by Tyler Cowen
on February 13, 2016 at 1:19 pm
1. Kareem responds on Dirk.
2. Good video on public key cryptography.
3. Should we have only one time zone?
4. The economics of Sci-Hub.
5. The latest on human “mini-brains.” And mammal brain frozen and rethawed perfectly for the first time.
#5 – Any news on mini-bars?
3. Wait, this ‘Universal Time’ is different from UTC and offsetting it how? Apart from the truly dumb example of shifting meal times – there is a reason why the sun is the basis of our schedules in many ways, and the idea of the workday for road crews, for example, being the same 8am across the globe is the sort of idea that requires an immense distance from actual life to even contemplate, much less advocate for.
Just look at the quote – ‘Local solar time was fine, when almost all activity was local! Today, much activity is global, and ONE time is called for. You’d quickly get used to the new reading on your watch and your clock.’ Well, apart from the construction crews and farmers of course. Not to mention anyone who still actually exists locally, compared to that ‘global activity.’ Man, is anyone sure this isn’t a joke? Much on the order of this – ‘Arriving in Tampere, Finland (having relied on the kindness of Helsinki activists to cheapen the costs of the trip), Andy and Mike suddenly find out they have completely forgotten about time zones. They get to the conference just as their session is due to begin; they race to the bathroom and frantically change Andy into Sal’s elaborate costume, over which they carefully zip up a velcro-seamed business suit.
In his keynote address, Andy presents a short history of their field to the textiles scientists, engineers, and managers in attendance. First he describes how the US Civil War—fought over the textile, cotton—was a great waste of money, because slavery would have been replaced by its infinitely more efficient version: remote sweatshop labor, such as we have today. He then goes on to call Gandhi’s spin-your-own-clothing revolts misguided and naive, but he places equal blame on the British: if they had only seen that the Indians craved homespun fibers, they could have included that in their product line.
The only problem still remaining with the efficiency of today’s sweatshops, Andy continues, is a lack of control over workers. A manager in New York cannot constantly monitor workers in Rangoon. But there is a technological answer. He spreads his arms out, and Mike rips off Andy’s breakaway business suit to reveal the management solution of the future: a shimmering golden leotard—which, when Andy pulls a rip-cord in his crotch, sports a three-foot-long golden phallus.
Andy explains that this tool, the “Employee Visualization Appendage,” will allow the manager of the future to watch and control far-off workers while engaging in healthful leisure activities.
The goal of this performance, of course, is to clarify how dangerous it is to equate human freedom with a free market. Demonstrating visually the logical conclusion of neoliberalism, Mike and Andy hope to make their audience think twice.
Instead, the audience rewards Andy with a healthy round of applause, but no questions.’ http://theyesmen.org/hijinks/tampere
Ban hammer warranted.
“2. Good video on public key cryptography.”
That’s the best “simple” explanation I’ve ever seen. The paint color was a good analogy, but showing the modulus math was better. (probably due to me being partially color blind).
‘The Code Book’ by Simon Singh describes this process very well. Nice to see a visual representation.
Kareem isn’t wrong, exactly, but the way he is arguing is sure to keep this controversy going.
He needs to read Tyler Cowen’s laws.
On the actual debate, yes Malone was a better defender than Dirk, but it’s not like Malone is an all time great defender. Dirk also improved in that area.
Malone is a rebounding great, but Dirk wasn’t an awful rebounder either.
And when it comes to offense, Dirk was the superior player who could score in multiple ways.
So in some way Kareem is right, because Malone exceled in more areas. But he wasnt fair to Dirk in implying Nowitzki is bad in those areas and not giving him credit for being ab all time great offensive player.
The silly thing about that comparison is that if you combine Malone’s defense and rebounding with Dirk’s offense you get a top 5 all-time player. But that doesn’t mean Malone is better
The question was whether Dirk’s shot was the most unstoppable since Kareem’s. Rather than answering Kareem threw out criticism of Dirk’s game in other respects. So correct or not Kareem’s the one who brought it up, and has now doubled down on it.
In ancient Rome, victorious consuls and generals were accorded triumphal parades. The heroic victor rode a grand chariot with a slave whispering in his ear, “Sic transit Gloria” (glory is fleeting).
Did Malone, Dirk, and Kareem have their triumphal parades?
3. When I was in the in the Air Force as well as civil aviation, Zulu (UTC) was really all that was used. Filing flight plans that encompassed multiple time zones would have been silly in local time. However, using Zulu time for the ebb and flow of daily life while living on a planet that evolved under a sun that effects us in ways we can’t get away from? That’s silly too.
“3. Should we have only one time zone?”
So, is some country actually going to go fully metric?
This post time stamped at 1455391314
And is anybody up for lunch in the next 1.2 kSecs?
Isn’t Bernie Sanders already campaigning on a single user time zone that is free for everyone?
Yes, he is. But we all have to use North Korean time, obviously.
That’s the first usage of metric I’ve seen which is obviously worse than imperial or other alternatives.
UTC is also used by computer programmers all over the world, for obvious reasons (version history repository stuff).
I once tried to switch all my clocks from EST to UTC… I lasted about a week
Strange that this idea should be mooted now, when it is easier than ever to change between local time zones and UTC. Smart phones etc will instantly tell you what time zone you are in and also what time is it in UTC.
Well it would be handy. Just ask someone the time, if they quote some UTC stuff, they get to be the first against the wall in the revolution.
UTC is clearly a good idea but the wrong standard. We should support a wider use of this idea. After all, people do business with people outside America too.
The only viable option is Greenwich Mean Time. For both historical and cultural reasons. Everyone, all over the world, ought to adopt it.
Not sure what you mean. UTC and GMT are the same time. Although GMT
actually a time zone and UTC is a time standard.
SMFS is just signaling his loyalty to all things Anglo.
#3…It will get rid of jet lag.
#1 Dirk is so bad on defense that even though he was really great on offence I cannot consider him, a great player.
#3 – I quite often still use the sun to navigate. That’s made considerably harder when you don’t know at what time it should be in the south.
#2: Little known fact – most of what we would recognize as public key encryption today was invented by early 20th century gamblers in St. Louis to get around restrictions on bookmaking for horse racing, where the encryption they developed was part of a legal strategy that would help them beat the rap in court.
It was only abandoned because the governor of Missouri intervened by using police force to stop organized horse racing altogether. It wouldn’t be invented again until World War 2, when British cryptographers worked out the basic system, but didn’t do much with it before the war ended and it was abandoned again. It wouldn’t be until the 1970s before the RSA method was developed and it stuck, thanks to the automation afforded by computer technology.
By contrast, the gamblers’ system of encryption was done by hand, where the public key that each gambler used was a badge that they literally wore in public! The bookmakers themselves did all the encryption….
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