Information Security News: No, You Really Can’t
Another exhibit demonstrating the truth of Bryan Cantrill's rant on Oracle.
security  oracle  bullshit 
18 days ago
Nietzsche Wins The Internet in 1886 — Crooked Timber
<<In the end, you know very well that it does not matter whether you, of all people, are proved right, and furthermore, that no philosopher so far has ever been proved right.>>
rhetoric  philosophy  nietzsche  via:twitter 
29 days ago
What Makes an Entrepreneur? by Blanchfower & Oswald
Journal version of NBER 3252:

<<The factors that affect the supply of entrepreneurs are important but poorly understood. We study a sample of individuals who choose either to be employees or to run their own businesses. Four conclusions emerge. First, consistent with the existence of borrowing constraints on potential entrepreneurs, we find that the probability of self-employment depends markedly upon whether the individual ever received an inheritance or gift. Second, when directly questioned in interview surveys, potential entrepreneurs say that raising capital is their principal problem. Third, consistent with our theoretical framework's predictions, the self-employed have higher levels of job and life satisfaction than employees. Fourth, childhood personality measurements and psychological test scores are of almost no help in predicting who runs their own business later in life. It is access to start-up capital that matters.>>
economic-inequality  entrepreneurship  annals-of-plutocracy  meritocracy-and-its-discontents 
5 weeks ago
What Makes an Entrepreneur? Evidence on Inheritance and Capital Constraints (NBER Working Paper 3252)
<<The paper studies the factors which shape entrepreneurship among young adults. It finds, using data on a British birth cohort, that the probability of self-employment depends sensitively upon whether the individual ever received a gift or inheritance. Those who were given or inherited £5,000, for example, were approximately twice as likely, ceteris paribus, to set up in business. This is consistent with, and a new test of, recent results from the US stressing the importance of capital and liquidity constraints. The paper also evaluates a number of hypotheses suggested in the literature on small businesses.>>
economic-inequality  entrepreneurship  dept-of-obvious-results 
5 weeks ago
<<We theorize the role in institutional processes of what we call the shame nexus, a set of shame related constructs: felt shame, systemic shame, sense of shame, and episodic shaming. As a discrete emotion, felt shame signals to a person that a social bond is at risk and catalyzes a fundamental motivation to preserve valued bonds. We conceptualize systemic shame as a form of disciplinary power, animated by persons’ sense of shame, a mechanism of ongoing intersubjective surveillance and self-regulation. We theorize how the duo of the sense of shame and systemic shame drives the self-regulation that underpins persons’ conformity to institutional prescriptions and institutional reproduction. We conceptualize episodic shaming as a form of juridical power used by institutional guardians to elicit renewed conformity and reassert institutional prescriptions. We also explain how episodic shaming may have unintended effects, including institutional disruption and recreation, when it triggers sensemaking among targets and observers that can lead to the reassessment of the appropriateness of institutional prescriptions or the value of social bonds. We link the shame nexus to three broad categories of institutional work.>>
psychology  social-organization 
6 weeks ago
Factors influencing the temporal patterns of dyadic behaviours and interactions between domestic cats and their owners. - PubMed - NCBI
<<Human-cat dyads may be similar in interaction structure to human dyads because many humans regard their cats as being social companions. Consequently, we predict that dyadic structure will be contingent on owner and cat personalities, sex, and age as well as duration of cohabitation of the partners. Forty owner-cat dyads were visited in their homes, on four occasions, during which their behaviours and interactions were video-taped. Behaviour was coded from tape and was analysed for temporal (t)-patterns using Theme (Noldus; Magnusson, 1996). Owner personality was assessed using the NEO-FFI. Five cat personality axes were identified by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) based on observer-rated items and on coded behaviours. We found that the higher the owner in neuroticism, the fewer t-patterns occurred per minute. The higher the owner in extraversion, the higher was the number of non-overlapping patterns per minute. The more "active" the cat, the fewer non-overlapping patterns occurred per minute, but the higher was the event type complexity. The older the cat, the lower was dyadic event type complexity. We suggest that basic temporal structures similar to those of human-cat dyads may also be found in other long-term and complex dyadic relationships, including those between humans.>>
cats  psychology  relationships 
7 weeks ago
31 Flavors of Bullshit: Your Horror Stories of Working At a Startup
I have worked in largely high-functioning parts of the industry (so far, we'll see how my current gig works out) so I have to work sometimes to remind myself how fucked up this place really is.
technology-industry  culture  silicon-valley 
8 weeks ago
The Frenzy About High-Tech Talent by Andrew Hacker | The New York Review of Books
<<It’s true that the US has fewer people studying the subjects involved in STEM than many other countries. The chief reason is that more of our students choose to major in business and liberal arts. But that doesn’t signify a paucity of interest. Among the high school seniors who took the ACT and SAT tests last year, fully 23 percent said that they intended to major in mathematics, computer science, engineering, or a physical or natural science. And those contemplating programs related to health made up another 19 percent. But something evidently happens between their freshman and senior years. By graduation, the number of students who start in STEM fields falls by a third and in health by a half. In engineering, of every one hundred who start, only fifty-five make it to a degree. Why the attrition?

For some, the STEM program they planned on may be more demanding than they envisaged. Or they may be put off by how a subject is treated in college. Teitelbaum quotes the president of the Association of American Universities, who cites a less publicized cause: “poor undergraduate teaching in physics, chemistry, biology, math, and engineering, particularly in the freshman and sophomore years.” Of course, bad teaching has varied causes. But it may be more apparent in STEM fields, where fixed material has to be covered; the reactions of many students suggests that many professors apparently see no need to make their teaching appealing. While student ratings have drawbacks, those in Table A hint at serious problems in STEM classrooms (see below). In mathematics, few freshmen meet a full-time professor close up. A recent survey by the American Mathematical Society found that 87 percent of all classes are taught by graduate assistants, adjuncts, or instructors on annual contracts.>>

<<Engineering also illustrates how the economy mishandles the talent it has. At current rates, our universities will be awarding about 760,000 engineering degrees in the decade ahead. But that is over five times what the BLS projects for the profession’s growth. So most who do find jobs will be replacing engineers who are leaving the field, either voluntarily or partially so. They take a variety of jobs, whether in sales, management, or other fields of work. Businesses find they can recruit the graduates they want at salaries that young people find acceptable. What isn’t said is that the pay won’t rise much higher, as shown by the salaries of those in mid-career. According to BLS samplings in 2014, median pay ranged from $71,369 for civil engineers to $96,980 for aeronautical engineers. By comparison, the median for practicing nurses is $83,980, and the median for pharmacists is $101,920. (There is a special high of $130,280 for petroleum engineers who get premium pay for working in desert sands or surrounded by arctic ice; they also risk being laid off when petroleum prices fall.)

In engineering—as with computer science—those who start families tend to shift to sales or middle management. But many move to unrelated fields, ranging from real estate to nursing, while others find positions as financial analysts or security consultants. This attrition could be averted by prolonging career spans, as in law and medicine. After all, most engineers—and their software counterparts—still have their expertise in their fifties and sixties. But employers see no need to encourage longer periods of employment, since each year cheaper graduates, both American and foreign, arrive with their résumés.>>
labor  economics  united-states  engineering  technology-industry 
8 weeks ago
Dogs, But Not Wolves, Use Humans As Tools - The Thoughtful Animal - Scientific American Blog Network
<<In one simple task, a plate of food was presented to the wolf pups (at 9 weeks) or to the dog puppies (both at 5 weeks and at 9 weeks). However, the food was inaccessible to the animals; human help would be required to access it. The trick to getting the food was simple: all the animals had to do was make eye contact with the experimenter, and he or she would reward the dog with the food from the plate. Initially, all the animals attempted in vain to reach the food. However, by the second minute of testing, dogs began to look towards the humans. This increased over time and by the fourth minute there was a statistical difference. Dogs were more likely to initiate eye contact with the human experimenter than the wolves were. This is no small feat; initiating eye contact with the experimenter requires that the animal refocus its attention from the food to the human. Not only did the wolf pups not spontaneously initiate eye contact with the human experimenter, but they also failed to learn that eye contact was the key to solving their problem.>>

Summary: wolves keep trying; dogs give up & look to the human for help.

Consider the parallel with human beings before and after the smartphone era, when confronted with an informational problem.

Extrapolate forwards to a future in which humans live surrounded by AI (to an even greater extent than they do today).
pets  psychology  exercises-for-the-reader 
11 weeks ago
Ghost Spin, by Chris Moriarty (@Kindle)
Finished 2015-05-??. Moriarty is still skilled at the nuts and bolts of pulling you from one page to the next, but this one kind of fizzles out towards the end. And to be honest I don't remember that much about the prior two books in the series, despite how original they felt at the time I was reading them, so maybe I'm overrating her books overall?
booklog  finished:2015  fiction  science-fiction 
11 weeks ago
Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, by Natasha Dow Schüll (@Kindle)
Finished 2015-05-??. Recommended by indie game designer Dan Cook. The title makes this book's subject sound narrow, but there is so much fertile soil for thought here, for anyone interested in capitalism, technology, psychology, and the organization of human societies, that I can't even really summarize it right now, but I second Cook's recommendation.
booklog  finished:2015  nonfiction  game-design  psychology  sociology  las-vegas  stochastic-processes  economic-inequality  social-engineering 
11 weeks ago
Startup L. Jackson on Twitter: "Apple's Principled Position On Privacy Paradoxx. https://t.co/DGokR6MpEp http://t.co/sWCDv423tY"
This Twitter thread is a surprisingly rich mine of opinion IMO but it is a testament to how disastrously bad Twitter's UI is that you'll basically never parse it without machine aid.
privacy  apple  google  facebook  internet  business 
11 weeks ago
America's trailer parks: the residents may be poor but the owners are getting rich | Life and style | The Guardian
I met someone recently who worked in the real estate business professionally, and had bought a trailer park as a personal investment vehicle. I was pretty surprised, but I guess it's not as unusual as I thought. I'm not sure what to think of this; there is nothing inherently undignified about mobile housing as a technology, but in the American context here and now it's hard not to see the rise in trailer park occupancy as a further sign of worsening economic inequality.
housing  economics  america  real-estate 
may 2015
Star Guitar on Vimeo
an old favorite, reminded of it today by something on twtr
music  videos 
may 2015
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