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Ending Tyranny - The American Interest - John Lewis Gaddis 2008
outstanding article, which analyses the Bush doctrine (and in passing, Bush's interest in history), talks about Isaiah Berlin's positive and negative liberty, and concludes that "future presidents should regard Bush’s second Inaugural as signaling a shift from promoting democracy to ending tyranny" -- Criteria: unilateral; but based upon a realistic calculation of power within the international system; looks back to the Founders -- "Spreading democracy suggests knowing the answer to how people should live their lives. Ending tyranny suggests freeing them to find their own answers. The Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin best explained this distinction half a century ago in his great essay “Two Concepts of Liberty.”"
politics  history  ***  TheAmericanInterest  Isaiah-Berlin  John-Lewis-Gaddis  US 
february 2015 by pierredv
Is There Anything Good About Men? Roy F. Baumeister
"This invited address was given at a meeting the American Psychological Association in San Francisco on August 24, 2007. The thinking it represents is part of a long-range project to understand human action and the relation of culture to behavior. Further information about Prof. Baumeister and his research can be found at the foot of this page. — Dennis Dutton"
gender  psychology  culture  evolution  ***  sex 
june 2014 by pierredv
Out of control: How to live in an unfathomable world - tech - 17 May 2011 - New Scientist
Strapline: "We need to accept that the interactions of technology, society and nature are now beyond our understanding" Opinion piece by Braden Allenby and Daniel Sarewitz, based on their book "The Techo-Human Condition" Divide technologies into three levels, with increasing amounts of interconnection, Level I to Level III. Quote: "The world we are creating thus demands a transition from our almost paranoid societal obsession with Level I certainty and coherence to acceptance that Level III uncertainties and contradictions are the essence of the world we have already made. The question now is how to enable rational and ethical behaviour in a world too complex for applied rationality, how to make our ignorance an opportunity for continual learning and adjustment." They argue that most technology systems are now Level III, but we persist in believing we can manage them in terms of the determinism at Level I.
change  complexity  technology  NewScientist  opinion  books  *** 
may 2011 by pierredv
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior -
Wonderfully opinionated piece about immigrant parenting, taking on stereotypes and having fun with them
"What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it"
family  culture  china  opinion  learning  x:wsj  *** 
january 2011 by pierredv
Einstein's sceptics: Who were the relativity deniers? - physics-math - 18 November 2010 - New Scientist
analysis of motives of relativity deniers, by Milena Wazeck Notable that " it was easy for Einstein's opponents to see themselves as victims rather than aggressors." Reasons for "ramshackle alliance" = opponents found themselves outsiders = concerned about future of science - should be comprehensible = unsettled period in Germany: "In a world of uncertainties, some felt science at least should be relied upon to provide firm ground." "Einstein's opponents were seriously concerned about the future of science. They did not simply disagree with the theory of general relativity; they opposed the new foundations of physics altogether. The increasingly mathematical approach of theoretical physics collided with the then widely held view that science is essentially simple mechanics, comprehensible to every educated layperson."
science  history  belief  NewScientist  ***  skepticism 
november 2010 by pierredv
Strongly Led, Under-managed: How can visionary nonprofits make the critical transition to stronger management?
"Without sound management practices, even the most successful nonprofit will be unable to sustain, let alone increase, its impact over time. And yet, when Bridgespan consulting teams surveyed senior staff members at 30 nonprofits, the respondents consistently rated their organizations much higher on leadership dimensions like developing an overall vision than on management dimensions like making trade offs and setting priorities in order to realize that vision. Many nonprofits appear to be strongly led, but under-managed."
leadership  management  nonprofit  x:bridgespan  organization  strategy  *** 
november 2010 by pierredv
Money can grow on trees | The Economist - A special report on forests
Useful discussion of economics of undervaluing forests; also a full harvest of acronyms: TEEB, REDD, In
VEST, PES, ...
"Many of them are public goods: things like clean air and reliable rains that everyone wants and nobody is prepared to pay for"
"But bioprospecting has done almost nothing to raise the value of standing forests. This is partly because of difficulties in attaching property rights to species."
forests  economics  property-rights  ***  TheEconomist  quotations 
october 2010 by pierredv
Beyond God and atheism: Why I am a 'possibilian' - opinion - 27 September 2010 - New Scientist - David Eagleman
"When it comes to the big questions, why should we have to either deny God or believe? Surely good science doesn't so restrict us, says David Eagleman" Great quotes, posted to
religion  science  philosophy  NewScientist  ***  quotations 
october 2010 by pierredv
the Copia photo project of Americans' retail consumption
photography  art  shopping  via:gmsv  *** 
august 2010 by pierredv
The Ghosts of World War II's Past (20 photos) - My Modern Metropolis
"Taking old World War II photos, Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov carefully photoshops them over more recent shots to make the past come alive. Not only do we get to experience places like Berlin, Prague, and Vienna in ways we could have never imagined, more importantly, we are able to appreciate our shared history in a whole new and unbelievably meaningful way."
photography  history  war  europe  *** 
august 2010 by pierredv
IEEE letter (PDF) to FCC and NTIA on developing a more transparent framework for making “harmful interference” determinations.
"The AWS-3 deadlock may be replicated many times in the follow-on to a spectrum inventory, unless both the FCC and NTIA improve their approaches to making harmful interference findings."
"We believe that FCC and NTIA should make a general policy concerning the use of probabilistic models in harmful interference determinations"
fcc  ieee  interference  ***  filetype:pdf  media:document  RF  Examples 
may 2010 by pierredv
Global Re-balancing. Presentation by Walter Kemmsies, Moffatt & Nichol (PDF)
April 2010
Outlook for trade and port facilities
"Global rebalancing is the new normal –outsourcing, not debt-fueled consumer spending will drive imports, US exports have to grow to pay for imports."
Maturing industrialized economies are increasingly service intensive: "Older consumers spend proportionally more on services than goods"
"About 55% of the goods deficit is due to oil imports" ... "The US will have to reduce dependency on fuel imports and start selling goods, or the dollar will cease to be the world’s reserve currency"
trade  economics  ***  filetype:pdf  media:document 
may 2010 by pierredv
The Believer - Interview with David Simon by Nick Hornby, August 1st, 2007 | Issue forty-six
Compares the Greek gods with postmodern institutions.Quote:
"The Wire is a Greek tragedy in which the postmodern institutions are the Olympian forces. It’s the police department, or the drug economy, or the political structures, or the school administration, or the macroeconomic forces that are throwing the lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no decent reason."

Ref via Helen Morales in Omnibus No. 57, Jan 2009, "Classical mythology contorted". She introduces the Simon quote by saying, "Do we have an equivalent, then, to the gods in ancient myth?"
She comments after the quote, "A sobering thought, but perhaps a realistic one, that life is a rigged game and that we are controlled by institutions, much as the ancient Greeks imagined they were controlled by the gods..."
religion  television  greek  mythology  ***  culture  interviews  Greek-mythology 
april 2010 by pierredv
"Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity" - keynote at SXSZ Mar 2010 - danah boyd
"No matter how many times a privileged straight white male technology executive pronounces the death of privacy, Privacy Is Not Dead."
"Nothing that the Buzz team did was technologically wrong. . . . Yet, the service resulted in a PR disaster. Why?"
"Unfortunately, online environments are not nearly as stabilized as offline ones"
"When thinking about privacy in a digital context, there are five main things you need to know."
1. "you must differentiate between PII and PEI"
2. "we're seeing an inversion of defaults when it comes to what's public and what's private"
3: "people regularly calculate both what they have to lose and what they have to gain when entering public situations"
4. "people don’t always make material publicly accessible because they want the world to see it" 5. "Just because something is publicly accessible does not mean that people want it to be publicized. Making something that is public more public is a violation of privacy"
privacy  socialmedia  google  research  danahboyd  microsoft  *** 
march 2010 by pierredv
Odds are, it's wrong: Science fails to face the shortcomings of statistics
Tom Siegfried, Mar 27, 2010
"uring the past century, though, a mutant form of math has deflected science’s heart from the modes of calculation that had long served so faithfully. Science was seduced by statistics, the math rooted in the same principles that guarantee profits for Las Vegas casinos. Supposedly, the proper use of statistics makes relying on scientific results a safe bet. But in practice, widespread misuse of statistical methods makes science more like a crapshoot."
"Statistical tests are supposed to guide scientists in judging whether an experimental result reflects some real effect or is merely a random fluke, but the standard methods mix mutually inconsistent philosophies and offer no meaningful basis for making such decisions. Even when performed correctly, statistical tests are widely misunderstood and frequently misinterpreted. As a result, countless conclusions in the scientific literature are erroneous, and tests of medical dangers or treatments are often contra"
statistics  ScienceNews  via:gmsv  bayesian  *** 
march 2010 by pierredv
How to Surf More Securely
DropMyrights, sandboxes
via windows Secrets Lounge
security  windowssecrets  *** 
march 2010 by pierredv
Food Environment Atlas - US Dept of Agriculture
spatial overview of community's ability to access healthy food, and its success in doing so
food  nutrition  data  maps  visualization  ***  hunger 
february 2010 by pierredv
Media: A world of hits | The Economist
"Ever-increasing choice was supposed to mean the end of the blockbuster. It has had the opposite effect"
Excellent story on how the long tail and the surprisingly durable blockbuster are hollowing out the media market - the losers are titles (and retailers) in the not-quite-so-good middle ground.
Fascinating stuff on they blockbuster do well, going back to William McPhee's work in the 60's:
"a disproportionate share of the audience for a hit was made up of people who consumed few products of that type. . . A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better."
Some great quotes:
"just because people have more choice does not mean they will opt for more obscure entertainments"
media  film  entertainment  ***  TheEconomist  quotations 
december 2009 by pierredv
The mystery of money: Both sides of the coin | The Economist
very positive review
"Mr Lonergan concludes, somewhat sheepishly, that money would cause less damage if people did not think about it so much. With this slender but stimulating book, he provokes the opposite reaction. "
books  finance  money  ***  TheEconomist 
december 2009 by pierredv
Eurostrategies LS telcom 2007 (PDF) = Study on radio interference regulatory models in the European Community
"This is the final report for the above study carried out for the Information Society and
Media Directorate-General of the European Commission under contract INFSO-B-
2006/45682 (SMART n°2006/0011) signed on 29 December 2006. The study was
carried out between January and November 2007 by Eurostrategies sprl of Brussels
and LS telcom AG of Lichtenau, Germany.
This final report was submitted to the European Commission on 26 October 2007 and
finalised on 29 November 2007."
via Scott Marcus
wireless  interference  EU  ***  filetype:pdf  media:document  RF  Examples 
december 2009 by pierredv
Good Data and Flawed Conclusions -
"'Simpson's Paradox reveals that aggregated data can appear to reverse important trends in the numbers being combined"
An excellent piece of reporting. Starting with a seeming anomaly in the unemployment numbers, Cari Tuna builds a story that ties together anomalies in college admission data, surgical outcomes and baseball batting averages. It boils down to Simpson's Paradox, which explains how aggregated data can appear to reverse important trends in the numbers being combined. (Clue: weighted averages.) If you're a visual learner, skip to the graph at the bottom of the story.
statistics  economics  illusions  fallacies  x:wsj  *** 
december 2009 by pierredv
Climate change: no Eden, no apocalypse - Mike Hulme, opinion - 07 September 2009 - New Scientist
Essay on how to use the idea of climate change to support various projects. Identifies "four enduring myths" to frame climate change debate: = Edenic = Apocalyptic = Promethean = Themisian Mike Hulme: "The value in identifying these mythical stories in our discourses about climate change is that they allow us to see climate change not as simply an environmental problem to be solved, but as an idea that is being mobilised in various ways around the world." "Having established that climate change is as much an idea as a physical phenomenon, we can deploy it in positive and creative ways." "It is important to note that these creative uses of the idea of climate change do not demand consensus over its meaning"
climate  environment  science  metaphor  NewScientist  myth  story  *** 
november 2009 by pierredv
Meditations: Forty Dhamma Talks - Dignity of Restraint
from "Meditations: Forty Dhamma Talks" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Found via "Best Buddhist Writing 2005"
buddhism  meditation  ***  Thanissaro 
october 2009 by pierredv
After Communism's Collapse, a New Rival Emerges -
Capitalist autocracies as an alternative to democracy: the pros and cons of the claim.
politics  geopolitics  x:wsj  *** 
october 2009 by pierredv
Schopenhauer’s Extreme Self-Help for Pessimists | PsyBlog
great survey of Schopenhauer's thought, with discussion of what he got wrong and right in the light of psychology
philosophy  psychology  happiness  schopenhauer  *** 
august 2009 by pierredv
Secrets of greatness: Practice and hard work bring success - CNN October 30, 2006
Anders Ericsson and "deliberative practice" - source of Gladwell's 10,000 hours, it seems
Link to Ericsson via Savvy Dani
learning  psychology  productivity  meditation  *** 
july 2009 by pierredv
Perils of Interdisciplinary Scholarship — Evading the Discipline Police? | Computational Legal Studies
super list of five articles that could inform my work, too:
Gergely Palla, Albert-László Barabási & Tamás Vicsek, Quantifying Social Group Evolution, Nature 446: 664-667 (5 April 2007)

John Mikhail, Universal Moral Grammar: Theory, Evidence, and the Future, 11 Trends in Cognitive Sciences 143 (2007)

Jenna Bednar & Scott Page, Can Game(s) Theory Explain Culture? (The Emergence of Cultural Behavior Within Multiple Games), Rationality and Society, 19: 65-97 (2007).

Riley Crane & Didier Sornette (2008) Robust Dynamic Classes Revealed by Measuring the Response Function of a Social System, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 105: 15649-15653.

Frans de Waal, Kristen Leimgruber & Amanda Greenberg (2008). Giving is Self-Rewarding for Monkeys. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 105: 13685-13689.
socialnetworks  research  ***  sociology 
july 2009 by pierredv
Caring for Your Introvert - The Atlantic (March 2003)
"If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren't caring for him properly."
psychology  personality  humor  relationships  *** 
june 2009 by pierredv
The science of voodoo: When mind attacks body - health - 13 May 2009 - New Scientist
Voodoo (e.g. a respected oncologist saying you have six months to live) _can_ kill you. An article on the nocebo effect, placebo's "evil twin"
health  psychology  NewScientist  *** 
may 2009 by pierredv
Excel - Using Regular Expressions (RegExp)
the downloadable example sheet also has a word doc with a good quick intro of RegExp, incl. a discussion of including in VBA via early or late binding
programming  excel  vba  regex  *** 
may 2009 by pierredv
lectures on stats, intro to R
via Johnny Chan
statistics  ***  UW 
may 2009 by pierredv
Making things in a post-industrial society | Britain's lonely high-flier | The Economist
Excellent case study of Rolls-Royce's resurgence, and its business model "Over the past couple of decades or so Rolls-Royce has transformed itself from a lossmaking British firm into the world’s second-biggest maker of large jet engines. In doing so, it has deliberately blurred the lines between making things and offering services." "Rolls-Royce’s triumph was not to build a slightly better engine and thus earn a temporary technological edge, but to design a completely different one." - used carbon composites, and three shafts rather than two "These were more complex to design, build and maintain than those of rivals, but they also used fuel more efficiently and suffered less wear and tear. Much more importantly, they could be scaled up or down to fit bigger or smaller aircraft. As a result, Rolls-Royce did not have to design a new engine from scratch each time a new airliner came onto the market, allowing it to compete for sales across a far wider range of aircraft than its rivals."
commerce  innovation  economist  *** 
april 2009 by pierredv
A Layoff in the Smith Family Ripples Through Town -
Fascinating case study of the chain of consumer spending, and how a recession gathers momentum. I'm predisposed to see this, of course, but I was struck how much of the spending was on luxury.
people  stories  ***  x:wsj 
january 2009 by pierredv
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - Errol Morris Blog -
photography of the president -how the editors of three news services choose different photos of the same event, capturing different aspects of Pres. Bush. Fascinating conversation between them.
people  politics  photography  ***  NYTimes 
january 2009 by pierredv
Online Defamation Law = EFF: Bloggers' FAQ:
"defamation is a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone's reputation, and published "with fault," meaning as a result of negligence or malice. State laws often define defamation in specific ways. Libel is a written defamation; slander is a spoken defamation"
law  ***  web 
january 2009 by pierredv
Brains apart: The real difference between the sexes - life - 16 July 2008 - New Scientist
Emerging discoveries about differences in biochemistry as well as physiology. For example, the reason women feel more pain than men may be due to differences in pain circuitry. In mice at least, males use NMDA receptors to dampen pain, but blocking this pathway had little impact on females. This might explain why there are sex differences in responses to opiod pain killers
psychology  biochemistry  brain  gender  NewScientist  *** 
december 2008 by pierredv
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