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WP reports on a small research project in India to learn what rapists think (an ungated version in STimes):

In the interviews, many men made excuses or gave justifications for their actions. Many denied rape happened at all.
One case in particular, participant 49, sent Pandey on an unexpected journey. He expressed remorse for raping a 5-year-old girl. “He said ‘yes I feel bad, I ruined her life.’ Now she is no longer a virgin, no one would marry her. Then he said, ‘I would accept her, I will marry her when I come out of jail.’”
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Participants reported getting an energy boost whether they were given the decaffeinated coffee or the caffeinated version.

They could not tell the difference.


If you strongly believe that some potion gives you energy it'll give you the energy.
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In the context of governance of human–environment interactions, a panacea refers to a blueprint for a single type of governance system (e.g., government ownership, privatization, community property) that is applied to all environmental problems.

Practitioners and scholars who fall into panacea traps falsely assume that all problems of resource governance can be represented by a small set of simple models, because they falsely perceive that the preferences and perceptions of most resource users are the same.

The study of the governance of SESs[social-ecological systems], and of sustainability science more generally (50), is an applied science like medicine and engineering, which aim to find solutions for diverse and complex problems. In diagnosing problems, the applied scientist examines attributes of a problem, layer by layer, and focuses on traits that are thought to be essential in a particular context. When an initial solution is adopted, considerable effort is made to dig deeply into the structure of the problem and to monitor various indicators of the system. On the basis of this information, applied scientists change their actions and learn from failures.

Ostrom, et. al. 2007

doi: 10.1073/pnas.0701886104

Also related http://www.phil.upenn.edu/~weisberg/documents/threekindsfinal.pdf (wrt Model-based science)


Jul. 26th, 2017 09:38 am
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Today I learned that real wasabi is relatively rare. Most of the time it's substituted by a green-colored mix of horseradish and other stuff.
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...we show that searching the Internet for explanatory knowledge creates an illusion whereby people mistake access to information for their own personal understanding of the information. Evidence from 9 experiments shows that searching for information online leads to an increase in self-assessed knowledge as people mistakenly think they have more knowledge “in the head,” even seeing their own brains as more active as depicted by functional MRI (fMRI) images.


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Elon Musk Urges U.S. Governors to Regulate AI Before “It’s Too Late.”

But he may struggle to get his way without hard evidence of what, exactly, needs regulating.

Speaking at the National Governors Association meeting in Rhode Island on Saturday, Musk called AI “the biggest risk that we face as a civilization,” according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s a sentiment shared by a small but influential crowd of techno-thinkers.

“Until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal. AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive. Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late.”

Back in the 1970s, biologists managed to deal with a somewhat similar problem (Recombinant DNA) through voluntary refusal to create bio chimeras. I don't think computer scientist have the same level of moral commitment to the fate of the humanity.
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More than 1,000 children are born addicted to drugs in Maine each year, many of whom end up in foster care. The two children in McLaughlin’s home were among the more than 1,800 in foster care across the state in 2016, a nearly 45 percent increase in foster children here since 2011.

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that Covfefe is an asshole.

If you take microbiome from a fat mouse and transplant it into a thin mouse, the latter becomes fat. Also, there's a successful shit-pill therapy that cures a number of gastroenterological disorders.

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Cannabis has a lifetime risk for users to develop dependence of 9% compared with 67.5% for nicotine and 22.7% for alcohol52; it may be as high as 17% in those initiating cannabis use in early adolescence and gradually declines with age of onset of use.

A recent study reported a higher rate of adverse events among persons using cannabis for pain for 1 year at an average dose of 2.5 g herbal cannabis with 12.5% THC than that of control subjects, but not higher for serious adverse events.

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что у японцев есть специальное понятие, которое обозначает "лежать/отдыхать/отсыпаться в постели во время праздника Нового Года" - 正月を寝 (Shōgatsu o ne)


Feb. 19th, 2017 05:26 pm
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During the times of Augustus and Tiberius, the Romans paid 1% sales tax to support the empire's military expenditures.
When the people of Rome asked for a remission of the one per cent. tax on all saleable commodities, Tiberius declared by edict "that the military exchequer depended on that branch of revenue, and, further, that the State was unequal to the burden, unless the twentieth year of service were to be that of the veteran's discharge.



Jan. 20th, 2017 05:12 pm
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There's a new concept of "tweet risk" in the world now. The risk relates to Trump's itchy fingers that can affect, e.g. stock prices and, potentially, nuclear conflicts.



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