jan's stuff

Alles wat Jan bezig houdt, interesseert en irriteert... en ook een beetje onzin...

zaterdag, december 03, 2022

Why 50% of MIT students get the bat and ball problem wrong


1. The Bat and Ball Problem


  • A bat and a ball cost $1.10.
  • The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball.
  • How much does the ball cost?

First Reaction:

Nearly all people have a first reaction of 10 cents which is wrong. The correct answer is 5 cents.

In a study of 3,428 university students, 50% of participants across Harvard, MIT and Princeton gave the incorrect intuitive response and did not actively check their response. A failure to check is instructive because it requires such minimal mental effort.

donderdag, november 24, 2022

Credit Suisse Craters To Record Low After Revealing Staggering $88 Billion Bank Run | ZeroHedge

Credit Suisse Craters To Record Low After Revealing Staggering $88 Billion Bank Run | ZeroHedge

  • FTX was hit with record bank run, and filed for bankruptcy in days, with no central bank to bail it out. 
  • Credit Suisse hit with record bank run, and both the SNB and Fed rushed to bail it out.

One wonders which system is a better representation of what true capitalism should be. 

Rebuilding after the replication crisis


A Dutch psychology professor, Diederik Stapel, was found to have faked dozens of studies across many years, and nobody had noticed, in part because barely anyone had tried to replicate his work (and in part because it's really awkward to ask your boss if he's made up all his data). Psychologists published a provocative paper that showed that they could find essentially any result they wished by using statistics in biased ways — ways that were almost certainly routinely used in the field. And one of those hen's-teeth replication attempts found that a famous study from "social priming," the same social psychology genre as the cardboard box study — in which merely seeing words relating to old people made participants walk more slowly out of the lab — might have been an illusion. Similar stories followed.

woensdag, november 23, 2022

Are tech stocks now good value?


They are always on the minds of investors. "Whether we're talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down," Warren Buffett, a celebrated investor, once joked. Most share prices have fallen this year—the s&p 500 index of American stocks has shed more than a fifth of its value—but the prices of technology stocks have plunged most precipitously. The tech-heavy nasdaq is down by almost a third, after poor third-quarter earnings precipitated yet another sell-off. Amazon, Netflix and Meta have this year shed a whopping 48%, 58% and 70% of their value. Such discounts mean tech stocks are certainly on sale. But are they a good deal?

Bullshit Software Projects


Bullshit Jobs: A Theory is a 2018 book by David Graeber investigating the strange phenomenon of pointless jobs. Graeber's book even features interviews with some software developers. Once I started reading it, I felt compelled to test out his theory of BS jobs by asking around1: Did any software developers I knew, or on Lobsters, or Hacker News, have bullshit jobs?

And sure enough, it didn't take me long to hear from people who found their jobs to be pointless, and for the majority of them, it wasn't a specific task, like mopping an already mopped floor, that was useless but an entire software development project. The world is apparently rife with pointless programming projects.

How to explain the KGB's success identifying CIA agents in the field


What Totrov came up with were 26 unchanging indicators as a model for identifying U.S. intelligence officers overseas. Other indicators of a more trivial nature could be detected in the field by a vigilant foreign counterintelligence operative but not uniformly so: the fact that CIA officers replacing one another tended to take on the same post within the embassy hierarchy, drive the same make of vehicle, rent the same apartment and so on. Why? Because the personnel office in Langley shuffled and dealt overseas postings with as little effort as required.

As soon becomes evident on reading, the fact that Totrov was able to produce telephone book-size volumes of CIA and other intelligence officers for KGB chief Yuri Andropov testified to the structural defects within the U.S. government in the relationship between its key operational departments in the sphere of foreign policy. All Totrov did, once apprised of this crucial flaw, was follow through schematically and draw out the pattern. This was human intelligence of the highest order and an acute embarrassment, once known, to those responsible for the conduct of U.S. foreign intelligence.

Jonathan Haslam is the author of "Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence," which was just published.

UV Devices Could Keep Indoor Air Free of Viruses


Far UV is an emerging form of germicidal UV (GUV) irradiation, a well-established disinfection technology and growing resource in the battle against the virus SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens that can spread easily through the air in enclosed spaces.

How not to think about cells


dinsdag, november 22, 2022

The Rise of the Non-Working Class


From 1965 to today, the proportion of men who have dropped out of the workforce has more than tripled since 1965. If you look at that proportion over time, it's almost a straight line. You can't tell when the recessions occurred or when there were boom times. You can't tell when China entered the World Trade Organization to disrupt trade. You can't tell about our fascinating little disruptive devices like iPhones. It almost looks like a geological force. There are, obviously, some big, powerful dynamics at work that account for all of this, and they're not entirely well explained by our regular economic received wisdom.

zaterdag, november 19, 2022

The Enigma of John Donne


There is the famous line "No man is an island, entire of itself." A good quote; hard to imagine it being put to bad use. The line comes from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, 23 meditations that Donne wrote on what he thought was his deathbed. (There's another line further down in the paragraph that's also famous, though only because Hemingway used it for the title of his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.)

Webb Space Telescope Image Resources

Website met prachtige foto's van de nieuwe James Webb Space Telescope: https://webbtelescope.org/resource-gallery/images

woensdag, november 16, 2022

Companies ran an experiment: Pay workers their full salary to work fewer days

> From the moment the five-day week was adopted as the industry standard, about a century ago, we've been talking about spending less time at work. John Maynard Keynes declared in the early 1930s that technological advancement would bring the work week down to 15 hours within a century. A U.S. Senate subcommittee doubled down on this in 1965, predicting we'd only be working 14 hours by the year 2000.


dinsdag, november 15, 2022

Newton's Philosophy


As a matter of historical fact, the category of the scientist—along with that word in English—is a nineteenth-century invention. Specifically, at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in June of 1833, the Cambridge philosopher William Whewell coined the word "scientist". Whewell said that just as the practitioners of art are called "artists", the practitioners of science ought to be called "scientists", indicating that they should no longer be called philosophers.

John Swartzwelder, Sage of “The Simpsons” | The New Yorker

Were you responsible for the use of the word "meh" on the show?

I do claim credit for that. I originally heard the word from Howie Krakow, my creative director at Hurvis, Binzer & Churchill, in 1970 or 1971. He said it was the funniest word in the world. I don't know when it was invented, or by who, but I got the impression it was already very old when Howie told it to me.