> Nerdnite – Chapter 13

Nerdnite – Chapter 13

So Nerdnite is once again upon us. Again, we’re making no pretence of having a theme. Talks will cover, apparently, Rock Paper Scissors, 18th Century French political scientists, the martial art of Wing Chun and a game called Pounamu that is being used to figure out where New Zealand science should go. Find a theme in that, I dare you.


Want to lose and afternoon? Look up Wing Chun on Wikipedia. Or come along to Nerdnite and listen to Barney Teng talk about the history, origins, philosophy of Wing Chun and it’s place in daily life. If you’re lucky, he might ask for a volunteer from the audience (technically that’s you lot, not me) for a demonstration.


We will be also be welcoming back our first ever Auckland Nerdnite speaker, Thomas Lumley of Statschat and UOA Department of Statistics fame.

Rock, paper, scissors: transitivity and statistical comparisons.
The game of rock, paper, scissors was known in Asian millennia ago. At about the time of Captain Cook, a French political scientist discovered that it isn’t always possible to construct an ordering by considering things two at a time.  In the 1970s a statistician showed how to cheat at dice using this idea. The implications for experiments with a treatment group and a control group are still under appreciated.
Finally, we have Shaun Hendy, VUW physicist and science communicator extraordinaire.
Pounamu: an on-line conversation about New Zealand’s future.
Pounamu was a free, online game set in a future world where EVERYONE in New Zealand could use science as easily as they can use a computer. Anyone was welcome to play; from primary school students to research scientists, from young entrepreneurs to kuia and koro. You could play from anywhere with an internet connection for your browser. As a country, we have some big choices to make and Pounamu offered the ability to explore hundreds of paths forward. Shaun will discuss how the game worked, who played and what they talked about. He will also talk about plans for running the game again next year.

Gather your geeks, round up those that need some education forced into them at the end of a beer, bring them along next Tuesday, the 1st of October,  same nerdy time, same nerdy place. 6.30 pm for a 7 pm start at Nectar Bar, Kingland (470 New North Road, above the Kingslander). We have a diverse range of talks this month. Be there and be square!

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