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Comment: What if it will kill 100,000 people instead? (Score 2, Interesting) 186

by dorpus (#47333937) Attached to: Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

I work as a statistician for a hospital chain. We already do data mining and have interventions for our sickest patients. Our experience, consistent with the medical literature, has shown that badgering patients with whatever "preventative" interventions increase hospitalizations and other costs. These programs persist because of a statistical illusion of regression to the mean -- people tend to be enrolled in such programs when their health is at a nadir, then they stabilize therafter. It makes it appear as if the intervention reduced utilization. In fact, a proper comparison shows that it actually increases utilization. Does Google think that spamming millions of people with robo-calls about eating apples will improve anything?

Comment: Does it do any good? (Score 1, Interesting) 263

by dorpus (#45589733) Attached to: New Education Performance Data Published: Asia Dominates

While Asian countries are often accused of taking jobs from the West, the President of South Korea's Hyundai Motors visited factories in Russia and the Czech Republic. He said he was impressed by the quality of workers who were far superior to South Korean workers -- they never staged strikes and had far lower wages. While a South Korean factory takes 30 hours to make a car, the Czech factory takes 16. The visiting Korean managers could not keep up with the pace of production, so they received help from local secretaries in their 20's to fill their checklists. South Korean industry has been crippled by constant labor strikes demanding ever more wages and shorter working hours.

Do students who score high on achievement tests demand higher wages, cushy jobs, and become less internationally competitive?

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20131203-00000030-xinhua-cn
http://japanese.joins.com/article/999/178999.html?servcode=300&sectcode=300

Comment: Re:Phases of Evolution (Score 2) 343

by dorpus (#45475979) Attached to: Elon Musk Talks About the Importance of Physics, Criticizes the MBA

Comparing PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX, to other companies in comparable fields: do we see financial firms moving en masse to "low-tax cheap-labor cess pools"? Do aerospace companies do this? Last I heard, there are not a lot of financial or aerospace jobs in low-tax cheap-labor cess pools.

It could be that the likes of Boeing, VISA, BofA, etc. are run by plenty of MBAs and they do a fine job.

Comment: Re:Phases of Evolution (Score 1) 343

by dorpus (#45475929) Attached to: Elon Musk Talks About the Importance of Physics, Criticizes the MBA

So he founded PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. How would he have PayPal taken seriously by the global financial industry with no expertise in the financial industry? Until then, it will just remain a bit player in online transactions. If Tesla Motors and SpaceX are to become mass-market commodities, are physicists the best people to put in charge of marketing, litigation, customer service, and financing, to name a few departments?

Comment: Phases of Evolution (Score 0) 343

by dorpus (#45475197) Attached to: Elon Musk Talks About the Importance of Physics, Criticizes the MBA

Many startup bosses have said the same things before. When their businesses grow, they will quietly hire MBAs for needed expertise on complex accounting, legal issues, and human resources. Physicists like to think they are smarter than everyone else, but they often make big fools of themselves on non-physics topics that require social intelligence.

Comment: What I've said all along (Score 5, Insightful) 164

by dorpus (#44760817) Attached to: Genetic Convergent Evolution: Stunning Gene Similarities Among Diverse Animals

I got my PhD in statistical genetics. Why should we equate genetic homology to evolutionary homology? All these studies that speak of a hypothetical Adam or Eve assume that the same mutations could not have arisen independently in different parts of the world.

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