“We tend to interpret the mysteries surrounding life in imagery suggested by the most complex system we are aware of at the time. Once nature was described as a body, then a clock in the age of clocks, then a machine in the industrial age. Now in the “digital age” we apply the computational metaphor. To explain the how our minds work, or how evolution advances, we apply the pattern of a very large software program processing bits of information. None of these historical metaphorical pictures are wrong; just incomplete. Ditto for computation.”—The Technium: Extropy
“And for the first time certain sensations of unease, certain shivers and starts of the mind, were traced to their sources, to the passing of cold fierce worlds reflecting minds not human and not kind.”—The Ruricolist: Fragment With Minds
Like past monoliths of new growth industries, Google appears to be invincible. But Google is vulnerable just because it is thinly spread in a rapidly changing marketplace where rivals are eating away at the edges and fighting for turf.
What does it mean to be a couple of thousand generations removed from Adam when, say, Donne and his sonnets are already a cosmos away after only eight generations? On the level of modern history the genographers are no big deal. A haplogroup is so vague as to be useless to genealogists. I could stand on a street in Edinburgh and find more people who shared my I1a haplogroup than my green politics, much less my star sign. But on the level of deep ancestry the Genographic Project is a very big deal.
…perusal of the data available suggest that the poorest families in the world spend approximately 10 times as much (20 percent of their incomes on average) on a combination of alcohol, prostitution, candy, sugary drinks and lavish feasts as they do on educating their children (2 percent). If poor families spent only as much on educating their children as they do on beer and prostitutes, there would be a breakthrough in the prospects of poor countries. Girls, since they are the ones kept home from school now, would be the biggest beneficiaries. Moreover, one way to reallocate family expenditures in this way is to put more money in the hands of women. A series of studies has found that when women hold assets or gain incomes, family money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine and housing, and consequently children are healthier.
There is a buying frenzy right now for first-time homebuyers trying to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit (see 6 things to know for details) before the program expires at the end of November (must close escrow by then).
Meanwhile cash-flow investors are buying properties in the same price range (the numbers don’t work on higher priced homes). In some of these areas, the only buyers are first-time homebuyers frequently using the tax credit as their downpayment and investors. The sellers are banks or short sales.
As a die-hard Constitutionalist, I believe that we still have an absolute, unfettered, God-given right to travel from point A to point B without permission from the state — in the air, as well as on land. This Nazi procedure of “your papers, please” has never been appropriate for our country. I have had occasion to travel a good deal in the last several months, and on those trips I decided to research and test this issue about the necessity for producing identification.
In the Uwajimaya food court there’s a cream puff vendor called Beard Papa’s. Their logo includes a cartoon man-face with a fluffy white beard that looks liked whipped cream. Both the language of the name and the concept behind it are surprising. First, it’s just strange to modify papa with beard like that. Bearded papa would be the idiomatic way to say it. But more to the point, The Name Inspector is hard-pressed to think of a Western food product that’s touted, however subtly, for its resemblance to human hair. There’s angel hair pasta, of course, but that’s from angels, which, if they actually existed, would no doubt be quite delicious.
Ameer here. I own “couch”. Since what is a store, especially in it’s infancy, but it’s proprietor, I guess you need to know about me. I believe in deals. I shop like CRAZY on Ebay for replacement heads for my Sonicare toothbrush. I visited what seemed like every last store in Alderwood before buying my TV. My friends are ALL telling me i’m not charging enough of a markup. Standard for the big boys in the industry is 100% or more which makes me angry like $6 popcorn at Ironman. So here’s my plan. I’m going to keep the margins genuinely skinny- like scary skinny.
I kinda like this guy, slippery hold on grammar and all. I’ll have to swing by his shop and sit on some couches.
“In America, we strictly ration health care. We’ve done it for years,” says Dr. Arthur Kellermann, professor of emergency medicine and associate dean for health policy at Emory University School of Medicine. “But in contrast to other wealthy countries, we don’t ration medical care on the basis of need or anticipated benefit. In this country, we mainly ration on the ability to pay. And that is especially evident when you examine the plight of the uninsured in the United States.”—Doctors Say Health Care Rationing Already Exists : NPR (via robot-heart-politics) (via quotingthecrisis)
“after taking a pretty careful look at the tech scene (and of course with a number of my recent posts being focused on Facebook, Google, Apple and other giants of the tech industry), I think the most promising new startup of 2009 is one of the least likely: The executive branch of the federal government of the United States.”—The Most Interesting New Tech Startup of 2009 - Anil Dash
“With the recent advances in imaging and genetic technologies, the last decade has witnessed an explosion of work on human cognitive and affective functioning. Among some of the more publicized work is that on sex differences. Basing research on neuroscience lends studies particular credibility in the public mind, with the result that traditional gender characteristics and roles seem to take on a new credibility. There are, however, serious questions about how to interpret the evidence from neuroscience, an area that, in some respects, appears to be just as sensitive to preconceived notions of sex-differences as other fields. It is, therefore, time to apply a feminist perspective to this burgeoning field of study.”—Experimental Philosophy [Call for Papers]: Neurofeminism
The schools participating in this fall’s collaboration are Ball State University, University of Colorado Boulder, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Indiana University, Mills College, MIT, Olin College, University of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Queensland, University of San Francisco, and Wellesley College.
Yay for Wellesley’s CS dept! And women programmers! Looking forward to see what apps they develop that I can try out.
"Those companies that have just one female director on their board are considerably undervalued – in terms of their share price – compared with companies run entirely by men. " "Undervalued" How is that "perform far worse" from the subhead? "When companies’ profits were examined, however, gender played no role." WTF.
The international boxing federation is proposing that 40 female boxers compete in London, with eight in each of five weight categories. Men’s boxing would lose 40 places across 11 weights to keep the sport within its limit of 286 Olympic athletes.
I hope Queen tries out. Hell, maybe I should go back to the gym. (I’ll bet the male boxers are grumpy with fewer spots overall.)