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Posts

October 30, 2014

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5:00 AM | Il problema di ottobre (554) – Uomini di solidi principi
Gli uomini di solidi principi sono sempre un po’ difficili da far venire a patti. Le considerazioni più significative che si possono fare in merito, sono forse proprio di natura matematica: l’aggettivo “solido”, per i seguaci d’Euclide, si limita ad essere una chiara definizione delle dimensioni necessarie a definire il sostantivo accompagnato, ma nel mondo [...]
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3:13 AM | Health Informatics, Negative Spaces, and Corporate Privacy
by Gordon Hull Judge Richard Posner’s well-known application of law and economics to privacy yields results that appear, well, ideological. First, he considers what individuals do with informational privacy. What is an interest in privacy of information, he asks? Well, it’s an interest in enforcing an information asymmetry in markets....

October 29, 2014

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7:19 PM | Autism’s Genetic Architecture Comes Into Focus
An unparalleled gene-sequencing study of autism families has identified dozens of high-confidence autism genes, and hundreds more worthy of study.
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4:56 PM | Mark says smart stuff
This is JosephIn the context of a recent post by Mark Palko:Both the tech and financial sector have embraced the idea that economic rewards are directly correlated to work and worth. It's a strange mixture of efficient market theorem and social Darwinism, often with more than a bit of Randianism. I found both of these arguments for increased taxation of high income earners interesting.   First:Because rich people spend their money on useless stuff. Not far from where I live, there is […]
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4:07 PM | Why I Will Be Contributing Rankings to the Gourmet Report
by Eric Schwitzgebel I have been asked to be an evaluator for the 2014-2015 edition of the Philosophical Gourmet Report. Contrary to what seems to be the general (but not universal) sentiment of New APPS contributors and commenters, I support the rankings and will participate. The PGR rankings have at...
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3:47 PM | Why the world needs pi
If you had a sloppy maths teacher at school you might have grown up with the idea that the number is equal to Now that is completely wrong. Writing those numbers out in decimal gives while . There’s a difference in the third decimal place after the decimal point! How accurately do we need to know the value of π?read more
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3:30 PM | Structure error sinks NIH-MIT-SNU peptide paper
A mistake in structure identification has sunk a paper by researchers at the NIH, MIT, and Seoul National University in the Cell Press journal Chemistry and Biology. Here’s the notice for “Peptide-Based Inhibitors of Plk1 Polo-box Domain Containing Mono-anionic Phosphothreonine Esters and Their Pivaloyloxymethyl Prodrugs”: This article has been retracted at the request of the authors. […]
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1:30 PM | Not just lack of IRB approval: Boldt’s data were fake in 2009 study, too
We’ve commented before on the fact that we’ve noticed there’s often more to retractions whose stated reason is lack of institutional review board (IRB) approval. We can understand editors’ inclination to act as quickly as possible to issue a retraction, the scientific publishing equivalent of jailing Al Capone for tax evasion. But we appreciate it […]
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12:30 PM | This is the perfect October clip
At least for a snarky epidemiology blog...
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8:38 AM | Street harassment caught on camera
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes Related to my post on the invisibility of sexual harassment earlier this week, here’s a video that has been making the rounds on the Internet, and rightly so: a woman walks on the streets of NYC, and a hidden camera captures the unsolicited comments and aggressive...
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6:00 AM | 29 Ottobre 1711: Buon compleanno, Laura!
Non c’è una come lei in Londra, e io sarei molto più felice d’essere aggregato alla sua Accademia di Bologna che a quella degli inglesi, benché questa abbia prodotto un Newton (Voltaire, 23 novembre 1744 ) Potremmo parlare – ne fossimo davvero capaci – di Sistemi Dinamici. Il nome è abbastanza chiaro di per sé, a ben vedere: la [...]
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12:34 AM | Graphs that make me nervous
A couple of quick caveats: I am never entirely comfortable focusing too much on "additional years of learning" -- it's a problematic metric -- and the link to the original report seems to be dead.The good folks at Vox are very excited by the results of this recent experiment in merit pay. Perhaps I'm missing something obvious, but that jump between 2010 and 2009 seems really big.Does this look odd to anyone else?

October 28, 2014

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11:41 PM | An open letter from Jonathan Ichikawa to Berit Brogaard regarding her invitation to be a PGR evaluator
Posted on Facebook and reposted here with his consent and encouragement (if I understand correctly) Dear Berit, Thanks for this invitation. While the interest in my opinion about my colleagues is flattering, I don't feel able to participate, for three reasons. First, as I think you know, I have signed...
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3:30 PM | Authors retract two spectroscopy papers when follow-up results don’t match
The authors of two spectroscopy papers in Royal Society of Chemistry journals have retracted them. Here’s the notice for “Determination of silk fibroin secondary structure by terahertz time domain spectroscopy” (free, but requires sign-in) in Analytical Methods, which is almost identical to this notice in Analyst: We, the authors Chao Yan, Bin Yang and Zhicheng Yu, […]
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2:59 PM | An interview with Nobel laureate Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (born 30 July 1947) is a French virologist and director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Division (Unité de Régulation des Infections Rétrovirales) at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Born in Paris, France, Barré-Sinoussi performed some of the fundamental work in the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause Read more
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1:30 PM | Student denied credit, math article retracted
A math paper in the Journal of Inequalities and Applications has been retracted after it was discovered the authors had included a student’s work without acknowledging her. One of the authors, however, told us it was an honest mistake, and that the editor pushed for retraction instead of correction “to protect this journal and its impact factor.” […]
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1:30 PM | Yes, a Surgeon General would come in handy right about now
For me, one of the most interesting stories in politics these days is the way that information has come to flow in the the conservative movement. And sometimes the most interesting part of that story is the way information fails to flow.Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) says Ron Klain is "off to a bad start" in his new role as the president's Ebola response coordinator, and that the U.S. Surgeon General should be the one leading the effort. But what Chaffetz doesn't seem to realize is that there […]
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1:00 PM | "—We Also Walk Dogs"
I've been going through some old posts on incentive pay and they got me thinking about how education reformers, fresh water economists and libertarians often fall back on a strongly linear model. That, in turn, got me thinking about a Heinlein story I read years ago.From Wikipedia:"—We Also Walk Dogs" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. One of his Future History stories, it was first published in Astounding Science Fiction (July 1941 as by Anson MacDonald)....'General […]
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12:30 PM | In Which Omar Khayyam Is Grumpy with Euclid
My math history class is currently studying non-Euclidean geometry, which means we’ve studied quite a few “proofs” of Euclid’s fifth postulate, also known as the parallel postulate. I’ve written... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:00 AM | Partage d'un polygone
Les mathématiciens en résidence à la cité des géométries nous invitent à partager des polygones en parties d'aires égales d'un seul coup de ciseau, un beau sujet pour la classe ou la formation continue des enseignants. - Ressources pédagogiques : « pour aller moins loin » / Piste bleue, featured
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3:56 AM | Enlightenment Ethics as Critique of Progress
I don't think I've got anything surprising to say for anyone whose read Enlightenment texts concerned with ethics texts at all attentively, at least in terms of pointing out what is obviously there, but what I'm discussing as far as I can see is underplayed in most discussion, and certainly...

October 27, 2014

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8:00 PM | The future's flat: The wondrous world of 2D materials
Graphene started it all, but even as we try to exploit its distinctive properties, a host of new materials just atoms thick are already in the works
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4:23 PM | Optimization and college enrollments
This is Joseph.Dean Dad had a great post a while back on trying to improve classroom scheduling.  In it, he had a great example of the perils of overfitting.  The context is that the Gates Foundation had suggested that a more efficient algorithm for classroom management could improve costs.  The problem is that they aren't testing this in prospective environments -- leading to some issues:Finally, and I can’t stress this enough, enrollment is a moving target.  […]
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4:00 PM | Fresh hints of dark matter at Milky Way's core
The discovery of a third type of light associated with dark matter could strengthen the case that we are seeing a signal of the mysterious stuff
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3:30 PM | Quantum physics paper pulled for “serious theoretical errors,” notice accidentally paywalled
A paper on photonic quantum walks has been retracted over a theoretical disagreement. The notice is also paywalled, which the editorial director has assured us is a mistake that is being corrected. We sent the COPE guidelines on retraction to the American Physical Society, which publishes Physical Review Letters. Editorial director Dan Kulp told us the … … Continue reading →
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1:30 PM | “Our real intention was to emphasize, not plagiarize”
This one’s not a retraction, but rather a back and forth of letters to the editor concerning accusations of plagiarism. Dentists Bryan and Paul Jacobs, a father and son team, wrote a paper describing a novel surgical technique in March 2013. In October 2013, several Croatian dentists published their own paper using the technique. A […]
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1:00 PM | Mark Evanier points out the fundamental contradiction in conservative complaints about Hollywood's "political correctness"
Mark Evanier is one of LA's leading pop culture experts (and in this town that's a high bar). He's been writing for television and comics for around forty years now and probably writing about them for even longer so when it comes to things like the process of creating cartoons for television, he speaks from a position of authority.Something that can't really be said for Tucker Carlson,Nothing is scarier to a modern liberal than tobacco. If Popeye were driving around giving the morning […]
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12:14 PM | What is the (recent) history of the term ‘intuitions’ in philosophy?
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes As reported a few weeks ago, I’ve been working on a paper with my student Leon Geerdink (for a volume on the history of early analytic philosophy being edited by Chris Pincock and Sandra Lapointe) where we elaborate on a hypothesis that I first presented in...
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9:04 AM | Ufficio Complicazioni Affari Semplici [Pillole]
C’è un simpatico (si fa per dire) giochino che chiede di ottenere 100 usando una volta le cifre da 1 a 9 in quest’ordine più vari operatori aritmetici: per esempio, 100=1+2+3+4+5+6+7+(8×9). Don Knuth ci ha pensato un po’ su, eThe post Ufficio Complicazioni Affari Semplici [Pillole] appeared first on Il Post.

October 26, 2014

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4:24 PM | The invisibility of sexual harassment
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes A few years ago, I was going through airport security at Schiphol for a short European flight (to Munich, if I remember correctly), with hand-luggage only. As I was struggling with some lower back pain at the time, I was taking an electric massager with me;...
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