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robertogreco : numbers   61

Pi Day is a lie: celebrate tau, the true circle constant instead - The Verge
[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6acbBrLoi14 ]

"But Palais and Hartl’s arguments both boil down to some basic math. Step back in time to when you first learned geometry and recall the simple origins: no matter what circle you’re using, if you divide the circumference of the circle by the diameter, you’ll get the same answer: an endless number, starting with the digits 3.14159265... (aka pi).

And right there is the fundamental flaw. The thing is, we don’t actually use diameter to describe circles. We use the radius, or one-half the diameter. The circle equation uses the radius, the area of a circle uses the radius, and the fundamental definition of a circle — “the set of all points in a plane that are at a given distance from a given point, the center” — is based on the radius. Plugging that into our circle constant equation gives us a new circle constant equivalent to 2π, or 6.28318530717..., colloquially referred to with the Greek letter τ (tau). Switching to τ isn’t making some arbitrary change for the sake of it. It’s bringing one of the most important constants in math in line with how we actually do math."
math  mathematics  pi  2019  vihart  2018  tau  numbers  culture 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Vadik Marmeladov
"I design the most beautiful products. Before scrolling down to the pictures, please read our Codes of Practice:

1. Wear the uniform
2. Think long term (like 30 years from now)
3. Build stories and languages, not things
4. Create your own universe (or join ours)
5. Collect samples
6. Be a sample for somebody else 
7. Look for loyalty, not for a skill set
8. Do not build utilitarian products. However, use them as a medium to express yourself
9. Do not exploit introverts — doesn't work long term. Learn to be an introvert yourself 
10. Travel more
11. Do not work for corporations. Old corporations were meaningful when their founders were alive, but now, they have outlived their relevancy. They exist only to keep their numbers growing
12. New corporations are no better. They have scaled up features, and today’s founders want hyper-growth for growth’s sake (it seems like every line of code, every feature deserves its own corporation — it sure doesn't)
13. So, fuck the corporations
14. Tell the truth (bullshit never works long term)
15. Study and research fashion
16. Your phone is a temporary feature — don’t spend your life on it (like you wouldn’t spend it on a fax machine)
17. Fuck likes, followers, fake lives, fake friends
18. Remake your environment. Build it for yourself, and people will come 
19. Only trust those who make things you love
20. Move to LA 
21. Don’t buy property
22. Don’t go to Mars (just yet)
23. Use only one font, just a few colors, and just a few shapes
24. Use spreadsheets, but only to map out 30 cells — one for each year of the rest of your life
25. The next three are the most important
26. The past doesn’t exist — don’t get stuck in it
27. Don’t go to Silicon Valley (it’s not for you if you’re still reading this)
28. Remind yourself daily: you and everyone you know will die
29. We must build the most beautiful things
30. We are 2046 kids"

[via Warren Ellis's Orbital Operations newsletter, 8 April 2018:

"LOT 2046 [https://www.lot2046.com/ ] continues to be magnificent. This is actually a really strong duffel bag. You just never know what you're going to get.

Incidentally, culture watchers, keep an eye on this - the LOT 2046 user-in-residence programme [https://www.lot2046.com/360/11/875c4f ]. This feels like a small start to a significant idea. Vadik thinks long-term. He once had the following Codes Of Practise list from his previous business on his personal website, preserved by the sainted Wayback Machine:"]
vadikmarmeladov  codesofpractice  uniforms  longterm  stories  language  languages  worldbuilding  loyalty  skills  samples  examples  corporations  corporatism  losangeles  property  2046  beauty  part  present  siliconvalley  fonts  mars  trust  love  environment  like  follows  followers  fakeness  relevancy  features  numbers  scale  scalability  fashion  research  attention 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form — Even though we are now free from the machines that...
"Even though we are now free from the machines that enslaved and exploited people during the industrial age, digital apparatuses are installing new constraints, new slavery. Because of their mobility, they make possible exploitation that proves even more efficient, by transforming every space into a workplace - and all time into working hours.

The freedom of movement is switching over into a fatal compulsion to work everywhere. During the machine age, working time could be held in check and separated from periods of not-working, if only because the machines could not move, or be moved. One had to go to work on one’s own: this space was distinct from where work did not occur.

Today, however, this distinction no longer holds in many professions. Digital devices have mobilized work itself. The workplace is turning into a portable labor camp, from which there is no escape.

The smartphone promises more freedom, but it radiates a fatal compulsion - the compulsion to communicate. Now an almost obsessive, compulsive relationship to digital devices prevails. Here, too, “freedom” is switching over into compulsion and constraint. Social networks magnify such compulsion to communicate, on a massive scale. More communication means more capital. In turn, the accelerated circulation of communication and information leads to the accelerated circulation of Capital.

The word “digital” points to the finger (digitus). Above all, the finger counts. Digital culture is based on the counting finger. In contrast, history means recounting. It is not a matter of counting, which represents a post-historical category. Neither information nor tweets yield a whole, an account. A timeline does not recount the story of a life, either; it provides no biography. Timelines are additive, not narrative.

Digital man “fingers” the world, in that he is always counting and calculating. The digital absolutizes numbers and counting. More than anything, friends on Facebook are counted, yet real friendship is an account, a narrative. The digital age is totalizing addition, counting, and the countable. Even affection and attachments get counted - as “likes.” The narrative dimension is losing meaning on a massive scale. Today, everything is rendered countable so that it can be transformed into the language of performance, and efficiency.

As such, whatever resists being counted ceases to “be.”"

—Byung-Chul Han, In The Swarm: Digital Prospects
digital  quantitative  quantification  byung-chulhan  machines  industrialization  narrative  relationships  scale  being  presence  numbers  counting  measurement  friendship  facebook  metrics  affection  attachments  likes  meaning  capitalism  information  exploitation  mobility  work  labor  freedom  movement  compulsion  communication  constraint  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  timelines 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Danielle Carr on Twitter: "So many critiques of quantification rely on the premise of an untrammeled wholeness that is sullied by description through numbers."
"So many critiques of quantification rely on the premise of an untrammeled wholeness that is sullied by description through numbers." [*two replies below)
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696719618543644672

"This idea of language as that which severs us from reality is precisely the lacanian critique of language as a traumatic alienation."
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696720251183038464

"So if we think of quantification as a form of nomination (if not of language as such), we miss something by insisting on its lack"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696720461217075200

"So much of "qualitative" social methods justifies itself methodologically by decrying the lack instantiated by quantification"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696720701751980036

"But languages aren't lack. They are the introduction of new associative capacities. We must think of any nominative system as PRODUCTIVE"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696720958653100032

"The question then, of course, is what is produced."
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696721047534571520

"It's easy to resent the hegemonic episteme of DATA, and yes, quantification is making absurd claims (eg literary analysis by word frequency)"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696721529841827841

"But nominative schemes introduce possibilities for linking things, often through equating one thing with another"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696721903084552196

"One thing is equivalent to another within the nominative scheme- my depression is equivalent to yours because we scored the same on a metric"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696722192978067456

"Does this linkage erase the "realness"reality? Of the deep social contextuality of our respective depression, etc?"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696722765060173828

"Only if we take the assertion of identity seriously rather than as an associative capacity emerging from a play of language"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696722816293539840

"My point is this: don't critique quantification like a lacanian dickhead or you'll miss the fun of nominative play"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696723071978377218

"One thing you'll learn from doing STS ethnography real quick: NOBODY THINKS THE NUMBERS ARE AN EXHAUSTIVE DESCRIPTION OF REALITY"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696723590054551552

"so sociological critiques that mouth "quantification is arbitrary/inadequate" are reaaaaaally old news to the actants in question"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696723938764845058

"Saying "numbers aren't adequate descriptions of reality" is fatuous because THERE IS NO ADEQUATE DESCRIPTION OF REALITY"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696724166322581505

"Description is itself a productive capacity of reality. So we have to ask what the descriptions do."
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696724472792014849

"Anyway I love sociological critique, I really do, but can we please stop pretending that language is real and numbers are arbitrary"
https://twitter.com/flaneuryoconnor/status/696724677931200513

[*replies:

"@flaneuryoconnor Yeah, this is dear to me—I wrote about it in this piece for Prickly Paradigm, "Bastard Algebra": https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55eb004ee4b0518639d59d9b/t/55ece03de4b0902fc059d901/1441587261788/seaver-bastardalgebra.pdf …"
https://twitter.com/npseaver/status/696766300597723136

"@flaneuryoconnor Yeah, sucks. Have you seen this special issue? A mixed bag, but these folks are working beyond that http://ant.sagepub.com/content/10/1-2.toc …"
https://twitter.com/npseaver/status/696739976088854528]
daniellecarr  nickseaver  data  quantification  2016  reality  words  language  lacan  traumaticalienation  realness  context  sts  ethnography  numbers  sociology  description  perception  arbitrariness 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Dutch Profiles: Karel Martens on Vimeo
"Evoking meaning, rather than boldly presenting truth: this is the essence of typographer Karel Martens' work. To achieve this he likes to experiment with numbers, abstract figures and vivid colors.

During the seventies Karel Martens worked for SUN, a socialist publisher led by a group of highly motivated individuals. He succeeded in giving all their publications a very distinctive appearance.

Martens has been teaching throughout most of his career. Like for instance here at Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem."
karelmartens  video  design  typography  graphic  graphicdesign  color  colors  numbers  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  learning 
july 2015 by robertogreco
what3words
[video: https://vimeo.com/123729255 ]

"The world is poorly addressed. This is frustrating and costly in developed nations; and in developing nations this is life-threatening and growth limiting.

what3words is a unique combination of just 3 words that identifies a 3mx3m square, anywhere on the planet.

It’s far more accurate than a postal address and it’s much easier to remember, use and share than a set of coordinates.

Better addressing improves customer experience, delivers business efficiencies, drives growth and helps the social & economic development of countries.

what3words is a universal addressing system based on a 3mx3m global grid.

Each of the 57 trillion 3mx3m squares in the world has been pre-allocated a fixed & unique 3 word address.

Our geocoder turns geographic coordinates into these 3 word addresses & vice-versa.

As it is an algorithm our solution takes up less than 10MB, small enough to install on almost all smartphones and works across platforms and devices.

what3words is a plug-in for businesses and individuals, via an API, to enhance their own products and services with simple and precise addressing.

Words beat numbers and letters
Using words means non-technical people can find any location accurately and communicate it more quickly, more easily and with less ambiguity than any other system like street addresses, postcodes, latitude & longitude or mobile short-links.

People’s ability to immediately remember 3 words is near perfect whilst your ability to remember the 16 numbers, decimal points and N/S/E/W prefixes, that are required to define the same location using lat,long is zero.

Short and easy words
Each what3words language is powered by a wordlist of 25,000 dictionary words. The wordlists go through multiple automated and human processes before being sorted by an algorithm that takes into account word length, distinctiveness, frequency, and ease of spelling and pronunciation.

Offensive words and homophones (sale & sail) have been removed. Simpler, more common words are allocated to more populated areas and the longest words are used in 3 word addresses in unpopulated areas.

Built-in error detection
The what3words algorithm actively shuffles similar-sounding 3 word combinations around the world to enable both human and automated intelligent error-checking (e.g. table.chair.lamp & table.chair.lamps are on different continents).

If you enter a 3 word address slightly incorrectly and the result is still a valid what3words result, the location will be so far away from your intended area that it will be immediately obvious to the person searching or an intelligent automated error-detection system.

Human friendly precision
Latitude and longitude is the basis for our system. 3 word addresses convert directly to lat,long and vice-versa.

Lat,long is great for computers but what3words is useful when people are involved: either people-to-people, people-to-device or device-to-people.

Lat,long coordinate pairs are still great for back-end processing, but what3words can revolutionise the human side of the experience for everyone.

In everyone’s language
We have rolled out our 3 word address system in 9 languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili, Russian, German, Turkish & Swedish. We are adding to those every month and are currently working on Italian, Greek, Arabic and more.

The 3 word address in one language is not a translation of the 3 words used in a different language version and you can use the language you are most comfortable with.

You can choose the 3 word language that we display 3 word addresses to you in, but you never have to tell us what language you are inputting the 3 word addresses in: we will recognise the language automatically.

Fixed and universal
The what3words system is fixed and it is impossible to change it. There is 100% certainty that all instances of the system running everywhere in the world will provide the same 3 word address for the same location.

One uniform word-based system for everyone eliminates the confusion caused by multiple conflicting numeric and alphanumeric codes.

Offline
what3words functions without a data connection. This solves a perpetual constraint when in remote and unaddressed locations, or in areas with poor connectivity.
geography  location  maps  numbers  mapping  coordinates  what3words  addresses  addressing 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Humane Representation of Thought on Vimeo
"Closing keynote at the UIST and SPLASH conferences, October 2014.
Preface: http://worrydream.com/TheHumaneRepresentationOfThought/note.html

References to baby-steps towards some of the concepts mentioned:

Dynamic reality (physical responsiveness):
- The primary work here is Hiroshi Ishii's "Radical Atoms": http://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/inform/
- but also relevant are the "Soft Robotics" projects at Harvard: http://softroboticstoolkit.com
- and at Otherlab: http://youtube.com/watch?v=gyMowPAJwqo
- and some of the more avant-garde corners of material science and 3D printing

Dynamic conversations and presentations:
- Ken Perlin's "Chalktalk" changes daily; here's a recent demo: http://bit.ly/1x5eCOX

Context-sensitive reading material:
- http://worrydream.com/MagicInk/

"Explore-the-model" reading material:
- http://worrydream.com/ExplorableExplanations/
- http://worrydream.com/LadderOfAbstraction/
- http://ncase.me/polygons/
- http://redblobgames.com/pathfinding/a-star/introduction.html
- http://earthprimer.com/

Evidence-backed models:
- http://worrydream.com/TenBrighterIdeas/

Direct-manipulation dynamic authoring:
- http://worrydream.com/StopDrawingDeadFish/
- http://worrydream.com/DrawingDynamicVisualizationsTalk/
- http://tobyschachman.com/Shadershop/

Modes of understanding:
- Jerome Bruner: http://amazon.com/dp/0674897013
- Howard Gardner: http://amazon.com/dp/0465024335
- Kieran Egan: http://amazon.com/dp/0226190390

Embodied thinking:
- Edwin Hutchins: http://amazon.com/dp/0262581469
- Andy Clark: http://amazon.com/dp/0262531569
- George Lakoff: http://amazon.com/dp/0465037712
- JJ Gibson: http://amazon.com/dp/0898599598
- among others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_cognition

I don't know what this is all about:
- http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/
- http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/responses.html

---

Abstract:

New representations of thought — written language, mathematical notation, information graphics, etc — have been responsible for some of the most significant leaps in the progress of civilization, by expanding humanity’s collectively-thinkable territory.

But at debilitating cost. These representations, having been invented for static media such as paper, tap into a small subset of human capabilities and neglect the rest. Knowledge work means sitting at a desk, interpreting and manipulating symbols. The human body is reduced to an eye staring at tiny rectangles and fingers on a pen or keyboard.

Like any severely unbalanced way of living, this is crippling to mind and body. But it is also enormously wasteful of the vast human potential. Human beings naturally have many powerful modes of thinking and understanding.

Most are incompatible with static media. In a culture that has contorted itself around the limitations of marks on paper, these modes are undeveloped, unrecognized, or scorned.

We are now seeing the start of a dynamic medium. To a large extent, people today are using this medium merely to emulate and extend static representations from the era of paper, and to further constrain the ways in which the human body can interact with external representations of thought.

But the dynamic medium offers the opportunity to deliberately invent a humane and empowering form of knowledge work. We can design dynamic representations which draw on the entire range of human capabilities — all senses, all forms of movement, all forms of understanding — instead of straining a few and atrophying the rest.

This talk suggests how each of the human activities in which thought is externalized (conversing, presenting, reading, writing, etc) can be redesigned around such representations.

---

Art by David Hellman.
Bret Victor -- http://worrydream.com "

[Some notes from Boris Anthony:

"Those of you who know my "book hack", Bret talks about exactly what motivates my explorations starting at 20:45 in https://vimeo.com/115154289 "
https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/574339495274876928

"From a different angle, btwn 20:00-29:00 Bret explains how "IoT" is totally changing everything
https://vimeo.com/115154289
@timoreilly @moia"
https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/574341875836043265 ]
bretvictor  towatch  interactiondesign  davidhellman  hiroshiishii  softrobotics  robots  robotics  kenperlin  jeromebruner  howardgardner  kieranegan  edwinhutchins  andyclark  jjgibson  embodiedcognition  cognition  writing  math  mathematics  infographic  visualization  communication  graphics  graphicdesign  design  representation  humans  understanding  howwelearn  howwethink  media  digital  dynamism  movement  conversation  presentation  reading  howweread  howwewrite  chalktalk  otherlab  3dprinting  3d  materials  physical  tangibility  depth  learning  canon  ui  informationdesign  infographics  maps  mapping  data  thinking  thoughts  numbers  algebra  arithmetic  notation  williamplayfair  cartography  gestures  placevalue  periodictable  michaelfaraday  jamesclerkmaxell  ideas  print  printing  leibniz  humanism  humanerepresentation  icons  visual  aural  kinesthetic  spatial  tactile  symbols  iot  internetofthings  programming  computers  screens  computation  computing  coding  modeling  exploration  via:robertogreco  reasoning  rhetoric  gerrysussman  environments  scale  virtualization 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The American Scholar: Joyas Volardores - Brian Doyle
"Consider the hummingbird for a long moment. A hummingbird’s heart beats ten times a second. A hummingbird’s heart is the size of a pencil eraser. A hummingbird’s heart is a lot of the hummingbird. Joyas volardores, flying jewels, the first white explorers in the Americas called them, and the white men had never seen such creatures, for hummingbirds came into the world only in the Americas, nowhere else in the universe, more than three hundred species of them whirring and zooming and nectaring in hummer time zones nine times removed from ours, their hearts hammering faster than we could clearly hear if we pressed our elephantine ears to their infinitesimal chests.

Each one visits a thousand flowers a day. They can dive at sixty miles an hour. They can fly backwards. They can fly more than five hundred miles without pausing to rest. But when they rest they come close to death: on frigid nights, or when they are starving, they retreat into torpor, their metabolic rate slowing to a fifteenth of their normal sleep rate, their hearts sludging nearly to a halt, barely beating, and if they are not soon warmed, if they do not soon find that which is sweet, their hearts grow cold, and they cease to be. Consider for a moment those hummingbirds who did not open their eyes again today, this very day, in the Americas: bearded helmet-crests and booted racket-tails, violet-tailed sylphs and violet-capped woodnymphs, crimson topazes and purple-crowned fairies, red-tailed comets and amethyst woodstars, rainbow-bearded thornbills and glittering-bellied emeralds, velvet-purple coronets and golden-bellied star-frontlets, fiery-tailed awlbills and Andean hillstars, spatuletails and pufflegs, each the most amazing thing you have never seen, each thunderous wild heart the size of an infant’s fingernail, each mad heart silent, a brilliant music stilled.

Hummingbirds, like all flying birds but more so, have incredible enormous immense ferocious metabolisms. To drive those metabolisms they have race-car hearts that eat oxygen at an eye-popping rate. Their hearts are built of thinner, leaner fibers than ours. Their arteries are stiffer and more taut. They have more mitochondria in their heart muscles—anything to gulp more oxygen. Their hearts are stripped to the skin for the war against gravity and inertia, the mad search for food, the insane idea of flight. The price of their ambition is a life closer to death; they suffer more heart attacks and aneurysms and ruptures than any other living creature. It’s expensive to fly. You burn out. You fry the machine. You melt the engine. Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise and live to be two hundred years old, or you can spend them fast, like a hummingbird, and live to be two years old.

The biggest heart in the world is inside the blue whale. It weighs more than seven tons. It’s as big as a room. It is a room, with four chambers. A child could walk around it, head high, bending only to step through the valves. The valves are as big as the swinging doors in a saloon. This house of a heart drives a creature a hundred feet long. When this creature is born it is twenty feet long and weighs four tons. It is waaaaay bigger than your car. It drinks a hundred gallons of milk from its mama every day and gains two hundred pounds a day, and when it is seven or eight years old it endures an unimaginable puberty and then it essentially disappears from human ken, for next to nothing is known of the the mating habits, travel patterns, diet, social life, language, social structure, diseases, spirituality, wars, stories, despairs and arts of the blue whale. There are perhaps ten thousand blue whales in the world, living in every ocean on earth, and of the largest animal who ever lived we know nearly nothing. But we know this: the animals with the largest hearts in the world generally travel in pairs, and their penetrating moaning cries, their piercing yearning tongue, can be heard underwater for miles and miles.

Mammals and birds have hearts with four chambers. Reptiles and turtles have hearts with three chambers. Fish have hearts with two chambers. Insects and mollusks have hearts with one chamber. Worms have hearts with one chamber, although they may have as many as eleven single-chambered hearts. Unicellular bacteria have no hearts at all; but even they have fluid eternally in motion, washing from one side of the cell to the other, swirling and whirling. No living being is without interior liquid motion. We all churn inside.

So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one in the end—not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words I have something to tell you, a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother’s papery ancient hand in the thicket of your hair, the memory of your father’s voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children."
2012  briandoyle  via:jenlowe  animals  nature  birds  hummingbirds  numbers  time  repetition  metabolism  biology  hearts  whales  bluewhales  mammals  anatomy  lifetimes  scale  size  life  speed  velocity 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Frontiers | Difference in quantity discrimination in dogs and wolves | Comparative Psychology
"Certain aspects of social life, such as engaging in intergroup conflicts, as well as challenges posed by the physical environment, may facilitate the evolution of quantity discrimination. In lack of excessive comparative data, one can only hypothesize about its evolutionary origins, but human-raised wolves performed well when they had to choose the larger of two sets of 1–4 food items that had been sequentially placed into two opaque cans. Since in such paradigms, the animals never see the entire content of either can, their decisions are thought to rely on mental representation of the two quantities rather than on some perceptual factors such as the overall volume or surface area of the two amounts. By equaling the time that it takes to enter each quantity into the cans or the number of items entered, one can further rule out the possibility that animals simply choose based on the amount of time needed to present the two quantities. While the wolves performed well even in such a control condition, dogs failed to choose the larger one of two invisible quantities in another study using a similar paradigm. Because this disparity could be explained by procedural differences, in the current study, we set out to test dogs that were raised and kept identically as the previously tested wolves using the same set-up and procedure. Our results confirm the former finding that dogs, in comparison to wolves, have inferior skills to represent quantities mentally. This seems to be in line with Frank’s (1980) hypothesis suggesting that domestication altered the information processing of dogs. However, as discussed, also alternative explanations may exist."

[via: https://twitter.com/pomeranian99/status/545284157405143040
http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/20124/20141216/wolves-better-counting-numbers-domesticated-dogs.htm ]

[Related (and shared with Clive): https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:88a5928ab54d ]
wolves  dogs  numbers  domestication  2014  friederikerange  juliajenikejew  isabelleschröder  zsófiavirányi  counting  quantities  animals 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Medicalskeptic on Twitter: "On numbers being gamed, people can't keep their own score - @EdwardTufte http://t.co/Ps9j1NoBIP Read this carefully and often"
"On numbers being gamed, people can't keep their own score - @EdwardTufte Read this carefully and often":

"People and institutions cannot keep their own score accurately. Metrics soon become targets and then pitches, and are thereby gamed, corrupted, misreported, fudged.

Examples: premature revenue recognition, Libor rates, beating the quarterly forecast by a single penny, terrorist attacks prevented, Weapons of Mass Destruction, number of Twitter followers, all body counts (crowd sizes, civilians blown up).

Sometimes called the Principal of Lake Wobegone, where all children are above average."
edwardtufte  gamification  numbers  metrics  quantification  cheating  accuracy  scorekeeping  liborrates  2014 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Randall Munroe Of xkcd Answers Our (Not So Absurd) Questions | FiveThirtyEight
"WH: In “What If?” you often rely on estimation techniques to develop reasonable answers to pretty complex questions. For example, in the Supernova neutrino radiation question, you reconciled two things that happen at extremely different orders of magnitude. Of the estimation techniques you use, which do you think is the most applicable for people to apply to their daily life? What’s a technical takeaway you’d like to see people use more?

RM: One thing that bothers me is large numbers presented without context. We’re always seeing things like, “This canal project will require 1.15 million tons of concrete.” It’s presented as if it should mean something to us, as if numbers are inherently informative. So we feel like if we don’t understand it, it’s our fault.

But I have only a vague idea of what one ton of concrete looks like. I have no idea what to think of a million tons. Is that a lot? It’s clearly supposed to sound like a lot, because it has the word “million” in it. But on the other hand, “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” made $7 million at the box office, and it was one of the biggest flops in movie history.

It can be more useful to look for context. Is concrete a surprisingly large share of the project’s budget? Is the project going to consume more concrete than the rest of the state combined? Will this project use up a large share of the world’s concrete? Or is this just easy, space-filling trivia? A good rule of thumb might be, “If I added a zero to this number, would the sentence containing it mean something different to me?” If the answer is “no,” maybe the number has no business being in the sentence in the first place.

One thing that’s been really helpful for me is to memorize random quantities to serve as reference points. I remember that Wyoming is the smallest state and has a bit over half a million people, and that New York’s metro area has about 20 million. Boston’s has 5 million, and Tokyo’s has 35 million. “One in 100 Americans” is 3 million people, and “1 in 100 people” is 70 million. Once I have those reference points, when I hear “10 million people have lost power in the storm,” I at least have something to compare it to.

But I’m also wary of people saying “everyone should know” some skill from their area of expertise, because people have their own stuff to deal with. It’s easy for me to imagine an abstract person and then say, “Wouldn’t it be better if that person knew how to program?” And maybe it would. But real people are complicated and busy, and don’t need me thinking of them as featureless objects and assigning them homework. Not everyone needs to know calculus, Python or how opinion polling works. Maybe more of them should, but it feels a little condescending to assume I know who those people are. I just do my best to make the stuff I’m talking about interesting; the rest is up to them."

[via: https://twitter.com/doingitwrong/status/508015133147561984 ]
randallmunroe  via:timmaly  xkcd  scale  numbers  comparison  data  magnitude  communication  people  humans  coding 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Bat, Bean, Beam: Sweet Dreams Maisy vs. Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
"If you told Exxon or Lukoil that, in order to avoid wrecking the climate, they couldn't pump out their reserves, the value of their companies would plummet. […] John Fullerton, a former managing director at JP Morgan who now runs the Capital Institute, calculates that at today's market value, those 2,795 gigatons of carbon emissions are worth about $27 trillion. Which is to say, if you paid attention to the scientists and kept 80 percent of it underground, you'd be writing off $20 trillion in assets. The numbers aren't exact, of course, but that carbon bubble makes the housing bubble look small by comparison. It won't necessarily burst – we might well burn all that carbon, in which case investors will do fine. But if we do, the planet will crater. You can have a healthy fossil-fuel balance sheet, or a relatively healthy planet – but now that we know the numbers, it looks like you can't have both. Do the math: 2,795 is five times 565. That's how the story ends. [...]

The numbers are simply staggering – [the fossil-fuel] industry, and this industry alone, holds the power to change the physics and chemistry of our planet, and they're planning to use it."
giovannitiso  climatechange  science  economics  numbers  2014  markets  fossilfuels  globalwarming 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Cory Doctorow: I think the big mistake in schools is trying to...
""I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker."


Stanley Kubrick

==

Preach it, Stan!

From Cory: What’s more, the emphasis on standardized testing and synchronized learning means that if a kid walks into a grade one classroom on fire about some book he’s read — as I did, when I first picked up ALICE IN WONDERLAND and was whisked away by it — the teacher *must* say, “Sorry, as much as you’re enjoying your first passionate love-affair with a book, as much as you’ve just had a conversion experience to being a reader, as much as you have reached a point where you are synthesizing all the stuff we’ve taught you thus far, IT’S TIME TO STOP. Now is the time when we do subtraction, not reading. If you haven’t learned your subtraction by the time the standardized test rolls around, you might flunk out, I might have my pay cut, and the school might lose its funding."


A large slice of a teacher’s real job is to watch students for their moments of satori, their moments of synthesis, and then LEAVE THEM THE FUCK ALONE. Get out of the way.

But the relentless, blind, idiotic market logic of education — schools as factories whose product is educated children; parents as customers; teachers as employees; governments as management; taxpayers as shareholders — produces a system where any real learning — synthesis, deep knowledge acquisition — is accidental and must squeeze through the cracks left in the relentless pursuit of good quarterly numbers to report to the shareholders.

I despair for the future, some days."
learning  teaching  education  factoryschools  2013  corydoctorow  satori  synthesis  children  numbers  testing  standardizedtesting  business  schoolasbusiness  unschooling  deschooling  stanleykubrick 
august 2013 by robertogreco
I Own a "Low-End Bicycle," and Other Things I Learned from the Dictionary of Numbers | The Hairpin
"The Dictionary of Numbers translates numbers into other numbers. The Chrome extension, once downloaded as a plug-in, takes all the numerical figures that show up in your browser and gives them context in the form of other numerical figures. Or, to use its creator’s words, it puts numbers into “human terms.”


[Available here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dictionary-of-numbers/ahhgdmkmcgahbkcbmlkpmmamemlkajaf ]
numbers  context  comparison  extensions  plugins  chrome  via:jenlowe 
june 2013 by robertogreco
COHEN VAN BALEN
"Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen run a London based experimental practice that produces fictional objects, photographs, performances and videos exploring the tensions between biology and technology.

Inspired by designer species, composed wilderness and mechanical organs, they set out to create posthuman bodies, bespoke metabolisms, unnatural animals and poetic machines."
art  design  cohenvanbalen  revitalcohen  tuurvanbalen  via:bopuc  animals  biology  artificial  bacteria  biotech  biotechnology  bionics  biosensors  sensors  blood  bodies  body  human  humans  brain  memory  cellularmemory  science  choreography  cities  clocks  cooking  cyborgs  documentary  dogs  eels  electricity  ethics  exhibitiondesign  exhibitions  families  genetics  gold  goldfish  heirlooms  immunesystem  immunity  implants  installations  language  languages  leeches  lifesupport  life  machines  numbers  organs  performance  phantoms  pharmaceuticals  pigeons  birds  placebos  poetics  posthumanism  sheep  psychology  rats  prozac  suicide  soap  spatial  serotonine  superheroes  syntheticbiology  video  yeast  utopia  yogurt  translation 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Luke Johnson: Mysteries and Curiosities Map of JPL: How can design influence an established culture?
"It was during this walk that I first realized JPL was a lot like the television show Lost."

"The map functions as a tool to orient new employees, encourage Lab explorationg for current employees, and to put a human face on JPL for the outside public."

"Armed with a GPS tracknig device, camera, and a trusty pair of shoes, I walked to every buidling on Lab in numerical order. What I thought would take a Saturday afternoon took 22 hours over the span of four days at a walking distance of 52.2 miles."

"The map itself is divided into two sections. The front is an Insider's Guide containing information I wish someone had explained to me when I began working at the Lab. The back provides several Walking Tours. A Welcome Pack and Website/Smartphone App were recently funded."

"The creation of a new design practice requires a certain entrepreneurial spirit and chutzpah"

[via: https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/267163844512714752 ]
wayfinding  nasa  california  exploration  cartography  mapping  maps  buildings  numbering  numbers  lost  alexandersmith  davidmikula  juliatsao  christianeholzheid  erinellis  pasadena  jpl  lukejohnson 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Will · Our Numbers Obsession Will Kill Us
"You may think the Common Core is more about critical thinking and skills than about content, a move in the right direction, but it doesn’t matter. The assessments will HAVE TO BE about the quantifiable, since we’ve done such a good job at raising the stakes around how the results will be used.

We’re borked.

"According to the late Gerald Bracey, who conducted extensive research and authored numerous books about the misuse of data on education among policymakers, politicians, and the media, a measure of some of the most valuable achievements that test results cannot capture include: creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, self-discipline, leadership, resourcefulness, and a sense of wonder."

The immeasurable."
numbers  softskills  jamespaulgee  geraldbracey  standards  standardizedtesting  standardization  education  learning  immeasurables  measurement  assessment  commoncore  2012  willrichardson  shrequest1 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Karel Martens on Vimeo
"Evoking meaning, rather than boldly presenting truth: this is the essence of typographer Karel Martens' work. To achieve this he likes to experiment with numbers, abstract figures and vivid colors.

During the seventies Karel Martens worked for SUN, a socialist publisher led by a group of highly motivated individuals. He succeeded in giving all their publications a very distinctive appearance.

Martens has been teaching throughout most of his career. Like for instance here at Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem."

One quote:

"The nicest way to deal with students is to take them seriously, to listen to them well, and to trust them."

[Posted here: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/30376075304/evoking-meaning-rather-than-boldly-presenting AND here: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/30377108566/the-nicest-way-to-deal-with-students-is-to-take ]
via:litherland  reality  fabric  numbers  color  listening  trust  graphics  cv  teaching  typography  design  graphicdesign  karelmartens 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Friedrich Knauss - Google+ - "Your entire career will be based on a the equivalent of single tweet."
"CST tests.

60 multiple choice questions for each student.

4 choices for each question.

That's 2 bits per question. 15 (8 bit) bytes per student. The sum total of how we look at their success.

Those 30 bytes get turned into a score between 150 & 600. 450 points (9 bits), except it's not. Because of weighting and quantization, you only get 160ish discrete scores. That's down to under 8 bits per student. (Probably appropriate, because the questions are unique from one level to next, so information about an individual response doesn't correlate to any particular response from the next year).

If a teacher has 28 kids in 5 periods, that's 140 students. 1120 bits of data to evaluate their entire performance for a year.

NY has decided that test scores will count for 40% of a teachers evaluation, & an unsatisfactory rating on test scores prohibits anything except an unsatisfactory rating for the other 60%.

Your entire career will be based on a the equivalent of single tweet."
2012  schooliness  schools  education  testscores  performance  numbers  data  absurdity  assessment  evaluation  tests  standardizedtesting  testing 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Synesthesia's blended senses - latimes.com
"The study of synesthesia has helped shift the way scientists think about the brain. In the past, they have focused on matching different areas with specific functions; now, the entire organ is viewed as a tapestry of interwoven connections.

"The whole system is a giant network," Eagleman says. "It's no longer sufficient to think about single areas in isolation."

Like synesthesia, many neurological disorders — such as schizophrenia, autism,Alzheimer's disease, depression and epilepsy — have been linked to abnormal communication between brain regions. The hope is that as neuroscientists learn about how the connections in the synesthetic brain differ from those in normal brains, they will also gain insight into how these differences develop — and how they sometimes manifest as harmful disorders."
davideagleman  sensoryprocessingdysfunction  depression  epilepsy  alzheimers  schizophrenia  autism  music  sudio  sounds  smells  colors  numbers  ucsd  networks  senses  brain  neuroscience  2012  synesthesia 
february 2012 by robertogreco
The radical power of just showing up - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
"The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements show that simply standing together can achieve real results."

"Occupy Wall Street is unsettling and disarming to those who hold economic power precisely because it is about making our government more democratic, creating an economic system that is more fair to its citizens and more responsive to the needs of people, and not to the needs of corporations. I noted that revolutionary moments turn into revolutions only when the repressive forces maintaining the regime begin to divide. The 1 per cent can be split - and perhaps already is becoming divided. When it does, this revolutionary moment may turn revolutionary. An alternative future on a global scale is possible, and it may have never been more within reach. And even if gains are not imminent, people of every generation grasp the idea that they ought to have a direct say in the conditions that shape their lives. Indeed, they are now insisting on it. Nothing is more revolutionary."
occupywallstreet  ows  revolution  2011  protest  change  numbers 
october 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: How Many Really?
"How Many Really? compares the number of people involved in key historical events or situations to the people you know through Facebook or Twitter. You can also add your own numbers — for example, the amount of students in your class.

Choose a story to get started."
berg  berglondon  bbc  comparison  history  visualization  data  statistics  numbers  scale  howmanyreally? 
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: How Many Really? – Blog – BERG
"One of the concepts was called ‘Dimensions’ – a set of tools that looked to juxtapose the size of things from history and the news with things you are familiar with – bringing them home to you.<br />
<br />
About a year ago, we launched the first public prototype from that thinking, http://howbigreally.com, which overlaid the physical dimensions of news events such as the 2010 Pakistan Floods, or historic events such as the Apollo 11 moonwalks on where you lived or somewhere you were familiar with.<br />
<br />
It was a simple idea that proved pretty effective, with over half-a-million visitors in the past year, and a place in the MoMA Talk To Me exhibition.<br />
<br />
Today, we’re launching its sibling, howmanyreally.com"
berg  berglondon  history  data  howmanyreally?  socialmedia  mashup  2011  comparison  numbers  context  howbigreally? 
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: Aztec Human Sacrifice
"It's estimated that 20,000 humans were sacrificed by the Aztecs every year.
How does this compare to the number of people you know?"
aztec  ancientcivilization  classideas  howmanyreally?  comparison  numbers 
september 2011 by robertogreco
The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything : Monkey See : NPR
"Culling is easy; it implies a huge amount of control & mastery. Surrender, on the other hand, is a little sad. That's the moment you realize you're separated from so much. That's your moment of understanding that you'll miss most of the music, dancing, books & films that there have ever been & ever will be, & right now, there's something being performed somewhere in the world that you're not seeing that you would love.

It's sad, but it's also ... great, really. Imagine if you'd seen everything good, or if you knew about everything good. Imagine if you really got to all the recordings & books and movies you're "supposed to see."…That would imply that all the cultural value the world has managed to produce since a glob of primordial ooze…can [be] gobble[d up]…in one lifetime…

If "well-read" means "not missing anything," then nobody has a chance. If "well-read" means "making a genuine effort to explore thoughtfully," then yes, we can all be well-read…"
culture  books  history  future  npr  music  films  cantkeepup  needfrequentremindersofthis  content  flow  control  culling  curation  curating  lindaholmes  rogerebert  humans  life  lifetime  reading  listening  watching  hearing  literature  science  fiction  nonfiction  beingwell-read  takethatedhirsch  culturalliteracy  beauty  insignificance  love  happiness  wisdom  thesumofhumanproduction  numbers  tv  television  art  cv 
april 2011 by robertogreco
20th WCP: Wittgenstein's Children: Some Implications for Teaching and Otherness
"The later Wittgenstein uses children in his philosophical arguments against the traditional views of language. Describing how they learn language is one of his philosophical methods for setting philosophers free from their views and enabling them to see the world in a different way. The purpose of this paper is to explore what features of children he takes advantage of in his arguments, and to show how we can read Wittgenstein in terms of education. … The two features show that teaching is unlike telling, an activity toward the other who does not understand our explanations. Since we might not understand learners because of otherness, the justification of teaching is a crucial problem that is not properly answered so long as otherness is unrecognized. As long as we ignore otherness, we would not be aware that we might mistreat learners."
wittgenstein  language  numbers  numbersense  teaching  pedagogy  education  philosophy  logic  otherness  empathy  children  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  yasushimaruyama 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 39, Jorge Luis Borges
Too much to choose, but here's one interesting bit: "Now as for the color yellow, there is a physical explanation of that. When I began to lose my sight, the last color I saw, or the last color, rather, that stood out, because of course now I know that your coat is not the same color as this table or of the woodwork behind you—the last color to stand out was yellow because it is the most vivid of colors. That's why you have the Yellow Cab Company in the United States. At first they thought of making the cars scarlet. Then somebody found out that at night or when there was a fog that yellow stood out in a more vivid way than scarlet. So you have yellow cabs because anybody can pick them out. Now when I began to lose my eyesight, when the world began to fade away from me, there was a time among my friends . . . well they made, they poked fun at me because I was always wearing yellow neckties. Then they thought I really liked yellow, although it really was too glaring."
borges  interview  literature  writing  fiction  parisreview  1966  film  language  books  numbers  religion  colors  words  languages  oldnorse  metaphor  georgeeliot  childhood  robertlouisstevenson  treasureisland  marktwain  tomsawyer  huckleberryfinn  milongas  adolfobioycásares  rudyardkipling  kafka  henryjames  waltwhitman  carlsandburg  poetry  josephconrad  argentina  buenosaires  tseliot 
february 2011 by robertogreco
What’s wrong with bean counting? - Steve Denning - RETHINK - Forbes
"It’s important to note what’s wrong with bean counting. It’s not that counting is wrong. Counting is good. We desperately need to know what’s working and what isn’t.

The problem with the bean counters is what’s being counted. It’s a focus on solely counting things, rather than dimensions of life related to people. It’s perfectly possible to measure dimensions like client delight and employee satisfaction, but the bean counters–and 20th Century business–focused on counting the beans.

Bean counting is the consequence of a view of the world as consisting of “things” to be manipulated, rather than people to be interacted with and conversed with and responded to.

The new economics counts the people dimensions as well as the beans. And guess what? Even in conventional bean-counting terms, the new economics turns out to be two- to four-times more productive than traditional management…"
economics  society  change  management  administration  numbers  statistics  accounting  accountability  accountants  people  leadership  standardizedtesting  whatmatters  tunnelvision 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Caterina.net» Blog Archive » A WORD ON STATISTICS by Wislawa Szymborska
"Out of every hundred people,
those who always know better:fifty-two.
Unsure of every step:almost all the rest.
Ready to help,if it doesn’t take long:forty-nine.
Always good,because they cannot be otherwise:four — well, maybe five.
Able to admire without envy:eighteen…"
poetry  statistics  wislawaszymborska  classideas  poems  numbers  empathy 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Enigma Gadgets:NameSpace
"Here is I. M. Chip Blue, the fifth in my series of Enigma Gadgets. Like the others, it's based on the Arudino microcontroller and uses the Quadravox QV300 speech module. The QV300 is programmed from the factory to speak 240 common technical terms including units of measure, numbers and colors. I. M. Chip Blue also contains a Memsic 2125 accelerometer. I have programmed it the device to speak nonsensical sentences based on a set of rules. The rules vary depending on the way the device is oriented."
craighickman  arduino  microcontrollers  fictionalsmartboxes  accelerometers  numbers  colors  voice  nonsense 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Autism and HIV: when maths can be misleading - Telegraph
"Moreover, the number of people involved was small: 20 with autism, 20 without. With that small a group, it’s hard to tell whether any association that shows up is meaningful. You can train a computer using photos of the family cat, and it will calculate whichever combination of size, colour, and whisker length best detects autism in its owner. There are so many potential combinations that in all likelihood one of them will appear to perform pretty well. But try it on another bunch of people, and the odds are it will fail."
hiv  autism  statistics  math  mathematics  research  falsenegatives  accuracy  numbers 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Features Aren’t A Measure Of Innovation
"For some reason lists of features are legible to accountants & engineers who often have the keys to the car & decide what gets done."'

"Innovating, only not by stacking lists of features & parts & stuff — but at least by starting with ways of creating opportunities & experiences that lead people in new, unexpected directions. That make space for experiences that go beyond expectation. Basically creating new user experiences. I don’t think you do that just by creating new features & bolting on new technologies."

[Some quick thoughts below, but more here: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/916738627/more-opportunities-not-more-features ]

[Love this. It speaks to what we do at schools that empower learners by creating a flexible learning environment, not adding more classes, more programs. We do "less" in terms of numbers, but more in terms of freedom & self-direction, helping them give themselves more options. One point missing: it's not only accountant & engineer decision-making people that need help seeing the benefit of fewer features, but also number-comparing users (parents in our case).]
tcsnmy  julianbleecker  features  featurecreep  featuritis  moreisnotbetter  less  simplicity  experience  empowerment  design  designthinking  engineers  accountants  numbers  technology  unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  innovation  focus  lcproject  cv 
august 2010 by robertogreco
What's Special About This Number?
"primes graphs digits sums of powers bases combinatorics powers/polygonal Fibonacci
mathematics  math  numbers  reference  numberfacts 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Newsweek (The sums of all our fears.)
"[M]uch of what we fear today is based on hype rather than reality. ... Using the most recent US data available, we hereby present a lidt of unsettling threats and their riskier counterparts."
crime  danger  data  fear  infographic  newsweek  numbers  statistics  theft  death  risk  media  hype 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Capicúa - Wikipedia
"La palabra capicúa (en matemáticas, número palíndromo) se refiere a cualquier número que se lee igual de izquierda a derecha y de derecha a izquierda (Ejemplos: 212, 7.540.550.457). El término se origina en la expresión catalana cap i cua (cabeza y cola)."
palindromes  numbers  math  mathematics  español  definitions  words  spanish 
april 2010 by robertogreco
The Amazonian tribe that can only count up to five | Science | The Guardian
"Does a group of indigenous South Americans hold the key to our relationship with maths? Here, an extract from an enlightening new book explains why it just might"
amazon  mathematics  psychology  intelligence  language  math  teaching  science  anthropology  brain  cognition  counting  culture  education  ethnography  numbers  neuroscience  mind 
april 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - Nature by Numbers
"A movie inspired on numbers, geometry and nature, by Cristóbal Vila. Go to www.etereaestudios.com for more info: theory behind, stills, screenshots, tutorials..."
math  mathematics  video  science  geometry  fractals  patterns  fibonacci  numbers  nature 
march 2010 by robertogreco
How To Decode Your Car's VIN - How To Decode A VIN - Jalopnik
"The Vehicle Information Number (VIN) plate on cars is a clever way to communicate everything about a car in a simple, hard-to-duplicate format. Below, we show you how to decode any vehicle's 17-digit VIN number.
cars  automobiles  diy  vin  numbers  registration  database  security  decode  howto  tools 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Taking Note: The Real Scandal
"If AIG spent $160 million on bonuses ...out of $30 billion bailout it received...from American taxpayer, what proportion...did not go to bonuses?... 99.5%...AIG is as pure as Ivory soap...bonuses are smaller than small change. What is shocking about the bailouts begun by Bush & continuing under Obama is how huge they are...impossible to imagine numbers involved except when they are set against one another...country that uses mind-boggling masses of resources to produce mind-boggling masses of output...economic crisis is showing us that policy battles of most years are concerned with nickles & dimes. Earmarks worth $8 billion – pennies...cost of healthcare for children – nickels...Social Security shortfall after 2041 – dimes. The really big money in the economy is as hard to grasp as distance to nearest star. We need to think not in miles but in light years of spending...2002-06...73% of additional income went to top 1% of households...system has failed...over last several decades"
crisis  aig  bailouts  money  numbers  economics  via:cburell  wealth  society  rich  poor  us  capitalism  georgewbush  barackobama  billclinton  bonuses  policy  politics  healthcare  socialsecurity  earmarks 
march 2009 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Magazine | Size matters - smaller is better: Want to go large on housing, schools, prisons, hospitals or simply pricetags? Bad idea - keeping a lid on size is the way to go, says Katharine Whitehorn.
"they told Belisarius that an army of 100,000 troops was mustering against him, he calmly said: "Very few generals can manage an army of 100,000." And when they said: "It's now 150,000", he'd say: "Even fewer generals can manage an army of 150,000." Exactly...The question of size is not just about organisational efficiency. It also affects what motivates people to do what they do...I've heard it said that 11 is the maximum useful unit, for example, for those asked to do anything really dangerous and difficult. The same number for frontline soldiers and people 100 feet down a mine. A man will put himself at serious risk to save one of his mates, but not for the 29th miner down the line. ""No matter how many communes anybody invents, the family always creeps back," said anthropologist Margaret Mead. Communes aren't in fashion right now, it's conglomerates and global empires. But in the end we can all relate only to a certain number of people; a unity more or less like a family."
size  numbers  community  family  connectivity  complexity  groups  organizations  tcsnmy  leadership  margaretmead  society  management  administration  coordination  military  business  control  brain  history  families  creditcrunch  2009  corporations  growth  architecture  advice  via:preoccupations 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Amazonian indigenous culture demonstrates a universal mapping of number onto space
"It appears that we, as humans, can access two different methods of numerical mapping," says Dehaene. "The logarithmic, ratio-based method is the most intuitive; we inherit it from our primate evolution and we still access it in the absence of precise mathematical tools. Through education, we also acquire a linear mapping. However, this does appear to be a cultural construct."
math  visualization  numbers  amazon  culture  humans 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Basics - Gut Instinct’s Surprising Role in Math - NYTimes.com [don't miss the link to the test in the sidebar]
"One research team has found that how readily people rally their approximate number sense is linked over time to success in even the most advanced and abstruse mathematics courses. Other scientists have shown that preschool children are remarkably good at approximating the impact of adding to or subtracting from large groups of items but are poor at translating the approximate into the specific. Taken together, the new research suggests that math teachers might do well to emphasize the power of the ballpark figure, to focus less on arithmetic precision and more on general reckoning."
math  perception  numbers  approximation 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Early Learning Through Pokémon | Geekdad from Wired.com
"Much of geeky media is visually oriented but I can't really think of anything else that offers a multiple dimension (pictures, words, and numbers) to the experience. Being a book nut myself, I will say I feel a certain vindication when plain ol' print media wins out in this case. Any other geek entertainment with similar educational value out there?"
pokemon  children  learning  reading  numbers  math  statistics  parenting  pokémon 
september 2008 by robertogreco
ME3DIA - February 26 2008: Hex silliness.
"The realization that l33tspeak could be applied to hex values in Photoshop led to a few minutes of frivolity. UPDATE: A few more, based on your suggestions (I can't believe I missed #C0FFEE the first time!) and some additional ones I came up with"
humor  geek  css  html  hex  numbers  color  webdesign  coding  webdev 
february 2008 by robertogreco
SSRN-Do Consumers Perceive Precise Prices to be Lower than Round Prices? Evidence from Laboratory and Market Data by Manoj Thomas, Daniel Simon, Vrinda Kadiyali
"Does precision or roundedness of prices bias magnitude judgments? If so, do they affect buyer behavior? In a laboratory pre-test...people incorrectly judge precise prices ($325,425) to be lower than round prices of similar magnitudes ($325,000)."
marketing  pricing  psychology  numbers  math 
january 2008 by robertogreco
mantissa: Definition and Much More from Answers.com
"The decimal part of a logarithm. In the logarithm 2.95424, the mantissa is 0.95424."
words  math  language  english  numbers 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Free People Search by ZabaSearch!
"Free People Search and Public Information Search Engine"
records  reference  onlinetoolkit  free  people  search  numbers  phone  addresses 
august 2007 by robertogreco
The MegaPenny Project | Index Page
"Visualizing huge numbers can be very difficult. People regularly talk about millions of miles, billions of bytes, or trillions of dollars, yet it's still hard to grasp just how much a "billion" really is. The MegaPenny Project aims to help by taking one
visualization  math  money  numbers  scale 
september 2006 by robertogreco
Mobile Opportunity: Good luck naming your phones, Nokia
"But there are several huge problems with using real words as product names."
design  marketing  technology  names  words  language  superstition  numbers  products  naming 
september 2006 by robertogreco
American Scientist Online - What Do Animals Think About Numbers?
"Many animals have basic numerical abilities, but some experiences can transform their minds and ultimately change how they think about numbers"
animals  science  intelligence  learning  numbers  math 
september 2006 by robertogreco

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