Economics research considered unreplicable


Andrew C. Chang and Phillip Li undertook a study of "67 papers published in 13 well-regarded economics journals" for the US Federal Reserve and attempted to replicate their conclusions, using the code and data-sets provided by the authors: in two-thirds of cases, they were unable to replicate the findings without help with the authors; with the help of authors, they were still only able to replicate 49% of the papers. Read the rest

Study: tracking every RPG book in every public & academic library in the world


Edd writes, "I am a professor at Ithaca College in New York. Recently for a research study I tracked almost every Role Playing Game Book circulating in every public and academic library in the world." Read the rest

WATCH: goopy simulated meltful armadillos


A. Peer, M. Ihmsen, J. Cornelis and M. Teschner's SIGGRAPH paper "An Implicit Viscosity Formulation for SPH Fluids," explored techniques for simulating the physics of smoothed-particle hydrodynamics -- solids that melt and squoosh into liquids and slimes. As interesting as the paper is, the video is a showstopper -- never have simulated anthropomorphic armadillo action-figures been so meltfully delightful! Read the rest

Transgenic mouse company pays academics who cite them in papers

Cyagen also makes stem cells and other bio-research materials: they'll pay academics $100 in vouchers per citation, multiplied by the impact factor of the journal in which the paper is published. Read the rest

Fast-moving Internet Law casebook

Internet law troublemaker James Grimmelmann (previously) has released the fifth edition of his $30 DRM-free casebook ($65 for print) of Internet law, "a fast-moving casebook for a fast-moving subject." Read the rest

Kansas officials stonewall mathematician investigating voting machine "sabotage"

Wichita State University's Beth Clarkson (who is also chief statistician of WSU's National Institute for Aviation Research) discovered "odd patterns" in Kansas electoral voting records, so she requested public docs to help her get to the bottom of things -- requests that state officials ignored, dodged, and stalled. Read the rest

Why privacy activists and economists should be on the same side

Ryan Calo writes, "I argue in a new paper that economists and privacy advocates don't need to hate one another... Here's the abstract:" Read the rest

University of Toronto upholds "alternative medicine" course that denied vaccines, taught "quantum medicine"

The course was taught under the Anthropology department by "homeopath" Beth Landau-Halpern, who is married to the dean of the Scarborough campus, and who had been previously caught on hidden camera selling sugar pills to parents and calling them "vaccine alternatives." Read the rest

Fhtagn! The inceptionized route from noise to latent doglizards, in 5:36

Take Google Research's "inceptionism" white-paper on AI-based pattern matching and feed it random noise, then recurse the output over and over, and the deep doglizards of reality come out to play. Read the rest

Computer scientists on the excruciating stupidity of banning crypto

A paper from some of the most important names in crypto/security history scorchingly condemns plans by the US and UK governments to ban "strong" (e.g. "working") crypto. Read the rest

When Firms Become Persons and Persons Become Firms: outstanding lecture

UC Berkeley Political Scientist Wendy Brown came to the London School of Economics last week to discuss her book Undoing the Demos, and her lecture (MP3) is literally the best discussion of how and why human rights are being taken away from humans and given to corporations. Read the rest

Brown fat therapy reverses Type I diabetes in mouse trial

A Vanderbilt University School of Medicine study published in Endocrinology and Metabolism found that mice with Type I diabetes that received brown fat transplants had their diabetes reversed 53% of the time. Read the rest

Call for papers: Copycamp in Warsaw

Marta from the Modern Poland Foundation writes, "we've announced an open call for speakers at the 4th International CopyCamp Conference (November 4, 2015 in Warsaw, Poland) focused around the impacts of copyright on the social changes around the world." Read the rest

We've evolved to disbelieve evolution

Experimental psychologists find that humans prefer explanations for events that have certainty and a sense of purpose over undirected randomness. Read the rest

You'll falafel about this horrifying new pita-sized crypto-key-sniffing hack

I nearly falafel my chair when I read about the Israeli researchers who've designed a device that can derive crypto keys from the unintentional radio signals emitted by a computer's CPU—and miniaturized it until it can fit into a pita. Read the rest

Doctoral dissertation in graphic novel form


Columbia University awarded a doctorate in education to Nick Sousanis for Unflattening, a graphic novel about the relationship between words and pictures in literature. Read the rest

Teaching image-recognition algorithms to produce nightmarish hellscapes

In "Inceptionism," scientists at Google Research describe their work training neural nets with sets of images, then tweaking the "layers" of neural net nodes to produce weird outcomes. Read the rest

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