Thursday, September 1, 2016

Poverty Metrics

Rocinha Favela

Satellite images used to predict poverty
BBC News, Aug 2016

Night lights, paved roads and metal roofs are markers that can help distinguish different levels of economic wellbeing in developing countries, and are surprisingly predictive...

More Three-Body

It's hard to predict the orbital mechanics of three bodies, as seen here. 

Astronomers have found an Earthlike planet in the habitable zone of the closest star to the sun
Toronto Star, Aug 2016

I don't get paid by Liu Cixin or anything but I am crazy about his book, Three Body Problem. And in current news, his story is becoming even more plausible, as the origin for his alien race of Trisolarians is a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the same planet that has now been verified into existence. The Centauri star system is our closest Milky Way neighbor; it's four light years away.

I Network Therefore I Am

The Brainmap, ie the Connectome.
I'll just leave these here, as the paradigm inevitably shifts from physics to network science, we see more promise of finding the evasive rainbow
of human consciousness.

A new study looks for the cortical conscious network, Aug 2016

Network theory sheds new light on origins of consciousness
Medical Xpress, March 2015


Mostly unrelated image.

Today in the Can’t Make This Shit Up Department:

Ars Technica, Aug 2016

"Earlier this year, Facebook denied criticisms that its Trending feature was surfacing news stories that were biased against conservatives. But in an abrupt reversal, the company fired all the human editors for Trending on Friday afternoon, replacing them with an algorithm that promotes stories based entirely on what Facebook users are talking about. Within 72 hours, according to the Washington Post, the top story on Trending was about how Fox News icon Megyn Kelly was a pro-Clinton "traitor" who had been fired (she wasn't).
"There were so many problems with this story, ranging from plagiarism to falsity, that even a fairly simple-minded robot editor should have caught them. The Trending algorithm is clearly not ready for prime time, or maybe Facebook is just trying to redefine what it calls "a breadth of ideas and commentary about a variety of topics."

So, first, we don’t trust humans to give us information because they’re biased. We put it in the hands of the computers instead. Then we realize that since the computers are only doing what we are doing, they can’t be trusted either. … All Hail.