the cladograms she'd seen in arguments that "birds are dinosaurs" were missing meaningful information; i showed her a cladogram of the asteraceae family. It prints out on an over seven foot wide poster. She's right that generally that much detail gets abstracted away and a diagram that represents the topology of the results is what is presented.

Her point is that while some folks may understand that the diagrams are severely abstracted not everyone does. Also, she has a language point. "Birds are dinosaurs" is not the same as "Class aves is in the clade Ornithurae of the clade Dinosauria." There is a good reason the Latinate endings get shoved on the end when naming groups: the convention has a meaning.

--== ∞ ==--

Instead of just a long conversation for our evening, we then turned on the videos and watched two hours of entertainment. And i didn't pick up my knitting. And i had ice cream. So, yay for an intellectually engaging evening and points off for staying up too late, eating desert, and not exercising.

Another success was going through a stack of papers and purging it. Goodbye Yuletide cards and articles i wanted to follow up on and so on. I want to get to where i am able to have a healthy communication flow and not have things stack up. If i could set aside N minutes each day and get to where i can keep up with incoming and do some amount of back log care, i could imagine a steady state. But i have a hard time imagining that N minute a day discipline.

--== ∞ ==--

California news: wildfire evacuees, check. Jerry Brown & Republicans debating climate change, check. Tsunami warnings ... wait, what?

Tags: morning writing
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