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tsuomela : benefits   18

New Statesman | Living life by the book: why reading isn't always good for you
"Somewhere along the line, an orthodoxy hardened: cigarettes will kill you and Bon Jovi will give you a migraine, but reading – the ideal diet being Shakespeare and 19th-century novels, plus the odd modernist – will make you healthier, stronger, kinder. But is that true?"
reading  psychology  benefits 
march 2014 by tsuomela
Joyce and the Internet: What Leopold Bloom Didn't Know - Alan Jacobs - The Atlantic
"James Joyce's narration leads us through the difficulty of finding knowledge in a pre-Internet era, reminding us how lucky we are to have this technology, despite all its flaws."
internet  benefits  technology-effects  knowledge  class  distribution  access  history 
april 2013 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias : Far Truth Is For Extremes
"So assuming you actually have a viable choice, the situations where it makes sense to reject religion in favor of far truth are extreme – either there are big personally-useful far contrarian claims to learn, or you have a good shot at being a rare far expert, respected by a community with truth-correlated standards. So if such extremes seem unlikely to you, far truth probably isn’t worth its costs to you."
religion  belief  construal-level-theory  near-far  truth  benefits  psychology  atheism 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Data for the Public Good - O'Reilly Media
As we move into an era of unprecedented volumes of data and computing power, the benefits aren't for business alone. Data can help citizens access government, hold it accountable and build new services to help themselves.

Simply making data available is not sufficient. The use of data for the public good is being driven by a distributed community of media, nonprofits, academics and civic advocates.

This report from O'Reilly Radar highlights the principles of data in the public good, and surveys areas where data is already being used to great effect, covering:

Consumer finance
Transit data
Government transparency
Data journalism
Aid and development
Crisis and emergency response
Healthcare
data  public  benefits  citizenship  citizen 
april 2012 by tsuomela
What is public science, and why do you need it?
Public science is basic scientific research funded by governments, and just in America alone it's led to breakthroughs in everything from medicine to clean energy. But now public science is under threat. Here's why — and why we can't afford to lose it.
science  public  benefits  research  funding  government  budget  deficit  politics  economics 
september 2011 by tsuomela
Einstein on Wall Street, Time-Money Continuum: Mark Buchanan - Bloomberg
"This so-called exponential discounting -- reducing the value of something by a fixed percentage for each unit of time -- is standard practice in economics. It comes into play whenever people consider investing for long-term payoff, whether by building railroads for high-speed trains or reining in carbon emissions to preserve the climate. And it discounts the distant future especially drastically. This is why economists and others often squabble over the right annual percentage to use -- should it be 5 percent, 7 percent, 1 percent? Change this a little, and values change a lot. "
economics  discounting-rate  future  benefits  rational-markets  rational  time 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias : The Dark Side of Cooperation
But such stories mostly ignore the dark side of cooperation: pro-cooperation instincts rely on dangerous conformity. Yes groups can be better off if individuals can see who do things that hurt the group overall, and punish those folks, and punish those who don’t punish them, etc. But our evolved instincts about which are the individual actions that actually hurt others might be quite out of whack.
cooperation  altruism  cost  benefits  social-psychology  social  psychology  evolution 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Op-Ed Columnist - Rewarding Bad Actors - NYTimes.com
It’s hard to imagine a better illustration than high-frequency trading. The stock market is supposed to allocate capital to its most productive uses, for example by helping companies with good ideas raise money. But it’s hard to see how traders who place their orders one-thirtieth of a second faster than anyone else do anything to improve that social function.
wall-street  banking  financial-services  high-frequency-trading  benefits  economics 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Should Environmentalists Fear Cass Sunstein? - Environment and Energy
To correct this imbalance, the next president should issue an executive order reforming how OIRA conducts its business. IPI has released a set of needed reforms to achieve balanced cost-benefit analyses. Reforms include increasing transparency, reviewing deregulation and agency inaction, ensuring that costs of regulation are not overestimated, and taking distributional effects into account. All of these changes would signal President Obama’s commitment to a more reasonable and just system of regulation. Sunstein’s appointment makes clear that Obama wants change at OIRA—he is too talented to be wasted in a business-as-usual role in the next administration. But the task of reforming cost-benefit analysis, removing its biases, and reforging it into a neutral tool for sound policymaking, all while promoting a strong regulatory agenda in a time of economic crisis, will not be easy.
regulation  government  regulatory-capture  reform  cost  benefits  analysis 
january 2009 by tsuomela
Dept. of Human Resources: The Risk Pool: The New Yorker
[GM and Bethlehem Steel] with respect to the staggering burden of benefit obligations, what got them in trouble isn’t what they did wrong
economics  risk  insurance  pensions  benefits  human-resources  time  management 
november 2008 by tsuomela

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