Rick Kleffel talks to William MacAskill, the core of Effective Altruism, discussing EA and his book about it. It's much more pragmatic and entirely reasonable, not about extreme statistics and speculations." Read the rest
"Let's be bold -- let's join the rest of the world and go metric," said Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee when he announced his bid for the Oval Office. CNN interviews John Bemelmans Marciano, author of Whatever Happened to the Metric System?, about why the US is the only industrialized nation not to use the metric system in business, or most other fields. (Above, U.S. Office of Education public service announcement from 1978.) From CNN:
"People say the metric system makes sense," Marciano says, "But in nature we don't think about dividing things by 10, do we? We think of halves and feet and thirds."
Acres, for instance, were based on the amount of land a man could plow in a day.
"Throughout history we have measured things by ourselves," Marciano says. "We are really losing something with metric."
And another thing: People think the metric system has something to do with science. It doesn't, Marciano says, except that it is used in science and every scientist will probably put forth a convincing argument for why it's silly not to be metric.
"That's the biggest misconception," Marciano says. "The metric system has everything to do with capitalism. It's all about a selling system."
"Refusing to Give an Inch" (CNN)
If you like math, puzzles or winter sports, you need to play Sinerider, a sledding game where you transform the slope with math equations. Read the rest
Dev Gualtieri's newly published Secret Codes & Number Games: Cryptographic Projects & Number Games for Children Ages 5-16 is a thoughtfully designed introduction to crypto for kids. Read the rest
Vi Hart and Nicky Case created a brilliant "playable post" that challenges you to arrange two groups of polygons to make them "happy" by ensuring that no more than 2/3 of their neighbors are different. Read the rest