If we already understood the brain, would we even know it? – [citation needed]
"(it turns out that if you measure people’s physical height under an array of different conditions, the measurements are all strongly correlated–yet strangely, we don’t see scientists falling over themselves to try to find the causal factor that explains why some people are taller than others)."

That's a great analogy. This part is great too:

Lest I be accused of some kind of neuroscientific nihilism, let me be clear: I’m not saying that there are no new facts left to learn about the dynamics of the DMN. Quite the contrary. It’s clear there’s a ton of stuff we don’t know about the various brain regions and circuits that comprise the thing we currently refer to as the DMN. It’s just that that stuff lies almost entirely at levels of analysis below the level at which the DMN emerges as a coherent system. At the level of cognitive neuroimaging, I would argue that we actually already have a pretty darn good idea about what the functional correlates of DMN regions are–and for that matter, I think we also already pretty much “understand” what all of the constituent regions within the DMN do individually. So if we want to study the DMN productively, we may need to give up on high-level questions like “what are the cognitive functions of the DMN?”, and instead satisfy ourselves with much narrower questions that focus on only a small part of the brain dynamics that, when measured and analyzed in a certain way, get labeled “default mode network”.

And it applies to Econ (macro vs micro etc) too.
knowledge  explanation  complexity  have_read  via:cshalizi  ***  Neuroscience 
24 days ago
Amazon Dark Patterns | Hacker News
Prompted by this post, I wanted to check what happened to the 1-star review I have left 6 months ago. (Product worked for 3 days and then stopped, and after a replacement, the same thing happened). Sure enough, I have 0 comment in my profile, and I just checked, it has also disappeared from the product page.

This is shady as hell, because I am 100% sure I wrote this review. I even wrote it twice, once on amazon.com and once translated on a local amazon site. This is slightly infuriating.
amazon  dark.patterns  all-your-data-are-belong-to-us  privacy  data-collection 
7 weeks ago
Move the most recent commit(s) to a new branch with Git - Stack Overflow
Moving to a new branch

WARNING: This method works because you are creating a new branch with the first command: git branch newbranch. If you want to move commits to an existing branch you need to merge your changes into the existing branch before executing git reset --hard HEAD~3 (see Moving to an existing branch below). If you don't merge your changes first, they will be lost.

Unless there are other circumstances involved, this can be easily done by branching and rolling back.

# Note: Any changes not committed will be lost.
git branch newbranch # Create a new branch, saving the desired commits
git reset --hard HEAD~3 # Move master back by 3 commits (GONE from master)
git checkout newbranch # Go to the new branch that still has the desired commits

But do make sure how many commits to go back. Alternatively, you can instead of HEAD~3, simply provide the hash of the commit (or the reference like origin/master) you want to "revert back to" on the master (/current) branch, e.g:

git reset --hard a1b2c3d4
git  tips-I-needed  *** 
7 weeks ago
django - What is a CSRF token ? What is its importance and how does it work? - Stack Overflow
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) in simple words

Assume you are currently logged into your online banking at www.mybank.com
Assume a money transfer from mybank.com will result in a request of (conceptually) the form http://www.mybank.com/transfer?to=<SomeAccountnumber>;amount=<SomeAmount>. (Your account number is not needed, because it is implied by your login.)
You visit www.cute-cat-pictures.org, not knowing that it is a malicious site.
If the owner of that site knows the form of the above request (easy!) and correctly guesses you are logged into mybank.com (requires some luck!), they could include on their page a request like http://www.mybank.com/transfer?to=123456;amount=10000 (where 123456 is the number of their Cayman Islands account and 10000 is an amount that you previously thought you were glad to possess).
You retrieved that www.cute-cat-pictures.org page, so your browser will make that request.
Your bank cannot recognize this origin of the request: Your web browser will send the request along with your www.mybank.com cookie and it will look perfectly legitimate. There goes your money!

This is the world without CSRF tokens.

Now for the better one with CSRF tokens:

The transfer request is extended with a third argument: http://www.mybank.com/transfer?to=123456;amount=10000;token=31415926535897932384626433832795028841971.
That token is a huge, impossible-to-guess random number that mybank.com will include on their own web page when they serve it to you. It is different each time they serve any page to anybody.
The attacker is not able to guess the token, is not able to convince your web browser to surrender it (if the browser works correctly...), and so the attacker will not be able to create a valid request, because requests with the wrong token (or no token) will be refused by www.mybank.com.

Result: You keep your 10000 monetary units. I suggest you donate some of that to Wikipedia.

(Your mileage may vary.)

Great explanation
security  web-programming  stack-overflow  great-explanations  eli5 
9 weeks ago
American Economic Association
"This paper undertakes an assessment of a rapidly growing body of economic research on financial literacy. We start with an overview of theoretical research, which casts financial knowledge as a form of investment in human capital. Endogenizing financial knowledge has important implications for welfare, as well as policies intended to enhance levels of financial knowledge in the larger population. Next, we draw on recent surveys to establish how much (or how little) people know and identify the least financially savvy population subgroups. This is followed by an examination of the impact of financial literacy on economic decision making in the United States and elsewhere. While the literature is still young, conclusions may be drawn about the effects and consequences of financial illiteracy and what works to remedy these gaps. A final section offers thoughts on what remains to be learned if researchers are to better inform theoretical and empirical models as well as public policy. "
retirement  financial-literacy  economics  literature.review  lusardi.annamaria  mitchell.olivia  ***  to:read 
9 weeks ago
PHP :: Bug #50696 :: number_format when passed a 0 as first function argument, returns null
" [2010-01-08 23:47 UTC] bjori@php.net


This issue was recently brought to my attention.
On behalf of PHP I would like to apologize. I see that now that you have been treated unfairly.

After carefully reviewing this bug report with our board of directors on 4chan, we have come to the conclusion that your "rusty C skills" should be enough to fix the issue.
I would therefore like to remind you that rasmus@php.net is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasmus_lerdorf

Again, I sincerely apologize. We will try to stop fixing bugs in PHP."
funny  programming  bugs  *** 
9 weeks ago
For Fun and Profit | The MIT Press

The free and open source software movement, from its origins in hacker culture, through the development of GNU and Linux, to its commercial use today.

In the 1980s, there was a revolution with far-reaching consequences—a revolution to restore software freedom. In the early 1980s, after decades of making source code available with programs, most programmers ceased sharing code freely. A band of revolutionaries, self-described “hackers,” challenged this new norm by building operating systems with source code that could be freely shared. In For Fun and Profit, Christopher Tozzi offers an account of the free and open source software (FOSS) revolution, from its origins as an obscure, marginal effort by a small group of programmers to the widespread commercial use of open source software today. Tozzi explains FOSS's historical trajectory, shaped by eccentric personalities—including Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds—and driven both by ideology and pragmatism, by fun and profit.

Tozzi examines hacker culture and its influence on the Unix operating system, the reaction to Unix's commercialization, and the history of early Linux development. He describes the commercial boom that followed, when companies invested billions of dollars in products using FOSS operating systems; the subsequent tensions within the FOSS movement; and the battles with closed source software companies (especially Microsoft) that saw FOSS as a threat. Finally, Tozzi describes FOSS's current dominance in embedded computing, mobile devices, and the cloud, as well as its cultural and intellectual influence."
open-source  books  via:DO 
10 weeks ago
Why I Don't Love Gödel, Escher, Bach | Hacker News
"I think "Metamagical Themes" and the "Fluid concepts and analogies" are his best books although GEP had the largest impact on me. They are more refined explorations of ideas."
books  recommended  via:HN 
10 weeks ago
Mr. Rogers's Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Kids - The Atlantic
"""For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility. On Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the show that he created 50 years ago and starred in, he was the epitome of simple, natural ease.

But as

I write in my forthcoming book, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, Rogers’s placidity belied the intense care he took in shaping each episode of his program. He insisted that every word, whether spoken by a person or a puppet, be scrutinized closely, because he knew that children—the preschool-age boys and girls who made up the core of his audience—tend to hear things literally.

As Arthur Greenwald, a former producer of the show, put it to me, “There were no accidents on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He took great pains not to mislead or confuse children, and his team of writers joked that his on-air manner of speaking amounted to a distinct language they called “Freddish.”
fred.rogers  kids  teaching-and-learning  language  the-atlantic  to:read  ***  explore 
june 2018
Debugging with intelligence via probabilistic inference | the morning paper
"""Debugging with intelligence via probabilistic inference Xu et al., ICSE’18

Xu et al. have built a automated debugger that can take a single failing test execution, and with minimal interaction from a human, pinpoint the root cause of the failure. What I find really exciting about it, is that instead of brute force there’s a certain encoded intelligence in the way the analysis is undertaken which feels very natural. The first IDE / editor to integrate a tool like this wins!"""
morning-paper  debugging  probabilistic-programming  automatic-verification  automate-everything 
june 2018
Good Data Structures Book? - Google Groups
"I have now offered the course twice, and turned my lecture summaries
into a flânerie, an informal book, titled "Functional Data Structures",
whose full text is available here:


It does not use Racket; it uses OCaml, because my students have had two
semesters using Racket and needed to see something else. But it could
easily be adapted to use Racket, if one wishes. "
functional-programming  racket  ocaml  racket-users  *** 
june 2018
Time Management for System Administrators - O'Reilly Media
"Time is a precious commodity, especially if you're a system administrator. No other job pulls people in so many directions at once. Users interrupt you constantly with requests, preventing you from getting anything done. Your managers want you to get long-term projects done but flood you with requests for quick-fixes that prevent you from ever getting to those long-term projects. But the pressure is on you to produce and it only increases with time. What do you do?

The answer is time management. And not just any time management theory--you want Time Management for System Administrators, to be exact. With keen insights into the challenges you face as a sys admin, bestselling author Thomas Limoncelli has put together a collection of tips and techniques that will help you cultivate the time management skills you need to flourish as a system administrator.

Time Management for System Administrators understands that an Sys Admin often has competing goals: the concurrent responsibilities of working on large projects and taking care of a user's needs. That's why it focuses on strategies that help you work through daily tasks, yet still allow you to handle critical situations that inevitably arise.

Among other skills, you'll learn how to:

Manage interruptions
Eliminate timewasters
Keep an effective calendar
Develop routines for things that occur regularly
Use your brain only for what you're currently working on
Prioritize based on customer expectations
Document and automate processes for faster execution

What's more, the book doesn't confine itself to just the work environment, either. It also offers tips on how to apply these time management tools to your social life. It's the first step to a more productive, happier you."
time-management  sysadmin  productivity  books  thomas.a.limoncelli 
june 2018
Automation Should Be Like Iron Man, Not Ultron - ACM Queue
"[T]he famous Brian Kernighan quote, "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it."

Very nice.
automation  devops  sysadmin  pile  great-quote 
june 2018
[1603.04641] Compositional game theory
"We introduce open games as a compositional foundation of economic game theory. A compositional approach potentially allows methods of game theory and theoretical computer science to be applied to large-scale economic models for which standard economic tools are not practical. An open game represents a game played relative to an arbitrary environment and to this end we introduce the concept of coutility, which is the utility generated by an open game and returned to its environment. Open games are the morphisms of a symmetric monoidal category and can therefore be composed by categorical composition into sequential move games and by monoidal products into simultaneous move games. Open games can be represented by string diagrams which provide an intuitive but formal visualisation of the information flows. We show that a variety of games can be faithfully represented as open games in the sense of having the same Nash equilibria and off-equilibrium best responses. "
category-theory  economics  game-theory 
may 2018
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