skip to content rich footer

StevenClark.com.au

subscibe to the StevenClark.com.au rss feed

Archive for the 'science' Category

Brewing Science: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Book Review)

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Brewing Science book coverRight at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there was a great opportunity to pick up a free digital copy of Brewing Science: A Multidisciplinary Approach by Michael Mosher and Kenneth Trantham from Springer. It was a phase we’ve passed through, but the idea was to give an opportunity for people to learn new or expand old skills during the lockdown. And I’m a book kind of guy so I grabbed this (along with a couple of unrelated text books). That being said, having spent 10 years at University I know that a text book is just a part of the learning process and having read one doesn’t make you that much smarter without the practicals, exercises and self-guided research required of an actual student.

I’m not sure I’d pay the textbook price for this one unless I needed it as a student. However, this textbook has a great rundown of brewing processes and chemistry from a commercial perspective specifically targeted at new brewers training to enter the industry. So, while there’s a bit of chemistry and physics involved, there’s no real reason you need to be able to do all that mathematics. It’s interesting to understand some of those brewery constraints about pressure in piping systems and so forth, but anyone should really hire a professional to design the brewery rather than trust their own mathematics and physics. In short, it’s more complicated than you would intuitively think.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Art of Memory is to Never Trust It’s Bullshit

Friday, December 18th, 2020

The era I was born into held fast to certain ideas about memory and how it defined who you were as a person. For example, the idea that we record a running tape onto which time and space all but indelibly imprints itself for historic accuracy. The idea that Perry Mason could pick apart a person’s memory with an eye to exposing the truth. That events and conversations require black and white consensus, or someone is lying (the age-old he said, she said arguments). People still hold true to this outdated idea of memory regardless that science outright refutes it. Mostly because they don’t want to believe their memory is fallible. We equate our memories to the record of us as a human being.

Next came the metaphor where memories are stored in drawers and every time you open that drawer you rewrite the memory. This is how memories can be altered through revisiting the story over and over. Every time you talk about the memory where you saw a bear, that story mutates into another memory. This process can be influenced by others. Intelligent human beings have been freed after decades of incarceration by the State because the evidence finally proved they were not the killer; to this day they have the memory of the crime and the guilt of committing it. That speaks to exactly how strong a memory can be influenced by others.

In the realisation that memory is accessed and filed and re-accessed there is a worrying fragility given to the question of who we are as individuals. Because if we aren’t our persistent and immutable memories, if those memories can be shifted and shaped by ourselves and others, then how do we reconcile our story with any type of empirical reality?

And that’s the rub. We can’t. The truth as best we can ascertain at this point runs something like this: we are a story we tell ourselves that changes over time.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Secret to Human Success is Multiculturalism

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Back in the day, when I was an under-educated dipshit with right wing leanings, I would repeat a popular right wing mantra that multiculturalism has never worked. And I never questioned the logic, regardless that it came to me third hand in the way a cult tells itself a story of identity. I was a proud white man. The story fit my conclusions. White men were special. I hate to inform anybody of this one… but we’re not special at all. We’ve just had 200 years of might is right especially if it’s white.

So I thought writing an article about this mantra might be interesting… at least for those under-educated non-thinking right wing bigots who repeat that ignorant statement. Because it turns out that multiculturalism is what brought us out of the caves and into this crazy era of the Space Age homo sapien. Not DNA diversity, not bigger brains… the sharing of culture.

DNA Diversity is not the Secret of our Success

One group of people would have you believe that our genetic diversity is the reason for the homo sapien success story. Bollocks. Although we have this diversity of appearance that we as homo sapiens recognise in the finer details of faces … there is vastly more genetic difference between chimpanzees living on one side of a river to the other than there is between human beings around the planet.

In simple English, homo sapiens are more alike around the World than chimpanzees that live locally. So, no, genetic diversity didn’t make us this successful. In fact, there was a point in our early history where one father can be linked to all males. All males on this planet are related. At a point where human beings on the planet were reduced to approximately one thousand survivors of a cataclysmic event.

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Networking

Keep an eye out for me on Instagram

About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

skip to top of page