Saturday, January 24, 2015

Q&A - 24/1


[Paraphrasing] First new antibiotic in 30 years discovered, even better, it is unlikely that bacteria will become resistant to it.


Drug resistant superbugs, bad. New antibiotic that can kill them, good.


New educational technique tries to encourage in-class collaboration [..]

That's just one method out of many

Here's a Drucker post on how one learns. People who learn by by talking, listening might benefit from in-class collaboration, others such as readers, writers, doers might not. There are introverts, extroverts. STPs, NTs, NFs. Also, collaboration might take many forms, in-your-face-one-on-one-talk-your-ear-off kind, or offline, async (post a question to Stack Exchange wait for answer, async). Which one?

Angry Math Blog

[Paraphrasing] Displeased with Udacity statistics class (taught by S. Thrun)

Goal #1: Quality

S. Thrun might be a good teacher for self-driving cars, but apparently not for statistics. Goal of online learning should be connecting rock star teacher with students (For statistics that teacher is Joe Blitzstein of Harvard).

Bill O'Reilly

With Hillary you get Bill. And Bill knows what’s going on.


The ultimate compliment a politician can get must be getting kudos from an earlier enemy. But I dont think even Bill is up-to-date with today's issues. Even during his time the suspension of Glass-Seagall law took place which was one of the key ingredients for 2008 financial crisis. That was his mistake.

Watering down GS might not have caused the financial crisis, but reportedly it made it worse.

Maybe Hillary is in better shape, but our pref is still Gore. INTJ, hi-tech, environmentalist credentials are beyond doubt, bitchslapped NSA at the right time.


[Paraph] Glass-Seagall did not effect 2008 crisis at all.


How did US banks end up with all these toxic assets then?

UK ex-spy chief

We have to monitor innocent people to ferret out terror

Do you?

The recent attackers in Paris were known to French police. They'd been in and out of jail, and I am sure similar pattern occurs a lot with other attacks. And the pool of people who can pull off such an attack cannot be that large. Why not monitor these people better instead of following anyone and everyone?

Unless.. the security apparatus in all countries is using any and every single event to justify their demand to get more access into people's daily lives, even using bizarre unrelated events such as N. Korea's hacking into Sony for US.


[Paraphrasing] Bitcoin had some emotional highs, but beyond the ups and downs, it is here to stay.



I've argued for a mighty long time that oil subsidies are a major problem given that the burning of fossil fuels — humans have increased global CO2 levels by a third since the beginning of our industrial age — has contributed and is contributing to widescale and dangerous climate change.

In 2013 the IMF estimated that total fossil fuel subsidies worldwide amounted to $1.9 trillion [..]

This means that renewable energy and especially solar — for all of its inherent advantages, such as being low-pollution, and taking advantage of continuous self-sustaining processes — faces an intriguing catch-22. Fossil fuels are being subsidised ostensibly because of people use them. If more of the world's energy consumption was renewables then they might attract the bulk of the subsidies, but they don't.

But the more I think this through the less I worry. Renewable energy is not stuck in a bad equilibrium. The catch-22 is temporary. Those inherent advantages — and the inherent bother with fossil fuels, specifically that there is only a finite quantity of them in the ground, and that the easiest and cheapest stuff to extract has already are gradually been retrieved — are slowly but surely turning the tide in the favour of renewables.


Peak oil is real.


A senior judge has recommended the introduction of digital technologies such as video and online filing to bring the criminal courts into the 21st century [..]

In his recommendations, Leveson, president of the Queen’s Bench, explained: "Rather than seeking to bolt procedures onto a system initially designed for the 19th century (as has been the practice for the last 50 years), I have tried to identify ways in which our current procedures can be adapted to make the best use of the skills, resources, IT and systems available.”

Leveson added that criminal justice system currently relies on a combination of long-standing manual processes and aging computer systems. He suggests that the courts need better, quicker and cheaper ways of creating, filing and distributing documents, as well as more flexible ways of communication.

No objections

Work, etc

(New way is too slow) An interesting article: says "simply having the option to decline a task has been shown to boost productivity ...