July 13, 2010

All Tarkovksy Films Now Free Online | Open Culture

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July 13, 2010

The experiment itself was simple. A large group of mice were injected with melanoma cells. After six weeks, the mice living in enriched environments had tumors that were approximately 75 percent smaller than mice raised in standard lab cages. Furthermore, while every mouse in the standard cages developed cancerous growths, 17 percent of the mice in the enriched enclosures showed no sign of cancer at all.

Cages and Cancer : The Frontal Cortex


July 13, 2010

In finance, as in other realms of business life, social polish doesn’t always go with capitalist success. Often it is the most narrow, intense, awkward people who start the best companies, employ the most people and create the most value.

Op-Ed Columnist – An Economy of Grinds – NYTimes.com


July 13, 2010

… a contract that lasts for the duration of copyright is a hugely long time. Publishers in negotiations with Amazon, or whoever, say they want two-year contracts because there’s such flux, but at the same time are asking authors for the duration of copyright. It has to be wrong – it’s not remotely fair.

Ebook deals ‘not remotely fair’ on authors | Books | guardian.co.uk


July 13, 2010

During those years, I would take a shower, and it had a door, not a curtain, a door, a glass door, which would steam up, and I’d write every morning – because I hadn’t told anyone, even my parents or friends, that I wanted to act, it was embarrassing or something, and I knew it was too important to me to have it be anything but a secret. But the door would steam up, I didn’t dare keep a diary or anything, and I’d write ‘Please God, let me be an actor’, and then, before I left the shower, I would wipe it off.

Jeff Goldblum: the Buddha of Hollywood | Culture | The Guardian


July 13, 2010

I have no idea what this really is. It’s the first time I’ve seen an Android tablet this size — and it seemingly has no buttons! The Velocity Micro site is no help and their blog hasn’t been updated since 2009! Update: This is a better video, from YouTube. Update 2: Home and Back buttons off the right side are shown being used. Also, this is another resistive screen. Update 3: Post at my blog.


July 13, 2010

Let me summarise my ideas of how Mother Nature deals with the Black Swan. First, she likes redundancies. Look at the human body. We have two eyes, two lungs, two kidneys, even two brains (with the possible exception of company executives) — and each has more capacity than is needed ordinarily. So redundancy equals insurance, and the apparent inefficiencies are associated with the costs of maintaining these spare parts and the energy needed to keep them around in spite of their idleness.

The exact opposite of redundancy is naive optimisation. The reason I tell people to avoid attending an (orthodox) economics class and argue that economics will fail us is the following: economics is largely based on notions of naive optimisation, mathematised (poorly) by Paul Samuelson — and these mathematics have contributed massively to the construction of an error-prone society. An economist would find it inefficient to carry two lungs and two kidneys — consider the costs involved in transporting these heavy items across the savannah. Such optimisation would, eventually, kill you, after the first accident, the first “outlier”. Also, consider that if we gave Mother Nature to economists, it would dispense with individual kidneys — since we do not need them all the time, it would be more “efficient” if we sold ours and used a central kidney on a time-share basis. You could also lend your eyes at night, since you do not need them to dream.

New Statesman – Beware those Black Swans