Thursday, March 10, 2011

February link clearance


 A white female LHC engineer bemoans the lack of black PhDs in physics in a rather over-the-top way — 'threatens the viability of scientific research'? Give me a break. But the statistic cannot be simply brushed aside. With all the Affirmative Action programs, powerful Equal Opportunities commissions etc. everyone who wants to go for a PhD in physics should have the opportunity, so what's up? Could it be that they just don't want it? Scientific research is boring much of the time, needs hard work and a particular mindset*, and it does not pay any too well in either money or status, so why should they? Especially given all the Xyz Studies departments. Check out White Studies, by the way.

 BBC article about robot carers in Japan contains very condescending remarks aimed at Japan's anti-immigration policy. It appears that many Anglophone Brahmins resent Japan for getting along tolerably well without mass immigration and want it to open up (this is noticeable even in Lonely Planet Japan), while condescension towards Japan is a regular feature of both articles and comments; sometimes these produce poisonous outbursts which then get moderated. Comment section to the above-mentioned article contains interesting discussion of job markets etc.


 Average female faces by country/region. Source: The Postnational Monitor. Also great mod text.

 Mark Thoma's lectures on economics theory, econometrics etc.

 Problems with bank executives' incentive structures — the breakdown in corporate governance [...] is complete.

 E. M. Forster's 1909 (!) short story "The Machine Stops" — much of the internet bears an uncanny resemblance to the story's tele-lecturers, who spend lives 'growing spiritually' by exchanging tenth-hand regurgitated information.

 It is more efficient to read books pursuing some idea than expecting to get ideas, even if your original idea turns out to be worthless later it serves as a scaffold for acquired knowledge. Very good!

 A very large epidemiological study of a 1946 British cohort.

 The Enron Corpus — 600000 emails generated by 158 Enron employees, went public during the Enron trial. Used to train systems for e-discovery, communication analysis etc.

 Journal of Macroeconomics article on economic growth in the Gilded Age US got cowened.

 Predictions on how Germans can't fix Eurozone's financial troubles — very realistic thinking and understanding of how European financial sector really works.

 The Onion makes fun of Tyler Cowen's call for more status for scientists.

 Excellent article about MMORPG design — class system, levels, balancing etc.

 People who have trouble focusing attention may be more creative, especially those who have high IQ.

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