02 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 Teaching Temperature

Outside Temperatures. Place a thermometer outside a window so students can make daily calculations and keep a chart reporting the actual temperature and the temperature change from the previous day. Students will see that the change can be a negative number without the temperature falling below 0—an often-confusing concept that is clarified by these observations. An achievable-challenge extension could include barometers, and students who need more advanced work can learn how negative—or...
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Intellectual Leaders Have Fewer Deaths in War

Now that the presidency of George W. Bush is over, the theory that we are better off with unintellectual leaders is just embarrassing, and the reasons for the embarrassment may be quantified. Measuring the psychological traits of public figures, to be sure, has a sketchy history, but the psychologist Dean Simonton has developed several historiometric measures that are reliable and valid (in the psychometrician’s technical sense) and politically nonpartisan.208 He analyzed a dataset of 42 pr...
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Means of Quantifying Violence

Now let’s turn to the present. According to the most recent edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2,448,017 Americans died in 2005. It was one of the country’s worst years for war deaths in decades, with the armed forces embroiled in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Together the two wars killed 945 Americans, amounting to 0.0004 (four-hundredths of a percent) of American deaths that year.57 Even if we throw in the 18,124 domestic homicides, the total rate of violent ...
Folksonomies: violence quantification
Folksonomies: violence quantification
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Violence Must be Considered Proportionally When Compared ...

In absolute numbers, of course, civilized societies are matchless in the destruction they have wreaked. But should we look at absolute numbers, or at relative numbers, calculated as a proportion of the populations? The choice confronts us with the moral imponderable of whether it is worse for 50 percent of a population of one hundred to be killed or 1 percent of a population of one billion. In one frame of mind, one could say that a person who is tortured or killed suffers to the same degree ...
Folksonomies: violence quantification
Folksonomies: violence quantification
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Q

The hypothesis of {108} abstraction says that every living creature is characterized by a number Q which is a measure of the complexity of the creature. To measure Q, we do not need to know anything about the internal structure of the creature. Q can be measured by observing from the outside the behavior of the creature and its interaction with its environment. Q is simply the quantity of entropy produced by the creature's metabolism during the time it takes to perform an elementary respons...
Folksonomies: complexity quantification
Folksonomies: complexity quantification
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11 DEC 2014 by ideonexus

 Milli-Helen

"I give them fifty milli-Helens," he said. This went totally missing on everyone. "A milli-Helen is enough beauty to launch exactly one ship," Zane explained, and the older Crims all laughed. "Fifty's pretty good."
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24 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Florence Nightingale Worshiped Quantification

[Of her] Her statistics were more than a study, they were indeed her religion. For her Quetelet was the hero as scientist, and the presentation copy of his Physique sociale is annotated by her on every page. Florence Nightingale believed—and in all the actions of her life acted upon that belief—that the administrator could only be successful if he were guided by statistical knowledge. The legislator—to say nothing of the politiciantoo often failed for want of this knowledge. Nay, she we...
Folksonomies: virtue quantification
Folksonomies: virtue quantification
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Described here as being virtuously dedicated to statistics and measurement in medicine.

24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Scale Analysis VS Magnitude Comparisons

There are some subtle facts about scale analysis that make it more powerful than simply comparing orders of magnitude. A most remarkable example is that scale analysis can be applied, through a systematic use of dimensions, even when the precise equations governing the dynamics of a system are not known. The great physicist G. I. Taylor, a character whose prolific legacy haunts any aspiring scientist, gave a famous demonstration of this deceptively simple approach. In the 1950s, back when the...
Folksonomies: quantification
Folksonomies: quantification
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Giulio on how this technique was used to estimate the power of a secret nuclear blast from a photo.

19 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Measurements Change Dramatically Depending on the Methodo...

Benoit Mandelbrot asked his famous question “How long is the coast of Britain?” long before this symposium was written, but it perfectly captures the sort of puzzle people in this crowd love. The question seems simple. Just look it up in the encyclopedia. But as Mandelbrot observed, the length of the coast of Britain depends on what you use to measure it. If you draw lines on a map to approximate the coastline, you get one length, but if you try to measure the real bumps in every inlet an...
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David Brook's relating Benoit Mandelbrot's experience measuring the British coast.

07 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Heat is a Substance

We recognize in the concept of heat which appears here a similarity to other physical concepts. Heat is, according to our view, a substance, such as mass in mechanics. Its quantity may change or not, like money put aside in a safe or spent. The amount of money in a safe will remain unchanged so long as the safe remains locked, and so will the amounts of mass and heat in an isolated body. The ideal thermos flask is analogous to such a safe. Furthermore, just as the mass of an iso- lat...
Folksonomies: heat quantification
Folksonomies: heat quantification
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Like mass. It is a quantity.