White Guys, Academic Bias, Chimeras, Surge Pricing, Prediction

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Working On The White Guy Brand

Scott Adams | 8th January 2016

"If you are a Muslim, and in the country legally, and you live in my town, and if you find yourself the victim of racism or bullying from anyone in my brand (White Guys), let me know. I’ll contact the bully and have a talk about improving my brand ... The bigger brand is obviously America, and it works best if the sub-brands keep that in mind and work toward it. My offer today feels compatible with the American brand" (570 words)

New Study Finds Eight Conservative Psychologists

Jonathan Haidt | Heterodox Academy | 7th January 2016

Most Americans probably assume that academics skew politically to the left, especially in the social sciences and the humanities. Even so, the numbers here are staggering, and in some ways worrying. Out of 326 social psychologists who answered a survey from their professional association, only eight considered themselves "right of centre"; 27 identified as "centrist"; and 291 — almost 90% — as "left of centre" (1,800 words)

America Is Gestating Human-Animal Chimeras

Antonio Regalado | MIT Technology Review | 6th January 2016

Scientists can grow human organs in the bodies of living animals, by injecting stem cells into animal foetuses. It's happening. And that's good news for humans who need new organs. But it's worrying for regulators, who fear that we may end up gestating animal-human hybrids. “The specter of an intelligent mouse stuck in a laboratory somewhere screaming ‘I want to get out’ would be very troubling to people” (1,670 words)

A Politics For Technology

Ben Thompson | Stratechery | 5th January 2016

It's an Uber economy on New Year's Eve; the rich banker pays a surge price for a cab to his party; the poor pregnant woman can't afford a ride to hospital. True, without Uber there might not have been a cab for either of them. But even so, is this fair? Should government intervene? "As the opportunities for technologists and their investors continue to grow, so should the willingness to pay: that pregnant woman still needs a ride" (1,780 words)

Perils Of Prediction

Kenneth Pollack | Brookings | 5th January 2016

It is more than usually pointless to try predicting what will happen in the Middle East. Too many fundamentals are changing at once; too many anchors have gone. "This is not to suggest that we should expect the worst from every situation, but that we should be more careful about predicting that events will occur as they typically would have in a different, more peaceful and stable set of circumstances" (1,050 words)

Video of the day: Ray Kurzweil talks to Marvin Minsky

What to expect: Discussion of the prospects for Artificial Intelligence (24'01")

Thought for the day

Wisdom is one of the few things that looks bigger the further away it is
Terry Pratchett

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