Weekly Roundup 187: A Curated Linkfest For The Smartest People On The Web!

Hi Guys,

Quick event update for value investors. My friends at Manual of Ideas and Steve Friedman of Santangel’s have two very interesting conferences coming up.

European Investing Summit 2012: Online, Global, Live Investment Mega Conferencevia www.valueconferences.com – ValueConferences.com has partnered with The Manual of Ideas to bring you European Investing Summit 2012 — an online conference for investors looking to gain new insights into the European crisis and profit from well-researched, differentiated investment ideas presented by more than 20 great instructors.

Santangel’s Investor Forumvia www.santangelsreview.com – The goal of the Forum is to facilitate thought-provoking discussions among a community of intelligent investors, and attendance will be limited to promote quality audience participation.

Handpicked to satisfy your intellectual curiosity!

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Weekly Cartoon(s):

Political/Activist/Moral Issues:

Immunity for Torture – Ta-Nehisi Coatesvia The Atlantic – Here, again, we see one of the prime precepts of American justice: high-level official who commit even the most egregious crimes are shielded from all accountability; the only real “criminals” are those who speak publicly about those crimes.

Indentured Servitude, Money Laundering, and Piles of Money: The Crazy Secrets of Internet Cam Girls (NSFW)via Longform – “If you think cam girls—those flirty naked characters that plague porn site pop-up ads—are raking in easy money, you’re right. If you think cam girls are bleakly stripping online out of desperation, you’re also right.”

Revolt of the Richvia The American Conservative – Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?

Jamie Galbraith on Inequality and Instability (via Naked Capitalism)via therearefreelunches.blogspot.com – And we looked at that problem from a couple of different perspectives. One was to look at the relationship between unemployment and inequality inside the European countries. And what we found is that in fact there’s just no basis for the claim that I just described….And the fact on the ground is that countries which are more unequal in Europe have higher unemployment, much higher unemployment than the more egalitarian countries…

Stop calling student loans “financial aid”via Salon.com – Students who take out loans aren’t receiving special favors. They’re making a financial transaction like any other

Anti-Intellectualism in American Lifevia The Barnes & Noble Review – As Hofstadter stresses, mass public schooling wasn’t founded primarily upon “a passion for the development of mind, or upon pride in learning and culture for their own sakes, but rather upon the supposed political and economic benefit of education.” In fact, many American educators felt that developing the mind “for intellectual or imaginative achievement or even contemplative enjoyment” might be “suitable only to the leisured classes, to aristocracies, to the European past; that its usefulness was less evident than its possible dangers; that an undue concern with the development of mind was a form of arrogant narcissism which one would expect to find mainly in the morally corrupt

Politics and Plutocrats: A Parade of Inequalityvia Common Dreams – America is currently engaged in the most expensive presidential contest in world history. In the United States, money doesn’t just talk – it dictates. How can we hope to make progress on the path to sustainability when the road is blocked by barricades of bullion backed by battalions of billionaires? How do we break through the political gridlock?

A young Quant’s Adventures in Libyavia Men’s Style, Travel, Fitness and Gear – Last year, Chris Jeon, a 21-year-old UCLA math major, left his $9,000-a-month internship at a financial firm in San Francisco in search of “real” experience. He wound up fighting with the rebels in Libya, where things got real fast.

Mitt Romney vs. the 47% via lanekenworthy.net – The belief that there is an irreconcilable conflict between government benefits and the freedom to pursue dreams can only arise among those who have never had to worry about the reality of equality of opportunity in America. For most Americans, public schools are a critical piece of the machinery of economic mobility. Things like unemployment insurance and social security, meagre though they are, sometimes mean the difference between destitution and the possibility of a second chance or a non-wretched standard of living. For many Americans, the ability to even contemplate dreams for a better life is down to the small cushion and basic investments provided by governments, provided for precisely that reason, because an economy in which only those born with a comfortable financial position can invest in human capital and take entrepreneurial risks is doomed to class-based calcification.

My Favs

Bill Gates On – Chuck Feeney: The Billionaire Who Is Trying To Go Brokevia www.thegatesnotes.com – Chuck Feeney is the James Bond of philanthropy. Over the last 30 years he’s crisscrossed the globe conducting a clandestine operation to give away a $7.5 billion fortune derived from hawking cognac, perfume and cigarettes in his empire of duty-free shops. His foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, has funneled $6.2 billion into education, science, health care, aging and civil rights in the U.S., Australia, Vietnam, Bermuda, South Africa and Ireland. Few living people have given away more, and no one at his wealth level has ever given their fortune away so completely during their lifetime. The remaining $1.3 billion will be spent by 2016, and the foundation will be shuttered in 2020. While the business world’s titans obsess over piling up as many riches as possible, Feeney is working double time to die broke.

The Herding Hormonevia pss.sagepub.com – People often conform to others with whom they associate. Surprisingly, however, little is known about the possible hormonal mechanisms that may underlie in-group conformity. Here, we examined whether conformity toward one’s in-group is altered by oxytocin, a neuropeptide often implicated in social behavior. After administration of either oxytocin or a placebo, participants were asked to provide attractiveness ratings of unfamiliar visual stimuli. While viewing each stimulus, participants were shown ratings of that stimulus provided by both in-group and out-group members. Results demonstrated that on trials in which the ratings of the in-group and out-group were incongruent, the ratings of participants given oxytocin conformed to the ratings of their in-group but not of their out-group. Participants given a placebo did not show this in-group bias. These findings indicate that administration of oxytocin can influence subjective preferences, and they support the view that oxytocin’s effects on social behavior are context dependent.

The Great New England Vampire Panicvia Smithsonian Magazine – Bell smiles. Although he lectures across the country and has taught at colleges, including Brown University, he is used to people having fun with his scholarship. “Vampires have gone from a source of fear to a source of entertainment,” he says, a bit rueful. “Maybe I shouldn’t trivialize entertainment, but to me it’s not anywhere as interesting as what really happened.” Bell’s daughter, 37-year-old Gillian, a member of the audience that night, has made futile attempts to tempt her father with the Twilight series, but “there’s Buffy and Twilight, and then there’s what my dad does,” she says. “I try to get him interested in the pop culture stuff, but he wants to keep his mind pure.” Indeed, Bell seems only mildly aware that the vampire—appearing everywhere from True Blood to The Vampire Diaries— has once again sunk its fangs into the cultural jugular. As far as he’s concerned, the undead are always with us.

Documentary: How to Make Better Decisions, a Thought-Provoking Documentary by the BBCvia Open Culture – “In this program,” says narrator Peter Capaldi at the outset, “we’re going to show you how to be more rational, and deal with some of life’s biggest decisions.” It’s a pretty big claim, and you may doubt that it’s true (especially during the silly opening scene involving a group of nerds trying to score a date) but give this 2008 BBC Horizon program a little time and you might come away with a few things to think about. How to Make Better Decisions takes us inside cognitive science laboratories and out on the streets to demonstrate how the emotional part of our brain gets the better of the rational part. The film introduces a number of intriguing concepts, including Prospect Theory, “the framing effect,” and “priming.”

Attack Of The Self-Control Snatchers!via valueprax – Policy-makers are considering large-scale programs aimed at self-control to improve citizens’ health and wealth and reduce crime. Experimental and economic studies suggest such programs could reap benefits. Yet, is self-control important for the health, wealth,and public safety of the population? Following a cohort of 1,000 children from birth to the age of 32 y, we show that childhood self-control predicts physical health, substance dependence, personal finances, and criminal offending outcomes, following a gradient of self-control. Effects of children’s self-control could be disentangled from their intelligence and social class as well as from mistakes they made as adolescents. In another cohort of 500 sibling-pairs, the sibling with lower self-control had poorer outcomes, despite shared family background. Interventions addressing
self-control might reduce a panoply of societal costs, save tax-payers money, and promote prosperity.

Persuasion & How to confuse a moral compass via www.nature.com – People can be tricked into reversing their opinions on moral issues, even to the point of constructing good arguments to support the opposite of their original positions,The possibility of using the technique as a means of moral persuasion is “intriguing”, says Liane Young, a psychologist at Boston College in Massachusetts. “These findings suggest that if I’m fooled into thinking that I endorse a view, I’ll do the work myself to come up with my own reasons [for endorsing it],” she says.

Best Predictor of Unhappiness (is) Mind Wanderingvia The Situationist – People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy. So says a study that used an iPhone Web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects’ thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives.“Mind-wandering is an excellent predictor of people’s happiness,” Killingsworth says. “In fact, how often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged.”

Understanding Memory: Many of the great crimes were committed in the name of memoryvia www.bostonreview.net – But what really interests me ultimately is not to record the past, so much as how people live with the past and get on with it. There’s a kind of fetishization of memory in our culture. Some of it comes from the experience and the memorial culture of the Holocaust—the injunction to remember. And it also comes from the strange collision of Freud and human rights thinking—the belief that anything that is not exposed and addressed and dealt with is festering and going to come back to destroy you. This is obviously not true. Memory is not such a cure-all. On the contrary, many of the great political crimes of recent history were committed in large part in the name of memory. The difference between memory and grudge is not always clean. Memories can hold you back, they can be a terrible burden, even an illness. Yes, memory—hallowed memory—can be a kind of disease. That’s one of the reasons that in every culture we have memorial structures and memorial days, whether for personal grief or for collective historical traumas. Because you need to get on with life the rest of the time and not feel the past too badly. I’m not talking about letting memory go. The thing is to contain memory, and then, on those days, or in those places, you can turn on the tap and really touch and feel it. The idea is not oblivion or even denial of memory. It’s about not poisoning ourselves with memory.

Can Evolutionary Stories Explain the Human Mind? - via www.newyorker.com – oday’s biologists tend to be cautious about labelling any trait an evolutionary adaptation—that is, one that spread through a population because it provided a reproductive advantage. It’s a concept that is easily abused, and often “invoked to resolve problems that do not exist,” the late George Williams, an influential evolutionary biologist, warned. When it comes to studying ourselves, though, such admonitions are hard to heed. So strong is the temptation to explain our minds by evolutionary “Just So Stories,” Stephen Jay Gould argued in 1978, that a lack of hard evidence for them is frequently overlooked (his may well have been the first pejorative use of Kipling’s term). Gould, a Harvard paleontologist and a popular-science writer, who died in 2002, was taking aim mainly at the rising ambitions of sociobiology. He had no argument with its work on bees, wasps, and ants, he said. But linking the behavior of humans to their evolutionary past was fraught with perils, not least because of the difficulty of disentangling culture and biology. Gould saw no prospect that sociobiology would achieve its grandest aim: a “reduction” of the human sciences to Darwinian theory.

Rick Bookstaber: Jorge Luis Borges and the Emerging Virtual Agevia rick.bookstaber.com – Here I will discuss other of Borges’ works of fiction with the same objective of illuminating aspects of the virtual age, two in particular:We are creating and inhabiting our own virtual world. It most immediately appears in computer games and avatars, but it also appears with a bit more subtlety through our on-line image. Our Facebook selves are not our real selves, and our Facebook friends are not really our friends. Like the sultry-voiced grandmother as a phone sex worker, as we extend further out past a small circle of real friends we are to a greater and greater extent who we wish to be or who we think others want us to be in a virtual world. (My eight year-old daughter is a twelve year-old French girl in Poptropica).We are moving toward a world where there is perfect memory and unlimited knowledge. Knowledge of the world and our history through Wikipedia, of where we are and what we are doing through social networks. If something is put into the cloud, it might well be there forever. And when we inhabit our virtual selves we capture all of our history, because all that is virtual begins in the noosphere.

Money as Pain Reliefvia www.ribbonfarm.com – I’ve been thinking about four ideas related to money lately, and about why I am generally uncomfortable framing life goals in financial terms.The classic idea in sales that people buy only two things: happiness and solutions to problemsThe idea that “money is a problem to be solved” (I don’t know the source of this idea)The idea that only central banks can make money, and that everybody else should think in terms of taking money from someone else (this one is due to Dorian Taylor)The piece of folk wisdom that says (contrary to the first idea) that money cannot buy happiness

Video: Ted Talk – Andrew Blum: What is the Internet, really?via Video on TED.com – When a squirrel chewed through a cable and knocked him offline, journalist Andrew Blum started wondering what the Internet was really made of. So he set out to go see it — the underwater cables, secret switches and other physical bits that make up the net.

Behavior, Decision Making, Psychology

Radio Show: Political Prejudice and Psychological Biases via BBC- If you think that you are rational and unprejudiced, Michael Blastland hopes you will be open minded enough to listen to the evidence which suggests that you are probably not.We might think our views about global warming, nanotechnology or the value of IQ tests are based on scientific evidence. But the beliefs we hold about these issues often say more about our ability to screen out the evidence we dislike than it does about the scientific facts.Michael Blastland investigates the causes of our cognitive biases and our remarkable ability to not let the facts get in the way of a deeply held belief.

Dan Ariely’s Animated Talk Reveals How and Why We’re All Dishonestvia Open Culture – “Human beings basically try to do two things at the same time,” Ariely says and the hand writes. “On one hand, we want to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about ourselves. On the other hand, we want to benefit from dishonesty.” This dilemma would seem to allow no compromise — you’re either honest or you’re dishonest, right? — but Ariely finds that most of us instinctively strive for the gray area between: “Thanks to our flexible cognitive psychology and our ability to rationalize our actions, we could do both.” We then hear and see how, if the proper rationalization happens and the instances of cheating remain minor and distanced from their effects, everybody acts with a mixture of honesty and dishonesty. (But sometimes the “what the hell effect” — the lecture’s finest coinage — kicks in, where people temporarily stop considering themselves good and proceed to act freely.) Ariely brings up the example, ripped from the headlines, of bankers and hedge fund managers who, distanced by vast corporate structures and elaborate mathematics from those whom their actions concretly affect. The hand draws a caricature of Oscar Wilde, then writes the most appropriate quote beside it: “Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace.”

When do we lie?via The Choice Lab – The paper reports from an experiment studying how the aversion to lying is affected by non-economic dimensions of the choice situation. Specifically, we study whether people are more or less likely to lie when the content of the lie is personal, when they base decisions on intuition, and when they are in a market context. We also study how aversion to lying depends on personal characteristics, including age, gender, cognitive ability, personality and social preferences. Our main finding is that non-economic aspects of the choice situation are crucial in understanding aversion to lying. In particular, we find that people are less likely to lie when the content of the message is personal. We also find large effects from priming the participants to rely on intuition, but, interestingly, in this case the effect only applies to males. Finally, we find that people who are highly motivated by social preferences are more averse to lying, but there is no significant relationship between lying behavior and other personal characteristics.

Dan Ariely’s Podcast: The Bribery Indexvia danariely.com – In this week’s program, Dan talks with Nina Mazar of the University of Toronto about the “Bribery Index.” The index identifies which companies are most likely to attempt to bribe potential customers to achieve their business goals. Researchers also found a significant correlation between those companies most likely to bribe and the countries where their business is based.

The Marketplace in Your Brain – The Chronicle Reviewvia The Chronicle of Higher Education – Neuroscience and psychology could also do with improvement, and that’s where economics comes in, says Elizabeth A. Phelps. “I was initially skeptical,” says Phelps, a psychologist who runs a lab at the NYU neuroeconomics center. “But the more I saw of the mathematics and its ability to tease apart and model components of complex behavior, the more I realized that psychology hadn’t been very good at that. Economics had ways to represent theories of behavior”—the brains of people making certain choices will react in certain ways—”and this allowed us to test those theories in a rigorous way.”

Video: The Science of Procrastination and How to Manage It via Brain Pickings – Among the proposed solutions is the Pomodoro technique, a time-management method similar to timeboxing that uses timed intervals of work and reward.

Inside Paul Allen’s Quest To Reverse Engineer The Brainvia Forbes – “As an ex-programmer I’m still just curious about how the brain functions, how that flow of information really happens,” says Allen in a rare interview, in a conference room overlooking an active ship canal. “The thing you realize when you get into studying neuroscience, even a little bit, is that everything is connected to everything else. So it’s as if the brain is trying to use everything at its disposal–what it is seeing, what it is hearing, what is the temperature, past experience. It’s using all of this to try to compute what the animal should do next, whether that animal is a mouse or human being.”

Rationally Speaking Buddhism and Other Asian Philosophiesvia rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com – What about the philosophical traditions of, for example, Asia? In this episode, professor of philosophy Graham Priest offers a brief introduction to the philosophy of India, China, and Japan, and explains why he thinks it should be better known in the West.

Facing temptation, brain sends mixed signalsvia uvealblues.blogspot.com – “This research suggests a reason why it feels so difficult to control your behavior,” Hutcherson says. “You’ve got these really fast signals that say, go for the tempting food. But only after you start to go for it are you able to catch yourself and say, no, I don’t want this.”

Video: Thee State of Cognitive Neuroscience - via thesituationist.wordpress.com – Rebecca Saxe is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. She is also an associate member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. She is known for her research on the neural basis of social cognition.

Steve Keen: Behavioral Finance Lectures 2012via www.valueinvestingworld.com – I’ve just uploaded the first 8 lectures in my Behavioral Finance class for 2012. The first few lectures are very similar to last year’s, but the content changes substantially by about lecture 5 when I start to focus more on Schumpeter’s approach to endogenous money.

How do education, cognitive skills, cultural and social capital account for intergenerational earnings persistence? Evidence from the Netherlandsvia ideas.repec.org – This study analyzes four different transmission mechanisms, through which father’searnings affect son’s earnings: the educational attainment, cognitive skills, the culturalcapital of the family and the social capital in the neighborhood. Using a unique dataset that combines panel data from a birth cohort with earnings data from a largenationwide income survey and national tax files, our findings show that cognitive skillsand schooling of the son account for 50% of the father-son earnings elasticity. Educationby far accounts for the largest part, while cognitive skills mainly work indirectly througheducational attainment. Social capital of the neighborhood and cultural capital of theparents account for an additional 6% of the intergeneration income persistence. Fromthese two additional mechanisms, social capital appears to play a stronger role than thecultural capital of the parents. This means that 44% of the intergenerational persistenceis due to other unobserved characteristics for example personality traits or spillovereffects of family assets.

Hindsight Effects and Knowledge Updating in Personality Judgements - via Display Record – The present article integrates research on the accurate inference of personality traits with process models of hindsight bias (the tendency to exaggerate in hindsight what one had said in foresight). Specifically, the article suggests a new model that integrates assumptions of the lens model on accurate personality judgments and accounts that view hindsight effects as a by-product of knowledge updating. We suggest 3 processes that have the potential to explain the occurrence of hindsight effects in personality judgments: (a) changes in an individual’s cue perceptions, (b) changes in the utilization of more valid cues, and (c) changes in the consistency with which cue knowledge is applied. In 2 studies (N1 = 91, N2 = 93), participants were presented with target pictures and were asked to judge each target’s levels of the Big Five. Thereafter, they received feedback and had to recall their original judgments. Results show that there were clear hindsight effects for all 5 personality dimensions. Importantly, we found evidence that both the utilization of more valid cues and changes in cue perceptions—but not changes in the consistency with which cue knowledge is applied—account for the hindsight effects. Implications of these results for models explaining hindsight effects, the inference of personality judgments, and the accuracy of these inferences are discussed.

Heckman and social mobilityvia infoproc.blogspot.com – life success depends on more than cognitive skills. Non-cognitive characteristics—including physical and mental health, as well as perseverance, attentiveness, motivation, self-confidence, and other socio-emotional qualities—are also essential. While public attention tends to focus on cognitive skills—as measured by IQ tests, achievement tests, and tests administered by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)—non-cognitive characteristics also contribute to social success and in fact help to determine scores on the tests that we use to evaluate cognitive achievement.

Time as a Medium of Reward in Three Social Preference Experimentsvia ideas.repec.org – We report results from three well-known experimental paradigms, where we use time, rather than money, as the salient component of subjects incentives. The three experiments, commonly employed to study social preferences, are the dictator game, the ultimatum game and the trust game. All subjects in a session earn the same participation fee, but their choices affect the time at which they are permitted to leave the laboratory, with decisions typically associated with greater own payoff translating into an earlier departure. The modal proposal in both the dictator and ultimatum games is an equal split of the waiting time. In the trust game, there is substantial trust and reciprocity. Overall, social preferences are evident in time allocation decisions. Received laboratory results from dictator, ultimatum, and trust games are robust to the change in reward medium, though there is some suggestive evidence that decisions are even more prosocial with respect to time than money.

Business/Entrepreneurship/ Finance

Gordon Moore’s journeyvia Fortune Tech – Gordon Moore has been present at the creation of three legendary companies of Silicon Valley. You could call him one of the founding fathers of the place. Yet he calls himself the ultimate “accidental entrepreneur.

Timeless Lessons in Ingenuity and Entrepreneurship from the Story of Polaroidvia Brain Pickings – In 1942, iconic inventor and Polaroid founder Edwin Land stood up in front of his employees and boldly laid out a vision for incremental success that soon catapulted Polaroid into cultural legend status. By the 1970s, a billion Polaroid photographs were being shot every year, and Polaroid had no real competitor. Fast-forward three decades, to the era-defining surge of digital photography, and it wasn’t long before film photography in general, and Polaroid in particular, became a fringe fixation for specialty hobbyists and artists. Between 2001 and 2009, Polaroid filed for bankruptcy twice, was sold three times, eventually discontinued Polaroid film in 2008, then filed for Chapter 11 in 2012. What happened, and what does its story reveal about innovation, entrepreneurship, and the pursuit of creative vision?

Paul Graham: Startup = Growthvia www.paulgraham.com – A company that grows at 1% a week will grow 1.7x a year, whereas a company that grows at 5% a week will grow 12.6x. A company making $1000 a month (a typical number early in YC) and growing at 1% a week will 4 years later be making $7900 a month, which is less than a good programmer makes in salary in Silicon Valley. A startup that grows at 5% a week will in 4 years be making $25 million a month. Our ancestors must rarely have encountered cases of exponential growth, because our intutitions are no guide here. What happens to fast growing startups tends to surprise even the founders.

My favorite books on business, management, investing and designvia FutureBlind – Out of the many books I’ve read in different subjects, below is a list of some of my favorites with some brief commentary for some of them. There are a few other “Mental Model” categories (psychology, history, economics, ecology, etc.) that I left out — hopefull they’ll be the subject of another post.

Jim Chanos on Shortingvia www.santangelsreview.com – “If you own shares in a company that declares war on short sellers, there is only one thing to do: sell your stake. That’s the message in a new study by Owen A. Lamont, associate professor of finance at the University of Chicago’s graduate school of business. The study, which covers 1977 to 2002, shows not only that the stocks of companies who try to thwart short sellers are generally overpriced, but also that short sellers are often dead right.”

Does economic growth make you happy?via TLS – Inequality within societies does matter for happiness, however. Studies show that, in any society, the rich are happier than the poor, and that at the same average income levels, more equal societies record greater levels of happiness. This throws the onus of increasing welfare or satisfaction on distribution. But modern capitalist society, especially in its Anglo-American version, produces growing inequality: over the past thirty years the very rich have pulled away from the moderately rich, the average from the median, and the median from the bottom. Why have the rich gained and the poor lost ground?

ATM fees hit record high, free checking accounts declinevia Sep. 24, 2012 – ” McBride says that the banking industry has lost income due to an increase in regulations, and that’s made free checking accounts harder to find.

“Two regulatory changes in particular have cut the legs out from free checking, he said, “one putting restrictions on overdraft charges, and the other limiting swipe fees when a consumer uses a debit card.

Private Equity in Transitionvia Qn: A Publication of the Yale School of Management – A recent online discussion with three experienced private equity professionals provided a survey of the industry’s development over the last decade, as well as advice for those interested in moving into the field. The participants were Peter M. Schulte ’83, Dan O’Connell ’80, and Sally Rocker ’81. The discussion was moderated by Andrew Metrick, Yale SOM Deputy Dean for Faculty Development & Michael H. Jordan Professor of Finance and Management.

Eclectic Picks

Stanford Magazine – Stanford for Allvia September/October 2012 – Stanford has come a long way since founders Leland and Jane vowed to make the children of California their own. But should worldwide online education now be a part of Stanford’s mission—and bright students like Porios part of the family? Should Stanford encourage more of its faculty to produce these so-called massive open online courses, or MOOCs? Should anyone profit from their distribution? And if the University does invest more heavily in online education, how might that affect students—and professors—on the home campus?

Big Data’s Parallel Universe Brings Fears, and a Thrillvia NYTimes.com – It is perhaps time to be afraid. Very afraid, suggests the science historian George Dyson, author of a recent biography of John von Neumann, one of the inventors of the digital computer. In “A Universe of Self-Replicating Code,” a conversation published on the Web site Edge, Mr. Dyson says that the world’s bank of digital information, growing at a rate of roughly five trillion bits a second, constitutes a parallel universe of numbers and codes and viruses with its own “physics” and “biology.”


Startup Salaries and Equity Sharesvia Chart Porn – Dynamic bubble chart showing compensation ranges for startups across different job types. I’m kinda afraid to ask what a “Sales Engineer” is.

Presidential campaign finance explorervia flowingdata.com – Hey, I think it’s election season, and you know what that means. It’s time to dig into campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission. The Washington Post gives you a view into the amount of money raised and spent in both camps, where it’s coming from and where it’s going. They start with the high-level aggregates, and as you scroll down, you get the time series, followed by the breakdowns for money raised

Top 20 Data Visualization Toolsvia Chart Porn – A list compiled by Brian Suda over at netmagazine.com. It’s a little heavy on java libraries – but I suppose that’s the direction visualization is heading. Still, you think basic tools like Illustrator, or BI software like Tableau would have made it in there somewhere.

Valuation: The Essence of Corporate Finance (DCF method) – Via Corporate Finance tutoring team at GraduateTutor.com

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