16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Games Allow for Low-Cost Failure

What Prensky and Gee had realized early on was that game designers had lowered the cost of failure so players would take risks. They'd figured out that well-designed problem solving that gives players a second chance and a way to share their successes is almost irresistibly attractive. In just a few years, game designers had discovered the principles of deep and pleasurable learning that it had taken educators more than a century to apply in schools. Game studios had hit upon "profoundly good...
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24 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Unlike Physics, Biology Can't Ignore Information

Physicists love to think about systems that take only a little information to describe. So when they get a system that takes a lot of information to describe, they use a trick called 'statistical mechanics', where you try to ignore most of this information and focus on a few especially important variables. For example, if you hand a physicist a box of gas, they'll try to avoid thinking about the state of each atom, and instead focus on a few macroscopic quantities like the volume and total en...
Folksonomies: physics biology information
Folksonomies: physics biology information
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02 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 De-Romanticizing Voting

Ugh. In actual outcomes, voting isn't an expression of your heart, your soul, or even your emotion. The result of a vote isn't "the right thing" or "the thing I love" or "the cure for social ills" or "the perfect solution." It's not a mechanism of protest or a chance to be dramatic, and it's not a "gesture" or a stand -- that's what demonstrations, letter writing, and petition campaigns are for. A vote is a functional choice for the preferable viable outcome, an act that adds 1 to a tally th...
Folksonomies: democracy voting
Folksonomies: democracy voting
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14 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 One in 1,000 to 500 Chance of Cancer from Childhood CT Scan

The first study to assess directly the risk of cancer after CT scans in childhood found a clear dose-response relationship for both leukemia and brain tumors: risk increased with increasing cumulative radiation dose. For a cumulative dose of between 50 and 60 milligray or mGy (mGy is a unit of estimated absorbed dose of ionizing radiation) to the head, the investigators reported a threefold increase in the risk of brain tumors; the same dose to bone marrow (the part of the body responsible fo...
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 How Physicians Were Once Like Today's Economists

The moral game of blame attribution is only one subtype of misattribution arbitrage. For example, epidemiologists estimate that it was not until 1905 that you were better off going to a physician. (Ignaz Semelweiss noticed that doctors doubled the mortality rate of mothers at delivery.) The role of the physician predated its rational function for thousands of years, so why were there physicians? Economists, forecasters, and professional portfolio managers typically do no better than chance, y...
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John Tooby describes a past when you were more likely to die from seeing a physician and likens it to economics and other forecasters who do no better than chance.

14 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Introverts Thrive Online

Studies have shown that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinki...
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Possibly because it is a world of ideas?

08 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Monty Hall Problem

Here’s how Monty’s deal works, in the math problem, anyway. (On the real show it was a bit messier.) He shows you three closed doors, with a car behind one and a goat behind each of the others. If you open the one with the car, you win it. You start by picking a door, but before it’s opened Monty will always open another door to reveal a goat. Then he’ll let you open either remaining door. Suppose you start by picking Door 1, and Monty opens Door 3 to reveal a goat. Now what should y...
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You should always switch doors because you had a 1 in 3 chance of getting the right one the first time, and a 1 in 2 chance if you switch.

25 AUG 2012 by ideonexus

 Prayer is Silent Observation

Learning to pray, then as I understand it, is learning to listen with the mind and the heart – making oneself attentive to each exquisite detail of the world. It is a fearsome exhilarating task, best suited to solitude and silence. Such prayers are answered not with miracles tagged with our names, or those of our loved ones, but with beauty and terror. For the prayerful listener, the world becomes the sublime scripture, full of stories of structure and chaos, law and chance, complexificatio...
Folksonomies: observation prayer
Folksonomies: observation prayer
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Simply looking at the world for what it is and what it has to tell us.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 If You Really Want to Know, You Go to Science

[I]magine you want to know the sex of your unborn child. There are several approaches. You could, for example, do what the late film star ... Cary Grant did before he was an actor: In a carnival or fair or consulting room, you suspend a watch or a plumb bob above the abdomen of the expectant mother; if it swings left-right it's a boy, and if it swings forward-back it's a girl. The method works one time in two. Of course he was out of there before the baby was born, so he never heard from cust...
Folksonomies: science magic
Folksonomies: science magic
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Sagan uses the example of a watch swinging over an expectant mother's belly to determine the sex of a fetus.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 An Egg is a Chemical Process

An egg is a chemical process, but it is not a mere chemical process. It is one that is going places—even when, in our world of chance and contingency, it ends up in an omelet and not in a chicken. Though it surely be a chemical process, we cannot understand it adequately without knowing the kind of chicken it has the power to become.
Folksonomies: chemistry fate perspective
Folksonomies: chemistry fate perspective
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But one with a long, complex history ahead of it.