Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Q&A - 6/5

NYT

While a clear improvement, the revised SAT remains problematic. It will still emphasize speed — quick recall and time management — over subject knowledge. Despite evidence that writing is the single most important skill for success in college, the essay will be optional [..] And the biggest problem is this: While the content will be new, the underlying design will not change. The SAT will remain a “norm-referenced” exam, designed primarily to rank students rather than measure what they actually know.

It's so old tech

People cramming into some room for a predefined time, synchronized, being asked the same questions with bazillion of others? Jeez.

Singapore's Prime Minister

I told the Founders Forum two weeks ago that the last computer program I wrote was a Sudoku solver, written in C++ several years ago

Awesome dude

A prime minister who knows how to code! I was going to say he could be the first in the world, but  Ozal of TR (PM during the 80s) beat him to it. The world needs more such PMs!

Andrew Ng

[Ng is a deep-learning expert, co-founder of Coursera] Our education system has succeeded so far in teaching generations to do different routine tasks. So when tractors displaced farming labor we taught the next generation to work in factories. But what we’ve never really been good at is teaching a huge number of people to do non-routine creative work.

[In response to question if he buys the argument that the future of labor is less in peril because automation will lower the cost of goods so you will only need to work 10-20 hours a week?]

I would have said zero hours. I see a minimum living wage as a long-term solution, but I’m not sure that’s my favorite

It's not my favorite either

NYT

To give ordinary workers a real stake, [Professor Atkinson] calls for a universal capital endowment for every adult — financed through a substantial wealth transfer or estate tax — and a sovereign wealth fund to invest in promising companies. And he argues for a government bond that offers a real return — perhaps linked to the rise of average household income — to evade the predatory fees that banks impose on the middle class’s investments. Dreaming? Indeed, many of these ideas may strike classic American economists as outdated lefty proposals that already failed in the 1970s. But they look increasingly relevant in what many are calling the Second Gilded Age.

Yes

A lot of things are coming together that create a new "low energy position" for the new system. Let's take artists and music for example; copying is too easy due to new tech, so it will happen. In the meantime technology is creating joblessness that will only get worse. For the former, the low energy position / solution is people voluntarily "liking" artistic work in terms of micro payments, but this will only work if they have "free money" to give (and an electronic payment system such as Bitcoin). So both for joblessness and voluntary artistic "likes" for art we need basic income. Since copyright cannot be enforced, patents should not be either, and patents are getting in the way of innovation that is hitting new businesses more than old / big / entrenched businesses, another issue directly related to inequality. Plus if we are going to sit back and let the robots do all routine work for us, we cannot have pesky little things called patents or copyright to get in the way of our innovating. On and on it goes..

Question

But without patents country [blah] could not have developed the way it has!

That is not so clear-cut

From Hintjens, "In the mid-1800's, writers claimed that the industrial progress of England and the United States was due to their patent system. Other writers claimed that the progress of Germany and Switzerland was due to their lack of any patent system".  #ohnoyoudidnt