robertogreco + accuracy   24

Are We as Doomed as That New York Magazine Article Says? - The Atlantic
"Over the past decade, most researchers have trended away from climate doomsdayism. They cite research suggesting that people respond better to hopeful messages, not fatalistic ones; and they meticulously fact-check public descriptions of global warming, as watchful for unsupported exaggeration as they are for climate-change denial.

They do this not because they think that climate change will be peachy. They do it because they want to be exceptionally careful with facts for such a vital issue. And many of them, too, think that a climate-changed world will look less like a starved wasteland and more like our current home—just more unequal and more impoverished.

What does that world look like? We got a fairly good look late last month, actually, when a new consortium of economists and scientists called the Climate Impact Lab published their first study in the journal Science. Their research looks at how global warming will afflict Americans economically, on a county-by-county level. It tells a frightening but much more mundane story.

Climate change, they say, will not turn us into idiots before broiling us in our sleep. Instead, it will act as a kind of ecological reverse Robin Hood, stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. It will impoverish many of the poorest communities in the country—arrayed across the South and Southwest, and especially along the Gulf Coast—while increasing the fortunes of cities and suburbs on both of the coasts.

“This study—the climate equivalent of being informed that smoking carries serious risk of lung cancer—should be enough to motivate us,” says Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist and professor of political science at Texas Tech University. “The NYMag article is the climate equivalent of being told that everyone in the world’s life will end in the most grisly, worst-case possible scenario if we keep on smoking.”

The Climate Impact Labs’ accounting is a much likelier view of what is “much more likely to occur than the doomsday scenario,” she added.

Other communicators reject Wallace-Wells’s approach for a third reason: He glosses over the many reasons that climate advocates now have hope. Many of these criticisms came not from researchers but from other climate communicators. “Through combo of exaggeration and hopelessness, [the NYMag piece] turns away those in the middle we need to persuade. It makes action harder,” tweeted Ramez Naam, a technologist and novelist. “We’ve made huge climate strides. Business-as-usual used to mean six or seven degrees Celsius or warming. Now it looks like three to four, and [it’s] trending down.”

Chuck Wendig, another novelist, called the story irresponsible. “It leans very hard on the EXTINCTION PORN angle, and almost not at all on the BUT HERE'S WHAT WE DO angle,” he said on Twitter.

I’m not so sure about this last angle. I have been writing about climate change nearly full-time for several years now. I don’t think journalists should frame the truth to better inspire people—that’s not our job.

But I vacillate considerably on the doom versus no-doom question. Consider what Wallace-Wells writes about climate change and war:
Researchers like Marshall Burke and Solomon Hsiang have managed to quantify some of the non-obvious relationships between temperature and violence: For every half-degree of warming, they say, societies will see between a 10 and 20 percent increase in the likelihood of armed conflict. In climate science, nothing is simple, but the arithmetic is harrowing: A planet five degrees warmer would have at least half again as many wars as we do today. Overall, social conflict could more than double this century.

That final sentence is simplistic; we cannot wield careful social science conclusions like an abacus. It is also too certain: While Burke and Hsiang have found links between conflict and climate change, another group of researchers from Oslo have found far weaker connections. They observe a link between natural disaster and war only when a country is divided by ethnicity.

Yet this is worrisome by itself. Consider the world that climate scientists say is more realistic: a place where sea levels cause mass migration within and without the developed world; where the economy is never great but isn’t in shambles either; where voters fear for their livelihoods and superpowers poke at each others’ weaknesses.

Does that world sound like a safe and secure place to live? Does it sound like a workable status quo? And how many small wars need to start in that world before they all fuse together? Who needs planet-killing methane burps when nine different countries have 15,000 nuclear weapons between them? In short, there are plenty of doomsday scenarios to worry about. They don’t need to be catastrophic on their face to induce catastrophe."
2017  accuracy  reporting  climate  environment  future  climatechange  sustainability  inequality  robinsonmeyer  davidwallace-wells  science  communication  journlism  dystopia  doom  doomsdayism  exaggeration 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Airbrushing Shittown | Hazlitt
"S-Town isn’t fiction—we can probably assume that the facts, as we are given them, are “accurate.” But mere accuracy doesn’t make it journalism: the private details of private lives have no clear public interest, and Brian Reed never seriously argues that they do. It’s creative non-fiction, then, a category whose very name is composed out of negations: not fiction, but not non-fiction, either; true, but created. And so the fact that he never finds anything—that nothing happened—is what he finds at the end of his investigation, the discovery that the very opposite of something happened. He finds that something didn’t happen, in a half-dozen different ways, and that it didn’t happen for everyone in a variety of fascinating ways: the murder, the gold, and the conspiracy of silence… He finds none of it, only the story of how he set out to look. And then out of this series of negations, he wraps it all up, neatly, so that we can all go home, entertained.

By the end of the podcast, you come to realize that the monologue that opened it—a monologue about clocks and how they are reconstructed—is really about Brian Reed’s own process, about reconstructing a life. “Sometimes entire portions of the original clockwork are missing,” he says, “but you can’t know for sure because there are rarely diagrams of what the clock is supposed to look like. A clock that old doesn’t come with a manual.” John B. McLemore is the clock, and the testimony Reed has gathered, over long years of work, are the “witness marks” a clock-restorer uses to guide their way, “impressions and outlines and discolorations, left inside the clock, of pieces that might’ve once been there.”

“Fixing an old clock can be maddening,” Reed says. “You’re constantly wondering if you’ve just spent hours going down a path that will likely take you nowhere, and all you’ve got are these vague witness marks which might not even mean what you think they mean. So, at every moment along the way you have to decide if you’re wasting your time or not.”

Reed did not waste his time; S-Town was a smash from the start, a career-making triumph. But in their original function, clocks are not made for entertainment. Clocks are tools that make social life possible. A clock makes time, and organizes it, and time is, ultimately, a social medium: we use it to coordinate with others and to communicate; a sense of shared time helps us meet each other and find each other and arrange the stories that we tell about each other—it allows us to take our turns speaking and listening, and it allows us to put things into their proper perspective. Without clocks—or without some sense of shared time, however constructed—society, as we know it, would not be possible.

John lived in his own time zone, literally: as Reed mentions, John B. McLemore’s house did not observe daylight saving time, so depending on the season, the time at his house might be an hour different than the surrounding area. It’s a good reflection of his relation to his world, his insistent eccentricity reflected in his own, personal, zone of time. It’s a good joke, a playful irony, even a self-consciously Faulknerian expression of being southern, a quiet little rebellion against unification under the guise of turning back the clock. It’s also totally ridiculous, which John surely understood: since all time is social, the idea of having your own time zone is absurd, only meaningful in the irony of its meaninglessness.

Moreover, for all his scrupulous attention to reconstructing the original function of a clock, the irony of clock restoration is that John didn’t repair clocks for their original function. His clocks were repaired to be old, to be antiques: the point of “restoring” them was not simply to make them work—that’s easy enough to do—but to make them work exactly as they once did. That’s why John hand-ground a gathering pallet from scratch. “They aren’t trying to simply make the clock work again,” Reed says of the fraternity of horologists. “Their goal is to preserve and reconstruct the original craftsmanship as much as possible.” Recovering and replicating the inspiration of the original clockmaker makes them valuable enough to sell, but it’s the sale that matters.

After all, clock restoration serves no useful function in a world where we all have clocks on our phones (the same phones we might use to listen to a podcast). In a world where networked clocks are everywhere, an antique clock is so big, heavy, and fragile that it isn’t useful in that sense. Instead, an antique clock’s eccentricity becomes valuable because of how odd it is, how particular, and how much work goes into restoring it. When people pay for a restored antique, they are paying for an incredibly laborious lack of useful value: so much work went into making them work again, but because that work is totally superfluous and unnecessary, it is thus, perversely, worth paying for.

If an old clock is valuable because of the perfectly recovered eccentricity of its original intention, the same could be said about John B. McLemore’s own perverse life, and for that matter, this podcast. So much work went into making it, but what, after everything, is this podcast actually for?

When John B. McLemore heard the earliest draft of Reed’s program, the story of the murder of that didn’t happen, his reaction was disappointment: “I can’t believe how much you’ve worked on this son of a bitch and at the same time,” he sighed, “my god.” Reed wanted him to be relieved, to be happy about the work, and is audibly upset that he isn’t. Perhaps John B. was in a bad mood, even a depressive episode; perhaps that was why he wasn’t sufficiently appreciative. Perhaps his original fit of enthusiasm for activist journalism had long passed—it had, after all, been years since he originally contacted Reed—and he had a different perspective on the story Brian Reed was telling. When Reed observes that “I am not saving the world over here,” John’s retort that “You are definitely not saving the world!” is delivered with a peculiar, bitter intensity, the laugh of someone who once thought it was possible, perhaps, but no longer does. What’s the point of all that work if it can’t save the world?

John B. isn’t cruel, though: “I think you’ve done pretty goddamned good,” he says, finally. And he’s absolutely right—one can only admire how well Brian Reed reconstructed his clock. But what is the point of it? What does it do?

I am writing this and you are reading it because we are sharing a moment: we have all listened to this podcast, the timepiece that Brian Reed built to bring us together. But what do we do with this unity? Across the seven hours of Reed’s production, we are told a story in which we all can understand each other, talk to each other, and hear each other: we can unite in admiration for John B., for the genius that was born to Mary Grace, for his voice, and for the power of storytelling. We can hear his voice and be united in our appreciation for his existence. Is this what we need now? Does it tell us our time? Does it bring us together? Does it help us understand what it means to have Donald Trump as president, and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as the most powerful cop in the land? Or is it simply a nostalgic exercise in anachronism, like a perfectly restored antique? Is it something we value because it does something, or because it feels old and authentic?

I don’t know. In the end, all it offers is questions."
aaronbady  s-town  storytelling  horology  clocks  purpose  journalism  podcasts  nostalgia  brianreed  johnbmclemore  restoration  accuracy  entertainment  process  criticism 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Why Children's Drawings Matter - YouTube
"Children can’t draw very well in the technical sense - but their art has important value for us nevertheless."
bobbykennedy  children'sdrawings  art  drawing  children  schooloflife  childhood  imagination  play  playfulness  inaccuracies  accuracy  glvo  sfsh 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Cheerful to a Fault: “Positive” Practices with Negative Implications - Alfie Kohn
"We live in a smiley-face, keep-your-chin-up, look-on-the-bright-side culture. At the risk of being labeled a professional party pooper, I’d like to suggest that accentuating the positive isn’t always a wise course of action where children are concerned. I say that not because I’ve joined the conservative chorus whose refrain is that kids today have it too damn easy and ought to be made to experience more failure (and show more “grit”).[1] Rather, my point is that some things that sound positive and upbeat turn out not to be particularly constructive.

1. Praise. The most salient feature of a positive judgment is not that it’s positive but that it’s a judgment. And in the long run, people rarely thrive as a result of being judged. Praise is the mirror image of criticism, not its opposite. Both are ways of doing things to kids as opposed to working with them. Verbal rewards are often more about manipulating than encouraging — a form of sugar-coated control. The main practical effect of offering a reward, whether it’s tangible, symbolic, or verbal, is to provide a source of extrinsic motivation (for example, trying to please the rewarder), and this, according to a considerable body of research, tends to undermine intrinsic motivation (a commitment to the activity or value itself).

While “Good job!” may seem like a supportive thing to say, that support is actually made conditional on the child’s doing what we ask or impressing us. What kids most need from adults, apart from nonjudgmental feedback and guidance, is unconditional support: the antithesis of a patronizing pat on the head for having jumped through our hoops. The solution, therefore, isn’t as simple as praising children’s effort instead of their ability, because the problem isn’t a function of what’s being praised — or, for that matter, how often praise is offered — but of praise itself.[2]

2. Automatic reassurance. Deborah Meier once remarked that if a child says one of her classmates doesn’t like her,
we need to resist reassuring her that it’s not true and getting the classmate to confirm it; then we must ask ourselves what has led to this idea. Probably there is truth to the cry for help, and our refusal to admit it may simply lead the child to hide her hurt more deeply. Do we do too much reassuring – ‘It doesn’t hurt,’ ‘It’ll be okay’ – and not enough exploring, joining with the child’s queries, fears, thoughts?[3]

A reflexive tendency to say soothing things to children in distress may simply communicate that we’re not really listening to them. Perhaps we’re offering reassurance more because that’s what we need to say than because it’s what they need to hear.

3. Happiness as the primary goal. How can we help children grow up to be happy? That’s an important question, but here’s another one: How can we help children grow up to be concerned about whether other people are happy? We don’t want our kids to end up as perpetually miserable social activists, but neither should we root for them to become so focused on their own well-being that they’re indifferent to other people’s suffering. Happiness isn’t a good thing if it’s purchased at the price of being unreflective, complacent, or self-absorbed.

Moreover, as the psychologist Ed Deci reminds us, anger and sadness are sometimes appropriate responses to things that happen to us (and around us). “When people want only happiness, they can actually undermine their own development,” he said, “because the quest for happiness can lead them to suppress other aspects of their experience. . . .The true meaning of being alive is not just to feel happy, but to experience the full range of human emotions.”[4]

*

And here are four specific cheerful-sounding utterances or slogans that I believe also merit our skepticism:

4. “High(er) expectations.” This phrase, typically heard in discussions about educating low-income or minority students, issues from policy makers with all the thoughtfulness of a sneeze. It derives most of its appeal from a simplistic contrast with low expectations, which obviously no one prefers. But we need to ask some basic questions: Are expectations being raised to the point that students are more demoralized than empowered? Are these expectations being imposed on students rather than developed with them? And most fundamentally: High expectations to do what, exactly? Produce impressive scores on unimpressive tests?

The school reform movement driven by slogans such as “tougher standards,” “accountability,” and “raising the bar” arguably lowers meaningful expectations insofar as it relies on dubious indicators of progress — thereby perpetuating a “bunch o’ facts” model of learning. Expecting poor children to fill in worksheets more accurately just causes them to fall farther behind affluent kids who are offered a more thoughtful curriculum. Indeed, as one study found, such traditional instruction may be associated with lower expectations on the part of their teachers.[5]

5. “Ooh, you’re so close!” (in response to a student’s incorrect answer). My objection here is not, as traditionalists might complain, that we’re failing to demand absolute accuracy. Quite the contrary. The problem is that we’re more focused on getting students to produce right answers than on their understanding of what they’re doing. Even in math, one student’s right answer may not signify the same thing as another’s. The same is true of two wrong answers. A student’s response may have been only one digit off from the correct one, but she may have gotten there by luck (in which case she wasn’t really “close” in a way that matters). Conversely, a student who’s off by an order of magnitude may grasp the underlying principle but have made a simple calculation error.

6. “If you work hard, I’m sure you’ll get a better grade next time.” Again, we may have intended to be encouraging, but the actual message is that what matters in this classroom isn’t learning but performance. It’s not about what kids are doing but how well they’re doing it. Decades’ worth of research has shown that these two emphases tend to pull in opposite directions. Thus, the relevant distinction isn’t between a good grade and a bad grade; it’s leading kids to focus on grades versus inviting them to engage with ideas.

Similarly, if we become preoccupied with effort as opposed to ability as the primary determinant of high marks, we miss the crucial fact that marks are inherently destructive. Like demands to “raise expectations,” a growth mindset isn’t a magic wand. In fact, it can distract us from the harmfulness of certain goals — and of certain ways of teaching and assessing — by suggesting that more effort, like more rigor, is all that’s really needed. Not only is it not sufficient; when the outcome is misconceived, it isn’t even always desirable.[6]

7. “Only Positive Attitudes Allowed Beyond This Point.” I’ve come across this poster slogan in a number of schools, and each time I see it, my heart sinks. Its effect isn’t to create a positive atmosphere but to serve notice that the expression of negative feelings is prohibited: “Have a nice day . . . or else.” It’s a sentiment that’s informative mostly for what it tells us about the needs of the person who put up the poster. It might as well say “My Mental Health Is So Precarious That I Need All of You to Pretend You’re Happy.”

Kids don’t require a classroom that’s relentlessly upbeat; they require a place where it’s safe to express whatever they’re feeling, even if at the moment that happens to be sadness or fear or anger. Bad feelings don’t vanish in an environment of mandatory cheer — they just get swept under the rug where people end up tripping over them, so to speak. Furthermore, students’ “negativity” may be an entirely apt response to an unfair rule, an authoritarian environment, or a series of tasks that seem pointless. To focus on students’ emotions in order to manufacture a positive climate (or in the name of promoting “self-regulation” skills) is to pretend that the problem lies exclusively with their responses rather than with what we may have done that elicited them.[7]"

[Also posted here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/07/14/things-we-say-to-kids-that-sound-positive-but-can-be-detrimental/ ]
alfiekohn  education  listening  howweteach  teaching  pedagogy  praise  reassurance  happiness  reflection  expectations  grades  grading  effort  attitudes  positivity  behavior  manipulation  criticism  judgement  feedback  constructivecriticism  support  schools  selflessness  kindness  tests  testing  standardizedtesting  accuracy  deborahmeier 
july 2015 by robertogreco
A 6-year-old totally owned the Financial Times over a 'Minecraft' error | Fusion
When you write about Minecraft, you’d better get it right, or millions of kids all over the world will be ready to pounce on your errors.

The Financial Times learned this the hard way. Last weekend, the paper published a story on the Microsoft-owned hit game, titled “The business behind Minecraft.” And this weekend, Zorawar Bhangoo, a 6-year-old from London, wrote in to correct the paper for a graphic it published to accompany the piece.

Bhangoo’s handwritten note, which the FT transcribed and reprinted in its letters section, reads:
Sir, Your big Minecraft picture on the front page of your Life & Arts section (July 4) is wrong.

In Minecraft, smoke does not come out of chimneys and doors cannot be a light colour. Doors need four boxes at the top of them. Trees have to be round and not any other shape and you put the trees a rectangle shape. The clouds have to be 3D. You put the clouds upright. The roof of a house cannot be blue.

Zorawar Bhangoo (age 6)

London SE21, UK

This kid’s got a bright future. And the FT may need to build itself a burn unit in Minecraft, because getting owned by a 6-year-old has got to hurt."
children  minecraft  illustration  reporting  journalism  2015  edg  srg  accuracy  games  gaming  videogames 
july 2015 by robertogreco
In fantasy worlds, historical accuracy is a lie - Boing Boing
"The mythical realms of Dragon Age grow beautifully with the telling, including their representation of Earthly minorities. Even so, something's missing..."



"Elves, magic, dragons, shapeshifting and ancient powers of world destruction are somehow totally believable, but the idea that brown people might exist is somehow not. My colleague MedievalPOC's blog uses art, history and other resources to regularly debunk the broad but rarely-questioned misconception that only white people were around in medieval times. So if we know brown folks definitely existed in actual Medieval Europe, why are they absent from a made-up fantasy world only loosely inspired by Medieval Europe? Where are the brown folks in Dragon Age's Thedas?

Let's have a look at the history of representation in my favorite game series."



"I hope the tropes that govern characters like Vivienne de Fer or Mother Giselle are the last we see of these types of things. I hope these missteps simply happen because there aren't many people of color working in the games industry. It's not that anyone on the Dragon Age team is willfully racist or malicious to players; it's simply that someone who doesn't have the lived experience of dealing with racism as a person of color would simply not think about these things.

I want these things to end; I want more people of color working in the games industry. I want more people on the team who can go, "whoa, wait, this isn't okay." I want more people sitting in the room who can bring things like these up when scripts are being written -- or better yet, while characters are still being conceived. These painful jabs hurt people like me as we traverse the fantasy worlds that are supposed to represent the ultimate escape from the real."

[via: http://finalbossform.com/post/114504124240/in-fantasy-worlds-historical-accuracy-is-a-lie ]
fantasy  accuracy  history  race  2015  tanyad  magic  dragons  elves  games  gaming  videogames  dragonage 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Meta is Murder - Mills Baker's Internet Haus of Cards
"There’s enormous and increasing pressure on humans to achieve reach in their ideas, designs, morals, and policies. Despite having evolved in small groups with small-group habits of cognition and emotion, we now live in a global group and must coordinate hugely complex societies. The problems we face are problems at scale. Thus: reach is mandatory. A taxation, software design, or criminal justice solution that cannot be deployed at scale isn’t useful to us anymore; indeed, even opinions must scale up. For personal, political, governmental, commercial, literary, expediency-oriented, and many other reasons, we must have solutions that work for more human (H) units / instances, and H is always increasing (even as every sub-member of H is determined to be respected according to her or his unpredictable inimitability, range of action, moral agency, autonomy, freedom, etc.).

This pressure often inclines people to accept induction- or correlation-based models or ideas, which are inaccurate to varyingly significant degrees, in lieu of explanatory models. That is: in many situations, we’ll accept aggregates, groups, central plans, reductions, otherings, dehumanizations, short-hand-symbols, and so on because (1) they serve our ends, sometimes without any costs or (2) we have nothing else. In order to have explanations with reach in areas where we have no models, we commit philosophical fraud: we transact with elements and dynamics we cannot predict or understand and we hope for the best (better, it seems, than admitting that “I don’t know”). How we talk about speculative models, reductive schema, and plural entities —peoples, companies, generations, professions, events even— reveals a lot about how much we care for epistemological accuracy. And not caring about it is a kind of brutality; it means we don’t care what happens to the lives inaccurately described, not captured by our model, not helped by our policies, unaided by our designs, not included in our normative plan.

In politics, design, art, philosophy, and even ordinary daily thinking, being consciously aware of this tension, and of the pressure to exchange accuracy for reach, is as important as recognizing the difference between “guessing” and “knowing.” Otherwise, one is likely to adopt ideas with reach without recognizing the increased risk of inaccuracy that comes with it. One will be tempted to ignore the risk even if one knows it, tempted by how nice it is to have tidy conceptions of good and evil, friend and foe, progress and failure.

Reach is innately personally pleasing in part because it privileges the knower, whose single thought describes thousands or millions of people, whose simple position circumscribes civilization’s evolution, the history of religion, the nature of economics, the meaning of life. Exceptions be damned! But in general, if an idea has significant reach, it must be backed by an explanatory model or it will either be too vague or too inaccurate to be useful. And if it’s a political or moral idea, the innocent exceptions will be damned along with the guilty. Hence the immorality of reduction, othering, and inaccurate ideas whose reach makes them popular."
millsbaker  internet  scale  small  2014  politics  design  technology  reach  accuracy  knowing  guessing  induction  correlation  economics  globalization  dehumanization  othering  centralization  systems  systemsthinking  autonomy  freedom  agency  inimitability  notknowing  caring  progress  epistemology  thinking 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Medicalskeptic on Twitter: "On numbers being gamed, people can't keep their own score - @EdwardTufte http://t.co/Ps9j1NoBIP Read this carefully and often"
"On numbers being gamed, people can't keep their own score - @EdwardTufte Read this carefully and often":

"People and institutions cannot keep their own score accurately. Metrics soon become targets and then pitches, and are thereby gamed, corrupted, misreported, fudged.

Examples: premature revenue recognition, Libor rates, beating the quarterly forecast by a single penny, terrorist attacks prevented, Weapons of Mass Destruction, number of Twitter followers, all body counts (crowd sizes, civilians blown up).

Sometimes called the Principal of Lake Wobegone, where all children are above average."
edwardtufte  gamification  numbers  metrics  quantification  cheating  accuracy  scorekeeping  liborrates  2014 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Messages The City Wants Us To Hear – The New Inquiry
"Some excerpts from Timothy “Speed” Levitch’s Speedology (2002)

1. The Fastest Way to Adventure is to Stand Still

Boredom is an illusion. Boredom is the continuous state of not noticing that the unexpected is constantly arriving while the anticipated is never showing up. Boredom is anti-cruise propaganda.

2. The City as Autobiography

We are not visitors, tourists, nor inhabitants of New York City; we are New York City. The city is our moving self-portrait and a living art installation carved out on an island of rock, even the cracks of the sidewalk are crying out on the topic of our lives. The city is a profound opportunity to understand ourselves.

3. This is No Time for Historical Accuracy

Nothing I say can possibly be defended. I am not interested in being right or wrong; my priority is to be joyous.

As a tour guide, I approach history the same way Charlie Parker would approach a jazz standard. I am not here to recapitulate the notes exactly as they were composed but to find myself within the notes and collaborate with what has been before me to chase after everything I could ever be. My study of history is mostly an attempt to impress women.

4. Fear is Joy Paralyzed

Society— the greatest self-hatred the earth has ever witnessed— is a mediocre improv comedy piece we’re all living despite ourselves, one that would be impossible without fear effectively taking on ingenious disguises throughout the adventure of each and every day […] We do not have agendas, agendas have us.

5. Gregariousness is Great

New York City is a summoning of souls and a tribal ceremony of collected ancient agonies and conflicts brought to a new landscape for healing. A New Yorker is someone who runs wild with healing.

6. The Soul is the Only Landmark

Salvation is seeing everything as it already is.

7. Being Alive is Sexy

The world is an involuntary orgy.

8. What is Created is Destroyed

Many decry the destruction of Pennsylvania Station, the great beaux arts railroad terminal that was knocked down and replaced by the fourth Madison Square Garden. They ask, “If the city is a great teacher, why would it destroy a great building and put a lousy one in its place?” the answer: Pennsylvania station was too beautiful. The anecdote may be a catastrophe from a preservationist’s point of view, but it is a masterpiece from a dramatist’s. It’s just the way Tennessee Williams would have written it. Many will then ask, “Why is the city issuing forth these dramas?” The answer: the city wants to entertain us.

9. The Most Significant Thing About Suffering is That We’re All Doing It

[…]

10. Our True Selves Are the Greatest Parties Ever Thrown

You are a better party than you have ever been to. […] To live in a city is to realize that life is a procession of different versions of ourselves that we meet over time. Evolving is the meeting between who you were and who you just became.

11. Having Faith in Humanity is Supposed to be Fun

Fun is active faith. Faith is the celebration of “I don’t know.” The city is a bravely unfolding movie entertaining us so effectively we are hypnotized by it. The movie is a comedy about mammals in a movie taking the movie seriously and deciding it is a tragedy.

12. I Am Not Getting Laid

I want to make it clear, from the beginning, that I am not currently getting laid as I write this and this fact colors everything I say. It’s the one statement that makes perfect sense of Nietzsche’s work.

Bennett Miller’s 1998 documentary, The Cruise is one of the greatest films ever made about New York City."
boredom  cities  nyc  history  accuracy  fear  joy  society  life  living  2010  timothylevitch  speedology  2002  suffering  humanity  faith  nietzsche  bennettmiller  destruction  creativity 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Dither - Wikipedia
"
…[O]ne of the earliest [applications] of dither came in World War II. Airplane bombers used mechanical computers to perform navigation and bomb trajectory calculations. Curiously, these computers (boxes filled with hundreds of gears and cogs) performed more accurately when flying on board the aircraft, and less well on ground. Engineers realized that the vibration from the aircraft reduced the error from sticky moving parts. Instead of moving in short jerks, they moved more continuously. Small vibrating motors were built into the computers, and their vibration was called dither from the Middle English verb "didderen," meaning "to tremble." Today, when you tap a mechanical meter to increase its accuracy, you are applying dither, and modern dictionaries define dither as a highly nervous, confused, or agitated state. In minute quantities, dither successfully makes a digitization system a little more analog in the good sense of the word.
—Ken Pohlmann, Principles of Digital Audio[1]


The term "dither" was published in books on analog computation and hydraulically controlled guns shortly after the war.[2][3] The concept of dithering to reduce quantization patterns was first applied by Lawrence G. Roberts[4] in his 1961 MIT master's thesis[5] and 1962 article[6] though he did not use the term dither. By 1964 dither was being used in the modern sense described in this article."
dithering  etymology  computing  history  movement  dither  via:unthinkingly  digital  analog  vibration  agitation  accuracy 
november 2013 by robertogreco
The Little Mystical - Some Obvious Things About Drawing Maps
"As single-user tools (since we’re talking about personal construction of knowledge), I wonder at the gap between the activity beneath the surface and what a visitor sees – a canonical-looking map or article.

Criticism of Wikipedia’s factual accuracy is often (1) It can change anytime! and (2) Any random person can change it! – which, well, are also the reasons why it works. But the disconnect happens because a unstable work, that’s under constant negotiation, looks stable. How many people look at Wikipedia history frequently? How many people understand – explicitly understand – that this is knowledge construction?

There are some obvious ideas that fall out of making that level of change clearer to people – you could highlight areas that have changed since you last looked at it, you could fade out areas under heavy negotiation and only show the stable parts by default.

Or with personal map-making / map-reading, when you have these layers of structured data, you can do a little paint-by-layers – say you’re drawing a map of your neighborhood, you drag out lines following the path of the main streets you walk on, and Sim-City-style, they get drawn-in using live data. You get both the explicitness of someone’s “drawing out” their map’s contours and the benefit of the latest satellite mapping data."

[Full conversation here: http://storify.com/rogre/legible-maps-of-places-and-infospaces ]
allentan  2013  maps  mapping  wikipedia  osm  openstreetmap  charlieloyd  comments  history  information  knowledge  undertsanding  change  accuracy  time  memory  legibility  infospace  infospaces 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Admiralty charts (maps) | The National Archives
One of the characteristics of an Admiralty chart is that it is continually updated and corrected.
Dates of survey and compilation are minutely recorded, as are those of the corrections continually made to maintain the accuracy and utility of the chart.
mapping  maps  updates  admiralitycharts  charts  corrections  change  accuracy  evolution  versioning  versions  via:litherland 
june 2013 by robertogreco
note found in a copy of The Cosmic Code | the m john harrison blog
"Stop reading. Stop being anxious about your relations with books. Assume your skills are adequate. Assume you don’t know who you are. Go away to another town. When you get there, don’t “write”: instead begin recording what you see. Describe a life you can only be on the edge of. Get those people down. Get down what they do, what they say, how they say it. Aim for observational accuracy but understand that you can only ever proceed from emotional & moral judgements you have already made. Never try to resolve that opposition. Never think beyond the problem of getting things down. Keep everything. After two years go back to where you came from, if you any longer believe that to be possible, or if you believe yourself any longer to be the you that went away. You can start trying to “write” again now."
mjohnharrison  reading  writing  books  2013  noticing  observation  listening  accuracy  judgement  outofplace  difference  perspective  travel 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Philip Roth and Wikipedia | Non-Commercial Use
"First, this is not a fundamental flaw in Wikipedia’s central precepts – this is one author and his agents being unable to navigate the internet and/or report the truth with any degree of accuracy. This is our attempt to make our information not only accurate, but verifiable – to ensure that readers have a hope in hell of actually checking the accuracy of our information. This is not achieved by enabling subjects to become the oracles of truth for any article that mentions them, or telling readers “we know it’s accurate because Philip Roth said so, and you’ll just have to trust us on that”. We don’t want readers to trust us. We want readers to think and be able to do their own research.

Second, maybe (although I doubt it) we need to have a frank debate over how we handle primary and secondary sourcing…

Third: people should perhaps start having a debate about the way authors are treated in “proper” sources."
sourcing  protocol  wikimedia  sources  research  verification  accuracy  philiproth  wikipedia  2012  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
lonelysandwich - Human-computer-human interaction
"As we learn to speak to Siri, we’ll learn more about how we formulate ideas into words, how to express those so that they may be understood with less margin of error, ultimately shortening the gap between intention and comprehension.

It’s safe to assume that as we learn to talk to Siri, Siri learns to listen to us. So we’re not simply assimilating with the robot culture, we’re fostering a new understanding between our vastly different types of intelligence.

Which is to say, Siri will teach us how to talk to Siri but maybe more importantly, how to talk to each other."

[via: http://spiegelman.tumblr.com/post/27082261842/on-the-virtue-of-brevity-in-email ]
human  interaction  language  accuracy  intention  comprehension  robots  2012  clarity  communication  lonelysandwich  adamlisagor  siri  apple  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Lifespan of a Fact | W. W. Norton & Company
"An innovative essayist and his fact-checker do battle about the use of truth and the definition of nonfiction.

How negotiable is a fact in nonfiction? In 2003, an essay by John D’Agata was rejected by the magazine that commissioned it due to factual inaccuracies. That essay—which eventually became the foundation of D’Agata’s critically acclaimed About a Mountain—was accepted by another magazine, The Believer, but not before they handed it to their own fact-checker, Jim Fingal. What resulted from that assignment was seven years of arguments, negotiations, and revisions as D’Agata and Fingal struggled to navigate the boundaries of literary nonfiction.

This book reproduces D’Agata’s essay, along with D’Agata and Fingal’s extensive correspondence. What emerges is a brilliant and eye-opening meditation on the relationship between “truth” and “accuracy” and a penetrating conversation about whether it is appropriate for a writer to substitute one for the other."

[via: http://www.theamericancrawl.com/?p=1008 ]
accuracy  facts  truth  journalism  publishing  literarynonfiction  nonfiction  writing  jimfingal  johnd'agata  factchecking  toread  books  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Leonard Cohen, "How to Speak Poetry" - Acephalous
"The poem is nothing but information. It is the Constitution of the inner country. If you declaim it and blow it up with noble intentions then you are no better than the politicians whom you despise. You are just someone waving a flag and making the cheapest kind of appeal to a kind of emotional patriotism. Think of the words as science, not as art. They are a report. You are speaking before a meeting of the Explorers' Club of the National Geographic Society. These people know all the risks of mountain climbing. They honour you by taking this for granted. If you rub their faces in it that is an insult to their hospitality. Tell them about the height of the mountain, the equipment you used, be specific about the surfaces and the time it took to scale it…

Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you're tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty."
simplicity  modesty  expression  via:charlieloyd  language  information  science  accuracy  precision  truth  art  writing  process  leonardcohen  poetry  from delicious
may 2012 by robertogreco
What are the Habits of Mind? | Institute For Habits of Mind
"Habits of Mind are dispositions that are skillfully and mindfully employed by characteristically intelligent, successful people when they are confronted with problems, the solution to which are not immediately apparent.

The Habits of Mind as identified by Costa and Kallick are:

Persisting
Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
Managing Impulsivity
Gathering Data Through all Senses
Listening with Understanding and Empathy
Creating, imagining and Innovation
Thinking Flexibly
Responding with Wonderment and Awe
Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition)
Taking Responsible Risks
Striving for Accuracy
Finding Humor
Questioning and Posing Problems
Thinking Interdependently
Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
Remaining Open to Continuous Learning"
thinking  habits  habitsofmind  mind  teaching  tcsnmy  learning  education  lcproject  flexibility  risktaking  humor  creativity  imagination  impulsivity  impulse-control  persistence  clarity  passion  communication  empathy  datamining  wonderment  wonder  wonderdeficit  accuracy  questioning  problemsolving  independence  lifelonglearning  history  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Volokh Conspiracy » There Should Be A Name for This One, Too:
"To begin with, how odd is it that they’d invoke Shakespeare in this context? “We need stronger copyright or else we won’t get the next Shakespeare” is like arguing “We need the designated hitter, or how will we ever get the next Babe Ruth?” In a copyright-free world — not that I’m advocating such a thing, but hey, you brought it up — we’ll get the next Shakespeare the way we got the last Shakespeare, in a copyright-free world. The first copyright statute, the Statute of Anne, wasn’t passed until 1709, long after Shakespeare was a-moulderin’ in the grave. [That’s what we need a name for — this kind of absurdly misplaced historical argument]"
ip  copyright  shakespeare  history  accuracy  neologisms  truth  fact  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Autism and HIV: when maths can be misleading - Telegraph
"Moreover, the number of people involved was small: 20 with autism, 20 without. With that small a group, it’s hard to tell whether any association that shows up is meaningful. You can train a computer using photos of the family cat, and it will calculate whichever combination of size, colour, and whisker length best detects autism in its owner. There are so many potential combinations that in all likelihood one of them will appear to perform pretty well. But try it on another bunch of people, and the odds are it will fail."
hiv  autism  statistics  math  mathematics  research  falsenegatives  accuracy  numbers  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Yahoo Builds the Nostradamus of Search Engines | Fast Company
"Bold predictions are made every day. We'll reduce our carbon emissions by 50% in 20 years, boast business leaders. No, make that 80% in 15 years. We'll cut the deficit in half by 2015, pandering politicians claim. That leaves us with dozens of conflicting estimates and ballpark figures that are soon forgotten. It's hard to hold experts to their predictions, but that could all change soon thanks to an experimental search engine from Yahoo.

Developed by the company's Barcelona research lab, Time Explorer is a search engine for the past, present, & future. Results are displayed on a timeline that stretches years back *& forward. Move your mouse over the future part of the timeline, & you get predictions for what was supposed to happen in that year from as much as 20 years ago. For example, the timeline for "North Korea" lets us know that the rogue state should have developed some 200 nuclear warheads--according to an inaccurate op-ed in the NY Times by Nicholas Kristof in 2004."
yahoo  search  future  past  present  predictions  2010  accuracy  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Ecstatic Truth [.pdf]
"“Ecstatic truth” is a term used by the German director Werner Herzog to describe a filmmaking technique that favors emotional accuracy over detail-oriented accuracy in a documentary context. To achieve a sense of “ecstatic truth,” a filmmaker, instead of attempting to portray characters or events in an objective or factual way, fabricates a situation that plays with the emotional intensity of the subjects and reaches a level of sincerity that the facts alone could not achieve. In Herzog’s manifesto, the Minnesota Declaration: Truth and Fact in Documentary Cinema written in 1999, point five states:

“There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.”"

[from a follow-up search after reading: http://number27.org/today.php?d=20100821 ]
wernerherzog  ecstatictruth  emotion  rtruth  filmmaking  fabrication  imagination  stylization  poetry  accuracy  minnesotadeclaration  filetype:pdf  media:document  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Ditch that Word
"I've been doing a new blog called Ditch that Word. So, if you are a language geek or you just want an insight into my own strange inner-monologues, feel free to check it out. Here's the premise: Instead of a Word-a-Day blog (which are admittedly cool), I'm thinking of condensing my language - or at least thinking better about how I use it in different contexts.
language  words  brilliantidea  everydayspeech  personalimprovement  needtodosomethinglikethis  behavior  communication  accuracy  honesty  humor  buzzwords  excusemaking  euphemisms 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » "Wikipedia is like a sausageyou might like the taste of it, but you don’t necessarily want to see how it’s made”."
“The problem most people have with Wikipedia’s quality and accuracy seems to have more to do with their knowledge of how it is made, rather than any observed problem with the end results.”
wikipedia  perception  crowdsourcing  content  research  encyclopedias  quality  accuracy 
october 2007 by robertogreco

related tags

aaronbady  accuracy  adamlisagor  admiralitycharts  agency  agitation  alfiekohn  allentan  analog  apple  art  attitudes  autism  autonomy  behavior  bennettmiller  bobbykennedy  books  boredom  brianreed  brilliantidea  buzzwords  caring  centralization  change  charlieloyd  charts  cheating  childhood  children  children'sdrawings  cities  clarity  climate  climatechange  clocks  comments  communication  comprehension  computing  constructivecriticism  content  copyright  corrections  correlation  creativity  criticism  crowdsourcing  datamining  davidwallace-wells  deborahmeier  dehumanization  design  destruction  difference  digital  dither  dithering  doom  doomsdayism  dragonage  dragons  drawing  dystopia  economics  ecstatictruth  edg  education  edwardtufte  effort  elves  emotion  empathy  encyclopedias  entertainment  environment  epistemology  etymology  euphemisms  everydayspeech  evolution  exaggeration  excusemaking  expectations  expression  fabrication  fact  factchecking  facts  faith  falsenegatives  fantasy  fear  feedback  filetype:pdf  filmmaking  flexibility  freedom  future  games  gamification  gaming  globalization  glvo  grades  grading  guessing  habits  habitsofmind  happiness  history  hiv  honesty  horology  howweteach  human  humanity  humor  illustration  imagination  impulse-control  impulsivity  inaccuracies  independence  induction  inequality  information  infospace  infospaces  inimitability  intention  interaction  internet  ip  jimfingal  johnbmclemore  johnd'agata  journalism  journlism  joy  judgement  kindness  knowing  knowledge  language  lcproject  learning  legibility  leonardcohen  liborrates  life  lifelonglearning  listening  literarynonfiction  living  lonelysandwich  magic  manipulation  mapping  maps  math  mathematics  media:document  memory  metrics  millsbaker  mind  minecraft  minnesotadeclaration  mjohnharrison  modesty  movement  needtodosomethinglikethis  neologisms  nietzsche  nonfiction  nostalgia  noticing  notknowing  numbers  nyc  observation  openstreetmap  osm  othering  outofplace  passion  past  pedagogy  perception  persistence  personalimprovement  perspective  philiproth  play  playfulness  podcasts  poetry  politics  positivity  praise  precision  predictions  present  problemsolving  process  progress  protocol  publishing  purpose  quality  quantification  questioning  race  reach  reading  reassurance  reflection  reporting  research  restoration  risktaking  robinsonmeyer  robots  rtruth  s-town  scale  schooloflife  schools  science  scorekeeping  search  selflessness  sfsh  shakespeare  simplicity  siri  small  society  sources  sourcing  speedology  srg  standardizedtesting  statistics  storytelling  stylization  suffering  support  sustainability  systems  systemsthinking  tanyad  tcsnmy  teaching  technology  testing  tests  thinking  time  timothylevitch  toread  travel  truth  undertsanding  updates  verification  versioning  versions  via:charlieloyd  via:litherland  via:unthinkingly  vibration  videogames  wernerherzog  wikimedia  wikipedia  wonder  wonderdeficit  wonderment  words  writing  yahoo 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: