Uber, Scientific Method, Elon Musk

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

I Was An Undercover Uber Driver

Emily Guendelsberger | Philadelphia CityPaper | 7th May 2015

View from the driver's seat. The task economy in action. Great for riders, harsh for drivers. The new-driver orientation at Uber X is a 13-minute video; the important stuff you pick up in online forums. "I should accept 90% of pings to avoid trouble. Uber's cutoff for driver ratings is 4.6 stars — I'd had no idea when using Uber as a passenger that rating someone four stars was kind of a big deal." Good comments thread (6,000 words)

The Trouble With Scientists

Philip Ball | Nautilus | 14th May 2015

Scientists suffer from cognitive biases just like everybody else. The scientific method is supposed to catch and correct such biases, but it is failing to do so. Why? Because to advance as a professional scientist you must publish; learned journals want to publish positive results, not negative ones; so confirmation bias is strengthened; and peer review slows the rate at which wrong claims can be contradicted (3,160 words)

Elon Musk’s Space Dream

Ashlee Vance | Bloomberg Businessweek | 14th May 2015

"In late October 2001, Elon Musk went to Moscow to buy an intercontinental ballistic missile." A great first sentence, and the rest of the piece bounces along with similar energy, telling how Musk made himself an expert on space technology, hired the future head of Nasa, built rockets, and drew up a business plan for settling Mars; while juggling, and almost dropping, his electric-car making start-up, Tesla (8,900 words)

Video of the day: B.B. King: How Blue Can You Get

What to expect: B.B. King performs at Sing Sing Prison in New York State, 1970 (5'36")

Thought for the day

Science advances one funeral at a time
Max Planck (http://nautil.us/issue/24/error/the-trouble-with-scientists)

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