What is HappyDB? | HappyDB
HappyDB is a corpus of 100,000 crowd-sourced happy moments. The goal of the corpus is to advance the state of the art of understanding the causes of happiness that can be gleaned from text.
4 days ago
Scale-free networks are rare – Arxiv Vanity
A central claim in modern network science is that real-world networks are typically “scale free,” meaning that the fraction of nodes with degree
follows a power law, decaying like

, often with
. However, empirical evidence for this belief derives from a relatively small number of real-world networks. We test the universality of scale-free structure by applying state-of-the-art statistical tools to a large corpus of nearly 1000 network data sets drawn from social, biological, technological, and informational sources. We fit the power-law model to each degree distribution, test its statistical plausibility, and compare it via a likelihood ratio test to alternative, non-scale-free models, e.g., the log-normal. Across domains, we find that scale-free networks are rare, with only 4% exhibiting the strongest-possible evidence of scale-free structure and 52% exhibiting the weakest-possible evidence. Furthermore, evidence of scale-free structure is not uniformly distributed across sources: social networks are at best weakly scale free, while a handful of technological and biological networks can be called strongly scale free. These results undermine the universality of scale-free networks and reveal that real-world networks exhibit a rich structural diversity that will likely require new ideas and mechanisms to explain.
articles  information_theory  math  bias 
5 days ago
Increased spontaneous MEG signal diversity for psychoactive doses of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin | Scientific Reports
What is the level of consciousness of the psychedelic state? Empirically, measures of neural signal diversity such as entropy and Lempel-Ziv (LZ) complexity score higher for wakeful rest than for states with lower conscious level like propofol-induced anesthesia. Here we compute these measures for spontaneous magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signals from humans during altered states of consciousness induced by three psychedelic substances: psilocybin, ketamine and LSD. For all three, we find reliably higher spontaneous signal diversity, even when controlling for spectral changes. This increase is most pronounced for the single-channel LZ complexity measure, and hence for temporal, as opposed to spatial, signal diversity. We also uncover selective correlations between changes in signal diversity and phenomenological reports of the intensity of psychedelic experience. This is the first time that these measures have been applied to the psychedelic state and, crucially, that they have yielded values exceeding those of normal waking consciousness. These findings suggest that the sustained occurrence of psychedelic phenomenology constitutes an elevated level of consciousness - as measured by neural signal diversity.
articles  consciousness  psychology  drugs 
6 days ago
Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen | Quanta Magazine
Two methods of measuring the neutron's longevity give different answers, creating uncertainty in cosmological models. But no one has a clue what the problem is.
articles  physics 
6 days ago
Scant Evidence of Power Laws Found in Real-World Networks | Quanta Magazine
A new study challenges one of the most celebrated and controversial ideas in network science.
articles  math  networks 
6 days ago
A Kingdom from Dust — The California Sunday Magazine
Stewart Resnick is the biggest farmer in the United States, a fact he has tried to keep hidden while he has shaped what we eat, transformed California’s landscape, and ruled entire towns.
articles  agriculture  california  water 
6 days ago
BBC - Future - An effortless way to improve your memory
A surprisingly potent technique can boost your short and long-term recall – and it appears to help everyone from students to Alzheimer’s patients.
articles  memory  brain 
9 days ago
cjdns/Whitepaper.md at master · cjdelisle/cjdns
An encrypted IPv6 network using public-key cryptography for address allocation and a distributed hash table for routing.
articles  networks  technology  internet 
9 days ago
The Case for Learned Index Structures – Arxiv Vanity
Indexes are models: a B-Tree-Index can be seen as a model to map a key to the position of a record within a sorted array, a Hash-Index as a model to map a key to a position of a record within an unsorted array, and a BitMap-Index as a model to indicate if a data record exists or not. In this exploratory research paper, we start from this premise and posit that all existing index structures can be replaced with other types of models, including deep-learning models, which we term learned indexes. The key idea is that a model can learn the sort order or structure of lookup keys and use this signal to effectively predict the position or existence of records. We theoretically analyze under which conditions learned indexes outperform traditional index structures and describe the main challenges in designing learned index structures. Our initial results show, that by using neural nets we are able to outperform cache-optimized B-Trees by up to
in speed while saving an order-of-magnitude in memory over several real-world data sets. More importantly though, we believe that the idea of replacing core components of a data management system through learned models has far reaching implications for future systems designs and that this work just provides a glimpse of what might be possible.
articles  algorithms  databases 
9 days ago
How Billy Walters became sports' most successful and controversial bettor
For four decades, other gamblers have tried to be Billy Walters while investigators have tried to bring him down. And for four decades, the world's most successful sports bettor has outrun them all.
articles  gambling 
9 days ago
Is AI Riding a One-Trick Pony? - MIT Technology Review
Just about every AI advance you’ve heard of depends on a breakthrough that’s three decades old. Keeping up the pace of progress will require confronting AI’s serious limitations
articles  ai 
9 days ago
The Artist Who Drew With Computers, Before Computers Were a Thing - SURFACE
Vera Molnár, a little-known founding mother of computational art and thinking, will feature in MoMA’s new exhibition on art and technology, "Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age."
articles  art  History 
12 days ago
Strong Evidence that U.S. Special Operations Forces Massacred Civilians in Somalia
n investigation by The Daily Beast on the ground in Somalia appears to confirm that American soldiers were involved directly in the deaths of 10 innocent civilians.
articles  somalia  military 
12 days ago
CosmicWatch::catch yourself a muon
Cosmich Watch is simple, physics-motivated machine- and electronics-shop project for university students and schools. Our detector is a self-contained apparatus that employs plastic scintillator as a detection medium and a silicon photomultiplier for light collection. These detectors can be battery powered and used in conjunction with the provided software to make interesting physics measurements. The total cost of each counter is approximately $100.
diy  physics 
12 days ago
Breaking into the Spell - Guernica
The queen of science fiction on war, the problem with literary realism and learning to write as a woman.
articles  books  writing 
13 days ago
Have Self-Driving Cars Stopped Getting Better - IEEE Spectrum
New reports from California suggest limits to autonomous vehicle performance
articles  autonomous_vehicles 
13 days ago
Quincy Jones, In Conversation
The music legend on the secret Michael Jackson, his relationship with the Trumps, and the problem with modern pop.
articles  music 
13 days ago
Gil Kalai’s Argument Against Quantum Computers | Quanta Magazine
The mathematician Gil Kalai believes that quantum computers can't possibly work, even in principle.
articles  quantum_computing 
13 days ago
California police worked with neo-Nazis to pursue 'anti-racist' activists, documents show | World news | The Guardian
Officers expressed sympathy with white supremacists and sought their help to target counter-protesters after a violent 2016 rally, according to court documents
articles  california  corruption  police 
13 days ago
The Deep Roots of an Italian Song That Sounds Like English—But Is Just Nonsense - Atlas Obscura
In 1972, fascination with American culture spurred an Italian showman to revive a medieval comic tradition.
articles  music  History 
17 days ago
Stewards of the Blood
One California woman tries to understand the code of honor that young men live by in blood feuds.
articles  sanfrancisco  albania  community 
17 days ago
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