Handpicked to satisfy your intellectual curiosity!
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How To Be Unhappy – via Non Conformity-But what does it take to be unhappy?In some ways, it’s easier than happiness itself. New research and much life experience offers a simple recipe for genuine discontent.
Santangel’s Investor Forum in NYC Oct 25 2012 – via www.santangelsreview.com – We are excited to announce the inaugural Santangel’s Investor Forum. The Forum will be an intimate gathering of investors and allocators founded in the spirit of Santangel’s Review but with all the advantages that only live interaction can bring.
World Trade Center Rebuild – The Truth About the World Trade Center – via Esquire – Seven years ago, when Ground Zero was just a hole in the ground and the world seemed convinced that nothing good would ever be built there, the author began the epic story of the rebuilding of downtown New York. Now, as the “Freedom Tower” reaches its full height, the inside story of boondoggles, self-dealing, common corruption, and why it’s all taken so long.
Simple mechanisms can generate wealth inequality. – via mindblog.dericbownds.net – The Chaos Seminar lunch group at the University of Wisconsin, organized by physicist Clint Sprott and poet Robin Chapman, has been doing a discussion of power laws. The unequal distribution of monetary wealth within a population, the subject of last Thursday’s post, provides an example. Here I pass on some of the background material circulated for the seminar. In particular I encourage you to do Sprott’s short tutorial on why monetary wealth tends to follow a power law relationship (sometimes referred to as a Pareto distribution or the “80/20″ law):
The Smoothest Con Man That Ever Lived - via The Browser – Victor Lustig. Born 1890, Austria-Hungary. Known as “the Count”. Sold the Eiffel Tower to a French scrap metal dealer. Later had greedy marks competing to buy his “moneyboxes” which he claimed could print perfect $100 bills
New Wave of Deft Robots Is Changing Global Industry – via NYTimes.com – “With these machines, we can make any consumer device in the world,” said Binne Visser, an electrical engineer who manages the Philips assembly line in Drachten.Many industry executives and technology experts say Philips’s approach is gaining ground on Apple’s. Even as Foxconn, Apple’s iPhone manufacturer, continues to build new plants and hire thousands of additional workers to make smartphones, it plans to install more than a million robots within a few years to supplement its work force in China.
Will the Unemployed Really Find Jobs Making Robots? – via rick.bookstaber.com – Well, common sense tells you that you don’t replace five $30K-a-year workers with a $250K robot only to reemploy those five workers in other, higher-paying jobs to build and maintain the robots that just replaced them. There will be skilled jobs in designing, operating and servicing the assembly lines. But obviously not as many jobs as the robots replace, and, taking nothing away from the potential for retraining, most likely not to be filled by the unskilled workers who just lost their jobs.
‘The Men Who Made Us Fat’ (via Livin’La Vida Low Carbon) – via therearefreelunches.blogspot.com – You’ve probably already heard about Jacques Peretti’s BBC Two television documentary series “The Men Who Made Us Fat” airing in the UK over the past few weeks. But now the entire project is available to watch here in the United States in 15-minute increments via YouTube. This is WELL WORTH your time to watch and see exactly what has led us down this path to obesity and chronic disease in modern times. You’ll recognize some familiar faces like Dr. Robert Lustig and many others who are leading the charge in promoting the right health message in the 21st Century:**(Note I’m pretty sure Joe Koster Has Also Linked To This Before I can’t remember)
Stress: Portrait of a Killer (with Stanford Biologist Robert Sapolsky) – via Open Culture – In the 2008 National Geographic documentary Stress: Portrait of a Killer (above), Sapolsky and fellow scientists explain the deadly consequences of prolonged stress. “If you’re a normal mammal,” Sapolsky says, “what stress is about is three minutes of screaming terror on the savannah, after which either it’s over with or you’re over with.” During those three minutes of terror the body responds to imminent danger by deploying stress hormones that stimulate the heart rate and blood pressure while inhibiting other functions, like digestion, growth and reproduction.
Why Waiting Is Torture - via The Browser – On the psychology of queuing. We prize fairness above all. “People will wait twice as long for fast food, provided the establishment uses a first-come-first-served, single-queue ordering system as opposed to a multi-queue setup”
Time Flies When You’re Having Goal-Motivated Fun – via Association for Psychological Science – Though the seconds may tick by on the clock at a regular pace, our experience of the ‘fourth dimension’ is anything but uniform. When we’re waiting in line or sitting in a boring meeting, time seems to slow down to a trickle. And when we get caught up in something completely engrossing – a gripping thriller, for example – we may lose sense of time altogether.
Money And Thinking: Reminders of Money Trigger Abstract Construal and Shape Consumer Judgements – via www.jstor.org – The idea of money reminds consumers of personal strength and resources. Such cues have been found to increase the level of mental construal. Consequently, it was hypothesized and found in five experiments that reminders of money trigger abstract (vs. concrete) mental construals. Participants were primed with money or money-unrelated concepts. Money primes caused a preference for abstract over concrete action identifications (experiment 1), instigated the formation of broader categories (experiment 2), and facilitated the identification of global (vs. local) aspects of visual patterns (experiment 3). This effect extended to consumer judgments: money primes caused a focus on central (vs. peripheral) aspects of products (experiment 4) and increased the influence of quality of parent brands in evaluations of brand extensions. Priming with a little money (experiment 3) or expenditures (experiment 5) did not trigger abstract construals, indicating that the association between money and resources drives the effect.
A guided tour of bad neuroscience – via mindhacks.com – Oxford neuropsychologist Dorothy Bishop has given a fantastic video lecture about how neuroscience can be misinterpreted and how it can be misleading.
The Nocebo effect – via Deric Bownds. – A piece by Enck and Häuser in the NYTimes summarizes (and links to) their paper in Deutsche Ärzteblatt Internationa reviewing 31 studies on how fearful expectations can become self-fulfilling prophesies. (A nocebo effect is the induction of a symptom perceived as negative by sham treatment and/or by the suggestion of negative expectations. A nocebo response is a negative symptom induced by the patient’s own negative expectations and/or by negative suggestions from clinical staff in the absence of any treatment.)
Everything You’ve Heard About Failing Schools Is Wrong – via Longform – A year at a “low-performing” high school in San Francisco.
Grant’s Interest Rate Observer: Summer Break Issue – via www.valueinvestingworld.com – This anthology of Grant’s pieces, both ancient and modern, is not only for you, but also for your friends–and co-workers, clients, classmates, shipmates, brothers-in-law and maids-of-honor, too. Please pass it along, with our compliments, to any and all prospective members of the greater Grant’s family.
A Balloon Producing Balloons, Producing Balloons: a Big Fractal – via Edge – Think about it this way: previously we thought that our universe was like a spherical balloon. In the new picture, it’s like a balloon producing balloons, producing balloons. This is a big fractal. The Greeks were thinking about our universe as an ideal sphere, because this was the best image they had at their disposal. The 20th century idea is a fractal, the beauty of a fractal. Now, you have these fractals. We ask, how many different types of these elements of fractals are there, which are irreducible to each other? And the number will be exponentially large, and in the simplest models it is about 10 to the degree 10, to the degree 10, to the degree 7. It actually may be much more than that, even though nobody can see all of these universes at once.
Tipping Points Annual Report 2011 – via Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog – The new annual report from the Tipping Points project is now available.It features the latest research updates from all five work packages of the project
Replication Alone Is Not Enough (For Science) – via neuroskeptic.blogspot.com – More fundamentally I disagree that replication is key to psychology or any field. Our goal should be replicability. Failure to replicate findings is a symptom of problems with those original findings, rather than being a problem in and of itself. Good results replicate; we want better results to be published.
The Wisdom of Crowds - via organizationsandmarkets.com – A new special issue of Managerial and Decision Economics on “the wisdom of crowds” has just been published. It deals with issues of emergence in firms and markets, including capability formation, information aggregation and the like. The editor is Orgtheory.net’s Teppo Felin. The SI is genuinely interdisciplinary with contributions from a physicists, sociologists, political scientists and economists, including Austrian economists, Peter Leeson and Christopher Coyne. I haven’t had time to read more than a few of the paper (including Teppo’s characteristically provocative and broad-ranging introduction), but look forward to peruse it.
Effect of investment fees on returns – via Mind Your Decisions – With investments, small fees compound to make a big difference! Beware of small percentages shaving away your returns.
Why Passwords Have Never Been Weaker—And Crackers Have Never Been Stronger- via The Browser – “The ancient art of password cracking has advanced further in the past five years than it did in the previous several decades combined.” Here’s a fascinating, if geeky, look at the latest hacker methods.
India’s Answer to M.I.T. Presents 268 Free Online Courses (in English) – via Open Culture – Today, the IITs stand atop the Indian educational system and, like their peer institutions in the US, they’re making a point of putting free courses on the web. Rather quietly, they’ve amassed some 268 courses, giving anyone with an internet connection access to 10,000+ video lectures. As you might expect, the course lineup skews heavily toward science and technology, the stuff that contributes to India’s industrial base – Introduction to Basic Electronics, High Performance Computer Architecture, Space Flight Mechanics, Steel Making, and all of the rest. But they’ve also added a few contemplative courses to the mix, courses like Contemporary Literature, Quantum Physics, the History of Economic Theory, and Game Theory and Economics.
UK Government Spending : Infographic - via Information is Beautiful
The Rising Cost of higher Education: Infographic – Via Cool Infographics
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