As far as I can tell, what happens at these companies is that they started by concentrating almost totally on product growth. That’s completely and totally reasonable, because companies are worth approximately zero when they’re founded; they don’t bother with things that protect them from losses, like good ops practices or actually having security, because there’s nothing to lose.

The result is a culture where people are hyper-focused on growth and ignore risk. That culture tends to stick even after company has grown to be worth well over a billion dollars, and the companies have something to lose. Anyone who comes into one of these companies from Google, Amazon, or another place with solid ops practices is shocked. Often, they try to fix things, and then leave when they can’t make a dent.

- How people come to believe that completely messed up practices are normal - Dan Luu
Prosecutors didn’t just accuse Mr. Porter of lying or engaging in a cover-up. They suggested that the department has a “stop snitching” code for its officers just as repulsive as the one on the streets. And the defense attorneys didn’t just portray Mr. Porter as an inexperienced cop who was following the lead of experienced officers. They drew a picture of a department where training is cursory and where standards of conduct are routinely ignored — if officers even bother to read them in the first place.
- Mistrial for William Porter, clear verdict on the Baltimore Police Department - Baltimore Sun
If we were really not allowed to say anything about [a hypothesis], significance testing would be completely useless, but in fact it is only mostly useless.
- Many rules of statistics are wrong - Allen Downey
Why parenting may not matter and why most social science is wrong | Quillette

The point, however, is that we have spent decades churning out correlations and we have no idea whether the findings were polluted by unmeasured genetic factors. That’s frightening, especially since public policies have been built on some of these potentially illusory correlations.

consider an analogy suggested by my colleague Rehana Patel:  Suppose you estimate that the median height of people in class C is six feet.  You could not meaningfully say that the median height of Mr. Smith is six feet.  Only the class has a median height, individuals do not.
- Recidivism and single-case probabilities - Allen Downey

[Matt] Frost thinks we should pay the organizations which own underground coal deposits—specifically, the U.S. government—for the right to never mine it.

“The U.S. coal deposits represent a potential store of future CO₂ emissions,” Frost told me. “The assumption, the policy assumption, is that they need to be extracted. But what if we just sequester this carbon while it’s still in coal form?”


Climate-Concerned Billionaires Should Buy Coal - Robinson Meyer

It’s plain that Bill Gates would never spend $2b buying coal rather than funding a clean-energy research initiative, no matter which were likely to be more effective. It’s interesting and instructive to ponder why that is.

Today in Texas, former prosecutor and judge Ken Anderson pled guilty to intentionally failing to disclose evidence in a case that sent an innocent man, Michael Morton, to prison for the murder of his wife. When trying the case as a prosecutor, Anderson possessed evidence that may have cleared Morton, including statements from the crime’s only eyewitness that Morton wasn’t the culprit. Anderson sat on this evidence, and then watched Morton get convicted. While Morton remained in prison for the next 25 years, Anderson’s career flourished, and he eventually became a judge
- For the First Time Ever, a Prosecutor Will Go to Jail for Wrongfully Convicting an Innocent Man - Mark Godsey
Perhaps the most dramatic example of a massive scandal that cannot seem to be reversed involves Annie Dookhan, a chemist who worked at a Massachusetts state lab drug analysis unit. Dookhan was sentenced in 2013 to at least three years in prison, after pleading guilty in 2012 to having falsified thousands of drug tests.
- Massachusetts crime lab scandal worsen - Dahlia Lithwick
Both these alternatives — walkable communities and co-housing — likely sound exotic to American ears. Thanks to shifting baselines, most Americans only know single-family dwellings and auto-dependent land use. They cannot even articulate what they are missing and often misidentify the solution as more or different private consumption.
- How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult - David Roberts
The <input> API isn’t quirky — it’s literally just a jar of spiders, and the moment you open the jar, it’s too late. You’re covered in spiders. Even your cat is a spider now. Better find some fire.
- <input> I ♡ you, but you’re bringing me down – Monica Dinculescu