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Wikipedia and the Wisdom of Polarized Crowds - Issue 70: Variables - Nautilus
“It seems like conservatives are happy to draw on science associated with economic growth—that’s what they want from science,” Evans said. “Science is more like Star Trek for liberals: traveling through worlds, searching for new meanings, searching for yourself.” Science turned out to be “a huge example of confirmation bias,” Evans said. “You expect something to be true, you want it to be true, you read books that affirm and confirm those truths.” Looking at the polarized results, Evans had an idea. What would happen if you put together a group of diverse people to produce information? What would the results look like? Evans knew just the place to conduct the experiment: Wikipedia. Evans and Misha Teplitskiy, a postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard, and colleagues, studied 205,000 Wikipedia topics and their associated “talk pages,” where anybody can observe the debates and conversations that go on behind the scenes.
thinking  epistemology  politics  perception  truth  science 
3 days ago by basemaly
E.W.Dijkstra Archive: The Humble Programmer (EWD 340)
I observe a cultural tradition, which in all probability has its roots in the Renaissance, to ignore this influence, to regard the human mind as the supreme and autonomous master of its artefacts. But if I start to analyse the thinking habits of myself and of my fellow human beings, I come, whether I like it or not, to a completely different conclusion, viz. that the tools we are trying to use and the language or notation we are using to express or record our thoughts, are the major factors determining what we can think or express at all! The analysis of the influence that programming languages have on the thinking habits of its users, and the recognition that, by now, brainpower is by far our scarcest resource, they together give us a new collection of yardsticks for comparing the relative merits of various programming languages.
thinking  cognitive_prosthetics 
8 days ago by tonyyet
The Secret Algorithm Behind Learning - Shane Parrish - Pocket
I wasn’t always a good learner. I thought learning was all about the hours you put in. Then I discovered something that changed my life.
learning  education  tips  thinking 
8 days ago by basemaly
How to simplify complex decisions by cleaving the facts
Separate the upside from the downside. Clarify the choice using one, two, or at most three dimensions. Base the primary decision on the magnitude and likelihood of the upside, and use the downside to veto untenable options. Remember that defining the conditions of the decision is 80% of the decision, so invest your time in that.
productivity  advice  business  strategy  thinking  model  framework 
11 days ago by tobym
Is Email Making Professors Stupid? - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Knuth’s approach to email prioritizes the long-term value of uninterrupted concentration over the short-term convenience of accessibility. Objectively speaking, this tradeoff makes sense, but it’s so foreign to most tenured and tenure-track professors that it can seem ludicrous — more parody than pragmatism. This is because in the modern academic environment professors act more like middle managers than monastics. A major factor driving this reality is the digital communication Knuth so carefully avoids. Faculty life now means contending with an unending stream of electronic missives, many of which come with an expectation of rapid reply."
email  productivity  thinking  work  management  communication  specialization  incentive  university  organization 
11 days ago by basemaly

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