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Comment: Re:It is a farce. (Score 1) 626

by cvnautilus (#43721613) Attached to: UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?

"It's a distribution problem", which is to say "It's a capitalism problem".

This is exactly right. World hunger today is an emergent consequence of the global capitalist economy. People who were once able to grow crops to feed their families now have their land aggressively taken over by corporations (often with threats of violence). They then have no choice but to work growing whatever luxury crops the corporation dictates, such as hot peppers or coffee - crops that are rarely capable of sustaining a community. Then, whenever the value of that crop plummets or there is a drought, these communities are left without money to buy food.

Even during the worst famines, marketplaces can be seen selling an abundance of food. Those that die of hunger die not because there isn't food available. They die because they cannot afford it.

Comment: Re:There is more to it. Or actually, less. (Score 2) 203

by cvnautilus (#42088423) Attached to: Researchers Find Megaupload Shutdown Hurt Box Office Revenues

The fact that their results were insignificant means something different in statistics than it does in everyday speech. What it means is they are less than 95% certain their results were due to changes in the independent variable (Megaupload being shutdown or not) rather than chance.

Typically this means you can't make any conclusion about the strength or direction of the correlation.

Comment: In favor of algorithms (Score 2, Informative) 245

by cvnautilus (#41412135) Attached to: When the Hiring Boss Is an Algorithm

I know there is a general backlash to the increasing use of algorithms in determining major decisions such as hiring. However, from a quantitative standpoint interviews have been shown to be extremely inaccurate as a judge of future job performance. There are simply far too many opportunities for bias on the interviewers part and so they tend to be neither reliable nor valid. Irrelevant characteristics such as appearance end up having far too much weight due to the halo effect. If you want the best result, depending on faulty human judgement is often the wrong choice.

For example, the Apgar score for judging the stability of newborn babies was designed to combat biases on the part of delivery room doctors. Prior to the use of this score, doctors rated how healthy newborns were based on a wide-range of criteria, and each doctor did it differently. When the Apgar score was introduced, it standardized the process by rating newborns on five categories: skin complexion, pulse rate, reflexes, muscle tone, and breathing. The result was that the error introduced by human bias was reduced and countless babies have been saved by quick intervention.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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