Interesting Links: May 17, 2019

in #rsslog4 years ago

Computation may be the wrong mental model for thought; the decline of truth in society; The scientist as a communicator; paying with cryptocurrency at Whole Foods and other merchants; and more...


Business, News, Science, Technology, or whatever gets my attention.

Straight from my RSS feed:


Ten links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.


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pixabay license: source.

  1. The Cul-de-Sac of the Computational Metaphor - In this edge.org talk, Rodney Brooks suggests that the computational metaphore may be a trap for people who are trying to understand human intelligence. He asks the pointed question, in the absence of theories of computer science, would neuroscientists be able to use their research methods as a tool to reverse engineer computers? And suggests that the answer is, "probably not". The audience, including distinguished thought leaders like Stephen Wolfram and Freeman Dyson, engages in a Q&A session after the talk.

  2. Truth Decay - The NeuroLogica Blog argues that the greatest threat facing humanity is the loss of engagement in fact-based discussions about politics and society, and a blurring of the line between fact and opinion. This phenomenon has been termed truth decay by The Rand Corporation. The article says that - since the year 2000 - Rand found a broad shift from academic, and fact based reporting to narrative based reporting. The phenomenon is observed in print, broadcast and cable news, but is least evident in print. The article also suggests that social media doesn't cause the problem, but may be making it worse. h/t RealClearScience

  3. Study of autism and vitamin D earns retraction after questions about reliability - A 2016 study claiming to find a link between Vitamin D supplementation and improved symptoms from autism has been retracted after readers questioned the data. Before the retraction, the study was classed as highly cited, with 27 citations. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry asked the authors for their data, but retracted the article when the authors were unable to provide it.

  4. You can now pay with cryptocurrency at Whole Foods - As previously noted, here is another article about SPEDN, from Flexa in partnership with the Winklevoss twins Gemini. This article is from MIT's Tech Review web site. As noted by the article, participating retailers include Whole Foods, Regal Cinemas, Baskin-Robbins, Starbucks, and others.

  5. Microsoft open sources algorithm that gives Bing some of its smarts - Bing codes its search data as vectors, then searches the vectors with machine learning by using their "Space Partition Tree and Graph" (SPTAG) algorithm. Continuing their recent announcements of open source components, Microsoft has now released the SPTAG algorithm on github as open source code so developers can use it to search their own vectorized data.

  6. How to Become a Scientist-Communicator - In Scientific American, Esther Ngumbi, discusses her experience at a recent science communications seminar. She notes that she was impressed by the amount of improvement that she observed after she and her colleagues received 25 hours of training, and wonders how to ensure that newly trained scientists have the opportunities to share what they learn. To that end, she suggests that early career scientists should approach their institutions to learn about available opportunities, and that universities should offer co-writing opportunities. She goes on to suggest that early-career scientists could also approach professional societies and offer to organize symposiums. Final suggestions include harnessing social media, outreach events, and local workshops.

  7. From IKEA to Home Depot, major companies are offering 'intrapreneurship' programs that let top talent lead their own startup-like projects. Here's how they work. - Business insider looks at intrapreneurship programs like IKEA's Space 10, Home Depot's OrangeWorks, and Accenture's Innovation Hubs. According to the article, the labs are created to attract and retain the top talent, and Alphabet's Google is also known for its intrapreneurship programs.

  8. The Unconventional Capitalism That Shapes Business History - Reporting on a business history conference, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge enumerates a variety of forms of capitalism that have existed in history, and describes how the stories of capitalism influence its host cultures. Some of the historical examples include Mao's "fake capitalists", family-oriented businesses from South America, American capitalism, and even illicit - or black market - capitalism.

  9. STEEM Unpaywall - Extension to Legally Skip Paywall Of 16Million+ Researches - @vimukthi posts a link through @steemhunt to the useful sounding unpaywall firefox browser extension. From the article: "When you view a paywalled scholarly article, Unpaywall automatically checks its open database of 16 million legal, open-access articles. If there's an open version somewhere, you'll see a green tab on the article. Click the tab and read for free, legally!" (@vimukthi will receive 5% of this post's rewards)

  10. STEEM Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Johann Sebastian Bach - @contrabourdon plays J. S. Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring on Organ. The post also contains a short textual description of the music. You'll likely recognize the music if you listen. (5% of the rewards from this post will go to @contrabourdon)


### About this series

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