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#761 Bact PhD

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 06:22 PM

View PostHockeyDon, on 02 December 2018 - 05:58 PM, said:



In all honesty, I view it as a bit of a double-edged sword. There are so many aspects of my day-to-day routine that are mind-numbingly repetitive and that could be done by a well-trained high school dropout. For those things, it would be nice to let computers take care of it. On the other hand, the idea that computers will be making the sort of intuitive leaps people make now (in this specific case, engineers) but rather through the raw brute strength of computing power should be enough worry nearly every profession.

Chem PhD could identify with the first part of this paragraph. He’ll frequently refer to “lab chimp” work, LOL. Yet there are those days...
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#762 Bact PhD

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 06:27 PM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 02 December 2018 - 10:09 AM, said:

I doubt most US hospitals even stock chloramphenicol.

They’d probably have to call around to the research labs over in the Basic Science wing of the nearest Med school. Believe it or not, it’s still used over there. :-)
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

(About fame) Living for likes, shares and follows is a form of validation. The question is whether it is also the source of our self esteem. If it is, we’re screwed. And, culturally, it seems as if it’s become more and more our shared value. ... Meringue is no longer a sweet and pretty topping but the body itself. ~Charles Perez

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384, via LFC, 12/1/2016

Competent people go in one of a few directions. But incompetence is infinite. ~David Brooks, NY Times

#763 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 07:27 PM

View PostBact PhD, on 02 December 2018 - 06:27 PM, said:

They’d probably have to call around to the research labs over in the Basic Science wing of the nearest Med school. Believe it or not, it’s still used over there. :-)

Like typhoid? Apparently it's sufficiently better in terms of effect that the net mortality is lower even given the anemia.
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
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#764 LFC

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 09:48 PM

Models and photographers are feeling the march of technology. Stock photography is the first area to take the hit.

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Check out these rather ordinary looking portraits. They’re all fake. Not in the sense that they were Photoshopped, but rather they were completely generated by artificial intelligence. That’s right: none of these people actually exist.

NVIDIA researchers have published a new paper on easily customizing the style of realistic faces created by a generative adversarial network (GAN).

None of these are real people.

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These are all fake cars:

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" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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#765 LFC

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 11:03 PM

I haven't had a chance to get through it yet but this article covers the topic of the wealth gap. Nothing new for us TRSers but just more evidence that everything Republicans say about giving the wealthy more, more, and yet more is a steaming pile of Trump.

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YOU are probably aware that there are high levels of inequality in the world and that inequality is getting worse. But it is unlikely that you appreciate just how unequal things are. So here is a way of visualising it. Take the wealth of the eight richest people on the planet and combine it. Now do the same for the poorest 3.5 billion. The two sums are the same, £350 billion. Correct: just eight people own as much wealth as half of the world’s population.

That is just one of many eye-watering measures of inequality. Consider that in the US, almost 85 per cent of the wealth is owned by just 20 per cent of the population, and the bottom 40 per cent own just 0.3 per cent of it. In 1960, a chief executive in the US typically earned 20 times as much as an average worker. Today it is more like 354 times.

Most people find these numbers shocking, even obscene, and inequality has become one of the world’s most serious issues. Early in his second term, President Obama called it “the defining challenge of our time”; Pope Francis has described it as “the root of social evil”. The general public also rank it highly. When the Pew Research Center asked people in 44 countries whether they thought the gap between rich and poor was a “big problem”, a majority in all 44 said it was. A majority in 28 said it was a “very big” problem.

The idea that inequality needs to be reduced now almost goes without saying. I agree – but my training as a cognitive scientist warns me we should be careful how we go about it. Some fights for equality, such as against racial prejudice, are morally straightforward. But the battle against economic inequality isn’t so simple.

As surprising as it might seem at first, some economic inequality is actually morally good. I recently explored this issue in the journal Nature Human Behaviour with two of my colleagues at Yale, Christina Starmans and Paul Bloom. We concluded that a crucial step in fighting inequality is realising that it is not all bad. If we want to beat inequality, we must first distinguish between the bad sort and the good sort.

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" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#766 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 10:39 AM

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If we want to beat inequality, we must first distinguish between the bad sort and the good sort.

Don't leave me hanging bra!
Fear Sells!

Cui bono?

"The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology." - EO Wilson.

#767 LFC

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:56 AM

View PostBeelzebuddy, on 04 January 2019 - 10:39 AM, said:

Don't leave me hanging bra!

Words uttered by heavily "endowed" women everywhere.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#768 AnBr

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 09:28 AM

Industrial concentration is driving income inequality

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Almost all the focus in industrial concentration has been on profits, productivity, and investment, but the biggest impact has been on wages. Workers have systematically lost power versus large companies that now dominate industries.

Dozens of studies now document how industrial concentration is driving income inequality. The smoking gun, however, has been missing. Researchers had the intuition but could not prove that monopsonies, particularly at the local level, affected consumer wages.

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

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Second inaugural address January, 1937

#769 Traveler

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 10:14 AM

This. Not enough likes for that article.

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Passing on cost savings to consumers is a wonderful story that has no basis in reality. Dozens of economic studies have shown that businesses don’t get more efficient after a merger. The simple truth is that they make more money because they gain market power and can get away with higher prices. Professor Rodolfo Grullon found in his major study on industrial concentration that there is no clear relation between the efficient use of assets and concentration. The main reason companies made money was because they had market power.

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#770 Traveler

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:55 PM

This looks really interesting, for those here far more competent than me. It came from this article by Fox. Bottom line, the tax cuts hurt.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire





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