Rhys Taylor's home page
Science, Art and Data Visualisation

Writings and Other Projects

Apart from data visualisation, my main creative outlet these days is writing more than graphics. You can find a full list of places where I'm active-ish on the internet here, but in particular see my blogs :

Physicists of the Caribbean : My original blog. It started as a prelude to my Arecibo adventures and frankly the early stuff borders on shitposting stupid memes. Slowly it morphed into something vaguely sciencey. These days it's become my longform outlet, where I try and develop ideas as fully as I can. I use it for a mixture of science outreach whenever I publish (or co-author) a paper, and also for highly pretentious philosophy posts, politics, and just general stuff that requires more than a moment's thought. Generally fairly in-depth.

Decoherency  : For stuff that doesn't require more than a moment's thought. It began as a conversion of my Google Plus posts when the platform was taken down, and has become my online notepad that covers whatever topic happens to interest me. Lots of venting and book reviews, thoughts on philosophy essays, political rants, and random articles on the internet I find either provocative or questionable. The one thing it doesn't cover much of is science, because for that we go to :

Little Physicists : Dedicated to science and astronomy, my specialist subject. Aimed more at enthusiasts than the general public and doesn't dumb down, with posts often being halfway between outreach and notes to myself. Mostly analysis of papers I've read, but sometimes also covers data visualisation techniques I experiment with. On occasion also looks at philosophy of science when this becomes more specialist than topics covered in the other blogs.

You can find some selected highlights in the Physicists of the Caribbean banner. Here I just want to mention some of my more unusual projects :

Talent Versus Luck : A news report about a sociological study claiming that luck matters more than talent got a lot of social media coverage a few years ago. I wasn't convinced so I decided to conduct my own simulations that could reproduce and expand on their findings. In short, the original results are not even wrong : there's simply no way to draw meaningful connections to reality from them. Forget the sociology : I learned a heck of a lot about statistical biases by doing this.

I'd originally planned to try and publish this but in the end I decided not to bother. I didn't do any short write-ups either; there are some stage-by-stage posts on Decoherency, but nothing fuller. So I'm afraid it's this 36-page PDF file or nothing.

Using an Astrolabe : Step-by-step instructions as to how to use an astrolabe, and what it's like to use in practise. In my experience the device is in principle an amazing piece of kit, analogous to a highly versatile computer program (though not truly a more general-purpose computer in itself). But trying to use it in the field is something I find nigh-on impossible.

Editing Beowulf : In which I produce an edited version of the original Beowulf poem, setting a poetic translation into prose and editing some of the more egregiously weird language and structure. I wanted something that still felt archaic but was not quite so much of a nightmare to read.