rudolph section

art from Socks Studio.

Math, Stats, Computer Science

Problematic Presentation of Probabilities. About how difficult it is to explain probabilistic predictions to lay audiences.

...any bayesian algorithm is also an algorithm that can be implemented for streaming...

Inherent Trade-Offs in the Fair Determination of Risk Scores - explains how all algorithms have a tradeoff between fairness and accuracy.

A warning about value discaring in Scala. Specifically, Scala will sometimes implicitly turn objects of type T to () when you don't expect it.

Automated Inference on Criminality using Face Images - looks like Phrenology might have some empirical support. All American twitter can do is repeat "ethics in AI" like a mantra, pressure the arxiv should take it down (with no argument why it must be wrong) and how it must somehow be racist (the entire data set was Chinese people).

Relatedly, China is winning the nuclear race using technology the US has abandoned.

Economics

A Theory of Efficient Short-Termism. This article postulates that the owners of firms want managers to pursue short term goals in order to reduce the risk of managers engageing in rent seeking.

A meta analysis of student evaluations shows that student evaluations of professors are more or less uncorrelated with teaching effectiveness. I'm not particularly surprised - I always considered student evaluations to be a measure of attractiveness, sympathy and how easy the tests are.

A discussion of Trump's Carrier deal, by Larry Summers. What Summers fails to recognize is that the "deal based capitalism" which he decries is already here - it's just usually the bureaucracy rather than the president you need to make the deal with. In particular, in the world of big city real estate (e.g. NYC), there is nothing but Trump's "deal based capitalism". I love how the economic elites are suddenly remembering their principles now that Trump is in charge.

CDC is unable to reliably connect "food deserts" and obesity. Also, Yes there are grocery stores in Detroit.

...the argument that job loss in manufacturing is due to trade deficits rather than automation is simply innumeracy.

Trump is considering an economically literate FDA chief, with very clear Peter Thiel influence. I'm starting to think Peter Thiel might have been right about this one.

The Chronicle of Higher Education laments the fact that economics is too capitalistic, and celebrates the AEA founder who denounced Lassez faire. Alex Tabarrok points out exactly what this means. (Hint: Lassez faire suggests that whites and negros should be allowed to breed, while the anti-capitalists the Chronicle celebrates did not think this.)

What if powerful political and ideological forces stood to benefit if the general public believed that small orange rocks dropped into swimming pools cause no increases in the water levels of swimming pools? ...there would be no shortage of physicists who conduct and publish studies allegedly offering evidence that, indeed, the dropping of small orange rocks into swimming pools does not tend to raise the water levels of swimming pools (and, indeed, might even lower pools water levels!).

Culture

Is Empathy Necessary for Morality?

What the hell is postmodernism? Who the hell were Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier? What the Hell is Modern Architecture? and Part 3.

Steve Bannon in his own words. Here's an interesting speech that Bannon gave which outlines his worldview. I think he's wrong on a lot, and I'm also not his target audience (I'm a white American who feels closer to the people in Bombay than in Kansas), but he's definitely not the person the media portrays him as.

Another useful description of class in America. This article definitely resonates with me. A woman I know with a penchant for feminism and social justice - a dark skinned Indian with the accent that sounds British to people who've never lived in India - recently remarked to me that she's concerned about police harasment. I asked how often the American police harassed her and it turns out the answer is "never", and she refused my bet that it will remain "never" in 2017. For me the answer is very far from "never". I also can't request a cortisone (anti-inflammatory) injection from doctors without them thinking I'm seeking narcotics.

Who gave us post truth, conspiracy culture?

Donna Zuckerberg, a classicist of some note (mostly due to her famous brother, here's his website) advocates refusing to share the classics with the alt-right. The alt-right response is significantly more intellectual.


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