21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 The Attention Arms Race

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google have produced amazing products that have benefited the world enormously. But these companies are also caught in a zero-sum race for our finite attention, which they need to make money. Constantly forced to outperform their competitors, they must use increasingly persuasive techniques to keep us glued. They point AI-driven news feeds, content, and notifications at our minds, continually learning how to hook us more deeply—from our own behavior. Unfortuna...
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28 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 President-Elect Trump has a Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio

What a president says is typically allotted a ton of news value, by default, and rightly so. But it has been assigned news value because it traditionally has had a very high signal-to-noise ratio. Presidential remarks are normally so considered, vetted, poll-tested, etc. They usually are a somewhat reliable guide to the policies a president will pursue, how they’ll pursue them, etc. But Trump isn’t like that. He throws a ton of stuff out there, on Twitter and off. The signal-to-noise rati...
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric
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27 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Thin Slices of Joy

“Right now, I’m a little thirsty, so I will drink a bit of water. And when I do that, I experience a thin slice of joy both in space and time,” he told CBC News. “It’s not like ‘Yay!”” he notes in Joy on Demand. “It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s kind of nice.’” Usually these events are unremarkable: a bite of food, the sensation of stepping from a hot room to an air-conditioned room, the moment of connection in receiving a text from an old friend. Although they last two or th...
Folksonomies: happiness well-being
Folksonomies: happiness well-being
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22 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 Mainstream News is Irrelevant

Generally I don't watch the nightly network news. Experimentally I've tuned in. It lives in a parallel universe, very weakly connected to reality. One has to invest many hours in its fictional narrative to make any sense of it, much like you don't tune into episode 50 of a pop culture TV show and understand any of it. You're no better educated given one episode of the nightly news than you are when given one episode of "breaking bad". In that way one isolated pop culture clickbait artifact f...
Folksonomies: media news
Folksonomies: media news
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Web of Causation

...complex systems, such as financial markets or the Earth’s biosphere, do not seem to obey causality. For every event that occurs, there are a multitude of possible causes, and the extent to which each contributes to the event is not clear, not even after the fact! One might say that there is a web of causation. For example, on a typical day, the stock market might go up or down by some fraction of a percentage point. The Wall Street Journal might blithely report that the stock market move...
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Nigel Goldenfeld explains why the simplistic explanations for market movements so popular in the news media are also so ridiculous.

13 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Reasons to Give Up News

News misleads. News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated. News is irrelevant. Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter...
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Taking just the titles/headers of the reasons, and abbreviated explanations.

21 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 You Are Not the Same Person You Were as a Child

Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place … Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not...
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All your cells and atoms have been replaced since then -- this is not true, but it is partially true and food for thought.

19 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 History of the Fairness Doctrine and Rise of Media Relati...

The intellectual erosion of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, as science sat silently on the sidelines and anti-science rose to rule on both the left and the right, was greatly worsened in August of 1987 when, during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) abolished what was called the "fairness doctrine" in an historic 4-0 vote, severing one of the last ties to a common public foundation of knowledge and its cousin, the carefully researched publi...
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Once the Doctrine was removed, the media turned to emotive appeals to bring in audiences and public discourse declined.

29 MAY 2012 by ideonexus


Folksonomies: mandarin
Folksonomies: mandarin

Chinese term for when two people are playing a video game and one kills the other before they even have the chance to act. Also can refer to people snapping up a good deal at the store, leaving others with not-so-good deals.

12 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 More Scientific Papers are Published Than Can Possibly be...

We should admit in theory what is already very largely a case in practice, that the main currency of scientific information is the secondary sources in the forms of abstracts, reports, tables, &c., and that the primary sources are only for detailed reference by very few people. It is possible that the fate of most scientific papers will be not to be read by anyone who uses them, but with luck they will furnish an item, a number, some facts or data to such reports which may, but usually wi...
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We must accept, therefore, that most work will go unnoticed and unacknowledged.