Star Wars - Episode V "The Empire Strikes Back" Homage (Title Sequence) from KROFL on Vimeo.

Computer science and math

Bots won't replace apps - better apps will. Argues that the main reason for the rise of WeChat and the like is that mobile OS makers aren't really meeting user needs.

Write Papers like a Modern Scientist

CDNs aren't just for caching.

Jeremy Kun explains the SVD and (along the way) how data scientists look at matrices.

Simpson's Paradox.

Professors intentionally slow down science to make themselves look better. Great article on the perverse incentives of academic publishing, and a call to "find all government-funded studies without reporting and openly shame the offenders."

The Rise of the Trollbot. Number (4) on this list - controlling filter bubbles - is scary. Then again, Facebook may already be doing this.

Econ and social sci

Countries with Higher Levels of Gender Equality Show Larger National Sex Differences in Mathematics Anxiety and Relatively Lower Parental Mathematics Valuation for Girls. Relatedly, European countries with higher levels of gender equality do not have more female CEOs.

The Uberization of Banking discusses a non-bank lender who discovered that if you aren't a bank, you are permitted to lend to people with a high probability of repayment. John Cochrane comments on it. From Cochrane:

Yes, bank "safety" regulations demand that banks purposely lend to people that one can pretty clearly see will not pay it back, and demand that they do not lend money to people that one can pretty clearly see will pay it back... In today's rather rule-free environment, the CFPB -- or Department of Justice -- might just discover it doesn't like the demographics of Stanford MBAs as target borrowers.

Hayek was wrong because Girard was right. This is a great article about Rene Girard (I need to read more of him), discussing how society survives due to the scapegoating mechanism.

Here, again, Girard’s theory renders unsurprising that which economists and political scientists are at a loss to explain: for instance how the favoured ‘cure’ for economic depression is to visit structural violence upon low-paid immigrants, racial minorities, the homeless, the unemployed and the disabled.

That particular bit seems dated - now the 'cure' for economic problems is visiting structural violence upon racists, the wealthy, bankers and employers of low skilled labor. But the scapegoating mechanism remains the same, just a new target.

In the past studies have shown employers are biased against resumes by people with black surnames. New study (n=9000) fails to replicate the previous results.

Why the Global 1% and the Asian Middle Class Have Gained the Most from Globalization

Sometimes Tech Companies Should Be Regulated Less Than Competitors


Mukbang and haul videos - super indulgent eating/shopping videos. I just don't understand this stuff, but I want to at least be aware of it. Where can I get updates about such things?

Noir Shanghai. Simply beautiful.

Why the NRA hates Smart Guns. This is a surprisingly good article, particularly for TechCrunch.

The Long Term Consequencs of Teacher Discretion in Grading. Apparently giving students good (unearned) grades has far reaching and beneficial effects - it suggests a beneficial signalling effect within the school system rather than future labor markets. Very interesting.

Inference with the Vampire. Imagine a cravat-wearing vampire Count who is one thousand years old. Unlike some vampires...he has been following what the humans have been doing...and keeps up-to-date with philosophy, politics, and current events. The vampire is immensely knowledgeable. He has been participating in intellectual salons to find victims. He keeps a library of old books in his castle, and he reads avidly in between meals...

Identity and Bureaucracy. This article claims that one of the reasons Facebook needs 56 gender identities is because our modern society, dominated by bureaucracies, has accepted the idea that if something doesn't have a label it doesn't exist.

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