25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 When Information is Cheap, Attention Becomes Expensive

Negative reviews are fun to write and fun to read, but the world doesn’t need them, since the average work of literary fiction is, in Laura Miller’s words, “invisible to the average reader.” It appears and vanishes from the scene largely unnoticed and unremarked. “Even the novelists you may think of as ‘hyped’ are in fact relatively obscure,” writes Miller. “I’ve got a battalion of perfectly intelligent cousins who have never heard of either Jonathan Franzen or Dave Eggers...
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30 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Naysmiths

Magnus broods in his black tower, peering into the depths of the Great Ocean for validation, a sign that he was right to act as he did. He will find nothing, for there is nothing to find. His actions were never his own, for he forgot the first rule of the mysteries. He let his ambition and hubris blind him to his flaws and the knowledge that there is always someone stronger and more powerful out there. I will not make that mistake. But we are still creatures of flesh and inclined to repe...
Folksonomies: disputation contrarian
Folksonomies: disputation contrarian
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29 NOV 2016 by ideonexus

 God is Change

God is Power—Infinite,Irresistible,Inexorable,Indifferent.   All that you touchYou Change.All that you ChangeChanges you.The only lasting truthIs Change.GodIs Change.   As wind,As water,As fire,As life,GodIs both creative and destructive,Demanding and yielding,Scultpor and clay.God is Infinite Potential:God is Change.   God is Change.Beware:God exists to shapeAnd to be shaped.   ∞ = Δ
Folksonomies: religion change
Folksonomies: religion change
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29 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Time is the Most Precious Commodity

Your Earth is a very small part of a very large industry. ... In your world, people are used to fighting for resources, like oil, minerals, or land. When you have access to the vastness of space, you realize that there's only one resource worth fighting over--even killing for--more time. Time is the singlemost precious commodity in the Universe.
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Unspecialized Will Inherit the Earth

Why is it that our whole economic and political system has tended recently to become so sluggish and inflexible? Why have we become resigned to the idea that nothing substantial can ever be done in less than ten years? Obviously there are many reasons. But I believe the principal reason for this sluggishness is that our whole society has fallen into the same trap as our nuclear industry. Not only in the nuclear industry but in many other industries and public institutions, we have pursued eco...
Folksonomies: economics adaptation
Folksonomies: economics adaptation
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19 DEC 2014 by ideonexus

 How the Finance Industry Hurts the Economy

In perhaps the starkest illustration, economists from Harvard University and the University of Chicago wrote in a recent paper that every dollar a worker earns in a research field spills over to make the economy $5 better off. Every dollar a similar worker earns in finance comes with a drain, making the economy 60 cents worse off. [...] ...the growth of complex financial products has served primarily to boost income for the firms themselves, Philippon said. A new paper from researchers in t...
Folksonomies: economy finance
Folksonomies: economy finance
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01 SEP 2014 by ideonexus

 Literature Asks Questions without Offering Answers

Even when writers profess to know nothing about the inner man, they often make the profession in a way which suggests that they really know plenty When D. H. Lawrence says (in his essay on Benjamin Franklin) "The soul of man is a dark forest," he says it with a kind of knowing Satanic smirk, so that the profession of ignorance actually becomes a species of knowledge. When I first read that ominous Lawrence sentence I was young and it was news to me that my soul was a dark forest. For several ...
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27 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Why Economists Will Continue to be Wrong

Carter had initially used arbitrary parameters in his perfect model to generate perfect data, but now, in order to assess his model in a realistic way, he threw those parameters out and used standard calibration techniques to match his perfect model to his perfect data. It was supposed to be a formality--he assumed, reasonably, that the process would simply produce the same parameters that had been used to produce the data in the first place. But it didn't. It turned out that there were many ...
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They make models based on past data, and when they fail to predict the future, they adjust them to match the new past data. The problem is that so many models will match the past data, there could be no end to the number of models they throw out.

18 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 Gender is Not Binary

he gender binary is the artificial division of the world into things that are "masculine" or "for men" and things that are "feminine" or "for women". One of the starkest ways to think of this is to consider the phrase "opposite sexes/genders" (as opposed to "different sexes/genders"), when both men and women are human beings with fundamentally many more commonalities than differences. The division is artificial in several ways: much of it is very clearly socially constructed. For example,...
Folksonomies: gender sexuality equality
Folksonomies: gender sexuality equality
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Interesting concept from feminist and homosexual literature. The scientific point of view on this is that human males and females are dimorphic to various degrees.

21 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 von Neumann Correctly Hypothesizes How Memory Works

The question of the physical embodiment of this memory remains. For this, various authorrs have suggested a variety of solutions. It has beeen proposed to assume that the thresholds—orr, more broadly stated, the stimulation criteria—^f or various nerve cells change with time as functions of the previous history of that cell. Thus frequent use of a nerve cell might lower its threshold, i.e. ease the requirements of its stimulation, and the like. If this were true, the memory would reside i...
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Neurons that get used more often become easier to use. He's just speculating, but his description is spot on.