Thursday, March 31, 2016

Quote of the Day

Happiness is not something that you can find, acquire, or achieve directly. You have to get the conditions right and then wait. Some of those conditions are within you, such as coherence among the parts and levels of your personality. Other conditions require relationships to things beyond you: Just as plants need sun, water, and good soil to thrive, people need love, work, and a connection to something larger. It is worth striving to get the right relationships between yourself and others, between yourself and your work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself. If you get these relationships right, a sense of purpose and meaning will emerge.

- Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Quote of the Day

Those who have never tried electronic communication may not be aware of what a "social skill" really is. One social skill that must be learned, is that other people have points of view that are not only different, but threatening, to your own. In turn, your opinions may be threatening to others. There is nothing wrong with this. Your beliefs need not be hidden behind a facade, as happens with face-to-face conversation. Not everybody in the world is a bosom buddy, but you can still have a meaningful conversation with them. The person who cannot do this lacks in social skills.

- Nick Szabo

Monday, March 28, 2016

Machine Learning Isn’t Data Science

Machine Learning is a type of analysis you *might* perform as part of Data Science. Stated another way, Machine Learning isn’t a necessary condition of Data Science (Statistics is though!). If you happen to be doing a predictive task, you’re reaching for supervised learning. If you happen to be doing descriptive/exploratory analysis, you *might* reach for unsupervised learning. As for reinforcement learning, it’s not as popular as supervised learning or unsupervised learning, and even less popular in Data Science.

- More Here

Quote of the Day

A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.

- Pam Brown

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Good Statistics Advice Can Do You Bad

Example 1

Good advice: Statistical significance is not the same as practical significance.

How it can mislead: People get the impression that a statistically significant result is more impressive if it’s larger in magnitude.

Why it’s misleading: See this classic example where Carl Morris presents three different hypothetical results, all of which are statistically significant at the 5% level but with much different estimated effect sizes. In this example, the strongest evidence comes from the smallest estimate, while the result with the largest estimate gives the weakest evidence.

Example 2

Good advice: Warnings against p-hacking, cherry-picking, file-drawer effects, etc.

How it can mislead: People get the impression that various forms of cheating represent the main threat to the validity of p-values.

Why it’s misleading: A researcher who doesn’t cheat can then think that his or her p-values have no problems. They don’t understand about the garden of forking paths.

Example 3

Good advice: Use Bayesian inference and you’ll automatically get probabilistic uncertainty statements.

How it can mislead: Sometimes the associated uncertainty statements can be unreasonable.

Why it’s misleading: Consider my new favorite example, y ~ N(theta, 1), uniform prior on theta, and you observe y=1. The point estimate of theta is 1, which is what it is, and the posterior distribution for theta is N(1,1), which isn’t so unreasonable as a data summary, but then you can also get probability statements such as Pr(theta>0|y) = .84, which seems a bit strong, the idea that you’d be willing to lay down a 5:1 bet based on data that are consistent with pure noise.

Example 4

Good advice: If an estimate is less than 2 standard errors away from zero, treat it as provisional.

How it can mislead: People mistakenly assume the converse, that if an estimate is more than 2 standard errors away from zero, that it should be essentially taken as true.

Why it’s misleading: First, because estimates that are 2 standard errors from zero are easily obtained just by chance, especially in a garden-of-forking paths setting. Second, because even with no forking paths, publication bias leads to the statistical significance filter: if you only report estimates that are statistically significant, you’ll systematically overestimate effect sizes.


- More Here

Quote of the Day

My mind," he said, "rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.

- Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wisdom Of The Week

Michael Inzlicht, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, is a co-author on the forthcoming ego depletion paper. While he's not ready to discuss it in depth ("I do not think it's wise to talk about this until people can actually read the paper for themselves," he tells me in an email), he did clarify that the result won't spell the absolute death of ego depletion theory. "There would need to be a few more of these massive replication failures to support a claim like that," he says.

But beyond the demise of the theory, for Inzlicht the results represent something greater, and sadder. He's worked on ego depletion for most of a decade. His studies have been published in top journals. "I’m in a dark place," he writes in a recent blog post. "Have I been chasing puffs of smoke for all these years?"

Depending on whom you ask, this moment is either a crisis for the science or a revolution to hold researchers and journals more accountable for flimsy conclusions.

For psychologists, the problem is not going to go away anytime soon. Nor are the solutions easy. But there's a chance that this fire will be cleansing — and that the science of psychology will emerge from this period stronger, more effective, and more trustworthy.

[---]

Social priming theory isn't necessarily wrong. But when researchers failed to replicate the slow-walking result with more than double the number of participants, it cast doubt on both the conclusions and psychology's ability to reliably test for them. Especially concerning was that in the replication test, experimenters only found the result — participants walking more slowly — when they were told this was the probable outcome.

The crisis intensified this past August when a group of psychologists called the Open Science Collaboration published a report in the Science with evidence of an overarching problem: When 270 psychologists tried to replicate 100 experiments published in top journals, only around 40 percent of the studies held up. The remainder either failed or yielded inconclusive data. What's more, the replications that did work showed weaker effects than the original papers.

[---]

With the Open Science Collaboration project and other large-scale replication projects like it, psychologists aren't setting off to prove or disprove individual conclusions. Rather, they're asking the question: What is the difference between the experiments that can be replicated and the ones that cannot?

The answer to that question is the key to solving the discipline's core problem. If psychology finds it has to start from scratch evaluating its hypotheses, at least it will be able to do so in a manner that's more methodologically sound.

"We never want to be at a point where every single study, every one, has to have five direct replications run," says Sanjay Srivastava, a psychologist at the University of Oregon who blogs about issues in the field on his website the Hardest Science. "We want to know, ultimately, what are the signs of a healthy science?"

[---]

These are troubling times for psychology, but there's also reason for optimism. During this time of reappraisal, some textbooks may need to be rewritten, and some egos will be badly bruised. But psychology will have a more solid foundation.

"To be clear: I am in love with social psychology," Inzlicht writes. And you have to be honest with those you love.


- What psychology’s crisis means for the future of science

Quote of the Day

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Global Rebellion Against "No-Skin-in-the-Game" Insiders

Taleb recently posted to his Facebook page that's worth quoting in its entirety:


What we are seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking "clerks" and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think...and 5) who to vote for.

With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30y of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, microeconomic papers wrong 40% of the time, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating only 1/5th of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats wanting to run our lives aren't even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. I have shown that most of what Cass-Sunstein-Richard Thaler types call "rational" or "irrational" comes from misunderstanding of probability theory.
- More Here

Quote of the Day

When we are shown scenes of starving children in Africa, with a call for us to do something to help them, the underlying ideological message is something like: "Don't think, don't politicize, forget about the true causes of their poverty, just act, contribute money, so that you will not have to think!

- Slavoj Žižek

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Quote of the Day

Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.

- Fred Rogers

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Quote of the Day

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.

- Edward Hoagland

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Efficient and Robust Automated ML

The success of machine learning in a broad range of applications has led to an ever-growing demand for machine learning systems that can be used off the shelf by non-experts. To be effective in practice, such systems need to automatically choose a good algorithm and feature preprocessing steps for a new dataset at hand, and also set their respective hyperparameters. Recent work has started to tackle this automated machine learning (AutoML) problem with the help of efficient Bayesian optimization methods. In this work we introduce a robust new AutoML system based on scikit-learn (using 15 classifiers, 14 feature preprocessing methods, and 4 data preprocessing methods, giving rise to a structured hypothesis space with 110 hyperparameters). This system, which we dub auto-sklearn, improves on existing AutoML methods by automatically taking into account past performance on similar datasets, and by constructing ensembles from the models evaluated during the optimization. Our system won the first phase of the ongoing ChaLearn AutoML challenge, and our comprehensive analysis on over 100 diverse datasets shows that it substantially outperforms the previous state of the art in AutoML. We also demonstrate the performance gains due to each of our contributions and derive insights into the effectiveness of the individual components of auto-sklearn.

- Full Paper Here


Quote of the Day

If you’re prepared to invest in a company, then you ought to be able to explain why in simple language that a fifth grader could understand, and quickly enough so the fifth grader won’t get bored.

- Peter Lynch


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Machine Unlearning - New Technique Wipes Out Unwanted Data

To do this, software programs in these systems calculate predictive relationships from massive amounts of data. The systems identify these predictive relationships using advanced algorithms -- a set of rules for solving math problems -- and "training data." This data is then used to construct the models and features that enable a system to determine the latest best-seller you wish to read or to predict the likelihood of rain next week.

This intricate process means that a piece of raw data often goes through a series of computations in a system. The computations and information derived by the system from that data together form a complex propagation network called the data's "lineage." The term was coined by Yinzhi Cao, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and his colleague, Junfeng Yang of Columbia University, who are pioneering a novel approach to make learning systems forget.

Considering how important this concept is to increasing security and protecting privacy, Cao and Yang believe that easy adoption of forgetting systems will be increasingly in demand. The two researchers have developed a way to do it faster and more effectively than can be done using current methods.

Their concept, called "machine unlearning," is so promising that Cao and Yang have been awarded a four-year, $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to develop the approach.

"Effective forgetting systems must be able to let users specify the data to forget with different levels of granularity," said Cao, a principal investigator on the project. "These systems must remove the data and undo its effects so that all future operations run as if the data never existed."


- More Here

Quote of the Day

When I have an argument with someone, even with someone I am not very close with, I can't sleep at night thinking about it. It's terrible. But I still manage speak out frankly because I have also been gifted with the ability to read people. I can sense when they start to get irritated with me, and then, I shift.

- Hans Rosling


Friday, March 18, 2016

Doggie DNA startup Wants to Learn About Human Diseases

Finally there’s a use for dog drool: this spring, a new startup called Embark plans to launch a DNA testing kit for dogs that will tell owners about their canine’s ancestry, and disease risk. That’s not all the founders have in mind though; they may be aiming at human diseases by enlisting our longtime best friends.

[---]

For the company’s founders, the real objective will be the research they’ll be able to conduct with the DNA samples; that became clear when I spoke to two of Embark’s founders on the phone last week. They spent the first 10 minutes of the call talking about the potential of dog genetics to deliver advancements in human health. In fact, they were so enthusiastic about their future research that I had to interrupt them to steer the conversation back to the product we were supposed to discuss.

Dogs and humans "suffer from many of the same kinds of conditions," says Ryan Boyko, a computer scientist and one of the company’s co-founders. So, by studying the genetics of diseases in dogs, scientists may be able to figure out how these originate in humans. "This platform, by engaging mass numbers of dog owners, will provide us with data that will enable us to unlock the potential of the dog as a model system," Boyko says. That appears to be the real idea behind Embark. Its founders have figured out that it’s a lot easier to fund research if study participants — or their owners — pay for the privilege of taking part in a study. Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine has already agreed to be an Embark research partner, and the company intends to conduct its own studies, under the guidance of Adam Boyko, Embark's chief science officer, a dog geneticist at Cornell University, and Ryan’s brother.


- More Here and for the record I am interested in companies that will help Dogs rather than help Humans by using Dogs. We Sapiens already have tortured enough moral and sentient living beings in the name of food and scientific research. It's about time we think about helping other species.




Quote of the Day

To err is to wander and wandering is the way we discover the world and lost in thought it is the also the way we discover ourselves. Being right might be gratifying but in the end it is static a mere statement. Being wrong is hard and humbling and sometimes even dangerous but in the end it is a journey and a story. Who really wants to stay at home and be right when you can don your armor spring up on your steed and go forth to explore the world True you might get lost along get stranded in a swamp have a scare at the edge of a cliff thieves might steal your gold brigands might imprison you in a cave sorcerers might turn you into a toad but what of what To fuck up is to find adventure: it is in the spirit that this book is written.

- Kathryn Schulz, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Quote of the Day

If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected .

- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Family is a Cartel

Families usually do not require one of its own to commit a crime to become a team. In many small ways, every day, they are just that. And like wild animals, they thrive in captivity. Most people find happiness, even appreciation, only in a family or a portion of a family. In the world outside they are nothing, they are treated as nothing. And they treat the world that surrounds their home merely as a place where they forage for food. In fact, most people derive the conviction that they are virtuous purely from how they are at home, how they love their own. The Dursleys, for instance, are a good family, if they are not seen from Harry Potter’s point of view. Much love in that house when Potter is at school.

Families were always vital to individuals but in the recent times, across the world, there appears to be a reverent acceptance of the fact. It is increasingly hard for the wild to remain wild and keep a family too. The reason why a particular beast of the middle class who survived well until the last generation is increasingly endangered — the delinquent alcoholic head of the family. The circumstances of women have changed and they can now kick such men out, however fascinating they might be as characters. Also, an underrated force in male reformation is the fact that old men recede and the new men do not wish to be their fathers.

A family is a cartel, it has always been so. What are known as traditional family values are compensations for the failures of the government. The objective of a family then is to overcome the State and provide an unfair advantage to its young. This was, until recently, done by a network of relations often living in the same house. And the young appeared to respect the old because the old were useful. The same reason why a poor man’s son is more likely to rebel against his father than a rich man’s son. As the society prospered the family discarded its peripheral relations because they were not required, but the smallest efficient unit is still the nuclear family and not the individual.

The Indian society is not a contest between individuals but between families. Increasingly, even in the United States and Britain, this is the case because unfair advantages, even in those nations, have become extremely lucrative. The income gap between lowbrow jobs and jobs that require higher education and social contacts has become vast even in the developed world.


- More Here

Quote of the Day

For, so inconsistent is human nature, especially in the ideal, that not to undertake a thing at all seems better than to undertake and come short.

- Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Quote of the Day

In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else's mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one's own place and economy.

In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers...

Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else's legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed?

The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.


- Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Quote of the Day

They find that ambitious startups share certain qualities. Their names, for example, tend to be shorter and are less likely to include the founder’s name. They tend to be set up as corporations, not limited liability companies, and they are often incorporated in Delaware, a state known for its business-friendly regulations. They often apply for patents early in their corporate lives. By looking at those and other variables, Stern and Guzman calculate what they call an Entrepreneurial Quality Index — essentially a measure of how likely a new company is to achieve high growth.

The Next Amazon (Or Apple, Or GE) Is Probably Failing Right Now

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Wisdom Of The Week

Everybody knows how the World War One started. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 by Gavrilo Princip, one of several young fanatics involved in the plot.

This incident set in train a series of events which culminated in a declaration of war by Austria-Hungary, followed by seventeen million deaths and a similar number of wounded men (including my father, Private Horace Briggs, on the Somme, 1916).

The curious fact that remains unknown is that the assassins, far from making it up as they went along, were following a detailed blueprint spelt out in a story by a minor Russian writer called Leonid Andreyev (1871-1919).

This man enjoyed a meteoric but short-lived career as the author of sensational stories, and ended where he had begun, in obscurity and poverty, with a blaze of celebrity and misspent riches in between.

His finest work, by far, was The Story of the Seven who were Hanged (1908), here shortened to Seven Hanged, a personal response to Leo Tolstoy’s anti-capital-punishment pamphlet of 1906, I Cannot be Silent.

Andreyev believed he could move more hearts by pungent story-telling than any amount of preaching, and so it turned out.

This tale, strongly influenced by the antics of real anarchists of the day, is nothing less than a dress-rehearsal for the Sarajevo assassination.

In the story, five idealistic young revolutionaries plan to assassinate a government minister. Arriving at the appointed spot, armed with bombs and guns, they are arrested (having been betrayed), placed before a court, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.

In gaol they are joined by two condemned common criminals, and the story follows the behaviour and mental processes of all seven as they move towards inevitable death at the end of a rope.

Andreyev miraculously excelled himself.

Somehow he managed to personalise the seven destinies, drawing down upon the condemned prisoners far more understanding and sympathy than blame – whatever they had done – and exposing the atrocity of judicial execution.

Make no mistake. Even today, more than a century on, this story will not fail to move new readers, giving many of them strong pause for thought, especially in those parts of the ‘civilised’ world where the barbarous and blundering practice of slaughtering our fellow-citizens is still carried out
.

- The Book that Started World War One


Quote of the Day

There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. 
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

- Will Rogers

Friday, March 11, 2016

He Rescued A Dog. Then The Dog Rescued Him



Eric O'Grey knew he was in trouble. His weight had ballooned to 320 pounds, and he was spending more than $1,000 a month on medications for high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.
 
In 2010, a physician told him to buy a funeral plot, because he would need it in five years. He was 51 years old.

So he went to talk with a naturopathic doctor about losing weight. She said: Get a shelter dog.

O'Grey was surprised, but he took that advice, heading to the Humane Society Silicon Valley near his home in San Jose, Calif. He told the shelter, "I want an obese middle-aged dog, like me." That's how he met Peety.
 
Peety needed to be walked, so Eric and Peety walked, for at least a half-hour a day. O'Grey, who was working as an area sales manager for GE appliances, shifted to a plant-based diet. Over the course of a year, he lost 140 pounds. Peety lost 25. O'Grey got off the meds.

It wasn't just the walks with Peety that transformed O'Grey's life. The dog helped keep him from backsliding into his old, unhealthful ways. "He looked at me like I was the best person on the planet, and I wanted to become the person he thought I was."


- More Here

Quote of the Day


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Quote of the Day

The art and practice of visualizing data is becoming ever more important in bridging the human-computer gap to mediate analytical insight in a meaningful way.

- Edd Dumbill

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sapien(s) Intelligence 2.0

Cognition of Sapiens during election cycle = Overfitting


Cognition of Sapiens during normal days = Underfitting




Quote of the Day

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Rise of American Authoritarianism

Feldman developed what has since become widely accepted as the definitive measurement of authoritarianism: four simple questions that appear to ask about parenting but are in fact designed to reveal how highly the respondent values hierarchy, order, and conformity over other values.

  • Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: independence or respect for elders?
  • Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: obedience or self-reliance?
  • Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: to be considerate or to be well-behaved?
  • Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: curiosity or good manners?
  • Feldman's test proved to be very reliable. There was now a way to identify people who fit the authoritarian profile, by prizing order and conformity, for example, and desiring the imposition of those values.

In 1992, Feldman convinced the National Election Study, a large survey of American voters conducted in each national election year, to include his four authoritarianism questions. Ever since, political scientists who study authoritarianism have accumulated a wealth of data on who exhibits those tendencies and on how they align with everything from demographic profiles to policy preferences.

What they found was impossible to ignore — and is only just beginning to reshape our understanding of the American electorate.


- More Here


Quote of the Day

He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

- George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

Monday, March 7, 2016

Quote of the Day

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.

- Bertrand Russell, New Hopes for a Changing World

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Likely Determines the Unlikely

We point out that the functional form describing the frequency of sizes of events in complex systems (e.g. earthquakes, forest fires, bursts of neuronal activity) can be obtained from maximal likelihood inference, which, remarkably, only involve a few available observed measures such as number of events, total event size and extremes. Most importantly, the method is able to predict with high accuracy the frequency of the rare extreme events. To be able to predict the few, often big impact events, from the frequent small events is of course of great general importance. For a data set of wind speed we are able to predict the frequency of gales with good precision. We analyse several examples ranging from the shortest length of a recruit to the number of Chinese characters which occur only once in a text.

- Read the full paper by here

Quote of the Day


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Wisdom Of The Week

One of the things that I'm interested in is how we communicate goals to AIs. How do we talk to the AIs? My basic conclusion is that it's a mixture. Human natural language is good up to a point, and has evolved to describe what we typically encounter in the world. Things that exist from nature, things that we've chosen to build in the world—these are things which human natural language has evolved to describe. But there's a lot that exists out there in the world for which human natural language doesn't have descriptions yet. Even though our AI systems might effectively find those descriptions, we don't have ways to say those ourselves.

When it comes to describing more sophisticated things, the kinds of things that people build big programs to do, we don't have a good way to describe those things with human natural language. But we can build languages that do describe that.

One question I've been interested in is, what does the world look like when most people can write code? We had a transition, maybe 500 years ago or something, from a time when only scribes and a small set of the population were literate and could write natural language. Today, a small fraction of the population can write code. Most of the code they can write is for computers only. You don't understand things by reading code.

But there will come a time when, as a result of things I've tried to do, where the code is at a high enough level that it is a minimal description of what you're trying to do. For example, contracts are written in English and you try to make the English as precise as possible. There will be a time when most contracts are written in code, where there's a precise representation. It might be for cases where it's a computer that says, "Can I use this API to do this?" Well, there's some service level agreement that's going on there that isn't a human contract; it's something that's written in a piece of code that is understandable to humans, but also executable by the machines. This question of, can I do this according to this contract? is an automatic question. That's one tiny example of how the world starts to change when most people can write and read code.

- Steven Wolfram, AI & The Future Of Civilization

Quote of the Day

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

- Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Quote of the Day

The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job
.

- Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Quote of the Day

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson