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Comment: Too little, too late (Score 2) 163 163

Their entire line of product is sugary junk -- Cocoa Puffs and the like. I think the decades long movement of making our food chemically better is now starting to swing in the opposite direction, with the likes of Paleo diet that won't even look at organic whole grains, let alone processed cereals with added sugar and artificial ingredients.

What's interesting is that just as the US was the first in terrible food and bad eating habits, with the rest of the world catching up, it appears it's also the first to lead on the way back.

Comment: Re:They've nailed it (Score 3, Interesting) 75 75

It's true. And we know the physical texture does extend fractal-wise into infinity... I'm thinking the opposite is when one is not on psychedelics and is further stressed out, texture details disappear if they are not relevant for the stressful situation. (E.g a sponge becomes a yellow block, no holes or pores.) As if psychedelics open the valve and stress closes it, like many people have said.

Comment: Re:It's not the adverts in themselves (Score 1) 126 126

Ah everything is code. Even jpeg data is a sequence of instructions for the jpeg decoder FSM. Therefore nothing from the advertisers should run on my computer! But in seriousness, I agree. I think though that channel is doomed, exhausted forever. On the PC, I run noscript and adblock. On the phone, if I can't close an intrusive ad in half a second I close the page. I downloaded a stupid puzzle game (research, I swear) for the phone and the game asked me mid-play. "interested in annuities?" That's sheer desperation. It's game over for ads. (Uninstalled the game a second later.) The only "ad" I remember clicking on in years -- when I wasn't searching for something to buy on Amazon or Google -- is ArsTechnica's "tech deals" post. And the difference between us and non-tech folks is they are only slightly more patient waiting for the ads to be over b/c they don't know they have the technology that could bypass the ads. Only the outliers click and outliers' outliers buy. And the multibillion empires like FB seem to be based on the premise that there are enough of the latter.

Comment: Re:And so the cycle of "reform" continues (Score 1) 851 851

There are heuristics that could help us make fewer mistakes, and we have not been followed them much in the last few decades.

- when it comes to food, innovation is usually bad and research is often wrong; instead it is safer to assume that the way people have been eating something for hundreds or thousands of years is likely evolved to be optimal; treat all proposed changes very conservatively.

- when it comes to government, less is more, as long as the rules are in place to protect the weak. So healthcare for example shouldn't be designed to save money to the middle class but to make sure those who can't afford essential treatment nevertheless receive it.

Comment: Re:what will you treat with these robots (Score 1) 27 27

They don't necessarily have to treat, but can act as a seeing eye into what's happening in the body. Especially if they are actually tiny nanobots, capable of flowing to any part of the body and self-organizing into a vision device that takes images and wirelessly sends them to the instrument outside of the body. OK that's from Michael Crichton's "Prey."

Comment: Re:Maybe science went off the rails... (Score 1) 444 444

I see, thanks. Yes I have long thought that the science that has shorter, more repeatable and more controllable experiments will be more successful. In fact, the business of a scientific model is to predict causality: if A happens (or if you do A), B happens. Physics does it marvelously, but they have it easy. Astronomy is harder. In living systems it's not at all clear that such causality exists, except trivially. Maybe we need a different scientific method for biomedical fields, something equivalent to fuzzy logic in computing. The current one was invented for the need of physics alone.

Comment: Re:Maybe science went off the rails... (Score 1) 444 444

What field, if I may ask? Sounds like you're talking about physics, or astronomy maybe, or chemistry, or perhaps basic life sciences at the most complex. Biomedical sciences and fields involving complex/living systems seem to require a different or more refined protocol, with stricter standards for acceptance and more fuziness at the same time for giving ideas to others, compared to hard sciences.

Comment: Re:Null hypothesis (Score 1) 444 444

That's a great point. I also think it means at the current level and depth of knowledge we need to refine what it means to have a correlation.

From 'Well, if I generate (by simulation) a set of 200 variables — completely random and totally unrelated to each other — with about 1,000 data points for each, then it would be near impossible not to find in it a certain number of “significant” correlations of sorts. But these correlations would be entirely spurious.'

Probably 'significance' needs to be larger the higher the number of variables in the system.

Comment: Re:Science != Biomedical Research (Score 1) 444 444

I think for that reason life sciences need to be subjected to a different process. All the sciences now try to use the physics approach which was designed for physics. IMO in life sciences theories based on models should be taken very loosely, and collected evidence should be taken more as a hint for other researches in the field to pay attention. "Consumption of salt increases blood pressure"? No. Instead, "it seems like there's a correlation between higher salt intake and blood pressure in the small group of specific people we've observed. Physicians, please pay attention in the next 20-30 years if you might see something similar in *your* context." And for economics, sociology etc. it should be spread out even more.

That way, we don't throw away concentrated efforts on discovering patterns by intelligent people knowledgeable in their field, nor do we naively jump into believing that those hints they stumbled upon are some general Truth.

Comment: Re:Who cares if it kills companies? (Score 1) 109 109

A bubble doesn't affect all stocks equally. So you can protect yourself by moving out of the "bubbliest" stocks -- at this point, those seem to be new Internet/anything social stocks. (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Uber, if it gets there before the bubble begins, online marketplaces, online advertising -- though not google necessarily -- and so on.)

Comment: Re:Maybe in the past (Score 1) 170 170

Yes, you had to have a sense that what you were playing was something that you could actually make yourself, given the time and effort. That has absolutely been the case for me with the ZX Spectrum in the 80's -- I played game then made them and knew all about Z80 and Spectrum's hardware. Playing a multimillion dollar game is the same as watching a Hollywood blockbuster and thinking I can make movies too -- doesn't happen.

That said, what Zuckerberg is saying may be right if kids are encouraged to play *indie* games?

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.