Archive for May, 2018

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance. – MIT Technology Review

May 30, 2018

The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new computer model of wealth creation confirms. Taking that into account can maximize return on many kinds of investment.
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10 Things You Don’t Know about Yourself – Scientific American

May 19, 2018

Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.
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The Ugly Truth of Being a Black Professor in America – The Chronicle of Higher Education

May 13, 2018

I’ve received hundreds of racist emails, phone messages, and letters. This is what it’s like to be hated.
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Why Silicon Valley can’t fix itself

May 7, 2018

This article is about the ethical issues that face Silicon Valley, but I think by the end it’s clear that these are no different from the issues endemic to any for-profit sector. If your goal is to make a profit from people, whether through payment or data, then your goal is to get people to buy or use your product or service at an ever-increasing rate. This is true whether you’re selling organic, vegan, reusable nappies or porn films. That companies use lessons learned from psychology to achieve this is hardly a revelation. It is the new ways in which this is done on social media in particular that is perhaps of concern, but new ways of marketing don’t make social media unique.

One of the charges levelled at Silicon Valley is that their products and services are purposefully designed to be addictive…but so is tobacco, gambling, alcohol, porn, sugar, caffeine and some prescription drugs. These are all regulated to some degree or another, but are legal in most countries. So, while legislators might look at regulating tech practices more, I don’t see them consigning digital enterprise to the realm of hard drugs.

Neither do the article’s authors, but their suggestion that Silicon Valley should be publicly run could be applied legitimately to any for-profits, using more or less the same arguments.

Or have I just gone full Marxist?