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Kaj Sotala has been shared in 24 public circles

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Brian Mcquillan13,393New Public CircleThis is a public circle of people that would like to be circulated in order to discover new people with similar interest and to gain more followers, if you would like to be included please follow these steps.1. Follow/Add our page(this is needed in order for us to add you to the circle).2. Share the circle publicly.3. (Optional) if you would like to be include in a more specialized circle click on this link #sharedcircleoftheday #fullcircleshare  #addmetoyourcircles #awesomeness  #awesomepeople #awesomecircle  #awesome   #awesomesauce #awesomeness #awesomepeople2014-11-11 08:27:25464131433
Angie Rocio50To be added to my Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 2 - Plus, Comment and Reshare this post° in PUBLIC 2014-06-17 17:20:394483210
Angie Rocio40This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)Thanks!2014-06-15 08:09:44448119
Dina Tika0Here is a group of Active Engagers, Circle Sharers, Awesome Plus Oners, and Cool People on Google Plus!   Circle Sharing is an awesome way to increase your followers and active engagers on your profile. Some of my favorite people that I've met here on Google + through Circle Sharing.    Want to be in the next Circle of Awesomeness? Follow the Steps Below!  ☛ Add the circle ☛ Share in the Public ☛ Plus 1 the Post. ☛ Comment. 2014-06-10 05:53:52479001
Krzysztof Skomra4,828New circle 201404031. Plus this post2. Leave a comment (introduce yourself, if you’d like)3. Add this circle to your circles4. Add yourself to the circle5. Share this circle publicly to your stream1. Dodaj Plus dla postu 2. Zostaw komentarz (przedstaw ślad po sobie, jeśli chcesz) 3. Dodaj ten krąg do swoich kręgów 4. Dodaj się do kręgu 5. Poleć ten krąg publicznie do strumienia #techlover   #photographers   #bloggers   #circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circles   #share   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #sharemycircles  #sharemycircle   #iwillfollow   #followback   #followers#cardphoto   #circle #circles #publiccircle #circleshare #circlesharing #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare#sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles #AwesomeCircle #addcircle #addpeople #circlemeup 2014-04-03 21:55:025013410
Aleksander Adamczyk0New circle 201404031. Dodaj Plus dla postu 2. Zostaw komentarz (przedstaw ślad po sobie, jeśli chcesz) 3. Dodaj ten krąg do swoich kręgów 4. Dodaj się do kręgu 5. Poleć ten krąg publicznie do strumienia EN.1. Plus this post2. Leave a comment (introduce yourself, if you’d like)3. Add this circle to your circles4. Add yourself to the circle5. Share this circle publicly to your stream#techlover   #photographers   #bloggers   #circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circles   #share   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #sharemycircles  #sharemycircle   #iwillfollow   #followback   #followers#cardphoto   #circle #circles #publiccircle #circleshare #circlesharing#sharedcircles #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare#sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles#AwesomeCircle #addcircle #addpeople #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery  2014-04-03 21:29:32501014
Timo Kiviluoma9,935A full circle of MEN from FINLAND! Crazy but true. We Finns are artistic, witty and bit shy - you need to add this circle and fin us! #circleshare   #circles   #finland   #men   #sharedcircles  2014-04-03 13:07:45132014
Timo Kiviluoma6,945MEN FROM FINLAND. A very dedicated circle of men, all from Finland. Strange, isn't it? Anyway, add these witty and generous gentlemen and find the true character of Finland. .-) #finland   #men   #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #sharedcircle   #sharedcircleoftheday  +Circles 2014-01-08 14:25:32131165
Timo Kiviluoma5,304KOKONAINEN PIIRILLINEN SUOMALAISIA MIEHIÄGoogleplussaa sanotaan aavekaupungiksi. Tottahan tuuli humisee tyhjässä saluunassa, jos et ole lisännyt piireihisi sinua kiinnostavia ihmisiä.Tässä piirissä on noin 130 suomalaista miestä. Fiksua, taiteellista ja hauskojakin ovat. Osa postaa suomeksi, osa englanniksi. Sinuna antaisin heille mahdollisuuden. :-)ELI HYVÄ IHMINEN LISÄÄ TÄMÄ PIIRI ITSELLESI! (ja jaa eteenpäin...) #piirit   #sharedcircles   #suomipiiri   #suomi  2013-10-30 18:06:22131115
Max Huijgen41,136Europe calling: the old giant wakes up and calls on its peeps! A new circle of Europeans as I promised long ago to connect the people who responded and share them. See for the first shared circle this post https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/PDUi13o9dB1The original post was shared 225 times. You can find it here:https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/CdhmHGbYjgiPart 2 is still open and can be found here:https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/NDAhG4fP2a7If you didn´t do so already, post there and as long as I have spots free, I will circle you as I want to see my streams come alive during European hours.There was a shared feeling that it would be great to get some attention from G+ for Europe with official hangouts from the community managers during European times, feature roll-outs from Google no longer restricted to the US, having some central point to share European circles and last but not least the desire to have hangouts without having to burn the midnight oil. To help solve this and get Europeans together on the same page I created +Europeans on G+  It already has multiple managers out of the community and that initiative recently span off +European Photo  but feel to offer a bit of your time for this community project. Circle the page if you didn´t already do so. We need more peeps from all over Europe to participate and enjoy G+I hope these posts can do the rounds through Europe and gets us firmly on the G+ map. So even if you´re not European yourself, but sympathize with the initiatives to form a community here, help spread the word and share it.And don´t forget: we all love the other continents and most of us have circles which encompass the whole world. So it´s not against others, but pro us :)2013-03-15 15:05:14291522074
Andrey Mashnich51,420Круг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+Circle of people, with active life position in Google+#ForFriends #photo #EarthMyMother   #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedpubliccircles #circlesharing #publiccircle2013-01-23 10:40:00479311537
J. M. Weber812I don't always share circles, but when I do I put some thought into creating them.This is a circle with some of the most interesting people I have in my circles. There are a few rules I follow when selecting:- Only people (no pages or communities)- No NSFW content, not overly political- You can expect these people to engage / be active on G+- Not more than 30 people. Sorry if you're not in it, maybe you will be next time.My goal is to share a circle than can be added without second thoughts. In my experience, adding a circle with up to a few hundred profiles will likely mess up your circles so bad it's rarely worth adding them.I hope this circle will be of use to some of you. Recommendations are always welcome.2012-12-15 01:36:3730403
Jaana Nyström431,855Finnish active people and Pages circle:Suomalaisia postaavia piiri Marraskuu 2012UUTTA:  Piiriläisten päivittäisiä postauksia!http://publiccircles.appspot.com/dailycircle/jaana_nystr_m-finnisch_circle/2012-11-22* * *Kävin läpi omia piirejäni sekä useita eri sivustoja:http://www.circlecount.com/fi/http://www.googleplussuomi.com/mybestfriends/?googleid=101780786123023132934http://www.googleplussuomi.com/Lisäsin sellaiset jotka ovat postanneet julkisesti, varsinkin kahden viime viikon aikana.Postauskieli vaihtelee suomesta englantiin.Tallentakaa koko piiri uutena ja napsikaa sitten pois porukkaa joiden sisältö ei teitä kiinnosta. Tai valikoikaa! :-)Hauskoja hetkiä näiden aktiivisten Plussaajien parissa:  Vinkatkaa lisää profiileja kommenteissa, väsähdin parin tunnin setvimisen jälkeen.Saa jakaa, mielellään kiitos.Katsele piiriläisiä Circlecount.com:issa:http://www.circlecount.com/fi/sharedcircle/?id=z120f1eoezn1t5lms22celljpvm0wvzfs #Piiri   #Suomi   #Gplussa  2012-11-23 07:52:26111441635
John Ward4,989This is a circle I have set up for people who enjoy Science Fiction or Fantasy. If you'd like to be added to the circle, please let me know in the comments. Also, make sure you guys add the circle as well; so you can see other people's recommendations on the subject. Feel free to re-share this post. #circlesharesunday  2012-06-24 22:05:395014938
Max Huijgen24,852Europe calling: the old giant wakes up and calls on its peeps! Part IIAccording to the latest figures 426.9 million Europeans now use the InternetThere is a is feeling that it would be great to get some attention from G+ for Europe with official hangouts from the community managers during European times, feature roll-outs from Google no longer restricted to the US, and last but not least the desire to have hangouts and interaction without having to burn the midnight oil. To help solve this and get Europeans together on the same page I created +Europeans on G+  It already has four managers out of the community but feel to offer a bit of your time if you want to contribute. Circle the page if you didn´t already do so. I also organized a "I will circle you" project. If people commented that they came from Europe I would circle them instead of the other way. The intention was to share this circle back to the community and the first circle of 500 went out. You can find them here https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/PDUi13o9dB1Now as promised it´s time for round 2: 300 people and a few European pages. Some very well known, some relatively unknown, but all certified active posters from Europe who will spice up your streams during European hours.Check them out and please share the circle as the intention is to get much more Europeans united!if you were left out while you signed up: my excuses as it´s a tedious job to manage all these circles. I checked all but I am only human :)2012-06-01 14:51:14301843557
Kevin Medeiros3,101Yeah yeah, this is a huge circle to share. These guys and girls are a bunch of geeks. Geeks of what type you might ask? Well, of all sorts..you'll just have to find out. I've gone through and weeded out some of the inactive users myself in order to stay under the 500 person limit. These guys make up a big portion of my stream and never fail to keep me informed about awesome shit.You may also be asking why I didn't sort them out into sub-geek categories? The answer to that is because I'm not your damn secretary :-)Just check'em out :)2012-05-26 19:20:2947711714
Peter Edenist1,213Final share of this circle for #scififans for some time. This has been one of the oldest circles I have curated and I wouldn't remove one person from here !Plus 1 if you want in! #projectslowboat #scifi #scifisunday #scifichat #sciencefiction #scienceeveryday #scienceisawesome2012-04-22 14:47:445007414
Mike Clancy3,739I promised to reshare this sci-fi fans circle if I got a lot of new subscribers and I did ... over 100! As before, if you are not already listed in in this circle, but would like to be, please just +1 this post. If you are already in the circle and would like it to grow, please just share. That is all..2012-04-06 13:37:293196322
Mike Clancy3,675Ok, here's the new and improved sci-fi interests circle. Non-posters have been removed. As before, if you are not already listed in in this circle, but would like to be, please just +1 this post. If you are already in the circle and would like it to grow, please just share. That is all.2012-04-05 13:39:1521813834
Mike Clancy3,583My sci-fi fan circle ... +1 if you want to be added, share if you already are.2012-04-04 17:18:421343113
Kevin Medeiros2,549This is my circle of geeks. Definitely an active circle that share geeky shit that "others" may not understand, but you do, right?Circle them if you want instant fun. Seriously..I weed out the lame ones all the time..be prepared for the onslaught of awesome when you add this circle!2012-03-23 21:02:4544913918
Mike Clancy2,938Final edition of my sci-fi circle for now ... +1 and share if you want to be added to future releases2012-03-20 02:15:081335212
Mike Clancy1,885My select group of true Sci-Fi fans. If you think you should be added to it, just +12012-03-05 00:31:231514217
Jaana Nyström35,188#suomi #piiri #Finncircle Lauantain iloksi:Enemmän suomalaisia virtaan!Tämä piiri sisältää niin vanhoja kettuja kuin uusia tulokkaitakin.Kerään koko ajan lisää kotimaista settiä, käykäähän kommentoimassa postauksia niin tiedän lisätä uusia.Te joilla ei vielä ole profiili hyvässä hapessa, lukaiskaa tämä:http://googleplussa.blogspot.com/2012/01/google-kayton-aloitus-profiilivinkit.html2012-03-03 12:32:55186216

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

2
comments per post
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reshares per post
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 8

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2015-05-10 16:33:55 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

> My whole life I’ve thought of this like a personality trait. I can’t do things unless they’re interesting because I’m lazy. I tend to get in trouble with jobs and at school because I’m lazy. I hated the personality trait, I wanted to change it, I aspired rather desperately to be a hard-working person and caused myself a great deal of pain trying to imitate one, but I was still thinking of it as some sort of fundamental tendency, some sort of fact about me.

> And then someone asked if I’d tried taking modafinil (a wakefulness drug that is commonly used in my social circles to improve focus and performance and/or skip sleep). 

> On modafinil I am a diligent and hardworking person. I can’t watch TV or read books or play games because they bore me: they are not intellectually demanding enough. I have a deeply felt need to be accomplishing things and I go aboutrather systema... more »

Most reshares: 9

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2015-05-28 21:33:26 (1 comments, 9 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

> Some scientific studies are popular from the start, garnering multiple citations from other researchers. But others can languish as 'sleeping beauties' for more than a century before awaking to glorious approval, a study finds. [...]

> Topping the team’s list [...] is ‘Concerning adsorption in solutions’, research published in 1906 that did not awaken until 2002. The famous Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paper comes in 14th place [...] The longest sleeper in the top 15 is a statistics paper from Karl Pearson, entitled, ‘On lines and planes of closest fit to systems of points in space'. Published in Philosophical Magazine in 1901, this paper awoke only in 2002.

> In many cases, the beauty phenomenon occurs when research finds application in a field outside its own, says Radicchi — such as statistical methods that become useful in biology.

Most plusones: 12

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2015-05-16 20:05:45 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

> There are lots of different ship classes in science fiction, and I’m not talking about the designated name for a particular frame (like Victory-class or Firefly-class).  I’m talking about classification of ship roles.  You have your cruisers, your destroyers, your frigates and corvettes, your dreadnoughts, and all sorts of other roles.  But something that always confused me is exactly what the differences are between them.  If you had shown me two ships and claimed one was a destroyer and one was a cruiser I wouldn’t have really understood what that actually means and what roles they employ in a battle.  How is a battleship different from a battlecruiser?  Is there any difference between a star cruiser and an assault cruiser, and if so what is it?

> So like any good geek I did research and actually enjoyed doing it!  And the knowledge I’ve gained I want to spread for anyonewho is interes... more »

Latest 50 posts

2015-05-29 16:52:35 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Kung Fury: seen. SO EPIC.

I almost like the fact they only had 30 minutes, forced them to focus only on the most essential scenes.

Kung Fury: seen. SO EPIC.

I almost like the fact they only had 30 minutes, forced them to focus only on the most essential scenes.___

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2015-05-29 15:00:39 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

How not to generate cryptographic keys for use in financial applications:

> Basically, they have a LinuxSecureRandom class that's supposed to override the standard SecureRandom. This class reads from /dev/urandom and should provide cryptographically secure random values.

> They also seed the generator using SecureRandom#setSeed with data pulled from random.org. With their custom SecureRandom, this is safe because it mixes the entropy using XOR, so even if the random.org data is dodgy it won't reduce security. It's just an added bonus.

> BUT! On some devices under some circumstances, the LinuxSecureRandom class doesn't get registered. This is likely because /dev/urandom doesn't exist or can't be accessed for some reason. Instead of screaming bloody murder like any sensible implementation would, they just ignore that and fall back to using the... more »

How not to generate cryptographic keys for use in financial applications:

> Basically, they have a LinuxSecureRandom class that's supposed to override the standard SecureRandom. This class reads from /dev/urandom and should provide cryptographically secure random values.

> They also seed the generator using SecureRandom#setSeed with data pulled from random.org. With their custom SecureRandom, this is safe because it mixes the entropy using XOR, so even if the random.org data is dodgy it won't reduce security. It's just an added bonus.

> BUT! On some devices under some circumstances, the LinuxSecureRandom class doesn't get registered. This is likely because /dev/urandom doesn't exist or can't be accessed for some reason. Instead of screaming bloody murder like any sensible implementation would, they just ignore that and fall back to using the standard SecureRandom.

> If the above happens, there's a problem because the default implementation of SecureRandom#setSeed doesn't mix. If you set the seed, it replaces the entropy entirely. So now the entropy is coming solely from random.org.

> And the final mistake: They were using HTTP instead of HTTPS to make the webservice call to random.org. On Jan 4, random.org started enforcing HTTPS and returning a 301 Permanently Moved error for HTTP - see https://www.random.org/news/. So since that date, the entropy has actually been the error message (turned into bytes) instead of the expected 256-bit number. Using that seed, SecureRandom will generate the private key for address 1Bn9ReEocMG1WEW1qYjuDrdFzEFFDCq43F 100% of the time. Ouch. ___

2015-05-29 08:34:57 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

There’s a lot of blame and guilt in many people’s lives. We often think of people in terms of good or bad, and feel unworthy or miserable if we fail at things we think we should be able to do. When we don’t do quite as well as we could, because we’re tired or unwell or distracted, we blame and belittle ourselves.

Let’s take a different approach.

Think of a young child, maybe three years old. He has come a long way from a newborn, but he’s still not that far along. If he tries his hand at making a drawing, and it’s not quite up to adult standards, we don’t think of him as being any worse for that. Or if he doesn’t quite want to share his toys or gets frustrated with his sibling, we understand that it’s because he’s still young, and hasn’t yet learned all the people skills. We don’t judge him for that, but just gently teach him what we’d like him to doinstead.

It’s no... more »

There’s a lot of blame and guilt in many people’s lives. We often think of people in terms of good or bad, and feel unworthy or miserable if we fail at things we think we should be able to do. When we don’t do quite as well as we could, because we’re tired or unwell or distracted, we blame and belittle ourselves.

Let’s take a different approach.

Think of a young child, maybe three years old. He has come a long way from a newborn, but he’s still not that far along. If he tries his hand at making a drawing, and it’s not quite up to adult standards, we don’t think of him as being any worse for that. Or if he doesn’t quite want to share his toys or gets frustrated with his sibling, we understand that it’s because he’s still young, and hasn’t yet learned all the people skills. We don’t judge him for that, but just gently teach him what we’d like him to do instead.

It’s not that he’s good or bad, it’s just that he lacks the skills and practice. At the same time, we see the vast potential in him, all the way that he has already come and the way he’s learning new things every day.

Now, look at yourself from the perspective of some immensely wise, benevolent being. If you’re religious, that being could be God. If you have a transhumanist bent, maybe a superintelligent AI with understanding beyond human comprehension. Or you could imagine a vastly older version of you, one that had lived for thousands of years and seen and done things you couldn’t even imagine.

From the perspective of such a being, aren’t you – and all those around you – the equivalent of that three-year-old? Someone who’s inevitably going to make mistakes and be imperfect, because the world is such a complicated place and nobody could have mastered it all? But who’s nevertheless come a long way from what they once were, and are only going to continue growing?

Nate Soares has said that he feels more empathy towards people when he thinks of them as “monkeys who struggle to convince themselves that they’re comfortable in a strange civilization, so different from the ancestral savanna where their minds were forged”. Similarly, we could think of ourselves as young children outside their homes, in a world that’s much too complicated and vast for us to ever understand more than a small fraction of it, still making a valiant effort to do our best despite often being tired or afraid.

Let’s take this attitude, not just towards others, but ourselves as well. We’re doing our best to learn to do the right things in a big, difficult world. If we don’t always succeed, there’s no blame: just a knowledge that we can learn to do better, if we make the effort.___

2015-05-29 07:16:16 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> What sets virtue ethics apart is that it treats ethics as concerned with one's whole life – and not just those occasions when something with a distinctly “moral” quality is at stake. For virtue ethics, the focus is not so much on what to do in morally difficult cases as on how to approach all of one's choices with such personal qualities as kindness, courage, wisdom, and integrity. That difference in focus is an important one. People who may feel confident in the rightness of their actions can sometimes be brought up short when asked whether they are also being generous, or considerate, or honest. Rightness is about what we're doing; virtue is also about how we're living. It resists compartmentalization. 

> Writers of textbooks in ethics are becoming increasingly appreciative of this feature of virtue ethics. For instance, one textbook in engineering ethicsconsid... more »

> What sets virtue ethics apart is that it treats ethics as concerned with one's whole life – and not just those occasions when something with a distinctly “moral” quality is at stake. For virtue ethics, the focus is not so much on what to do in morally difficult cases as on how to approach all of one's choices with such personal qualities as kindness, courage, wisdom, and integrity. That difference in focus is an important one. People who may feel confident in the rightness of their actions can sometimes be brought up short when asked whether they are also being generous, or considerate, or honest. Rightness is about what we're doing; virtue is also about how we're living. It resists compartmentalization. 

> Writers of textbooks in ethics are becoming increasingly appreciative of this feature of virtue ethics. For instance, one textbook in engineering ethics considers an imaginary case of a dangerous and expensive spill at a chemical plant (Harris et al. 2008, chap. 4). The spill occurs in an outdated part of the plant that has raised the eyebrows of several engineers and technicians, although all of them accepted the situation as “just how things are.” Now, in one way it's obvious what the plant workers should do: clean up the spill, fix the outdated fittings, perhaps implement new maintenance and reporting procedures, and so on. But the textbook's authors don't stop there, and for good reason. This is a textbook for future engineers, and they already know that spills need to be cleaned. What they need to learn is how to avoid getting into these kinds of jams in the first place. As the authors point out, the real problem was not that anyone perpetrated any heinous act; it was that several people might have taken responsibility for addressing the problem, but none of them did. The point is a crucial one: really what engineers need are virtues, because it's a virtue to take responsibility. The imaginary engineers who did nothing needed virtues like that because we must also imagine that neither their professional nor their personal lives end here, with the clean-up of this spill. And the real engineers who learn from them need, not a decision procedure from a textbook, but the practical wisdom to understand for themselves how to be people who take responsibility and why taking responsibility matters.

-- Daniel C. Russell. The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics: Introduction: Virtue ethics in modern moral philosophy.___

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2015-05-28 21:33:26 (1 comments, 9 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

> Some scientific studies are popular from the start, garnering multiple citations from other researchers. But others can languish as 'sleeping beauties' for more than a century before awaking to glorious approval, a study finds. [...]

> Topping the team’s list [...] is ‘Concerning adsorption in solutions’, research published in 1906 that did not awaken until 2002. The famous Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paper comes in 14th place [...] The longest sleeper in the top 15 is a statistics paper from Karl Pearson, entitled, ‘On lines and planes of closest fit to systems of points in space'. Published in Philosophical Magazine in 1901, this paper awoke only in 2002.

> In many cases, the beauty phenomenon occurs when research finds application in a field outside its own, says Radicchi — such as statistical methods that become useful in biology.

> Some scientific studies are popular from the start, garnering multiple citations from other researchers. But others can languish as 'sleeping beauties' for more than a century before awaking to glorious approval, a study finds. [...]

> Topping the team’s list [...] is ‘Concerning adsorption in solutions’, research published in 1906 that did not awaken until 2002. The famous Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paper comes in 14th place [...] The longest sleeper in the top 15 is a statistics paper from Karl Pearson, entitled, ‘On lines and planes of closest fit to systems of points in space'. Published in Philosophical Magazine in 1901, this paper awoke only in 2002.

> In many cases, the beauty phenomenon occurs when research finds application in a field outside its own, says Radicchi — such as statistical methods that become useful in biology.___

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2015-05-28 21:29:57 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

"...oops?"

"...oops?"___

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2015-05-28 21:28:13 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all. [...]

> It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?

> We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systemsspend m... more »

> ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all. [...]

> It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?

> We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.___

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2015-05-28 21:18:14 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

> A ski home in Aspen? A private jet? A closet full of Birkin bags? If you thought any of these were the ultimate status symbol among the millionaires and billionaires of New York City's Upper East Side — one of the biggest enclaves of wealth on the planet — you'd be wrong.

> The ultimate status symbol, according to Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., author of the newly released memoir "Primates of Park Avenue," is a whole mess of kids.

> "Three was the new two, something you just did in this habitat. Four was the new three — previously conversation stopping, but now nothing unusual. Five was no longer crazy or religious — it just meant you were rich. And six was apparently the new town house — or Gulfstream."

> When you think about it, it's logical that a big family equals a big status symbol: It's expensive to raise kidsanywhere,... more »

> A ski home in Aspen? A private jet? A closet full of Birkin bags? If you thought any of these were the ultimate status symbol among the millionaires and billionaires of New York City's Upper East Side — one of the biggest enclaves of wealth on the planet — you'd be wrong.

> The ultimate status symbol, according to Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., author of the newly released memoir "Primates of Park Avenue," is a whole mess of kids.

> "Three was the new two, something you just did in this habitat. Four was the new three — previously conversation stopping, but now nothing unusual. Five was no longer crazy or religious — it just meant you were rich. And six was apparently the new town house — or Gulfstream."

> When you think about it, it's logical that a big family equals a big status symbol: It's expensive to raise kids anywhere, and especially in New York City, where full-time nannies, private school, and summer camp are standard expenses.___

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2015-05-25 12:42:24 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

The Machine: a desperate gamble

Hewlett-Packard was once at the cutting edge of technology.  Now they make most of their money selling servers, printers, and ink... and business keeps getting worse.  They've shed 40,000 employees since 2012.   Soon they'll split in two: one company that sells printers and PCs, and one that sells servers and information technology services.  

The second company will do something risky but interesting.   They're trying to build a new kind of computer that uses chips based on memristors rather than transistors, and uses optical fibers rather than wires to communicate between chips.  It could make computers much faster and more powerful.  But nobody knows if it will really work.

The picture shows memristors on a silicon wafer.  But what's a memristor?   Quoting the MIT Technology Review:

Perfectingthe memris... more »

The Machine: a desperate gamble

Hewlett-Packard was once at the cutting edge of technology.  Now they make most of their money selling servers, printers, and ink... and business keeps getting worse.  They've shed 40,000 employees since 2012.   Soon they'll split in two: one company that sells printers and PCs, and one that sells servers and information technology services.  

The second company will do something risky but interesting.   They're trying to build a new kind of computer that uses chips based on memristors rather than transistors, and uses optical fibers rather than wires to communicate between chips.  It could make computers much faster and more powerful.  But nobody knows if it will really work.

The picture shows memristors on a silicon wafer.  But what's a memristor?   Quoting the MIT Technology Review:

Perfecting the memristor is crucial if HP is to deliver on that striking potential. That work is centered in a small lab, one floor below the offices of HP’s founders, where Stanley Williams made a breakthrough about a decade ago.

Williams had joined HP in 1995 after David Packard decided the company should do more basic research. He came to focus on trying to use organic molecules to make smaller, cheaper replacements for silicon transistors (see “Computing After Silicon,” September/October 1999). After a few years, he could make devices with the right kind of switchlike behavior by sandwiching molecules called rotaxanes between platinum electrodes. But their performance was maddeningly erratic. It took years more work before Williams realized that the molecules were actually irrelevant and that he had stumbled into a major discovery. The switching effect came from a layer of titanium, used like glue to stick the rotaxane layer to the electrodes. More surprising, versions of the devices built around that material fulfilled a prediction made in 1971 of a completely new kind of basic electronic device. When Leon Chua, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, predicted the existence of this device, engineering orthodoxy held that all electronic circuits had to be built from just three basic elements: capacitors, resistors, and inductors. Chua calculated that there should be a fourth; it was he who named it the memristor, or resistor with memory. The device’s essential property is that its electrical resistance—a measure of how much it inhibits the flow of electrons—can be altered by applying a voltage. That resistance, a kind of memory of the voltage the device experienced in the past, can be used to encode data.

HP’s latest manifestation of the component is simple: just a stack of thin films of titanium dioxide a few nanometers thick, sandwiched between two electrodes. Some of the layers in the stack conduct electricity; others are insulators because they are depleted of oxygen atoms, giving the device as a whole high electrical resistance. Applying the right amount of voltage pushes oxygen atoms from a conducting layer into an insulating one, permitting current to pass more easily. Research scientist Jean Paul Strachan demonstrates this by using his mouse to click a button marked “1” on his computer screen. That causes a narrow stream of oxygen atoms to flow briefly inside one layer of titanium dioxide in a memristor on a nearby silicon wafer. “We just created a bridge that electrons can travel through,” says Strachan. Numbers on his screen indicate that the electrical resistance of the device has dropped by a factor of a thousand. When he clicks a button marked “0,” the oxygen atoms retreat and the device’s resistance soars back up again. The resistance can be switched like that in just picoseconds, about a thousand times faster than the basic elements of DRAM and using a fraction of the energy. And crucially, the resistance remains fixed even after the voltage is turned off.

Getting this to really work has not been easy!  On top of that, they're trying to use silicon photonics to communicate between chips - another technology that doesn't quite work yet.

Still, I like the idea of this company going down in a blaze of glory, trying to do something revolutionary, instead of playing it safe and dying a slow death.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

For more, see these:

• Tom Simonite, Machine dreams, MIT Technology Review, 21April 2015, http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/536786/machine-dreams/

• Sebastian Anthony, HP reveals more details about The Machine: Linux++ OS coming 2015, prototype in 2016, ExtremeTech, 16 December 2014, http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/196003-hp-reveals-more-details-about-the-machine-linux-os-coming-2015-prototype-in-2016

For the physics of memristors, see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memristor___

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2015-05-22 13:09:56 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

 > AI researchers, including some of the leaders in the field, have been instrumental in raising issues about AI risk and superintelligence from the very beginning. I want to start by listing some of these people, as kind of a counter-list to Naam’s, then go into why I don’t think this is a “controversy” in the classical sense that dueling lists of luminaries might lead you to expect.

> The criteria for my list: I’m only mentioning the most prestigious researchers, either full professors at good schools with lots of highly-cited papers, or else very-well respected scientists in industry working at big companies with good track records. They have to be involved in AI and machine learning. They have to have multiple strong statements supporting some kind of view about a near-term singularity and/or extreme risk from superintelligent AI. Some will have written papers or books aboutit; others... more »

 > AI researchers, including some of the leaders in the field, have been instrumental in raising issues about AI risk and superintelligence from the very beginning. I want to start by listing some of these people, as kind of a counter-list to Naam’s, then go into why I don’t think this is a “controversy” in the classical sense that dueling lists of luminaries might lead you to expect.

> The criteria for my list: I’m only mentioning the most prestigious researchers, either full professors at good schools with lots of highly-cited papers, or else very-well respected scientists in industry working at big companies with good track records. They have to be involved in AI and machine learning. They have to have multiple strong statements supporting some kind of view about a near-term singularity and/or extreme risk from superintelligent AI. Some will have written papers or books about it; others will have just gone on the record saying they think it’s important and worthy of further study.___

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2015-05-22 09:43:20 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

> There's something magical about Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). I still remember when I trained my first recurrent network for Image Captioning. Within a few dozen minutes of training my first baby model (with rather arbitrarily-chosen hyperparameters) started to generate very nice looking descriptions of images that were on the edge of making sense. Sometimes the ratio of how simple your model is to the quality of the results you get out of it blows past your expectations, and this was one of those times. What made this result so shocking at the time was that the common wisdom was that RNNs were supposed to be difficult to train (with more experience I've in fact reached the opposite conclusion). Fast forward about a year: I'm training RNNs all the time and I've witnessed their power and robustness many times, and yet their magical outputs still find ways of amusing me. This post is... more »

New (epic) blog post on "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Recurrent Neural Networks" http://karpathy.github.io/2015/05/21/rnn-effectiveness/ was immense fun to write

(sorry to people who are seeing this multiple times)___> There's something magical about Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). I still remember when I trained my first recurrent network for Image Captioning. Within a few dozen minutes of training my first baby model (with rather arbitrarily-chosen hyperparameters) started to generate very nice looking descriptions of images that were on the edge of making sense. Sometimes the ratio of how simple your model is to the quality of the results you get out of it blows past your expectations, and this was one of those times. What made this result so shocking at the time was that the common wisdom was that RNNs were supposed to be difficult to train (with more experience I've in fact reached the opposite conclusion). Fast forward about a year: I'm training RNNs all the time and I've witnessed their power and robustness many times, and yet their magical outputs still find ways of amusing me. This post is about sharing some of that magic with you.

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2015-05-22 09:37:51 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was the sun. In fact, it's a 1.4 megaton thermonuclear warhead, detonated in outer space as part of USA's Operation Fishbowl, a series of nuclear tests in 1962.

Wikipedia for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime

(via +Kimmo Kenttälä)

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was the sun. In fact, it's a 1.4 megaton thermonuclear warhead, detonated in outer space as part of USA's Operation Fishbowl, a series of nuclear tests in 1962.

Wikipedia for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime

(via +Kimmo Kenttälä)___

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2015-05-22 07:31:20 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

> I tend to think [about who to support in elections] something like “Well, I agree with this guy about the Iraq war and global warming, but I agree with that guy about election paper trails and gays in the military, so it’s kind of a toss-up.”

> And this way of thinking is awful.

> The Iraq War probably killed somewhere between 100,000 and 1,000,000 people. If you think that it was unnecessary, and that it was possible to know beforehand how poorly it would turn out, then killing a few hundred thousand people is a really big deal. I like having paper trails in elections as much as the next person, but if one guy isn’t going to keep a very good record of election results, and the other guy is going to kill a million people, that’s not a toss-up.

> Likewise with global warming versus gays in the military. It would be nice if homosexual people have thesame righ... more »

> I tend to think [about who to support in elections] something like “Well, I agree with this guy about the Iraq war and global warming, but I agree with that guy about election paper trails and gays in the military, so it’s kind of a toss-up.”

> And this way of thinking is awful.

> The Iraq War probably killed somewhere between 100,000 and 1,000,000 people. If you think that it was unnecessary, and that it was possible to know beforehand how poorly it would turn out, then killing a few hundred thousand people is a really big deal. I like having paper trails in elections as much as the next person, but if one guy isn’t going to keep a very good record of election results, and the other guy is going to kill a million people, that’s not a toss-up.

> Likewise with global warming versus gays in the military. It would be nice if homosexual people have the same right to be killed by roadside explosive devices that the rest of us enjoy, but not frying the planet is pretty important too.

> (if you don’t believe in global warming, fine, having a government that agrees with you and doesn’t waste 5% of the world GDP fighting it is still more important than anything else on this list)

> Saying “some boxes are more important than others” doesn’t really cut it; it sounds like they might be twice, maybe three times more important, whereas in fact they might literally be a million times more important. It doesn’t convey the right sense of “Why are you even looking at that other box?”___

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2015-05-21 18:45:34 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Interesting perspective - a city without fees on easily-congested roads means a city where you're rewarded for destroying resources.

> I’m gonna out myself as statist scum and say the government can still build the roads, but on the ones that are prone to congestion it should charge fees that go up as the roads stay congested. The idea is to treat the fee as a thermostat and “aim” for a certain number of cars on the road at a time. If the road is too congested, the fee isn’t high enough.

> The point here is that when there are no fees, you wind up with what economists call a “natural market” where the prices are denominated in your willingness to sit in traffic not going anywhere. Everybody checks google traffic (or remembers what the traffic was like yesterday, or whatever) and the ones who really need to make it into the city (or wherever) endure the traffic,and the one... more »

Interesting perspective - a city without fees on easily-congested roads means a city where you're rewarded for destroying resources.

> I’m gonna out myself as statist scum and say the government can still build the roads, but on the ones that are prone to congestion it should charge fees that go up as the roads stay congested. The idea is to treat the fee as a thermostat and “aim” for a certain number of cars on the road at a time. If the road is too congested, the fee isn’t high enough.

> The point here is that when there are no fees, you wind up with what economists call a “natural market” where the prices are denominated in your willingness to sit in traffic not going anywhere. Everybody checks google traffic (or remembers what the traffic was like yesterday, or whatever) and the ones who really need to make it into the city (or wherever) endure the traffic, and the ones who can’t stand sitting in cars for ages stay home. Compare this to a slightly more traditional market where there’s a fee, and the ones able/inclined to pay it pay it and the ones who aren’t stay home. 

> The difference between these scenarios is that in one, a bunch of people sit in their cars being miserable, and in the other, they pay a fee. In the first a bunch of hours of people’s lives is lost. It isn’t used to do work, it isn’t used to have fun, it’s lost. In the second scenario, a bunch of people give money to, say, the city government, which can then use it to provide services for them or something. Nothing is lost, it just gets moved around.

> I oppose the first thing because you get to use the road if you are willing to set a certain amount of resources on fire. I am opposed to markets that are denominated in how many resources you are willing to set fire to___

2015-05-19 18:36:06 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Your Classifier Might Not Be The Right Tool For The Job When: You train and test it on a version of your dataset where each item comes labeled with its true class, and the classifier still doesn't get better than a 60% test accuracy (80% training).

Your Classifier Might Not Be The Right Tool For The Job When: You train and test it on a version of your dataset where each item comes labeled with its true class, and the classifier still doesn't get better than a 60% test accuracy (80% training).___

2015-05-18 20:38:56 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Mad Max: meh.

Started with a long sequence of action that I didn't really find interesting since I didn't know any of the characters or care about them. While I did appreciate the world-building and started liking the characters a bit in the few character-building moments that were offered, like 90% of the movie was special effects sequences where you knew that you wouldn't miss anything essential even if you zoned out for the next fifteen minutes.

Mad Max: meh.

Started with a long sequence of action that I didn't really find interesting since I didn't know any of the characters or care about them. While I did appreciate the world-building and started liking the characters a bit in the few character-building moments that were offered, like 90% of the movie was special effects sequences where you knew that you wouldn't miss anything essential even if you zoned out for the next fifteen minutes.___

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2015-05-17 07:15:37 (5 comments, 3 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Man, that Legolas shot.

Man, that Legolas shot.___

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2015-05-16 20:05:45 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

> There are lots of different ship classes in science fiction, and I’m not talking about the designated name for a particular frame (like Victory-class or Firefly-class).  I’m talking about classification of ship roles.  You have your cruisers, your destroyers, your frigates and corvettes, your dreadnoughts, and all sorts of other roles.  But something that always confused me is exactly what the differences are between them.  If you had shown me two ships and claimed one was a destroyer and one was a cruiser I wouldn’t have really understood what that actually means and what roles they employ in a battle.  How is a battleship different from a battlecruiser?  Is there any difference between a star cruiser and an assault cruiser, and if so what is it?

> So like any good geek I did research and actually enjoyed doing it!  And the knowledge I’ve gained I want to spread for anyonewho is interes... more »

> There are lots of different ship classes in science fiction, and I’m not talking about the designated name for a particular frame (like Victory-class or Firefly-class).  I’m talking about classification of ship roles.  You have your cruisers, your destroyers, your frigates and corvettes, your dreadnoughts, and all sorts of other roles.  But something that always confused me is exactly what the differences are between them.  If you had shown me two ships and claimed one was a destroyer and one was a cruiser I wouldn’t have really understood what that actually means and what roles they employ in a battle.  How is a battleship different from a battlecruiser?  Is there any difference between a star cruiser and an assault cruiser, and if so what is it?

> So like any good geek I did research and actually enjoyed doing it!  And the knowledge I’ve gained I want to spread for anyone who is interested, whether that be due to simple curiosity or you’re developing a story or RPG setting.  Because knowledge is power.___

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2015-05-15 16:32:47 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Cutting carbon emissions - the tide is turning!

Good news!   We, the citizens of the world, may be starting to burn less carbon - not more!  

In 2014, global carbon dioxide emissions from energy production stopped growing!

This is according to preliminary data from the International Energy Agency.  It seems the big difference is China.  The Chinese made more electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, and burned less coal.  

In fact, a report by Greenpeace says that from April 2014 to April 2015, China's carbon emissions dropped by an amount equal to the entire carbon emissions of the United Kingdom!   

I want to check this, because it would be wonderful - a 5% drop.  They say that if this trend continues, China will close out 2015 with the biggest reduction in CO2 emissionsevery reco... more »

Cutting carbon emissions - the tide is turning!

Good news!   We, the citizens of the world, may be starting to burn less carbon - not more!  

In 2014, global carbon dioxide emissions from energy production stopped growing!

This is according to preliminary data from the International Energy Agency.  It seems the big difference is China.  The Chinese made more electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, and burned less coal.  

In fact, a report by Greenpeace says that from April 2014 to April 2015, China's carbon emissions dropped by an amount equal to the entire carbon emissions of the United Kingdom!   

I want to check this, because it would be wonderful - a 5% drop.  They say that if this trend continues, China will close out 2015 with the biggest reduction in CO2 emissions every recorded by a single country.

The International Energy Agency also credits Europe's improved attempts to cut carbon emissions for the turnaround.   In the US, carbon emissions has basically been dropping since 2006 - with a big drop in 2009 due to the economic collapse, a partial bounce-back in 2010, but a general downward trend.

In the last 40 years, there have only been 3 times in which emissions stood still or fell compared to the previous year, all during global economic crises: the early 1980's, 1992, and 2009.  In 2014, however, the global economy expanded by 3%.

So, the tide may be turning!   But please remember: while carbon emissions may start dropping, they're still huge.  The amount of the CO2 in the air shot above 400 parts per million this year.  As Erika Podest of NASA put it:

CO2 concentrations haven't been this high in millions of years. Even more alarming is the rate of increase in the last five decades and the fact that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds or thousands of years. This milestone is a wake up call that our actions in response to climate change need to match the persistent rise in CO2. Climate change is a threat to life on Earth and we can no longer afford to be spectators.

So let's not slack off now!  The battle has just begun.

Here is the announcement by the International Energy Agency:

http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2015/march/global-energy-related-emissions-of-carbon-dioxide-stalled-in-2014.html

"This gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today," said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol.

Their full report will come out in June.  Here is the report by Greenpeace EnergyDesk:

http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2015/05/14/china-coal-consumption-drops-further-carbon-emissions-set-to-fall-by-equivalent-of-uk-total-in-one-year/

I trust them less than the IEA when it comes to using statistics correctly, but someone should be able to verify their claims if true.  The graph here comes from this article:

http://qz.com/405059/chinas-on-track-for-the-biggest-reduction-in-coal-use-ever-recorded/

#globalwarming  ___

2015-05-15 16:30:47 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

[English summary: just commenting on Finnish politics]

Maailmanlopun visiot olkoot maailmanlopun visioita, mutta mulle on tullut ihan optimistista asennetta maan uuteen hallitukseen. Kyllä, se on kaikesta päätellen arvokonservatiivi, kyllä, Keskustan raportit PK-seudun kasvun vastustamisesta ovat aika karmaisevia. 

Mutta: viimeiset kahdeksan vuotta on ehditty valittaa siitä, että kaikki tarpeelliset uudistukset vesitetään kun hallituspuolueet vain nahistelevat keskenään. Ainakin uutisten perusteella tämänkertaisella joukolla hallituspuolueita näyttäisi olevan hyvä yhteistyön ilmapiiri, ja päätöksenteon luulisi muutenkin olevan helpompaa kun ei tarvitse miellyttää isoa kasaa pikkutahoja. 

Ehkä nyt saataisiin vihdoin esim. sosiaaliturva järkevämpään kuntoon. Kuuntelin joku aika sitten mm. Timo Soinin vaaleja edeltävää haastattelua, ja niin paljonkuin miestä ja sen puoluetta m... more »

[English summary: just commenting on Finnish politics]

Maailmanlopun visiot olkoot maailmanlopun visioita, mutta mulle on tullut ihan optimistista asennetta maan uuteen hallitukseen. Kyllä, se on kaikesta päätellen arvokonservatiivi, kyllä, Keskustan raportit PK-seudun kasvun vastustamisesta ovat aika karmaisevia. 

Mutta: viimeiset kahdeksan vuotta on ehditty valittaa siitä, että kaikki tarpeelliset uudistukset vesitetään kun hallituspuolueet vain nahistelevat keskenään. Ainakin uutisten perusteella tämänkertaisella joukolla hallituspuolueita näyttäisi olevan hyvä yhteistyön ilmapiiri, ja päätöksenteon luulisi muutenkin olevan helpompaa kun ei tarvitse miellyttää isoa kasaa pikkutahoja. 

Ehkä nyt saataisiin vihdoin esim. sosiaaliturva järkevämpään kuntoon. Kuuntelin joku aika sitten mm. Timo Soinin vaaleja edeltävää haastattelua, ja niin paljon kuin miestä ja sen puoluetta mun kuplassani demonisoidaankin, niin kyllä se siinä haastattelussa fiksujakin sanoi. Mm. tahtoi Suomeen mahdollisuuden kunnolliseen henkilökohtaiseen konkurssiin Yhdysvaltojen malliin, ja tahtoi osa-aikaisenkin työn vastaanottamisesta aina taloudellisesti kannattavaa ilman sosiaaliturvan leikkauksia. 

Kyllä, sanoi myös asioita joista olen eri mieltä, kuten tuntui vastustavan perustuloa - mutta sehän tässä on jo viime vuosina ollut ongelmana, että mitään ei olla saatu tehtyä koska kukaan ei ole halunnut joustaa kunnolla omista toiveistaan ja on haluttu täydellistä. Mulle on OK etten saa omasta mielestäni täydellistä ratkaisua, kunhan saan nykyistä paremman.___

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2015-05-12 13:24:36 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

A collection of gorgeous images from geeky worlds - with the original source attributed in every single image. 

Geekscape 2014 Uber-Mega-Album!!!

This is the big one folks! Over 400 Geekscapes dating back to the first ones from late 2013. You'll find all of the artist information along with them, so please share these and go let the artists know how amazing their work is! 

I'd like to thank +DeviantArt.com for creating a fantastic platform and fueling my daily posts. For those who don't know, I started posting these because I spent so much time searching for appropriate images for my Geek Question of the Day on DeviantArt. I kept finding incredible artwork of all kinds that had either very few views, or even worse, was being shared without attribution.

Thus the Geekscape was born...

As a side note, I want to thank all the folks who have nominated, plussed, and shared images over the last year or so. Without you guys these posts would be nothing!

Here's to a very geeky 2015!

#gsotd #happynewyear2015 #happynewyear #deviantart #gqotd #scifi #fantasy #starwars #dragon #steampunk  ___A collection of gorgeous images from geeky worlds - with the original source attributed in every single image. 

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2015-05-12 13:16:13 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Baneling by Tamas Gyerman.

Baneling by Tamas Gyerman.___

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2015-05-12 11:02:32 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Some nice coverage: http://qz.com/386637/meet-the-people-trying-to-prevent-humanity-from-destroying-itself/

Some nice coverage: http://qz.com/386637/meet-the-people-trying-to-prevent-humanity-from-destroying-itself/___

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2015-05-12 10:58:40 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

And I thought that we were a long distance away from the nearest star. Think of the alien civilizations that evolved on planets that weren't even part of any galaxy.

As many as half of all stars in the universe lie in the vast gulfs of space between galaxies.  This result has far-reaching consequences.  It means that many more stars have been ejected from their home galaxies by galactic encounters.  It means that inter-galactic space is less empty than we thought.  It jibes with other recent results, that Andromeda galaxy may be surrounded by a huge halo of added material… 
 
… and it suggests that regular, baryonic matter may be closet to equal than we thought, to the presumed quantity of so-called “dark matter” physicists have been looking for.  All told, stunning times to be alive.
 
(And there are those who refuse to enjoy any of this! Preferring to dismiss science as “irrelevant” to important matters. Wow.)___And I thought that we were a long distance away from the nearest star. Think of the alien civilizations that evolved on planets that weren't even part of any galaxy.

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2015-05-12 10:55:24 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

> A company called Momentum Machines has built a robot that could radically change the fast-food industry and have some line cooks looking for new jobs.

> The company's robot can "slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible." The robot is "more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour." That's one burger every 10 seconds.

> The next generation of the device will offer "custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem." 

> A company called Momentum Machines has built a robot that could radically change the fast-food industry and have some line cooks looking for new jobs.

> The company's robot can "slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible." The robot is "more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour." That's one burger every 10 seconds.

> The next generation of the device will offer "custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem." ___

2015-05-11 10:57:16 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

> If you back a puppy into a corner and frighten it, and it snaps at you, it's easy to feel a wave of compassion rather than hatred.

> But when a human snaps at you, the social machinery engages. It's easy to get stuck inside the interaction. When a human is backed into a corner and lashes out, we tend to lash back.

> Which is why, every so often, I take a mental step back and try to see the other humans around me, not as humans, but as innocent animals full of wonder, exploring an environment they can never fully understand, following the flows of their lives.

> I try to see people in the same way I would see a puppy, reacting to pains and pleasures, snapping only when afraid or threatened. I try to see the tragedies in humans who have been conditioned by time and circumstance to be suspicious and harmful, and feel the same compassion for them that I... more »

> If you back a puppy into a corner and frighten it, and it snaps at you, it's easy to feel a wave of compassion rather than hatred.

> But when a human snaps at you, the social machinery engages. It's easy to get stuck inside the interaction. When a human is backed into a corner and lashes out, we tend to lash back.

> Which is why, every so often, I take a mental step back and try to see the other humans around me, not as humans, but as innocent animals full of wonder, exploring an environment they can never fully understand, following the flows of their lives.

> I try to see people in the same way I would see a puppy, reacting to pains and pleasures, snapping only when afraid or threatened. I try to see the tragedies in humans who have been conditioned by time and circumstance to be suspicious and harmful, and feel the same compassion for them that I would feel for an abused child.

> I look at my fellow humans and strive to remember that they, too, are innocent creatures.

> Someone told me once that, in order to feel compassion for others, it's useful to visualize them as having angel's wings. I think there's something to this. There's something powerful about looking at people and seeing the angels that never had a shot at heaven — though I prefer to see not angels, but monkeys who struggle to convince themselves that they're comfortable in a strange civilization, so different from the ancestral savanna where their minds were forged.___

2015-05-11 09:31:36 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Interestingly, I've noticed that riding the bus seems to be good for my general level of motivation. I come with all kinds of ideas for things I'd want to do while on the bus.

I think the causal mechanism is that there isn't much that I can actually do while in a bus. I could read something, but often I don't feel in the mood for doing so. Instead, my thoughts just start wandering and I come up with all kinds of ideas for different things that I could do. Then when I can't actually get started on any of them right away, they pile up and become this huge motivating mountain of inspiration for a million different things.

Interestingly, I've noticed that riding the bus seems to be good for my general level of motivation. I come with all kinds of ideas for things I'd want to do while on the bus.

I think the causal mechanism is that there isn't much that I can actually do while in a bus. I could read something, but often I don't feel in the mood for doing so. Instead, my thoughts just start wandering and I come up with all kinds of ideas for different things that I could do. Then when I can't actually get started on any of them right away, they pile up and become this huge motivating mountain of inspiration for a million different things.___

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2015-05-10 16:33:55 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

> My whole life I’ve thought of this like a personality trait. I can’t do things unless they’re interesting because I’m lazy. I tend to get in trouble with jobs and at school because I’m lazy. I hated the personality trait, I wanted to change it, I aspired rather desperately to be a hard-working person and caused myself a great deal of pain trying to imitate one, but I was still thinking of it as some sort of fundamental tendency, some sort of fact about me.

> And then someone asked if I’d tried taking modafinil (a wakefulness drug that is commonly used in my social circles to improve focus and performance and/or skip sleep). 

> On modafinil I am a diligent and hardworking person. I can’t watch TV or read books or play games because they bore me: they are not intellectually demanding enough. I have a deeply felt need to be accomplishing things and I go aboutrather systema... more »

> My whole life I’ve thought of this like a personality trait. I can’t do things unless they’re interesting because I’m lazy. I tend to get in trouble with jobs and at school because I’m lazy. I hated the personality trait, I wanted to change it, I aspired rather desperately to be a hard-working person and caused myself a great deal of pain trying to imitate one, but I was still thinking of it as some sort of fundamental tendency, some sort of fact about me.

> And then someone asked if I’d tried taking modafinil (a wakefulness drug that is commonly used in my social circles to improve focus and performance and/or skip sleep). 

> On modafinil I am a diligent and hardworking person. I can’t watch TV or read books or play games because they bore me: they are not intellectually demanding enough. I have a deeply felt need to be accomplishing things and I go about rather systematically doing so. I am not perfect - tracking the amount of time I spent productively while on modafinil, it was around 50% - but I easily accomplish three times as much, and I enjoy every minute of it, and I finish projects and do well in classes and arrive places on time and fulfill obligations. [...]

> I know a lot of people who have a lot of self-loathing over being lazy. Even if they also have executive dysfunction problems, even if they can’t work for health and sickness reasons, they’re convinced that they are, on some level, bad people because they are lazy. If that’s true, then I’m a bad person five days a week, and it takes 50mg of modafinil to make me a good person. 

> And if that doesn’t seem right to you, if it doesn’t seem like there’s anything morally relevant there, if it seems like an alternate!me who never encountered modafinil wouldn’t actually be any less virtuous or any less valuable, then maybe thinking about hardworkingness as a virtue isn’t such a good idea.___

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2015-05-10 16:16:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Fascinating bit of fiction, written from the perspective from someone who was involuntarily given a love potion and now defends it after having been in a relationship with the potioner for last three years. Keeps taking new love potions every week, too, because the effect wears off. 

The author then goes on to answer various questions and rants submitted to her about the topic, which are worth reading too: http://luminousalicorn.tumblr.com/tagged/potions/chrono

Fascinating bit of fiction, written from the perspective from someone who was involuntarily given a love potion and now defends it after having been in a relationship with the potioner for last three years. Keeps taking new love potions every week, too, because the effect wears off. 

The author then goes on to answer various questions and rants submitted to her about the topic, which are worth reading too: http://luminousalicorn.tumblr.com/tagged/potions/chrono___

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2015-05-10 15:17:28 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

"Kirk, this is why you gotta fill out the log."

"Kirk, this is why you gotta fill out the log."___

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2015-05-08 13:58:29 (4 comments, 3 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> nice moral principle you have there
> be a shame 
> if someone were to
> apply it to some weird edge case where it has horrible implications

> nice moral principle you have there
> be a shame 
> if someone were to
> apply it to some weird edge case where it has horrible implications___

2015-05-08 13:47:42 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

What did I do today at work? Analyzed Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality​ with a machine learning toolkit. I feel it was actually useful for doing this job better.

What did I do today at work? Analyzed Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality​ with a machine learning toolkit. I feel it was actually useful for doing this job better.___

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2015-05-06 17:46:27 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

<3

<3___

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2015-05-06 17:31:35 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

+Stuart Armstrong: "A rather interesting way of getting around censorship: if you're not allowed to write anything good about atheism and other heresies, instead write how about bad they are, while lovingly detailing their arguments... And presenting evidently weak counter-arguments."

+Stuart Armstrong: "A rather interesting way of getting around censorship: if you're not allowed to write anything good about atheism and other heresies, instead write how about bad they are, while lovingly detailing their arguments... And presenting evidently weak counter-arguments."___

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2015-05-04 15:15:52 (8 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

> Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist fundamentalisms are imitations of Christian fundamentalism. They all claim to be “the original, traditional version” of their religion, but none is more than a few decades old. (Christian fundamentalism goes back to the late 1800s, but even it only became significant in the 1970s.)

> Fundamentalisms claim to oppose modernity, but actually are totally modern themselves. They are expressions of the “systematic mode of meaningness,” in the language of the Meaningness book. That is, they try to base all meaning, via a network of justifications, on some primal Truth. This is a modern, Western idea; it is unknown in genuine traditions. In genuine traditions, authority rests in institutional continuity, not justifications. Fundamentalisms are radical new movements that claim special insight that obsoletes the “corrupt” institutional opinions—which makesthem the anti... more »

> Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist fundamentalisms are imitations of Christian fundamentalism. They all claim to be “the original, traditional version” of their religion, but none is more than a few decades old. (Christian fundamentalism goes back to the late 1800s, but even it only became significant in the 1970s.)

> Fundamentalisms claim to oppose modernity, but actually are totally modern themselves. They are expressions of the “systematic mode of meaningness,” in the language of the Meaningness book. That is, they try to base all meaning, via a network of justifications, on some primal Truth. This is a modern, Western idea; it is unknown in genuine traditions. In genuine traditions, authority rests in institutional continuity, not justifications. Fundamentalisms are radical new movements that claim special insight that obsoletes the “corrupt” institutional opinions—which makes them the antithesis of tradition.

> Genuine traditions have no defense against modernity. Modernity asks “why would you believe that?” and tradition has no answer (besides, perhaps, “we always have”). Modernity’s innovation was to construct systems of justification that answer all questions of meaning. Fundamentalisms try to rebuild their traditions into systems—in imitation of modernity.

> What fundamentalisms actually oppose is not modernity, but post-modernity. In the West, all systems of meaning disintegrated during the 20th century. We live in a shattered world; we navigate among fragments of meaning, chunks and splinters of numerous broken systems, all mixed up together. ___

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2015-05-02 06:03:42 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

> Unlike their elephant cousins, woolly mammoths were creatures of the cold, with long hairy coats, thick layers of fat and small ears that kept heat loss to a minimum. For the first time, scientists have comprehensively catalogued the hundreds of genetic mutations that gave rise to these differences. 

> The research reveals how woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) evolved from the ancestor they share with Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). It could even serve as a recipe for engineering elephants that are able to survive in Siberia.

> “These are genes we would need to alter in an elephant genome to create an animal that was mostly an elephant, but actually able to survive somewhere cold,” says Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Cruz who was not involved in the latest research. As fanciful as it sounds, such an effort is ata ve... more »

> Unlike their elephant cousins, woolly mammoths were creatures of the cold, with long hairy coats, thick layers of fat and small ears that kept heat loss to a minimum. For the first time, scientists have comprehensively catalogued the hundreds of genetic mutations that gave rise to these differences. 

> The research reveals how woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) evolved from the ancestor they share with Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). It could even serve as a recipe for engineering elephants that are able to survive in Siberia.

> “These are genes we would need to alter in an elephant genome to create an animal that was mostly an elephant, but actually able to survive somewhere cold,” says Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Cruz who was not involved in the latest research. As fanciful as it sounds, such an effort is at a very early stage in a research lab in Boston, Massachusetts.___

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2015-04-30 08:49:55 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

What would happen if the EU opened its borders to everyone? An economist argues that: countless immigrants trying to cross the Mediterranean would no longer need to drown, Europe's population would grow substantially, there would be a positive effect on the continent's economic growth, the flow of immigrants would be likely to raise the wages and employment of typical European workers (!), and European welfare states would be subsidized by the immigrants, who tend to be young healthy people in the prime of their lives and thus net payers.

What would happen if the EU opened its borders to everyone? An economist argues that: countless immigrants trying to cross the Mediterranean would no longer need to drown, Europe's population would grow substantially, there would be a positive effect on the continent's economic growth, the flow of immigrants would be likely to raise the wages and employment of typical European workers (!), and European welfare states would be subsidized by the immigrants, who tend to be young healthy people in the prime of their lives and thus net payers.___

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2015-04-30 07:28:52 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

"I think the message in Pride for straight people–and why I think straight people should go–is that there should be more than one way to be a straight person too. That there is a script written for straight people about how you’re supposed to live your life and who you’re supposed to be and that script is confining and stultifying and restricting and straight people to need to break out of that. I think what a lot of straight people leave with is ‘Wow, there’s so many ways to be queer maybe I can conceive of perhaps a different way to be straight.’"

"I think the message in Pride for straight people–and why I think straight people should go–is that there should be more than one way to be a straight person too. That there is a script written for straight people about how you’re supposed to live your life and who you’re supposed to be and that script is confining and stultifying and restricting and straight people to need to break out of that. I think what a lot of straight people leave with is ‘Wow, there’s so many ways to be queer maybe I can conceive of perhaps a different way to be straight.’"___

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2015-04-30 07:08:33 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

The website of the Finnish Police has a very official-looking 404 image.

The website of the Finnish Police has a very official-looking 404 image.___

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2015-04-30 06:41:28 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

"Too... damn... early."

"Too... damn... early."___

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2015-04-29 17:36:46 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

The Whitehead Argument for Automation: Mental labor is finite, and it's better for us to think about important matters than trivial ones. Automation is good because it frees us from having to think about trivial matters and gives us the chance to think about important matters instead.

versus

The Carr Degeneration Argument: Good thinking requires engaging our minds. The more effort we spend on understanding something, the better it becomes ingrained in our brain. Automation inhibits our ability to engage in deep thought by reducing the need to engage our minds.

Is Automation Making us Stupid? The Degeneration Argument Against Automation
( Previous entry ) This post continues my discussion of the arguments in Nicholas Carr’s recent book The Glass Cage . The book is an extended critique of the trend towards automation. In the previous post, I introduced some of the key concepts needed to und...___The Whitehead Argument for Automation: Mental labor is finite, and it's better for us to think about important matters than trivial ones. Automation is good because it frees us from having to think about trivial matters and gives us the chance to think about important matters instead.

versus

The Carr Degeneration Argument: Good thinking requires engaging our minds. The more effort we spend on understanding something, the better it becomes ingrained in our brain. Automation inhibits our ability to engage in deep thought by reducing the need to engage our minds.

2015-04-29 17:20:42 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Machine ethics / AI risk is kinda like raising children. So far, our AI systems have been kinda like toddlers: not very smart yet and not really capable of making moral decisions. To the extent that we've let them do things on their own, it's been carefully understood and safe environments where we're confident that they can't do harm to others or themselves, and even then we've preferred to keep them under constant adult supervision.

But it might not be too long until they'll be teenagers, smart and capable enough to do things on their own initiative, and boy do we hope that we'll have figured out how to teach them to behave morally before that.

And one day, which might come much sooner than we'd expect, we humans will be the old folks in the nursery home who have to trust that the AIs will be nice enough to take care of us and respect our wishes. And... more »

Machine ethics / AI risk is kinda like raising children. So far, our AI systems have been kinda like toddlers: not very smart yet and not really capable of making moral decisions. To the extent that we've let them do things on their own, it's been carefully understood and safe environments where we're confident that they can't do harm to others or themselves, and even then we've preferred to keep them under constant adult supervision.

But it might not be too long until they'll be teenagers, smart and capable enough to do things on their own initiative, and boy do we hope that we'll have figured out how to teach them to behave morally before that.

And one day, which might come much sooner than we'd expect, we humans will be the old folks in the nursery home who have to trust that the AIs will be nice enough to take care of us and respect our wishes. And we REALLY want to have figured out this whole "get AIs to be moral" thing by then.___

2015-04-29 10:22:05 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Unusual ways to teach economics. I'm currently playing Kitty Powers' Matchmaker, a silly but fun little game in which you run a dating agency and try to get your clients on successful dates and, eventually, into a successful relationship.

Now one way of playing this would be to just prioritize the benefit of each client, trying to get them in maximally satisfying relationships as fast as possible. But while I sometimes do that, often I do things differently.

In one case, I had a client who'd been on two bad dates already, and was threatening to march out and give my company a bad reputation if she'd have one more bad date. I didn't have any good matches lined up for her. I could have just kicked her out, but that wouldn't have given my company any money. So instead I put her on a date with someone who seemed incompatible, but just had her lie about all... more »

Unusual ways to teach economics. I'm currently playing Kitty Powers' Matchmaker, a silly but fun little game in which you run a dating agency and try to get your clients on successful dates and, eventually, into a successful relationship.

Now one way of playing this would be to just prioritize the benefit of each client, trying to get them in maximally satisfying relationships as fast as possible. But while I sometimes do that, often I do things differently.

In one case, I had a client who'd been on two bad dates already, and was threatening to march out and give my company a bad reputation if she'd have one more bad date. I didn't have any good matches lined up for her. I could have just kicked her out, but that wouldn't have given my company any money. So instead I put her on a date with someone who seemed incompatible, but just had her lie about all the incompatibilities and say what the other person wanted to hear. That way, they'd end up together, and I'd get my money and be rid of the troublesome client. Of course I knew that they'd break up later and that would hurt my reputation a bit, but I figured that it would still be better for the company than kicking her out now.

(In my defense, I have only done this once, and I felt kinda bad about it.)

This situation is known in economics as the principal-agent problem: a situation where someone (the "principal") hires someone else (the "agent") to do something on the principal's behalf, but the self-interests of the principal and the agent differ. So for example, you may try to get a real estate agent to sell your house and give them a cut of the profit. It would be in your interest if the agent sold it for as high a price as possible, but the agent may actually benefit more if they spend less time on each individual sale and instead sell a lot of houses more cheaply, but in a shorter time. This was confirmed in a study in which it was found that real estate agents tended to sell other people's houses considerably faster and cheaper than they sold their own houses.

Or, you might go to a matchmaking agency to get into the relationship of your dreams, but your matchmaker also has an interest in getting your money and benefiting the company.

Here's another thing that I do in the game that some might consider questionable. When a client comes in, they will tell me their personality traits, e.g. introvert vs. extrovert. It's best to pair them off with someone who has the same personality traits. But when the game shows me a list of people I can try to match my client with, by default I don't know the personality traits of those people. Instead, I have to have some client date those people and discover their personality traits, and then I too will learn them.

Now suppose that a new client comes in, and I know of someone I could have them date who'd be perfectly compatible. I also have a bunch of other possibilities, whose personality traits I don't know. Do I send my client on the best possible date right away? Of course not! Instead, I'll send them on a few dates with the unknowns, so that I can discover the personality traits of the unknowns, and only after a few bad dates will I pair my client with the best match. This way, I'll know the personality traits of as many people as possible, and will always be able to know of a compatible match for my next client.

Is this ethical? You could argue either way. Yes: I'm still sending my client to a good relationship eventually, and although it might give my client a few bad dates in the beginning, that helps other clients eventually get a good date. No: I have an obligation to prioritize the interest of my current client at all times, and it's not in their interest to have a bad time. The first argument has a bit of a consequentialist vibe, and the second one has a bit of a deontologist vibe. If you were teaching an introductory ethics course and wanted to give your students a different example than the usual ones, maybe you could have them play the game and then ask them this question.

Comedy dating sims: useful for teaching both economics and ethics.___

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2015-04-29 08:46:38 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

From redwombatstudio.com

From redwombatstudio.com___

2015-04-29 08:46:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

I dreamed that, back in the mid-1990s, Disney had produced the pilot episode for a cartoon that combined the universes of Captain N: The Game Master​, LEGO​, and Dungeons & Dragons​, and it was really really good. Unfortunately, the creator of the series was making it as a gift to the Pope, which led to him being murdered by an anti-Catholic religious cult right after the pilot episode was made, so it was never turned into a full series.

I dreamed that, back in the mid-1990s, Disney had produced the pilot episode for a cartoon that combined the universes of Captain N: The Game Master​, LEGO​, and Dungeons & Dragons​, and it was really really good. Unfortunately, the creator of the series was making it as a gift to the Pope, which led to him being murdered by an anti-Catholic religious cult right after the pilot episode was made, so it was never turned into a full series.___

2015-04-29 08:33:30 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> A basic fact about modern governance is that the number of issues that can gain salience in elections is only a tiny fraction of the number of policy decisions governments make. So a key question about democracy is whether and how voters can influence that vast dark matter of unseen policy decisions. How can voters, who see only a few dashboard knobs, effectively control the vast complex machinery that is a modern government?

> In a “thin democracy” the answer to this question is “They can’t.” Instead, many government officials have a lot of what Bryan Caplan calls “slack.”  [...] In contrast, in a “thick democracy” many voters collect themselves into complex organizations to monitor and lobby government actions. Such “interest groups” collect detailed preferences from members, study government acts and plans in detail, advise officials in person on preferred actdetails, and advise vo... more »

> A basic fact about modern governance is that the number of issues that can gain salience in elections is only a tiny fraction of the number of policy decisions governments make. So a key question about democracy is whether and how voters can influence that vast dark matter of unseen policy decisions. How can voters, who see only a few dashboard knobs, effectively control the vast complex machinery that is a modern government?

> In a “thin democracy” the answer to this question is “They can’t.” Instead, many government officials have a lot of what Bryan Caplan calls “slack.”  [...] In contrast, in a “thick democracy” many voters collect themselves into complex organizations to monitor and lobby government actions. Such “interest groups” collect detailed preferences from members, study government acts and plans in detail, advise officials in person on preferred act details, and advise voters on candidates to reward or punish in elections. Such organizations let voters escape personal limits on how much detail they can manage. [...]

> At the meeting last night, it seemed to me that most policy wonks and related academics preferred the thin democracy status quo wherein people like them and the students they train have most of the power over the dark matter of hidden policy. And I’d guess that most voters mostly agree with them. Yes, a few “activists” are eager for a thick democracy fight, seeing themselves as especially well organized for such fights, at least without “unfair” corporate competition.

> But most people can’t be bothered, and aren’t particularly optimistic about what a thicker democracy would produce. It may make an orgy of rent-seeking activity, and for what? Not that they’d fight it if it were the status quo. But they see the current mostly-thin democracy status quo as reasonable. Just as we accept priests deciding most detail in religion, docs deciding most details in medicine, soldiers deciding more details in war, and teachers deciding most details in schools, we accept government officials deciding most details in government. If the rest of us get bothered enough about something, we can demand to have it done our way. But for everything else, we let someone else figure it out.___

2015-04-28 19:12:58 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

> Our general advice on disaster relief giving:
> 1. Give cash, not clothes (or other goods). [...]
> 2. Support an organization that will help or get out of the way. Logistics can be a major challenge in disaster situations. [...]
> 3. Give proactively, not reactively. Don’t give to a charity just because it calls you on the phone, advertises on your Google search or otherwise connects with you first. [...]
> 4. Allow your funds to be used where most needed – even if that means they’re not used during this disaster. [...]
> 5. Give to organizations that are transparent and accountable. [...] In general, when a disaster strikes, the first organizations we turn to are:
> Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has distinguished itself with well-above-average transparency in both of the cases listed above. [...] The local Red Cross.
> 6. Thinkabout... more »

> Our general advice on disaster relief giving:
> 1. Give cash, not clothes (or other goods). [...]
> 2. Support an organization that will help or get out of the way. Logistics can be a major challenge in disaster situations. [...]
> 3. Give proactively, not reactively. Don’t give to a charity just because it calls you on the phone, advertises on your Google search or otherwise connects with you first. [...]
> 4. Allow your funds to be used where most needed – even if that means they’re not used during this disaster. [...]
> 5. Give to organizations that are transparent and accountable. [...] In general, when a disaster strikes, the first organizations we turn to are:
> Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has distinguished itself with well-above-average transparency in both of the cases listed above. [...] The local Red Cross.
> 6. Think about less-publicized suffering. Every day, people die from preventable and curable diseases, in many cases because they lack access to proven life-savers such as insecticide-treated nets. [...] If a recent disaster has given you a strengthened desire to reduce suffering and help others, consider asking whether you might be able to broaden this desire and make it part of your everyday life. Consider joining the community of effective altruists seeking to make their hours and their dollars go as far as possible toward making the world a better place.___

2015-04-28 18:20:13 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Sometimes if I need to temporarily remember an alphanumeric sequence (like a phone number), I store parts of it in different sensory modalities so that they wouldn't interfere with each other so much. For instance, I might rehearse the first three digits verbally, while also maintaining a mental image of the sight of the last three. I can only do this for a short moment, though.

Do others do the same?

Sometimes if I need to temporarily remember an alphanumeric sequence (like a phone number), I store parts of it in different sensory modalities so that they wouldn't interfere with each other so much. For instance, I might rehearse the first three digits verbally, while also maintaining a mental image of the sight of the last three. I can only do this for a short moment, though.

Do others do the same?___

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2015-04-28 17:21:01 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> Efficient Outrage Hypothesis: if you're hearing about it, it's probably already a dogpile. Return on marginal outrage low or neg[ative.]

--@simplic10

> Efficient Outrage Hypothesis: if you're hearing about it, it's probably already a dogpile. Return on marginal outrage low or neg[ative.]

--@simplic10___

2015-04-28 17:18:54 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

> I've noticed a social failure mode: confused-abstraction reciprocity.

> Bob buys Sally flowers and tacitly expects that Sally will buy flowers for Bob eventually. Sally does not code buying flowers as “buying flowers”, but rather as “Bob did a nice thing.” So Sally reciprocates by doing a different nice thing. Sally feels she has reciprocated appropriately. Bob does not. Bob still wants some flowers.

-- Sam Rosen

> I've noticed a social failure mode: confused-abstraction reciprocity.

> Bob buys Sally flowers and tacitly expects that Sally will buy flowers for Bob eventually. Sally does not code buying flowers as “buying flowers”, but rather as “Bob did a nice thing.” So Sally reciprocates by doing a different nice thing. Sally feels she has reciprocated appropriately. Bob does not. Bob still wants some flowers.

-- Sam Rosen___

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