Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 4th, 2017

Slomo supernova simulation, well worth watching

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Again, via Jason Kottke. And read at the link, where you’ll learn (among other things):

By only using an aquarium, ink and water, this film is also an attempt to represent the giant with the small without any computed generated imagery.

It seemed very like blossoming, or giving birth: the next step in development and the beginning something new (the heavy elements, which did not exist in the universe until supernovas and novas made them).

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2017 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Science, Video

The seven stages of denial (that a robot will take your job)

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Good post by Jason Kottke, which begins:

From an excerpt of Kevin Kelly’s recent book, The Inevitable, a list of the Seven Stages of Robot Replacement:

1. A robot/computer cannot possibly do the tasks I do.

2. [Later.] OK, it can do a lot of those tasks, but it can’t do everything I do.

3. [Later.] OK, it can do everything I do, except it needs me when it breaks down, which is often.

4. [Later.] OK, it operates flawlessly on routine stuff, but I need to train it for new tasks. . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2017 at 8:16 pm

Interesting resignation letter

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A Quora post by Andy Johns:

I’m a bit biased because I used to work for the guy, but Chamath Palihapitiya‘s final email to Facebook (product) employees was pretty epic. He’s the best person I ever worked for or with. He was always brutally honest and taught me a lot about staying focused and getting stuff done. I really sucked at my job. Being near him and learning from him made me much better and I think most people who worked with him will say the same thing.

His email is below and reflects the tone and candor in which he always communicated with those around him:

i leave with incredible hope for how you will continue to make this place awesome. every tuesday, i talk to the n00bs. and i generally tell them the following, which i leave for you as a reminder:

its easy to get distracted. everyone thinks we are much better than we actually are. be humble and honest about the fact that more is left to do than has already been done. keep moving quickly and don’t get bogged down in the things that don’t matter.

we risk becoming like everyone else. the only chance we have is the discipline and resolve of the silent majority who needs to and MUST become more vocal as the company gets bigger. fight for the culture the way it should be…not the way it was or the way its becoming.

be afraid of the company you don’t know. there is someone out there lurking with a small idea that will grow into a giant. don’t ignore that which you don’t immediately understand and keep pushing to evolve faster than what people expect. it can create unease at times but its our only path to long term relevance.

speak the truth. its too easy to “manage” – upwards, sideways, downwards and be rewarded for it. this is death. speak candidly especially when it means it won’t be well received. respect the person but don’t let bad ideas go unchallenged.

there is more valor in failure than success. success is hard to define and hard to isolate root causes when it happens. its rare to learn much of anything from success except to conflate luck and skill, but you learn tons in failure. take enough risks that you continue to fail…and celebrate those so that it becomes the battle scars you talk about when you do eventually succeed.

don’t be a douchebag. this is pretty self-explanatory but its not about the right to ripstik or the quality of the candy bars in the office. its about winning. everything else comes second….a distant second. and the perceived correlation between winning and the rest is only in your mind. interestingly so is the resolve and focus to win.

i’ve really enjoyed my time here. thanks again for the chance to always say what’s on my mind. its a rare place that allows everyone to do that and our results speak to the values of risk taking, openness and transparency. don’t betray them as we move along.

good luck. make it rain.
chamath

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2017 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life

Spot on!! 95 philosophical concepts, each realized in its own logo

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You have to see it:

That’s from an OpenCulture post by Colin Marshall, worth reading in its own right.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2017 at 6:21 pm

Posted in Video

Tagged with

Speaking of “capture” and looking at something with an unconstructive point of view…

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And being driven by some counterproductive memes (pushing behavior good for the meme, bad for the host), take a look at the NY Times article by Claire Cane Miller, “Why Men Don’t Want the Jobs Done Mostly by Women.”

One instance shows what I mean:

Take Tracy Dawson, 53, a welder in St. Clair, Mo. He lost several jobs, some because his employers took the work to China and Mexico and others because the workers were replaced by robots. He has heard the promises of fast-growing jobs in the health care field: His daughter trained to be a medical technician. But he never considered it.

“I ain’t gonna be a nurse; I don’t have the tolerance for people,” he said. “I don’t want it to sound bad, but I’ve always seen a woman in the position of a nurse or some kind of health care worker. I see it as more of a woman’s touch.”

It goes on to provide information that suggests that the above might be a rationalization for simple inability to work due to rheumatoid arthritis.

Still, read the whole thing and see how “capture” enters the picture.

Later in the article:

Many unemployed men who did manual labor say they can’t take the time and make the effort to train for a new career because they have bills to pay. And they say they chose their original careers because they wanted to build things, not take care of people.

Lawrence Katz, an economist at Harvard, has a term for this: “retrospective wait unemployment,” or “looking for the job you used to have.”

“It’s not a skill mismatch, but an identity mismatch,” he said. “It’s not that they couldn’t become a health worker, it’s that people have backward views of what their identity is.”

That’s quite an overt example of “capture” at work: the capturing idea is the old identity (meme).

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2017 at 4:56 pm

And, directly related to the previous post, a description of the underlying mechanism

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It’s hard not to see meme activity in this. Video extremely worth watching. It explains a lot by one simple concept:

That’s from an OpenCulture post by Dan Colman, and really you should click and read it. And also read the comments, which provide different ways of viewing the video.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2017 at 4:14 pm

Meditation is Replacing Detention in Baltimore’s Public Schools, and the Students Are Thriving

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Wow. This will have a cumulative effect, I bet. And it makes a ton of sense: help them learn something that can help with whatever stresses are driving them to bad behavior. Much more constructive than simply punishing them, which doesn’t really address the problem but may in fact add to it. Much more like what Friends would do. It’s hard to go wrong by being kind.

If you have kids in school, I think in your place I would encourage the school to adopt a similar policy and program.

Josh Jones writes at OpenCulture:

By now, most people are familiar with the term “school-to-prison pipeline,” the description of a system that funnels troubled students through disciplinary program after program. Detentions, suspensions, and often expulsions further aggravate many students’ already difficult lives, and send them “back to the origin of their angst and unhappiness—their home environments or their neighborhoods,” writes Carla Amurao for PBS’ Tavis Smiley Reports. Harsh disciplinary policies don’t actually change behavior, and “statistics reflect that these policies disproportionately target students of color and those with a history of abuse, neglect, poverty or learning disabilities.”

In short, students come to school with significant stresses and setbacks, and are themselves treated as problems to be quarantined or forced out. But why not instead teach those students—why not teach all students—effective means of coping with stress and setbacks? I can think of almost no more useful a set of skills to carry into adulthood, or into a troubled home or neighborhood situation. As the CBS This Morning segment above reports, one school in Baltimore is attempting to so equip their students, with a yoga and meditation program during and after school that takes the place of detention and other punishments.

The Robert W. Coleman Elementary School adopted a twice-a-day yoga and mindfulness practice during school hours for all students, called “Mindful Moments”; and an after-school program called Holistic Me, which “hosts 120 male and female students,” writes Newsweek, “and involves yoga, breathing exercises and meditative activities. Disruptive students are brought to the Mindful Moment Room for breathing practices and discussion with a counselor and are instructed on how to manage their emotions.” As we’ve previously noted on this site, these kinds of activities have been shown in research studies to significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and to improve concentration and memory.

Continue reading.

I have to admit that I doubt that Trump supporters will like this. And yet I bet it would help them, TBH.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2017 at 3:59 pm

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