One Babe had a problem. She was an introvert – she was what they call shy — but she wanted to be an actress.
This Babe was lucky. At 17, she encountered “the most unforgettable character I’ve ever met.” The rest is history: for he, Salvatore, her unforgettable character, was not “intro-verted” — in fact he was far more gregarious than shy, or, in Latinized German jargon, he was “extro-verted.” He had wiggled himself into the Los Angeles music scene; he had paid his dues as a gofer and backup singer for Phil Spector’s record company.
She had said: “For better or worse, I never plan my life. I focus on today. I love spontaneity. That is what has put me in some strange and wonderful places in my…
The Economist has a story about an iOS app called “Am I Going Down?” that estimates the odds of your flight going down based on the departure and arrival airports, the airline, and the type of plane used [Link]. The methodology isn’t available, but presumably it’s based on past performance (# crashes / # of flights)
This app highlights our terror associated with rare events. The Economist story came out yesterday and there was a plane crash today. I’m trying not to overestimate the risk associated with rare events, but it’s hard when they happen and the endless news cycle begins.
People are really bad at assessing risk. There is a huge risk analysis literature on how we tend to overestimate rare events, and this overestimation drives policy decisions. I like two papers by Chauncey Starr and Chris Whipple about how we perceive risk and what we do…
I’ve been putting off writing this post because I wanted to do more justice both to the history of the Black-men-raping-White-women charge and the survey methods questions. Instead I’m just going to lay this here and hope it helps someone who is more engaged than I am at the moment. I’m sorry this post isn’t higher quality.
Obviously, this post includes extremely racist and misogynist content, which I am showing you to explain why it’s bad.
This is about this very racist meme, which is extremely popular among extreme racists.
The modern racist uses statistics, data, and even math. They use citations. And I think it takes actually engaging with this stuff to stop it (this is untested, though, as I have no real evidence that facts help). That means anti-racists need to learn some demography and survey methods, and practice them in public. I was prompted to finally write…
As a feminist activist who has worked on systemic violence on Indian women for over fifteen years, I have long waited for India to produce a film like Parched. Directed by Leena Yadav with a strong, all-female, central cast, there is a cinematic beauty and integrity to the film’s narrative that undoubtedly are among the factors that have earned it eighteen international awards and a place in the Oscar library. But what makes this film particularly memorable, is how without cringing it makes a number of explicit and discomforting statements on how women need to deal with male violence which, even if presented within an Indian cultural context, have universal relevance.
Parched is the story of three women, Lajjo, Rani and Bijli, in an Indian village and how their friendship helps them triumph misogyny and male violence in their personal lives. Lajjo (played by Radhika Apte)…
A common criticism of libertarian philosophy is that it can’t handle collective action problems: That a totally voluntary society lacks the tools to build lighthouses, prevent over-fishing, or ensure we all get our vaccines.
In response, libertarians developed a branch economics dedicated to showing how collective action problems can be solved with voluntary cooperative arrangements. Elinor Ostrom’s work was particularly important for arguing that, under the right conditions, norms and civil society can evolve to govern the commons from the bottom up.
There are obviously limits to informal norms, however. For one, they are easy to undermine through appeals to rationalistic arguments. After all, norms exist to enforce cooperative arrangements that would otherwise be unstable. That suggests it is always possible for a sophist to jeopardize collective action by appealing to their peer’s individually rational, myopic reasons for action (“Just catch one more fish, no one will notice.”), and with each person who defects it becomes more tempting for…
March the 24th is the birthday of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. An icon for mathematicians and computer scientists as the first programmer. She developed algorithms that could be run on Babbage‘s analytical engine. For more on the history and relationship between Babbage and Lovelace and some exciting comic adventures twisted round it take a look at 2d goggles.
Ada is also one of the most iconic women in the history of science, so to celibrate that and all the other women who have helped develop science and technology we have “Finding Ada” today. For that I would like to remember a woman whose contribution was not just ahead of its time, it was out of this world: Alicia Boole Stott.
Alicia’s contribution was an intuition that few others have achieved. Though we claim to be able to see in 3d our eyes…
The Fates can be cruel or kind, or both. It seems so in this story. This story is about discovery. This story is about life and death.
She had worked hard all her life. She had overcome her circumstance. Latin: Circum– to encircle, stance to take a position, to contend. Yes, it had been a man’s world, she was surrounded by her society and her family who discouraged her from her passion: science. Of course, other women had suffered discrimination before her: Marie Curie and Emmy Noether to name two, but they had their families to teach them, encourage and help them. Nobody had encouraged her, certainly not her family, and still was a man’s world in science in 1952. She had to rely on herself, so she thought and acted.