foundational   36

Long-Run Health Care Cost Drivers
On health care issues, you see, economists divide into two subtribes depending on whether they think the big problem with America's health system today is adverse selection or moral hazard--two terms from the insurance industry.

Those economists on the left tend to think that the real big problem with American health care is adverse selection: Those who know they are healthy and likely to stay that way skimp on purchasing insurance. Insurance companies work like dogs to avoid selling insurance to people who are expensively sick or likely to get expensively sick. As a result, a huge amount of people's work-time and information technology processing power are wasted on the negative-sum game of trying to pass the hot potato of paying for the care of the sick to somebody else. The more people separate themselves or are separated into smaller and smaller pools with calculably different exposures to risk, the worse this problem gets. The way to solve it is to shove people into pools as big as possible. Ultimately, this line of thought goes, single-payer national health insurance is the best option, for the administrative and bureaucratic inefficiencies introduced are vastly outweighed by the reduction in the gaming the system that goes on under our current plan where profits are made by those insurance companies that are best able to avoid covering the sick.

Those economists on the right tend to think that the real big problem with American health care is moral hazard: that patients soak up scarce and valuable doctor and nurse time even when there is no benefit to the visit, and that doctors use up vast resources conducting tests and procedures that do patients very little good. And, this side argues, patients do this because their copays don't penalize them enough for wasting health professionals' time and doctors do this because their bottom lines don't suffer when they carry out barely effective, expensive, and inappropriate procedures. Sometimes economists on this side say these market failures are all the government's fault: the subsidy the government provides for low-deductible and first-dollar insurance. Sometimes economists on this side say that these market failures arise because of human irrationality: we half-intelligent jumped-up East African Plains Apes have a psychological propensity to overvalue certainty and thus to pay much more for first-dollar and low-deductible health insurance than we should.
healthcare  costs  libertarianism  foundational  DeLong 
august 2019 by HispanicPundit
What I Told the Liberaltarians - Econlib
There are two health policies that liberals and libertarians would both prefer to the status quo.  The first is a free market plus redistribution for the poor.  The second is bare bones, high-deductible national health care, with a free market for all add-ons.

The reason neither are likely to happen is mistrust.  Liberals think that if they sign on for the free market plus redistribution, the redistribution won’t actually happen.  Libertarians think that if they sign on for bare bones national health care, the cost will quickly increase.
healthcare  libertarianism  Liberalism  fundamentals  foundational 
august 2019 by HispanicPundit
US declining interest in history presents risk to democracy
May 2, 2019 | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

America today has found a less bloodthirsty way of erasing its memory by losing interest in its past. From an already low base, the number of American students majoring in history has dropped by more than a third since 2008. Barely one in two hundred American undergraduates now specialise in history......Donald Trump is a fitting leader for such times. He had to be told who Andrew Jackson was.....He also seems to think that Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave and 19th century abolitionist, is among us still.....But America’s 45th president can hardly be blamed for history’s unpopularity. Culpability for that precedes Mr Trump and is spread evenly between liberals, conservatives, faculty and parents........Courses on intellectual, diplomatic and political history are being replaced at some of America’s best universities by culture studies that highlight grievances at the expense of breadth.......Then there is the drumbeat of STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Most US states now mandate tests only in maths and English, at the expense of history and civic education...... In a recent survey, only 26 per cent of Americans could identify all three branches of government. More than half could not name a single justice on the US Supreme Court.....
the biggest culprit is the widespread belief that “soft skills” — such as philosophy and English, which are both in similar decline to history — do not lead to well-paid jobs.....folk prejudice against history is hard to shake. In an ever more algorithmic world, people believe that humanities are irrelevant. The spread of automation should put a greater premium on qualities that computers lack, such as intuitive intelligence, management skills and critical reasoning. Properly taught that is what a humanities education provides.......People ought to be able to grasp the basic features of their democracy. [Abiding] Faith in a historic theory only fuels a false sense of certainty....What may work for individual careers poses a collective risk to US democracy. The demise of strong civics coincides with waning voter turnout, a decline in joining associations, fewer citizen’s initiatives — and other qualities once associated with American vigour......There is no scientific metric for gullibility. Nor can we quantitatively prove that civic ignorance imposes a political cost on society. These are questions of judgment. But if America’s origins tell us anything it is that a well-informed citizenry creates a stronger society.
here is what robots can't do -- create art, deep meaning, move our souls, help us to understand and thus operate in the world, inspire deeper thought, care for one another, help the environment where we live.......The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind. Unable to compete when it comes to calculation, the best workers will come with heart in hand.
algorithms  automation  citizen_engagement  civics  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  democracy  Donald_Trump  Edward_Luce  empathy  engaged_citizenry  false_sense_of_certainty  foundational  historians  history  historical_amnesia  humanities  ignorance  political_literacy  sense-making  soft_skills  STEM  threats  U.S.  vulnerabilities 
may 2019 by jerryking
What is Software Engineering?
Engineering is a branch of science and technology where mathematical, scientific, economic, and social knowledge are applied artfully, creatively, and efficiently to invent, design, build, maintain, research, and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

I previously posited that chemical engineering, prior to the software era, was probably the most pervasive engineering in our lives not to mention that the computer hardware we use wouldn’t exist without it. It serves as an interesting area to look at in regards to software engineering comparisons too, as it is a relatively recent discipline and has some parallels like the control of processes and "flows" in this case of materials. Perhaps the closest "relative" to software engineering might be industrial engineering. Like software it deals with human factors.

In thinking about these and my own experience with software development I came up with a list of things that I feel should be defined to make software engineering a real discipline and they are:

What is the definition of the engineering discipline we are describing?
What are the produced artifacts, e.g. structures and processes that the discipline creates?
What non-managerial processes and methodologies are used to create the produced artifacts?
What types of documentation (descriptive artifacts) are used to describe the produced artifacts and the processes to create those produced artifacts?
How does the underlying math and science support the engineering discipline and how do these foundational disciplines allow one to reason about the produced artifacts that the engineering discipline is trying to construct? How do these disciplines define and drive the descriptive artifacts?
How does one organize and manage the effort including various roles people will play to actually carry out the work to bring the system or structure to fruition?

The hard part is what are the answers to the other five questions?
foundational  se  software_engineering  criticism  interesting  questions 
april 2019 by Confusion
Opinion | The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know
Feb. 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master “two codes” — computer science and the U.S. Constitution......please show their work: “Why these two codes?”

Answer: if you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy — able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them — you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works. And if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher — and be able to shape the world around you, and not just be shaped by it — you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.....the internet, big data and artificial intelligence now the essential building blocks of almost every industry....mastering the principles and basic coding techniques that drive computers and other devices “will be more prepared for nearly every job,”....“At the same time, the Constitution forms the foundational code that gives shape to America and defines our essential liberties — it is the indispensable guide to our lives as productive citizens.”......“Understanding how government works is the essence of power. To be a strong citizen, you need to know how the structures of our government work and how to operate within them.”
African-Americans  civics  coding  constitutions  education  engaged_citizenry  foundational  high_schools  indispensable  individual_agency  life_skills  op-ed  public_education  questions  SAT  show_your_work  students  Tom_Friedman  women 
february 2019 by jerryking
How to Work Efficiently: The 2 Critical Keys to Productive Work
If you're trying to boost your productivity, you can't miss these 2 critical keys to productive work. Check out this unique advice on how to work efficiently.
foundational  fundamentals  mustread 
january 2019 by mwa4
The Logic and Handling of Algebraic Effects
Matija Pretnar

“In the thesis, we explore reasoning about and handling of algebraic effects. Those are computational effects, which admit a representation by an equational theory. Their examples include exceptions, nondeterminism, interactive input and output, state, and their combinations.

In the first part of the thesis, we propose a logic for algebraic effects. We begin by introducing the a-calculus, which is a minimal equational logic with the purpose of exposing distinct features of algebraic effects. Next, we give a powerful logic, which builds on results of the a-calculus. The types and terms of the logic are the ones of Levy’s call-by-push-value framework, while the reasoning rules are the standard ones of a classical multi-sorted first-order logic with predicates, extended with predicate fixed points and two principles that describe the universality of free models of the theory representing the effects at hand. Afterwards, we show the use of the logic in reasoning about properties of effectful programs, and in the translation of Moggi’s computational λ-calculus, Hennessy-Milner logic, and Moggi’s refinement of Pitts’s evaluation logic.

In the second part of the thesis, we introduce handlers of algebraic effects. Those not only provide an algebraic treatment of exception handlers, but generalise them to arbitrary algebraic effects. Each such handler corresponds to a model of the theory representing the effects, while the handling construct is interpreted by the homomorphism induced by the universal property of the free model. We use handlers to describe many previously unrelated concepts from both theory and practice, for example CSS renaming and hiding, stream redirection, timeout, and rollback.”

PLT  paper  foundational  algebraic-effects  lambda-calculus  hoare-logic  call-by-push-value  to-read 
july 2018 by elliottcable
China Could Sell Trump the Brooklyn Bridge - The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman NOV. 14, 2017

The saying — “When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” — and it perfectly sums up the contrast between China’s President Xi Jinping and President Trump.....All along, Xi keeps his eye on the long-term prize of making China great again. Trump, meanwhile, touts every minor victory as historic and proceeds down any road that will give him a quick sugar high.

Trump literally has no idea what he’s doing and has no integrated strategy — because, unlike Xi, Trump’s given no thought to the big questions every effective leader starts his day with: “What world am I living in? What are the biggest trends in this world? And how do I align my country so more of my citizens get the most out of these trends and cushion the worst?”

What world are we in? One in which we’re going through three “climate changes” at once.
(1) Destructive weather events and the degradation of ecosystems are steadily accelerating.
(2) globalization: from an interconnected world to an interdependent one; from a world of walls, where you build your wealth by hoarding resources, to a world of webs, where you thrive by connecting your citizens to the most flows of ideas, trade, innovation and education.
(3) technology and work: Machines are acquiring all five senses, and with big data and artificial intelligence, every company can now analyze, optimize, prophesize, customize, digitize and automatize more and more jobs, products and services. And those companies that don’t will wither.
artificial_intelligence  Tom_Friedman  China  U.S.  Donald_Trump  globalization  technology  climate_change  TPP  international_trade  questions  think_threes  wealth_creation  grand_strategy  foundational  existential  extreme_weather_events  Xi_Jinping 
november 2017 by jerryking
The Great Questions of Tomorrow: David Rothkopf: 9781501119941: Books -
“Asking the right question is the biggest challenge we face. People typically let the immediate past shape their questions—how do we avoid another shoe bomber is an example, when that’s not a risk that we’re likely to face. Or they let their area of expertise and their desire to be useful shift their focus. This is kind of the when-all-you-have-is-a-hammer-everything-looks-like-a-nail problem, and it leads people who feel the future is drone warfare to ask questions that end in answers that require drone warfare. Or, to choose an example, it leads people who have spent much of their adult lives fighting Saddam Hussein to ask questions after 9/11 about his role, even though he didn’t have one. And that did not turn out well.”

So, in the end, Hamlet had it wrong. “To be or not to be” is not the question. The question of questions is, “What is the question?” In this respect, history tells us to start with the basics, the foundational questions that we have for too long taken for granted. There are questions like: “Who am I?” “Who rules?” “What is money?” “What is a job?” “What is peace?” and “What is war?”

Podcast :

"The biggest problems with Trump is that his daily melodramas are distracting us from the big challenges of our age," says David Rothkopf, whose book, The Great Questions of Tomorrow, seems to have bypassed the White House. "You cannot tweet or bully your way to leadership in complex times." [29 April/30 April 2017 | FT Weekend pg. 4 | by Edward Luce]
5_W’s  Amazon  asking_the_right_questions  books  David_Rothkopf  distractions  Edward_Luce  existential  expertise_bias  foundational  metacognition  podcasts  questions  recency_bias 
april 2017 by jerryking
Menstrual Cycle
A Wiggers' diagram for the menstrual cycle. Whoever made this is hopefully stacking cash
Images  Med  foundational  womens  gynecology 
april 2017 by gcappaert

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