Confessions of America's Best Drone Pilot
From the darkness of a box in the Nevada desert, he watched as three men trudged down a dirt road in Afghanistan. The box was kept cold—precisely sixty-eight degrees—and the only light inside came from the glow of monitors. The air smelled spectrally of stale sweat and cigarette smoke. On his consol...
The American Scholar: Solitude and Leadership - William Deresiewicz
If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts
This is really inspiring stuff.
"We have a crisis of leadership in America because our overwhelming power and wealth, earned under earlier generations of leaders, made us complacent, and for too long we have been training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going. Who can answer questions, but don’t know how to ask them. Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to set them. Who think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the first place. What we have now are the greatest technocrats the world has ever seen, people who have been trained to be incredibly good at one specific thing, but who have no interest in anything beyond their area of expertise. What we don’t have are leaders.
What we don’t have, in other words, are thinkers. People who can think for themselves. People who can formulate a new direction: for the country, for a corporation or a college, for the Army—a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things. People, in other words, with vision."Posted on 2013-10-23T20:23:41+0000
Dr. Arjun Srinivasan: We’ve Reached “The End of Antibiotics, Period” – Hunting the Nightmare...
The CDC doctor says we need to create a new model to fight drug resistance.
F"or the past half century, we should have been treating our antibiotics like weapons of mass destruction - tools of last resort only to be used in emergencies, with great hesitation, and only when absolutely necessary. The industry and the doctors responded: antibiotics were too profitable and the risk seemed too distant. Now we have no weapons; we're helpless and the world is again going to be a scary place where a cut or a scrape can land you in a hospital or in a mortuary.
For the first time in the memory of anyone alive today, we're going to see medical science step backwards. We're going to be more vulnerable tomorrow than we are today, and we did it to ourselves." - a commentorPosted on 2013-10-23T16:14:52+0000
Trouble at the lab
“I SEE a train wreck looming,” warned Daniel Kahneman, an eminent psychologist, in an open letter last year. The premonition concerned research on a phenomenon...
Dan’s Geometrical Curiosities
A collection of art and math projects by a Physics student, with help from a friend who likes blog...
What's Scott Adams' secret to success? 'Goals are for losers'
Forget passion. Goals are for losers. Dilbert creator Scott Adams reveals his secret to climbing to the top: Fail. A lot.
"My system of creating something the public wants and reproducing it in large quantities nearly guaranteed a string of failures. By design, all of my efforts were long shots. Had I been goal-oriented instead of system-oriented, I imagine I would have given up after the first several failures. It would have felt like banging my head against a brick wall."Posted on 2013-10-14T17:10:28+0000
We analyzed 700 million words, phrases, and topic instances collected from the Facebook messages of 75,000 volunteers, who also took standard personality tests, and found striking variations in language with personality, gender, and age. In our open-vocabulary technique, the data itself drives a comprehensive exploration of language that distinguishes people, finding connections that are not captured with traditional closed-vocabulary word-category analyses. Our analyses shed new light on psychosocial processes yielding results that are face valid (e.g., subjects living in high elevations talk about the mountains), tie in with other research (e.g., neurotic people disproportionately use the phrase ‘sick of’ and the word ‘depressed’), suggest new hypotheses (e.g., an active life implies emotional stability), and give detailed insights (males use the possessive ‘my’ when mentioning their ‘wife’ or ‘girlfriend’ more often than females use ‘my’ with ‘husband’ or 'boyfriend’). To date, this represents the largest study, by an order of magnitude, of language and personality.Posted on 2013-10-13T19:42:48+0000
Terrorism is not about Terror
Terrorists act very irrationally from bang-per-buck POV
"My host, who was one of Abu Iyad’s most trusted deputies, was charged with devising a solution. For months both men thought of various ways to solve the Black September problem, discussing and debating what they could possibly do, short of killing all these young men, to stop them from committing further acts of terror.
Finally they hit upon an idea. Why not simply marry them off? In other words, why not find a way to give these men – the most dedicated, competent, and implacable fighters in the entire PLO - a reason to live rather than to die? Having failed to come up with any viable alternatives, the two men put their plan in motion.
Both Abu Iyad and the future general worried that their scheme would never work. But, as the general recounted, without exception the Black Septemberists fell in love, got married, settled down, and in most cases started a family…the general explained, not one of them would agree to travel abroad, for fear of being arrested and losing all that they had – that is, being deprived of their wives and children. And so, my host told me, that is how we shut down Black September and eliminated terrorism. It is the only successful case that I know of."Posted on 2013-10-13T19:35:38+0000
I got hired at a Bangladesh sweatshop. Meet my 9-year-old boss | Toronto Star
Meem, 9, works 12-hour shifts at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She dreams of becoming a sewing operator, buying more hair clips and helping her family.