The word “disorder” occurs so many times that it almost detaches itself from any real signification, so that the implied existence of an ordered state against which a disorder can be measured nearly vanishes is almost forgotten. Throughout the novel, this ordered normality never appears except as an inference; it is the object of a subdued, hopeless yearning. With normality as a negatively defined and nebulously perfect ideal, anything and everything can then be condemned as a deviation from it.
Higher levels of human development—including long and healthy life, equal access to knowledge and education, and economic wealth—were the main nation-level predictors of sex difference variation across cultures… It looks as if personality differences between men and women are smaller in traditional cultures like India’s or Zimbabwe’s than in the Netherlands or the United States. A husband and a stay-at-home wife in a patriarchal Botswanan clan seem to be more alike than a working couple in Denmark or France.
POSIX time itself is not monotonic.
That last one might come as a surprise, because we usually think of POSIX time as being “the number of seconds since an epoch”. This isn’t quite true. Because Of Reasons, POSIX days are defined as 86400 seconds in length. However, real days aren’t exactly 86400 seconds. The powers-that-be occasionally schedule leap seconds to correct for the drift. On those occasions, the system clock will either skip a second, or double-count a second–e.g., counting 59:60.7, 59:60.8, 59:60.9, 59:60.0, 59:60.1, and then repeating the previous second’s worth of timestamps before continuing on.
There are some POSIX timestamps which do not refer to any time, and there are some POSIX timestamps which refer to two distinct times. This most recently happened on July 1st, 2012, and again a month later. This causes so many problems that Google actually smears out the leap second over the course of the day, preserving monotonicity.
In particular, the humanists were unhappy with the Earth’s position in the scheme of things. She was in the bottom of the world, farther from Heaven than anything but Hell itself. Hell was situated in the center of the Earth, which was assumed therefore to be incredibly hot. The humanists wanted to raise the position of the Earth (and hence, of humans) by elevating her into the heavens. Since the Ptolemaic system was beginning to falter from those accumulative copyist errors, they decided to make fresh new accurate observations of the heavens.
Ha-ha. TOF is joking, of course. They were humanists! No, they decided instead to turn the entire universe inside out.
So, what I’m really hoping is that Gladwell rereads his own response:
There is a place for storytelling, in all of its messiness… . narratives sometimes begin in one place and end in another.
Try resisting the urge to tie every story into a bow. Let some of the loose ends hang out. I think that’s what Chabris is trying to say.
But consider what Gladwell’s quote means. He is saying that if you understand his topics enough to see what he is doing wrong, then you are not the reader he wants. At a stroke he has said that anyone equipped to properly review his work should not be reading it. How convenient! Those who are left are only those who do not think the material is oversimplified.
A common task I do when I find myself over thinking my throws or when I want to get back to letting my muscle memory take over is picking a random big number in my head, say 753, and start counting down by 7s from there.
Di Canio, by contrast, keeps leaping borders into different roles — he’s a clown! No, he’s a drill sergeant! No, he’s a villain! — and thus drawing attention to the fact that, basically, within the context of an actual human life, these roles are total bullshit.
No amount of actual discussion can take place as long as the critics view the very act of counterargument as morally indefensible because of the class or gender of the defenders, or the language used.
The variation in the genomes found in a single person is too large to be ignored.
Let me start with a well-established fact: by and large the programming community displays a very ambivalent attitude towards the problem of program correctness. A major part of the average programmer’s activity is devoted to debugging, and from this observation we may conclude that the correctness of his programs —or should we say: their patent incorrectness?— is for him a matter of considerable concern. I claim that a programmer has only done a decent job when his program is flawless and not when his program is functioning properly only most of the time. But I have had plenty of opportunity to observe that this suggestion is repulsive to many professional programmers: they object to it violently!
McCulloch and Pitts had put together the idea of a very simple artificial neuron, a computational neuron, which had multiple inputs and a single branching output and a threshold for firing, and the inputs were either inhibitory or excitatory. They proved that in principle a neural net made of these logical neurons could compute anything you wanted to compute. So this was very exciting. It meant that basically you could treat the brain as a computer and treat the neuron as a sort of basic switching element in the computer, and that was certainly an inspiring over-simplification. Everybody knew is was an over-simplification, but people didn’t realize how much, and more recently it’s become clear to me that it’s a dramatic over-simplification, because each neuron, far from being a simple logical switch, is a little agent with an agenda, and they are much more autonomous and much more interesting than any switch.
the NSA engages in economic espionage against Petrobras, the Brazilian giant oil company
A sad look came over [George Plimpton], and he said, “Years ago, after we’d done the interview, Papa invited me down again to Cuba.” George had done a justifiably famous interview with Ernest Hemingway for the magazine, and usually referred to him as “Papa”, as Hemingway had encouraged him to do.
"It was right after the revolution," George continued. One afternoon, Hemingway told him, "There’s something you should see." The nature of the expedition was a mystery; Hemingway made a shaker of drinks, daiquiris or whatever. They got in the car with a few others and drove some way out of town. They got out, set up chairs and took out the drinks, as if they were going to watch the sunset. Soon, a truck arrived. This, explained George, was what they’d been waiting for. It came, as Hemingway knew, the same time each day. It stopped and some men with guns got out of it. In the back were a couple of dozen others who were tied up. Prisoners.
The men with guns hustled the others out of the back of the truck, and lined them up. Then they shot them. They put the bodies back into the truck.