Assorted links

by on December 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Iris-scanning in the fight against Indian poverty.

2. Amazing Kreskin offers to fix the fiscal cliff.

3. An Edge talk with Philip Tetlock, and pre-registration for the forecasting website.  Forecasters are needed for his very important project.

4. David Warsh on Shapley and other stuff.

5. Some catfish kill pigeons, and how good were cavemen as animal artists?

Andrew' December 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

3. Paraphrasing “It’s easy to go back and find elections won by X where Y claims the polls were wrong.” Null Hypothesis.

Peter Schaeffer December 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

“A state that can cheaply and reliably identify individual citizens can also provide services that would be hard to imagine without a universal identification (UID) system.”

Does that mean that immigration enforcement is also cheap and reliable? Who knew?

Actually, this is old news. Iris scanning works rather well and has been effectively employed for border control for years. See ”
Dubai’s iris scan helps arrest 54,000 suspects last year” (http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/visa/dubai-s-iris-scan-helps-arrest-54-000-suspects-last-year-1.44715 – Jan 12, 2009). Quote

“Dubai: About 54,000 people were arrested at Dubai International Airport last year after failing iris scan, a senior official from the Ministry of Interior said on Monday. Brigadier Obaid Bin Surour, Deputy Director of Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) said the DNRD staff and officials at the airport were able to seize 1,088 forged passports last year. Brigadier Bin Surour said border security is one of the biggest challenges all countries face in maintaining national security. “We will soon use an individual’s DNA as a means to verify people’s identity at borders,” he said. “A strong safety system at airports and borders is required in order to allow authorities in each country to identify and to verify its newcomers and visitors,” he said. He added that such safety system will be a vital need in countries that face the problem of illegal residents.”

The real point is that immigration enforcement (via iris scans or otherwise) is cheap and reliable… For any country that actually wants to control its borders.

JWatts December 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

#5. French catfish snack down on Pigeons on the river shore. That’s one surprising video.

Gabe December 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

We are supposed to believe that government want to iris scan ID us because they so badly want to help us? Do the promoters for big government have no shame or are they really this naive?

vanderleun December 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Pointer for the “Markets in Everything” series: At $50 a cup, you’ll never forget your first elephant dung coffee.

http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/10/15821010-at-50-a-cup-youll-never-forget-your-first-elephant-dung-coffee

Andrew' December 11, 2012 at 4:57 am

$50 is way too much.

As for Kreskin, he’s a fool, right? If people wanted a solution they could just avoid the cliff. The only reason they don’t is because Obama knows soaking the rich is always a popular move and he knows the Americans will believe that it is the Rs rather than he who is holding the solution hostage. In truth, both sides are holding it hostage over the top rates.

But which ACTUALLY makes more sense, to raise rates in a depression on the cusp of a new recession on a fraction of the population or to just not?

Floccina December 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

#3 the great Julian Simon made very unpopular very counter intuitive predictions no one else I have heard has come close to that. Perhaps he was able to do this because he suffered from depression.

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