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Jeremy Cherfas

A Mathematician's Perspective on the Divide | Vi Hart

This is a gap you bridge by being kind to each other, by asking older America not to reject America’s youth and younger America to respect our history and our elders and make sure they are not forgotten in a world of new technology.

Very thoughtful piece not just on the difference one sees, but also on what they mean and how it might be possible to overcome them.

Jeremy Cherfas

Buying Twitter is a fairy tale.

Ben Werdmuller -- who built @withknown -- manages to talk about reinventing a social platform without mentioning past "failures" such as ADN or any of the others.

Jeremy Cherfas

Possibly a very good way to curtail annoyingly loud phone conversations

Language Log » "Thank you for your contribution"

[M]aybe I'll start a research collection of real-world phone conversations in public places. And in order to get informed consent, I might print up some slips of paper with a message like this one:

Thank you for your contribution to our growing research dataset of recorded cell phone conversations. As you can see, a digital recording device is recording the ambient sounds in this public space. If you continue speaking loudly enough to register in this recording, we will take that as implicit consent for your conversation to be recorded, uploaded, and shared with other researchers. Your recording will help linguists, anthropologists, and psychologists to document verbal behavior in the modern world.

Jeremy Cherfas

Still enjoying foie gras

I wrote a bit about foie gras, to expand on the recent podcast.

Jeremy Cherfas

Scientists tweak photosynthesis to boost crop yield

Very interesting that they did this not by engineering C4 but by tweaking C3

Jeremy Cherfas

Culling Your Photos: Learn To Sort Your Photos Like A Pro

I've been doing things backwards. Maybe. Worth trying.

Jeremy Cherfas

What A Difference 2 Percentage Points Makes | FiveThirtyEight

I found this piece from Nate Silver at 538 salutary. Big changes hinge on very small differences.

Jeremy Cherfas

The Angry Chef takes on Kimberly Snyder

The Angry Chef is my new favourite writer on the whole internet, and not only because I agree with everything he says.

But of course I have a quibble.

Evolutionary genetics has shown that consuming dairy products into adulthood is beneficial to the survival and success of our species.

Nope. To the survival and success of individuals who can consume dairy products into adulthood.

And I know he really knows this, because he does give The Selfish Gene a namecheck.

So, really, we remain in violent agreement.

Jeremy Cherfas

Jeremy Cherfas

Will Xylella Wipe Out Small Olive Growers and Bring On Super-intensive Plantations?

More than anything else I have seen, this article at least creates a plausible reason for the obduracy of the Italians so vehemently opposed to control of Xylella. I can quite understand their fears of being overrun by the likes of Agromillora, and the fact that these "super-intensive" plantations produce top-quality oil only adds to the threat Agromillora poses.

I had not realised that the private-public partnership between Agromillora and researchers in Bari prompted some of the flights of fantasy promulgated by the Lecce District Attorney, who has already proven wrong on so many details.