Thursday, October 27, 2011

Life Long Science Education

We need much more outreach from universities. There are many reasons for the lack of scientific understanding in the general population, which allows for political manipulation of science related ideas. But making science accessible to the public is an extremely important countermeasure. There is far too little focus on doing this by universities in my opinion. I realize it is not a historical focus. But today it seem very much in line with the written missions many universities have (promoting education, understanding...) and the technology make net efforts possible, that were not reasonable previously. And the state of society today (including how long we now live, and how important science issues are) make it more important than ever that the public have access to engaging science resources. I think most would also agree we don't want universities supporting closed science by supporting publication of science research in closed access journals. Some universities have taken a stand against this practice, which is good. But many universities have not. My Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog tries to help engage people in science.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Arguing For Different Policies Doesn't Mean You Have to Change Behavior Before the Policies Are Adopted

Am I A Complete Hypocrite? Or an Opportunist?
Whether it is when I am complaining about liberals or Congressional ineptness it isn’t hard to find my libertarian political views on this website. So, when I was complaining to a buddy the other day about how ridiculous the Occupy Wall Street people are…he responded that I was a Hypocrite.
This seems like a perfectly reasonable action to me.  I think it would be hypocritical if you suggested others don't participate even though the program was ongoing.  But there is a huge difference between arguing for a different policy and living with the existing policy.

This seems obvious to me though many don't seem to understand that Warren Buffett can argue a better policy for the country would raise his taxes.  They tell him to pay more taxes if he wants.  His argument is not having whoever wants to give the government more money should do so, he argues the country would be better off with a tax system that had higher tax rates for multi-millionare earners than those working at McDonald's.

Arguing for the government should have different policies doesn't require you to act as though it did to be consistent.

This can get less clear cut if you argue about the moral failings of those who act in x or y way.  If you say those taking welfare are lazy scammers stealing from society or something, for example.  Then you are claiming it isn't the government policy that you object to (or it isn't only that) but the character of those taking advantage of the policy.  In a case where you accept charity when you disparage others for doing so then the argument for being a hypocrite would exist, I think.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Acting Considerately

Comment on: More education needed in Dubai Metro’s Priority Seat

I have never been to Dubai but my guess is like everywhere else, there is a huge dose of inconsiderate behavior. There are some people that are rude and intentionally so (or at least know they consistently are selfish and inconsiderate and don't care to change). There are many more people that like to believe they are a nice person. If you call to their attention some action they can take to be considerate they will be considerate.

My guess is you don't have to demand anything just ask if someone will let you sit. Then some in the "I think of myself as considerate" group will let you sit.

For those in that group, my thought is: it is better to actually be proactively considerate. Considering others gives the impression (to me) that it is a proactive act. Inconsiderate is the absence of that proactive consideration of others. And not being rude after it is brought to your attention, is certainly better than continuing to be rude. But we can do better than that.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Google PageRank and MozRank of Some of My Sites

Pagerank is a value given to the links coming into a web page on a logarithmic scale. So a PR of 2 is 10 times greater than PR 1 and 100 less than PR 4. MozRank has been round a couple of years now and seems to be a decent addition to looking at PageRank. It is updated much more frequently and for some reason is using a scale of 8 instead of 10***, so a PR of 2 is 8 times greater than PR 1 and 100 less than PR 4. MozRank also shows the result to 2 decimal places, which is nice. A PageRank value of 5 could range all the way from 4.5 to 5.49 - those values are almost 100 times different in their magnitude. In the chart below I round MozRank to the nearest tenth of a point.

Now the visible PageRank is just a way of Google letting other people see the relative PageRanks of web pages. The real pagerank Google updates much more frequently. The real pagerank is what is used as a factor in search results. I also believe Google now includes penalties to visible pageranks that are not actually used in their search rankings. So they can show a visible indication that the site is not as highly ranked as it may be (this is most easily noticeable when pages have a reduction in pagerank with no real world explanation).

PageRank matter but is hardly a huge factor. It is much more important to have links from related pages than just high pagerank pages, for being ranked highly in Google search results. And the link text used in links to your pages is very important for how well you rank in search engines. However a link from a page with a PR of 7 would be much better than and a very similar page with a PR of 1. Pagerank "passed" to the linked to page is divided by the total number of links on the page. So if you had a link from a relavent PR 7 page with 10 links that would provide 5 times more "pagerank" than the same PR 7 with 50 links.

In my last post I said "Another thing I have noticed much more over the last few years is having PR for internal pages is much harder." What I have noticed in the last few months is many more internal pages seem to have decent page ranks (very high, above 4, is still fairly rare): lots more internal pages show ranks of 1,2,3 and 4 than I noticed in the last few years You might get the wrong impression from the table below as I picked out the somewhat rare internal pages with decent page ranks to track.

The displayed pagerank is mainly a fun measure, rather than a measure that can be relied on as an important measure. But I still find it fun to look at the pagerank values - except when they go down for my sites :-( Now you can take some solace if your MozRank goes up :-)

For those wondering if I take special Search Engine Optimization (SEO) actions to achieve these results, I don't really. I try to create good content and provide value to users. That is what I did long before I ever heard of SEO. I do include links to my other sites when I think it is worthwhile. My sites are almost all created out of my personal interests (or maybe all, to varying levels, a couple of sites are things that kind of interest me but are maybe more experiments then core interests to me). It isn't surprising they link together in various ways. Again long before I heard of SEO (and the term was even used) I wrote others with web sites on similar topics to share what I offered.

With the advent of blogs, I commented on blogs I read. I do make some effort to try and have sensible urls from an SEO perspective. And I make an additional effort to comment on blogs in order to "market" and SEO reasons. But I do so not by spaming blogs but with thoughtful comments. Those thoughts may be lame, but they are mine, based on the topic and meant to add to the conversation. I doubt I average more than 10 comments a week on blogs. It really is more about adding to the conversation than getting links that some computer reads. Also a few (very few) people reading the thoughtful comments will follow the link to my site and subscribe to RSS feeds, add links to my posts... I occasionally suggest links to blog carnival - probably less than 10 times a year. That is about it.

Check the current pagerank on your sites using our related site: Multiple Site PageRank checker.

SiteOct 2011
April 2011Dec 2010Dec 2008July 2008
PageRank 6
Curious Cat Engineering and Science Blog6 [5.3]6455
PageRank 5 and MozRank > 5
Curious Cat Management Improvement Connections*5 [5.5]5433
Management Dictionary*5 [5.4]5433
PageRank 5 and MozRank < 5
Public Sector Continuous Improvement Site*5 [4.97]54
PageRank 4 and MozRank > 5
Curiouscat.com4 [5.6]5433
CSS 4 Free4 [5.4]4445
Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog4 [5.3]4344 - internship directory4 [5.2]4444
John Hunter4 [5.4]4444
Investment Dictionary*4 [5.2]4
Lean Management Resources*4 [5.0]44
Six Sigma Management Resources*4 [5.0]4
Alumni Connections*4 [5.0]4445
PageRank 4 and MozRank > 4
PDSA Improvement Cycle*4 [4.9]4
Rocky Mountain National Park photos*4 [4.8]43-2
The Engineer That Made Your Cat a Photographer*4 [4.7]543
Economic Strength Through Technology Leadership*4 [4.7]544
The Future is Engineering*4 [4.7]55
Curious Cat Web Directory4 [4.7]**334
Credit Card Tips4 [4.6]3
Deming's Management Method*4 [4.5]44
Life and Legacy of William Hunter (my father)4 [4.5]444
Curious Cat Code (programming)4 [4.2]00
PageRank 4 and MozRank < 4
Mortgage Rate Article*4 [3.8]4
Reddit management*4 [u]740
PageRank 3 and MozRank > 3
Curious Cat Travel Photo Blog3 [4.9]3-
Multi Site PageRank Checker3 [4.7]2213
Wordpress Themes for Free3 [4.7]333
Statistics for Experimenters3 [4.5]3434
Living in Malaysia3 [4.1]-
Living in Singapore3 [4.0]-
Management Improvement Resources3 [3.8]333
Best Research University Rankings*3 [3.8]334
Good Process Improvement Practices*3 [3.8]
PageRank 2 and MozRank > 3
Management and Leadership Quotes2 [5.2]22
Sea World - Australia2 [4.5]22
Wet-n-Wild - Australia2 [4.2]22
Parfrey's Glen, Wisconsin Photos2 [3.8]22-
PageRank 2 and MozRank > 2
Justin Hunter (my brother)2 [2.9]222
No PageRank
My Kiva page- [4.0]-3
Curious Cat Comments (this blog)- [3.8]-33
Johor Bahru Real Estate (brand new site)--

* internal pages
** new url as of January 2011, old url forwarded, by Oct 2011 report the pagerank updated
- unranked
[blank] I don't know what the pagerank was, sometimes the site didn't exist yet.
*** Google doesn't say they use a scale of 10 for the logarithmic PageRank. It seems as good a guess and any and is easier to picture so I use that until we have some new evidence.
Related: Web Page Authority - 6 years Later Goolge Acts To Let Me Block Sites I don't want to see - PageRank Distribution - Google's Search Results - Should Factors Other Than User Value be Used