Assorted links

by on October 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. The bra of the future?  (safe for work)

2. Findings about paper rejections, or why you should love your critics.

3. Good post on the Dunning-Krueger effect.

4. How penicillin reshaped sexuality.

5. Sabina Knight on Mo Yan (short podcast).

6. How Google lobbies for self-driving cars.

Neal October 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm

6: So, now we know how Google is going to invest its giant pile of cash: Lobby. #ThereIsNoGreatStagnation

John Thacker October 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

4) is interesting, suggesting that there is a prominent response in sexual behavior compared to costs. Condoms were already widely available that time. I wonder if the effect from AIDS were smaller, and how much of that represented lower relative risk vs. judging a low probability but high negative cost risk.

Similarly, one wonders if there’s any effects in availability of abortion on sexual behavior.

lords of lies October 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

“one wonders if there’s any effects in availability of abortion on sexual behavior.”

you can throw the pill, female economic self-sufficiency, porn and easy divorce into the the mix of cultural changes that have likely had and continue to have an effect on sexual behavior. but this is not new theory for those who read iconoclast blogs.

Claudia October 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

… or for those who read intro econ textbooks. Duh, supply curves can shift out with technological advances. It is interesting to see how the cultural costs of sex ebbed when the physical costs were overcome by technology, but I don’t think that was the deep point you were trying to make.

Paul October 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I wonder if there is anything to be learned from the different ways that the cultural costs ebbed in different countries? My understanding is that there is basically only a negligible incidence of single motherhood throughout Europe (excluding Great Britain), so I am wondering what is different about the U.S. and Britain from France, Germany, Greece, etc. such that there is such divergence in behavior?

TR W October 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Chinese doesn’t have grammar. Grammar is one of the elements all books are judged by in Indo-European languages. How are Chinese books judged as great when there is no grammar?

Tony October 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Uh, what definition of grammar are you operating under?

TR W October 13, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Grammar: a system of rules that defines the grammatical structure of a language

Tony October 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Grammar is the structure of a launguage. Are you proposing that there’s no such thing as syntax or morphology in (any of) the (various) Chinese language(s)?

prior_approval October 14, 2012 at 12:49 am

Tauologically speaking, of course.

And I do wonder – do you have any experience with Chinese as a language at all?

Well, no, I don’t wonder at all, actually. But then, just for fun, I’ll point out that Hungarian isn’t an Indo-European language either – where do you stand on its ‘system of rules that defines grammatical structure’.

TR W October 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I was using Ind-European languages as an example. No, Chinese doesn’t have grammar. I just would like to know how works are judged when that is the case.

KenF October 13, 2012 at 11:15 pm

This is simply not true.

So Much For Subtlety October 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Chinese does not have a grammar? How does one distinguish between “I eat noodles” and “Noodles eat me” then?

I would think that as a Subject-Verb-Object language, like English, Chinese very much has a grammar.

doctorpat October 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Guys, you’ve all been trolled.
You’re concentrating so hard on the foolishness of the first statement “Chinese does not have grammar.” that you’ve overlooked the complete insanity of the second statement
” Grammar is one of the elements all books are judged by”

Past 4th grade, books are not judged on the quality of the grammar, unless it is so bad as to distract the reader. Even then there is James Joyce.

IBES October 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

That paper rejection research is pretty weak- they keep pushing the editors making it better angle but the entire result can be driven by selection of authors who think their paper is worth resubmitting again and again.

JML October 14, 2012 at 12:30 am

That, and/or really interesting work often rejects conventional wisdom, thus being more frequently rejected by peer review.

Jack October 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm

(2) As @IBES says, there is missing data: what about rejected papers that are not resubmitted? Also: “3–6 years after publication, papers published on their second try are more highly cited on average than first-time papers in the same journal” , well, the findings have been circulating for longer, so more time to get read and cited. Looks like a shoddy paper that makes Editors feel good.

Epanechnikov October 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm

The first link is really uninformative.

- The 5 years survival rates are very deceiving (see: http://youtu.be/4YGqM4nFj7I)

- “In over three clinical trials, the bra correctly identified 92.1 percent of tumors”

And I can detect 100% of the tumours. I just need to assume that all women have got breast cancer! But what about the false positive rate of the BRA? Shall I assume that the positive predictive value of the BRA is very low?

Linsey Fagan October 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm

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Car Buying Tips

Ronald Brak October 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm

6. Google spends millions lobbying for a potentially very useful technology? That’s an unfortunate and considerable deadweight loss. Reducing costs in this area might be good for innovation.

The Original D October 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm

it’s a pittance compared to the R&D expenditures to develop the technology, and the downside risk of the technology failing is very high.

Ronald Brak October 14, 2012 at 5:24 am

Well, yes, that’s true. But it’s still a deadweight loss that could be better spent on R&D and something an engineer developing a tacocopter in her garage may not be able to afford.

Andrew' October 14, 2012 at 5:33 am

Who is this fine lady engineering a tococopter in her garage? Is she cute? (We can assume she’s single).

Ronald Brak October 14, 2012 at 7:29 am

Dude, your sexism is hanging out.

John Schilling October 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Yes, and thanks to the nuclear regulatory commission I find I can barely afford to build experimental nuclear reactors in my own garage. Gosh darned government bureaucrats and their stupid safety rules…

Ronald Brak October 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I’m not very familliar with US lobbying, but I suspect that the politicians Google is spending money lobbying aren’t actually experts on safety. In fact, I’d even go as far to suspect that the lobbying process might in fact not be wholely concerned with safety and that factors other than just the public interest maybe be involved. So if Google, or other innovators, only had to spend money demonstrating safety, that might be a more efficient thing to do.

Now it’s easy to complain, but you might want to know if I have any practical suggestions on how to improve the situation, and yes I do. I recommend the following three step process, which… Oh my god! My tacocopter is escaping!

Andrew' October 14, 2012 at 5:33 am

2. You mean, your advisor should love your critics.

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