We Should Not Accept Scientific Results That Have Not Been Repeated – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus

irreproducibility in itself was not the problem—rather, it was its extent

Sociologists of science have consistently identified “public recognition” as scientists’ primary motivating factor. … The nature of scientific motivation is also evident in scientific reward systems.

In the culture of modern science, it is better to be wrong than to be second.

To make the desire for recognition compatible aligned with prioritizing good science, we need quality metrics that are independent of sociological norms. Above all, objective quality should be based on the concept of independent replication: A finding would not be accepted as true unless it is independently verified.

Source: We Should Not Accept Scientific Results That Have Not Been Repeated – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus

After 100 years World War I battlefields are poisoned and uninhabitable

An estimated 720 million shells were fired during the Great War, with approximately 12 million failing to detonate. At places like Verdun, the artillery barrages were so overwhelming, 150 shells hit every square meter of the battlefield.

Though the Zone Rouge started at some 460 square miles in size, cleanup efforts reduced it to around 65 square miles. With such massive amounts of explosives left in the ground, the French government estimates the current rate of removal will clear the battlefields between 300 and 900 years from now.

Source: After 100 years World War I battlefields are poisoned and uninhabitable

Why Experts Make Bad Teachers

We’d all agree that to teach a subject, you must know the subject. So you’d think that experts would be the best teachers, but they’re not…

In order to teach efficiently, experts try to cut right to the chase. They teach the Abstract Model. Why? Because, they’re trying to save you all the hassle of learning it, “The Hard Way”.

The problem is, as seen by our made up model, without Concrete experiences and many of them, it’s very difficult to understand the model.

Source: Why Experts Make Bad Teachers

A brief history of the nuclear triad | Restricted Data

How the US came to have three major strategic nuclear platforms, and why it started calling them a “triad.”

The redundancy was a hedge: the goal was to pick the top two of the programs and cancel the rest. Instead, Sputnik happened. In the resulting political environment, Eisenhower felt he had to put into production and deployment all six of them — even though some were demonstrably not as technically sound as others (Thor and Polaris, in their first incarnations, were fraught with major technical problems). This feeling that he was pushed by the times (and by Congress, and the services, and so on) towards an increasingly foolish level of weapons production is part of what is reflected in Eisenhower’s famous 1961 warning about the powerful force of the “military-industrial complex.”

What I find interesting about the “triad” concept — and what it leaves out — is that it is ostensibly focused on technologies and strategies, but it seems non-coincidentally to be primarily concerning itself with infrastructure. The triad technologies each require heavy investments in bases, in personnel, in jobs. They aren’t weapons so much as they they are organizations that maintain weapons. Which is probably why you have to defend them: they are expensive.

Source: A brief history of the nuclear triad | Restricted Data
— Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology

 

US nuclear bomber deployments, 1945-1958. Shadings indicate blocs circa 1958. It shows what “containment” as a policy comes to mean and demonstrates the geopolitics of Cold War era bomber bases.

 

According to one estimate, the various long-term cultural foot-dragging about ballistic missiles in the United States delayed the country from acquiring the technology for six years. Which puts Sputnik into perspective.

Behavioral genetics, one of the fastest growing fields in science, still makes a lot of people very uncomfortable — Quartz

This week, Robert Plomin, professor of behavioral genetics at King’s College London, published a paper showing that a child’s educational success can be predicted by their genes. Genetic data from 20,000 DNA variants across several genes collectively account for 10% of the differences in children’s educational achievement age 16. At the most extreme ends of this genetic variation is an entire exam grade difference—from A to B grade for those with the highest polygenic score, to B to C grade for those with the lowest.

Source: Behavioral genetics, one of the fastest growing fields in science, still makes a lot of people very uncomfortable — Quartz

Wonky Thoughts: On Human Opportunity

Against odds of a hundred billion to one, we stand today as perhaps the only technological civilization in the galaxy.  After three and a half billion years of evolution, we are alive at the very moment when we have the intellect and capability to do something remarkable – to remake the galaxy into a home for earthly life and mankind.  We stand on the brink of colonizing the stars.  Whether we succeed or fail depends on us.

Source: Wonky Thoughts: On Human Opportunity

Instead of asking, “are robots becoming more human?” we need to ask “are humans becoming more robotic?” — Quartz

Brett Frischmann, professor at Cardozo law school, and Evan Selinger, philosophy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, argue that we need an inverse Turing Test to determine to what extent humans are becoming indistinguishable from machines.

Source: Instead of asking, “are robots becoming more human?” we need to ask “are humans becoming more robotic?” — Quartz

 

sometimes being human is costly

— Brett Frischmann, professor at Cardozo law school

Hillary Clinton as Presidential Nominee

The Left’s enthusiastic embrace of these tropes and rhetoric props up the narrative that, for a woman to have reached the upper echelons of power in her field, she could only have done so through depravity and deception.

Source: Your Gleeful Liberal Takedown of Hillary Clinton Is Affirming Institutional Sexism

 

This aura of avoidance adds to a perception that she’s dishonest and secretive. Whether or not she’s hiding something, avoiding the press provides another reason to think that she is hiding something.

Source: The Deeper Reason Many Intelligent Progressives and Independents Will Not Support Hillary Clinton

 

Hillary Clinton is a generationally talented politician — albeit across a different set of dimensions than men tend to be talented politicians.

Source: It’s time to admit Hillary Clinton is an extraordinarily talented politician

Continue reading Hillary Clinton as Presidential Nominee

As sewbots threaten Asia’s sweatshops, we need to decide who will benefit from automation

As sewbots threaten Asia’s sweatshops, we need to decide who will benefit from automation

This isn’t an entirely bad news story: the South Asian garment industry is dangerous and underpaid, and replacing humans with robots will reduce the labor inputs (and hence the price) of things that we all need — clothes and shoes.

But obviously, that will leave a hell of a lot of people in the region without any jobs. This presents two problems: first, how will they live; and second, who will buy the things that robots make if all the benefits of automation accrue to an ever-dwindling group of people who own robots?

Source: As sewbots threaten Asia’s sweatshops, we need to decide who will benefit from automation

 

The time saved through automation must be granted to the people.

— Bernard Stiegler, French philosopher