The HuRL team, led by Adrian Ward and Caleb Warren, created the Humor Algorithm (HA) to rank the 50 funniest cities in America – the most comprehensive analysis of humorous cities ever attempted.
This is not a joke. The New York Times covered it.
The post What are the funniest cities in the United States? appeared first on Peter McGraw.
Here’s the diagram with corrections; answers follow:
Note that the ...
This course introduces the philosophy and socio-cultural movement that is transhumanism. We will survey its core ideas, history, technological requirements, potential manifestations, and ethical implications. Topics to be discussed will include the various ways humans have tried to enhance themselves throughout history, the political and social aspects of transhumanism, the technologies required to enhance humans (including cybernetics, pharmaceuticals, genetics, and nanotechnology), and the various ways humans may choose to use these technologies to modify and augment their capacities (including radical life extension, intelligence augmentation, and mind uploading). Along the way we will discuss social and ethical problems that might be posed by human enhancement.
Two political science articles I read recently have surprisingly dissonant conclusions.
Gilens and Page’s study “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” is very interesting. You may have spotted it in the news media under any of a host of diverse titles:
The New Yorker: Is America An Oligarchy?
Business Insider: Major Study Finds That The US Is An Oligarchy.
And my favorite, Daily Kos: Too Important For Clever Titles: Scientific Study Says We Are An Oligarchy
(the word “oligarchy” appears in the study only once, at the bottom of page six, as a reference to an alternative theory the authors do not endorse)
But RAMPANT MEDIA PLAGIARISM aside, it’s not a bad summary. The study tries to determine what factors predict whether or not a policy gets implemented in the United States. They compare popular support to elite support, where “elites” are the wealthiest ten percent, and find that elite support is a stronger predictor ...
In her new book, The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, Megan McArdle takes some time to discuss forager vs. farmer attitudes toward risk.
Forager food sources tended to be more risky and variable, while farmer food sources are more reliable. So foragers emphasized food sharing more, and a tolerate attitude toward failure to find food. In contrast, farmers shared food less and held individuals responsible more for getting their food. We’ve even seen the same people switch from one attitude to the other as they switched from foraging to farming. Today some people and places tend more toward farmer values of strict personal responsibility, while other people and places tend more toward forager forgiveness.
McArdle’s book is interesting throughout. For example, she talks about how felons on parole are dealt with much better via frequent reliable small punishments, relative to infrequent random big punishments. But when it comes to bankruptcy law, a situation where the law can’t help but wait a long time to respond ...
Someone who doesn’t want his name shared (for the perhaps reasonable reason that he’ll “one day not be confused, and would rather my confusion not live on online forever”) writes:
I’m exploring HLMs and stan, using your book with Jennifer Hill as my field guide to this new territory. I think I have a generally clear grasp on the material, but wanted to be sure I haven’t gone astray.
The problem in working on involves a multi-nation survey of students, and I’m especially interested in understanding the effects of country, religion, and sex, and the interactions among those factors (using IRT to estimate individual-level ability, then estimating individual, school, and country effects).
Following the basic approach laid out in chapter 13 for such interactions between levels, I think I need to create a matrix of indicator variables for religion and sex. Elsewhere in the book, you recommend against indicator variables in favor of a single index variable.
Am I right in thinking that this is purely a matter of convenience ...
I got Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic (2008) by Pamela Weintraub from the library and found something surprising: an angry foreword. Weintraub is a science journalist; the foreword is by Hillary Johnson, another science journalist and apparently a friend of Weintraub’s.
In her anger, Johnson says several things I say on this blog.
The more Weintraub investigated, the more virtually everyone with a shred of authority was losing their credibility. . . The so-called “objective” scientists were sending an entire disease down the river and over the cliff [meaning they ignored it] for reasons that seemed frequently to have more to do with mere opinion and crass external forces — cash, prestige, careerism — than with scientific erudition.
She rejected the science writer’s inbred habit of relying on the government official with the highest pay grade or the scientist with a job at Harvard as the final word on a topic. . . . I think of her, with enormous respect, as a “recovered” science journalist.
As one who also suffers from the disease I chronicled with kindred passion ...
Great to be here, and glad you came.
Please hop on the nerd advice column bus for another week of ridiculous if not damaging guidance from yours truly, Aunt Pythia.
And please, after enjoying today’s counsel to other poor, unsuspecting fools:
think of something to ask Aunt Pythia at the bottom of the page!
I’m so SORRY. When I asked your opinion about conference sex the other week I thought I had pasted the link to the article: Will you still medal in the morning? It’s all about the behind the scenes sex at the Olympics.
If conferences like JMM were to have bowls of condoms at ...
Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:
Wired has a fascinating interview with psychopath researcher Kent Kiehl. He of the mobile brain scanner.
Scanning brain energy could help predict who will wake from vegetative state. Interesting piece on preliminary research covered by The Conversation
Contrary to news stories, a recent study did not tell us that smoking weed damages your brain, reports The Daily Beast.
Gay genes? Yeah, but no, well kind of… but, so what? Excellent piece from Wiring the Brain. You guys all read Wiring the Brain right?
The Association for Psychological Science has an archive of interviews with legends of psychological science. Harlow’s wire monkey, the Bobo doll, Mischel’s uneaten marshmallow…
In Search of Ourselves: A History of Psychology and the Mind. An extensive 25-part radio series on the history of psychology kicks off on Monday 21st April on BBC Radio 4.
The United Nations release a report that has everything you ever wanted to know about your chance of being murdered. Pro-tip: don’t be ...
New meetups (or meetups with a hiatus of more than a year) are happening in:
Irregularly scheduled Less Wrong meetups are taking place in:
Many of our tricks to save money are designed less to solve math problems and more to trick our brains. To that end, financial blog And Then We Saved suggests placing a picture or reminder of your long-term savings goals directly on your credit card to discourage frivolous purchases.
Today's Video Friday is a special feature, the seminal Stanford symposium "Will Spiritual Robots Replace Humanity by 2100?" which occurred on on April 1, 2000.
Video of this important event has unfortunately been unavailable online until now.
Douglas Hofstader hosts a panel of eight who discuss the future of the human race and beyond. Running nearly five hours, this panel discussion includes luminaries
Part 1, included here, runs just over an hour and a half. Parts 2 and 3 will appear over the next two weeks.
These videos are unavailable anywhere else on the Internet and are I think important. We are grateful to be able to share them with the H+ Magazine audience at this time.