Posts by linger

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come,

    N.B. there is a difference between knowing there is some risk,
    and knowing how large that risk is (with an accurately-assigned probability).
    In the former sense, the risk has long been known.
    In the latter sense, the risk has increased (and may be expected to increase further, something that was not generally well-understood 20 years ago).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come,

    "Hindsight" only in the sense that the current risk of extreme wind events in Auckland is higher than what would have been estimated 20 years ago.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to steven crawford,

    time slowing down effect

    N.B. the brain does not process information any faster in moments of stress than otherwise. Rather, our sense of time passing is distorted after the fact by the amount of processing time devoted to the moment afterwards (for obvious reasons, we spend more subsequent processing time on more stressful moments).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Why a Woman is Like a Bicycle,

    Draper's story was intended as satire, but it's more than a little chilling to read:

    The process of education consisted solely in learning how to tap the Rx for knowledge when needed. The position was well put indeed in a famous speech by Jzbl to the graduates of the Central Saturnian University, when he said that it was a source of great pride to him that although hardly anybody knew anything any longer, everybody knew how to find out everything.

    ... necessitating ...

    a whole new branch of knowledge known as Ariadnology

    (literally, web-study!)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Why a Woman is Like a Bicycle, in reply to steven crawford,

    … ending with a plea for

    recovery of that too-quickly-forgotten past of daily practices and long-term thinking: how we used to communicate, research, write and work. It wasn’t that long ago.

    Even so, it may already be too late for intergenerational propagation of pre-internet information-processing systems. My current students have never known anything else, and seem genuinely puzzled by tasks requiring them to remember or combine information using wetware, or to skim text (or look through an index or catalogue) in order to find something out. And increasingly, information is only made available online.
    (BTW, Hal Draper came very close to predicting this type of knowledge failure in his 1961 short story “MS Fnd in a Lbry”, though couched in pre-internet terms as a reference library in which indices of indices led back eventually to the information content … until the actual information records got lost in the mass of index files, rendering the entire system useless. Here it is.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Why a Woman is Like a Bicycle, in reply to Moz,

    managed to avoid twitter

    cf. Ben Goldacre's graph representing the "bell-end distribution" of online comments (i.e., overrepresenting extreme reactions, & especially at the negative end of the bell-curve of opinion)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to linger,

    Another episode of Rich Hall's irregular updates on Trump has just become available for download (this one looking back at his first year in office).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Bar None, and…, in reply to TracyMac,

    Also influenced-by, to the point of using his actual equipment: the Pet Shop Boys’ So Hard. It’s probably true to say Giorgio’s main contribution over the last 25 years has been his influence on other musicians, but that in itself is no small thing.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are we seeing the end of MSM,…, in reply to John Farrell,

    FFS.
    The “Don’t Eat on a Plane” story came from Bloomberg, and is based on the quack beliefs of Melissa Biggs Bradley, who “founded luxury travel firm Indagare” (we are told, as if it is relevant), but who appears to have no medical or dietary expertise whatsoever.

    "I eat nothing on flights. I’ve talked to a lot of stewardesses about it, and it’s a stewardess secret,” she said.
    ”Basically, at superhigh altitude, your digestive system shuts down completely. Someone said to me it’s like being under anesthesia.”

    Other more responsible news sources debunked this nonsense months ago, e.g. Insider, on 24th July:

    nutritionists […] say that this claim is completely false. In fact, […] this sort of fasting on a flight could actually make your blood sugar plummet and worsen the effects of jet lag.
    “[The] suggestion that your digestive system shuts down during a flight has no scientific foundation,” [says] Carolyn Pallister, registered dietitian and Public Health manager at Slimming World. “By […] not eating for long periods of time on a long flight you are likely to feel weak, shaky, and could even suffer from headaches and low mood.”
    Nutritionist Jennifer Cassetta agrees and called the advice “irresponsible.” She also politely reminded INSIDER that people use bathrooms on-board a plane: “that means your digestive system is up and running."

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Is the Ministry of Health…, in reply to Frank Christian,

    and…?
    Compounds that are identical in chemical composition often have very different biochemistry – because they differ in shape and in charge distribution, which are more important than chemical identity as far as cell receptors are concerned.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1779 posts Report Reply

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