Philip Tetlock’s Tomorrows. Every night for nearly a month last year, Reed Roberts woke up at 3 a.m. to check the newest real-time data on something not very many people think about: the melting of Arctic Sea ice. This unusual interest is part of what makes Roberts — then a Ph.D. candidate in organic chemistry at the University of Cambridge and now an analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit — a superforecaster, or a nonexpert who can make extraordinarily accurate predictions about future political events. His existence and methodology have been a curiosity of sorts for researchers like Philip E.
Tetlock, the psychologist who ran experiments proving that people like Roberts not only exist but can be trained to become even more accurate. At first glance, it might seem surprising that Tetlock, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is the one to champion such ideas. He has been best known for telling the world, in his 2005 book Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? The Mystery of Marriage. My husband and I got married last fall because we wanted to have a party. I doubt our friends, our family, or anybody else we know would have been surprised if we’d never done it at all: if we had continued living together, loving each other, one day having children, all without exchanging rings.
The wedding was ideal—great cake, accessible by subway—but our life didn’t change after it was over. It never occurred to us that I would take his name; I didn’t want to (and didn’t) get pregnant. We live in the same small Brooklyn apartment we’d lived in before, and our finances are still only haphazardly half-combined. We weren’t expecting that our affection would either grow or diminish, and it hasn’t. Getting married wasn’t a romantic leap; neither was it merely, or even mostly, a pragmatic step. Whatever it was—delightfully unnecessary wrapping on an already very good present, perhaps—we made sure that there was more than plenty to drink. Welcome to Forbes. Learning how to live. Illustration: Magnet Reps. Stop what you’re doing. I don’t mean stop reading this, or whatever you’re doing while you’re reading (brushing your teeth, eating, waiting for the water to boil). I mean consider the possibility of stopping whatever your answer is to the conversational gambit, “And what do you do?”
Try putting the appropriate response in the past tense: “I used to be [. . .]” It’s very likely, unless your interlocutor gives up on you at that point (as an academic sitting at a Cambridge “feast” once did, turning to her other neighbour for the rest of the meal when I told her I was a novelist), that the follow-up question will be: “So what do you do now?”
You might attempt to circumvent this with “I used to be [. . .] but now I’m retired”, if you look old enough, or if you’re younger you could try, “I used to be [. . .] but now I’m vastly wealthy”, but the chances are that the next question will still be in the conceptual area of “What do you do now?” Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney. Photo In our first year in Washington, our son disappeared. Just shy of his 3rd birthday, an engaged, chatty child, full of typical speech — “I love you,” “Where are my Ninja Turtles?” “Let’s get ice cream!” — fell silent. He cried, inconsolably. Didn’t sleep. I had just started a job as The Wall Street Journal’s national affairs reporter. After visits to several doctors, we first heard the word “autism.” In the year since his diagnosis, Owen’s only activity with his brother, Walt, is something they did before the autism struck: watching Disney movies.
Then Walt slips out to play with friends, and Owen keeps watching. We ask our growing team of developmental specialists, doctors and therapists about it. So we join him upstairs, all of us, on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon in November 1994. When the song is over, Owen lifts the remote. “Come on, Owen, just let it play!” Go ahead — make your choice! I’m a very busy woman, and I haven’t got all day. It won’t cost much, just your voice! Why Too Much Data Disables Your Decision Making. Quick, think back to a major decision. You know, the kind that compelled you to read everything on a topic and lead you to spend hours devouring every last scrap of data. How'd that work out for you? We like to think that more information drives smarter decisions; that the more details we absorb, the better off we'll be. It's why we subscribe to Google Alerts, cling to our iPhone, and fire up our TweetDeck.
Knowledge, we're told, is power. But what if our thirst for data is actually holding us back? That's the question raised by Princeton and Stanford University psychologists in a fascinating study titled On the Pursuit and Misuse of Useless Information. Their experiment was simple. Imagine that you are a loan officer at a bank reviewing the mortgage application of a recent college graduate with a stable, well-paying job and a solid credit history.
Group 2 saw the same paragraph with one crucial difference. Here's where the study gets clever. The result? Remember Seinfeld and Friends? Finding 'Life, Death And Hope' In A Mumbai Slum. Next to Mumbai's bustling international airport, a boy picks through refuse, looking for pieces he can recycle and sell to support his family of 11. He is a resident of Annawadi, a slum built on a patch of reclaimed swampland — now fringed by luxury hotels. As economists and activists fret over increasing income inequality in America, scenes like this one from journalist Katherine Boo's new book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, are a forceful reminder of the extreme disparity of wealth that exist all over the world — and what people must do to survive. Boo, a Pulitzer Prize-winner who earned acclaim for her pieces on poverty in America, became a regular visitor to Mumbai after she married a man from India.
She tells Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep how she felt compelled to investigate further after witnessing the struggles of Mumbai's poor. Abdul, the hero of Boo's book, is a young man struggling to eke out a living when he's falsely accused of setting a neighbor on fire. Heleen Welvaart. Slum Children’s Capacity to Aspire – Policy Lessons | Slow Thinking. In my previous post, I presented my initial thoughts after reading Katherine Boo’s recent book “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity”.
I have maintained an active academic and professional interest in public interventions related to urban poverty and slums in cities of the South ever since my undergraduate days in India. Katherine Boo’s book was therefore more than of mere sentimental value to me. I found it a rich source of information on a number of policy arenas – corruption, urban poverty, urban land and labor markets, electoral politics, education, public health, policing, slum resettlement, rural-to-urban migration – just to name a few. Let us take the issue of corruption as an example. The book describes several instances of corruption in different forms. But singling out residents’ financial condition as THE cause of their misery misses the intricate web of causes that Katherine Boo so remarkably manages to document. Like this:
Q&A with Katherine Boo, Author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Bill Gates: How did you pick the particular slum and the people that you profiled in the book? Katherine Boo: Although I’d been spending time in slums all over Mumbai, I kept gravitating to Annawadi because of the hope there. In 2008, preventable disease was rampant and only six of 3,000 residents had permanent work, but the place was still frantic with the optimism and entrepreneurial energy you noted in your review. By scavenging and selling recyclable garbage, hawking marigold garlands in traffic, picking up day jobs at construction sites, and identifying other market niches in the prospering airport area, nearly every family in the slum had crossed the Indian government’s poverty line, if not the World Bank benchmark. One young woman, Manju Waghekar, was poised to become the slum’s first female college graduate. In other words, the Annawadians were no longer just subsisting. That’s not to say that Annawadi is a perfect microcosm or “representative” slum.
Special guest post: Nayomi Munaweera, Island of a Thousand Mirrors | satsumabug.com. Happy Friday, my very dears, and welcome to a special edition of the Open Mic — I’m resurrecting it today to celebrate a special occasion! My friend and fellow IWL writer Nayomi Munaweera has published her first book, Island of a Thousand Mirrors. It is a beautiful and vividly written novel with characters who felt real and dear to me from the very beginning. The story colored all my days as I read (filling my Reykjavík living room with Sri Lankan scenery and the sounds of civil war!) , and I haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since. I’m so excited about Island of a Thousand Mirrors, I wanted to share it with you.
A conversation with Nayomi Munaweera, author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors Hi Nayomi! The book is about two families struggling to survive the Sri Lankan civil war which engulfed the country from about 1983 to 2009. How did the idea(s) come to you? The ideas came to me gradually. When I did start, the story sort of unfolded by itself. It took me 5 years to write it. Leslie T. Chang: The voices of China's workers. The Science of Loneliness: How Isolation Can Kill You. Sometime in the late ’50s, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann sat down to write an essay about a subject that had been mostly overlooked by other psychoanalysts up to that point. Even Freud had only touched on it in passing. She was not sure, she wrote, “what inner forces” made her struggle with the problem of loneliness, though she had a notion.
It might have been the young female catatonic patient who began to communicate only when Fromm-Reichmann asked her how lonely she was. “She raised her hand with her thumb lifted, the other four fingers bent toward her palm,” Fromm-Reichmann wrote. The thumb stood alone, “isolated from the four hidden fingers.” Fromm-Reichmann responded gently, “That lonely?” Fromm-Reichmann would later become world-famous as the dumpy little therapist mistaken for a housekeeper by a new patient, a severely disturbed schizophrenic girl named Joanne Greenberg. In a way, these discoveries are as consequential as the germ theory of disease. Who are the lonely? Aaron Swartz: howtoget. Talk, as prepared, for the Tathva 2007 computer conference at NIT Calicut. (Additional notes.) Translations: 日本語 The American writer Kurt Vonnegut used to always title his talks "How to Get a Job Like Mine" and then proceed to talk about whatever he felt like. I'm in a bit of the opposite situation.
I was told I could talk about whatever I felt like and I decided that, instead of pontificating for a while about the future of the Internet or the power of mass collaboration, the most interesting thing I could talk about was probably "How to Get a Job Like Mine". So how did I get a job like mine? But, on the other hand, when I started I was a very young kid stuck in a small town in the middle of the country. Step 1: Learn The first thing I did, which presumably all of you have already got covered, was to learn about computers, the Internet, and Internet culture. Step 2: Try The first site I built was called get.info. The second site I built was called my.info. Step 3: Gab Step 4: Build. 'Zero Dark Thirty' Is Osama bin Laden's Last Victory Over America | Indian Soap Operas, Ruled by Mothers-in-Law. Kuni Takahashi for The New York Times The Bhats, of Mumbai, watch soap operas together. They are the law. Soap operas dominate prime time here and the mother-in-law reigns in almost all of them.
However plucky the heroine or serpentine the plot, every love story seems to circle back to marriage and the many relatives who come with the words “I do.” The extended family is still the bedrock of Indian society, where modernization meets its match. Television isn’t an insurrectionist force in India. The rules can seem confounding to outsiders: India is a country where female infanticide can be a soap opera plot point in prime time but scenes of casual dating are taboo. Speed-clicking the remote after 8 p.m. is like watching a PowerPoint display of passion in hot pink, glimmering tears and the occasional stinging slap across the face.
That may be a fantasy, but matriarchal interference (call it guidance) is marriage Indian-style. What Happens to All the Asian-American Overachievers When the Test-Taking Ends? Sometimes I’ll glimpse my reflection in a window and feel astonished by what I see. Jet-black hair. Slanted eyes. A pancake-flat surface of yellow-and-green-toned skin. An expression that is nearly reptilian in its impassivity. I’ve contrived to think of this face as the equal in beauty to any other. But what I feel in these moments is its strangeness to me. Millions of Americans must feel estranged from their own faces. You could say that I am, in the gently derisive parlance of Asian-Americans, a banana or a Twinkie (yellow on the outside, white on the inside). Here is what I sometimes suspect my face signifies to other Americans: an invisible person, barely distinguishable from a mass of faces that resemble it. I’ve always been of two minds about this sequence of stereotypes.
Let me summarize my feelings toward Asian values: Fuck filial piety. I understand the reasons Asian parents have raised a generation of children this way. School for quants. Inside UCL’s Financial Computing Centre, the planet’s brightest quantitative analysts are now calculating our future On a recent winter’s afternoon, nine computer science students were sitting around a conference table in the engineering faculty at University College London. The room was strip-lit, unadorned, and windowless. On the wall, a formerly white whiteboard was a dirty cloud, tormented by the weight of technical scribblings and rubbings-out upon it. A poster in the corner described the importance of having a heterogenous experimental network, or Hen. Six of the students were undergraduates. During the meeting, Galas asked each undergraduate about a particular corner of the database.
©Richard Nicholson Philip Treleaven, director of the Financial Computing Centre, believes that the meeting of computing power and fine young brains will transform problem-solving Every now and again, though, the discussion became comprehensible. Of course it all looks rather different now. Martha Beck: Impotent Rage. Video: How Steve Jobs's Early Vision For Apple Inspired A Decade Of Innovation. Eds. Note: Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, has passed away at the age of 56, leaving behind a larger-than-life legacy which no obituary could possibly capture. As colleagues and family members and all those who he inspired begin to reflect on his life and impact, it's impossible not to do so without feeling an almost shared sadness, as if the world is collectively mourning the loss of a close relative--even if most of us weren't fortunate to meet him.
We all knew this day was coming, but we can't believe it came so soon. Simply put, Steve Jobs made our lives better, and the world is a worse place without his presence and vision. In his memory, we'll be re-publishing stories on Jobs and all that he came to represent. Please leave your thoughts and memories in the comments below. Steve Jobs's return to Apple in 1997 is often referred to as the greatest second act in business history. That all changed when Jobs came back, and breathed new life into the struggling company. The Digital Hub.
I want to be alone: the rise and rise of solo living. Got Cheap Milk? - By Charles Kenny. The Querent. Dan Savage on the Virtues of Infidelity. Online Dating: Sex, Love, and Loneliness. Yawning Bread on Wordpress. My Summer at an Indian Call Center. I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave. Subtle Parenting Choices in Our American-Palestinian Jewish-Musl - InterfaithFamily.com.
Chinese Citizens on Tour in Europe. What Happens When You Live Abroad. What the science of human nature can teach us. Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs. Does meditation make people act more rationally? : Thoughts from Kansas. The Self in Self-Help. Naomi Wolf on Why Porn Turns Men Off the Real Thing. Was the Cowardly Lion Just Masturbating Too Much? Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? - Magazine. The Vegetarian Society.