Assorted links

by on April 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Bionic kangaroo.

2. Consumption rituals enhance the flavor of chocolate, lemonade, and carrots.

3. Just an arbitrary observation: to my subjective eye, this married couple looks very happy together.  (And they met through robots.)

4. You can’t tell how smart women are by seeing their static photos.

5. Will driverless cars push us into congestion pricing?

6. Finally someone is disrupting the towel.

7. How to rank your friends? (not recommended)

8. The McDonald’s theory of international conflict, revisited?

ummm April 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm

lots of links today lol

looks like Michael Lewis is losing the HFT debate

was he in on this? http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111903698104579475431992042584.html?mod=BOL_da_wte

this is the fraud, not HFT

he should stick to writing about sports ..the only subject he can do a reasonable job feigning competence

Kelly April 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

#4 If perceptions of intelligence align with actual intelligence and people generally interpret the same facial features to mean the same things, then they’re kind of saying that face shape is actually predictive of intelligence… which seems wrong…

Kelly April 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm

It says they didn’t find a relationship between face shape and intelligence… but if there’s no relationship, doesn’t that mean the correlation between perceived and actual intelligence was completely random?

Finch April 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm

It could be caused by things besides shape like skin or eye or hair color, or skin health, for example.

PD Shaw April 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. They also say a big-legged woman ain’t got no soul.

Turkey Vulture April 5, 2014 at 12:45 am

Thank you for this.

Finch April 4, 2014 at 2:32 pm

For example, you might be able to pick up whether the guys work outside.

Jacob April 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm

So finding that the the face shape is predictive of intelligence in men, but not women, may make sense in certain evolutionary contexts. It may make sense for males who are not as strong, for example, to signal that they aren’t valueless either, and recognition of facial features to mean certain things could arise that way.

As such this may not have been as important for males to similarly recognize females, as other traits may be desired…

This is speculative on my part, but I don’t think is unreasonable.

Careless April 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Males that aren’t strong or smart would have just as much use for appearing smart.

JFA April 4, 2014 at 1:33 pm

#6 is just a hand drier for your whole body… my casual observation is that most people agree that they don’t work as well as towels… I see this a bad investment… unless Dyson were making it.

PD Shaw April 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm

If the root problem is that wet towels encourage bacteria growth, perhaps they could invent a hand drier for your towel?

Donald A. Coffin April 4, 2014 at 2:23 pm

I agree with JFA. If these things work as well as the hand driers we have all probably not been able to dry our hands effectively with, then we’d be accepting getting-dressed-while-wet. Not an appealing proposition.

Nate April 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I found it bizarre that they kept harping on bacteria, when it’s mildew that grows on wet towels, which are fungi.

Rahul April 5, 2014 at 10:09 am

What about A UV lamp? Shouldn’t that kill all those?

Mark Thorson April 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

UV is poor way to sterilize most things. Any bacteria shielded from the light — for example, by sitting behind a dust particle — won’t be killed. It certainly won’t penetrate into something like a towel. UV is mostly useful as a way to reassure the users that some sterilization is going on, whether or not it actually is.

I’ve considered creating a pen with a UV light in it as a tool to make life more comfortable for germophobes. They could just wave it over any surface they want “sterilized”. A delusional bacterial hazard mitigated by delusional sterilization seems like a good fit.

Mark Thorson April 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm

But it uses ionized air. Nothing like a blow drier, which merely uses warm air. Warm air won’t fluff up your aura like ionized air does.

Shane M April 4, 2014 at 9:17 pm

#6. Body Dryer. I like the idea – mentioned something to family before – but in the end is this preferred to a hair dryer which I currently use almost every day to dry off after shower?

JKB April 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

The real problem is Myth Busters already showed that hand dryers are nasty bacteria farms. And they don’t draw their air right off the floor surface.

I hear they use HF vibrations to keep water and dirt off fighter jet windshields. I’d try to invent that for home use. Could possibly have a secondary market that disrupts other showering tools as well.

ad*m April 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm

For men, smart and strong are hot; for women, not so much.

The more important result is that we can tell how smart men are from their photograph. – Obviously, we can also tell how strong men are and how fertile women are, from photographs -. There is a selective advantage in men signalling their IQ, and their strength. Women’s IQ does not have as much selective advantage as attractiveness and fertility and therefore no advantage for women to signal their IQ.

So Much For Subtlety April 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Why do you think smart is hot? How many STEM majors do you see beating off the babes?

It is just as likely that a lack of intelligence is an advantage and so they signal it.

Z April 5, 2014 at 7:57 am

It would depend on the culture. In modern America, a high IQ points in the direction of high status. Among the Fang People of the Congo, it probably counts for very little.

Women are wired to seek out high status males. For almost all of human history, physical prowess was highly valued in males because that led to higher status than being physically inept. Health and fertility was valued in females. A male wants a women that will bear children and live through to raise those children. Health is interpreted as physical attractiveness.

So Much For Subtlety April 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm

What the Fang are doing in the Congo, I do not know. But what American girls are doing, I do know. And intelligence is not rewarded in the US. High IQ might point in all sorts of directions, but if women are hard wired for status seeking, it is despite their men being dorky, not because of it. After all, until recently high IQ led to you being an accountant. Not CEO of Facebook.

Women still want physical prowess. No one suggests that any star programmer is going to rival Wilt Chamberlain. Even Larry Ellison has to pay – he is famous for giving high end cars to his favored female execs.

I understand the sociobiology of it all. I just don’t think that intelligence is what women want.

So Much For Subtlety April 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Some evidence to support this view:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-layla-mccay/women-in-stem-its-time-to_b_5076711.html?utm_hp_ref=technology&ir=Technology

Female students won’t do STEM subjects because they don’t want to date male STEM students.

So why the insistence that intelligence is a bonus?

dearieme April 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm

What I don’t like about the modern hand dryers is the way they blow small droplets of water into your eyes. This will (I predict) cause eye infections. Presumably the lead in litigation will be taken in the US.

cfh April 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm

4. Yeah, we don’t see what we’re not looking for. In phase 2 of the research we will learn how much IQ is revealed by full frontal nudity.

Tyler Fan April 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm

#7 has lots of friends on paper and I’m guessing not so many IRL.

hamilton April 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I’m glad I wasn’t the only person to find this person… unpleasant.

derek April 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

What kind of loser usues “%age” to abbreviate “percentage”. We would get it from just “%”.

Z April 5, 2014 at 7:59 am
adbge April 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm

The most troubling thing about #7 is not so much his spreadsheet, which might be a good idea, but the mundanity of his analysis. He hangs out with smart, beautiful people who share his politics? What a coincidence — my friends happen to be smart and beautiful, too, just like me.

Sigivald April 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm

#2 appears to really be a general conclusion, tested on those three things.

Ignacio April 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Do you understand that people will certainly clic on a link that says “not recommended”? Is this on purpose?

Thor April 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Saying “don’t” is a sure way to get someone to do something.

Saying outrageous things like you rank your friends on various things is also a sure way of getting someone to do something: in this case, notice your blog.

JWatts April 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

“7. How to rank your friends? (not recommended) ”

I started out thinking that the writer would be a pretty self absorbed twit, but instead his writing turned out to be fairly interesting. I still think his friend spreadsheet is a little off the beaten track and obsessive.

John Schilling April 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm

#6: “The whole point of the thing is supposed to be to get rid of bacteria that can accumulate and grow on towels”

I don’t think they really understand the problem. The bacteria that grow on towels, do not arise by spontaneous generation; they come from the skin of whoever uses the towel. If, instead, that person stands in the path of a giant blow-drier, the bacteria – what, exactly? Are disintegrated and vaporized by the mighty power of the drying jet? Water evaporates in hot air. Bacteria don’t evaporate in anything less than an oven. So the end result is that all the bacteria, and other assorted filth, that would have wound up on the towel, are instead left behind on the user’s skin when the water disappears. This does not strike me as an improvement, even if it does eliminate a towel from my laundry basket.

albatross April 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I hope the robot couple gets around to having few kids, rather than just producing robots.

Adrian Ratnapala April 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm

That’s point is more important than you know, for preventing the following scenerio:

In year 3301 when “humanity” spreads among the stars people with worship the Ancestor who first showed that a child could be Made rather than born and so freed his descendants race from the shackels of organic chemistry.

ummm April 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm

the distribution of IQ scores of participants in that study seems way off even if you’re selecting form a pool of above average population

Thor April 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm

#3 Of course HE’S happy. She’s younger and hot.

#6 “Disrupting” the towel should read “fighting the hegemony of cotton dominant bourgeois consumer object”, because that’s what them newfangled lefty postmodernists mean by disrupting. (See also, contesting.)

GiT April 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm

You’re clueless. “Disrupting” is tech speak.

Toad Hall Harlowe Place April 4, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Word of the day is hard-hearted. Unless I am missing the point, or getting it extremely backwards.

Willitts April 6, 2014 at 11:17 pm

I’m very happy for the same reason, although I can’t quite understand her or my wife. :)

He’s got an astounding intellect, and I’ve got…..wait, give me a minute here…..

bxg April 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm

#5 contorts all economics and reason to “conclude” that self-driving cars will make it more important that we share rides rather than travel alone (similar like the link a few months ago decrying the idea of self-driving cars rather than self-driving buses). So clearly some people really, really, do not like individual transport autonomy and are scared at a development that many further enable it. What I don’t really see, is why not? What’s the real fear here?

ThomasH April 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm

I agree this was stated very clearly, but the issue is will self driving cars increase o decrease the congestion externalities associated with the non-pricing of the use of urban streets. Whichever way the incentives go, however, the full automation of vehicles and their use of gps systems to monitor their speed and position will make it very easy to begin to tax the congestion externality.

YetAnotherTom April 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Studies have shown good looking people are percieved to be
more intelligent. So perhaps half the riddle is solved if that stereotype has some truth to it. Why that doesn’t the stereotype apply accurately to women though? We’ll have to become armchair evolutionary theorists for that. I don’t necessarily find good looking women to be unintelligent, I just doubt they gave much motivation to engage in intellectually challenging endeavors If they have numerous providers at their beck and call.

Ted Craig April 5, 2014 at 8:18 am

From a WSJ article on hand-driers:
“In June, the Mayo Clinic published a comprehensive study of every known hand-washing study done since 1970. The authors concluded that drying skin is essential to staving off bacteria, and that paper towels are superior to driers: They’re more efficient, they don’t spatter germs, they won’t dry out hands and most people prefer them. (A co-author of the study has served as a consultant for Kimberly Clark Australia, a maker of paper towels.) Dr. Thompson’s study was one of the dozen samples reviewed, and he concurs with the recent findings.”

Alvin April 5, 2014 at 11:06 am

#3, as a non-Asian male, it’s refreshing to see an Asian American woman marry an Asian man. Usually women like her marry white guys.

Li Zhi April 6, 2014 at 3:14 am

May all who persist in such stupidity get their wish; may they be bacteria free (for the rest of their resulting very short life).
What has happened to this blog? Oh, my. Is it the law of large numbers, or just a bad day?
Does that imply higher IQ [sic] correlates with increases in fitness in males, but not in females? Is this not obvious? Who in their right mind would willingly get pregnant? (and who will be more successful at pursuading such a choice?)

JKB April 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Bionic kangaroos? Really? Have these people never watched a 1950s Sci Fi monster movie?

GMO crops, I’m okay with, but bionic kangaroos, that may be a risk to far.

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