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blacks swans, the dragon king, and the power law

How Dragon Kings Could Trump Black Swans, MIT Technology Review, 4 AUG 2009.
Sornette goes on to identify a number of data sets showing power laws with outliers that he says are the result of positive feedback mechanisms that make them much larger than their peers. He calls these events dragon kings. What’s interesting about them is that they are entirely unaccounted for by a current understanding of power laws, from which Nassim Nicholas Taleb built the idea of black swans.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:35 PM Feb 24 2017 - 7 comments [35 favorites]

Meet The Man Who Stopped Thousands Of People Becoming HIV-Positive

A few days before Christmas 2016, a phone call took place that no one could have predicted. One of the world’s most esteemed HIV doctors, Professor Sheena McCormack – whose life’s work as an epidemiologist has been to track and fight the virus – picked up the phone to deliver a message that would make headline news: In the space of 12 months, the number of gay men in London being diagnosed with HIV had dropped by 40%. The man McCormack credited with this unprecedented reduction in HIV transmissions was not a fellow doctor, nor the head of a charity, nor even a politician. Greg Owen is unemployed, a former sex worker, and homeless. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 9:08 AM Feb 25 2017 - 28 comments [28 favorites]

The Competing States Hypothesis

How Europe became so rich - "In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:32 AM Feb 24 2017 - 61 comments [71 favorites (23 in the past 24 hours)]

"The concept of being able to do literally anything is hard to grasp"

Arbitrary Code Execution Glitches in video games have allowed creators of Tool-Assisted Speedruns break open a game entirely, using nothing more than the controller inputs that are normally used to guide in-game actions.

Originally used just to skip to the end credits screens, since then ACE has been used to program games to run other games. One recent example by MrWint, begins as a demonstration of running Pokemon Gold from within Pokemon Yellow, and quickly escalates from there. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 3:37 PM Feb 24 2017 - 25 comments [20 favorites]

Democrats: Now what?

Which way, Democrats?
What Democrats should learn from 2016
The wrong way to rebuild the Democratic Party
posted by latkes at 4:11 PM Feb 24 2017 - 225 comments [20 favorites]

The Jobs Americans Do

Popular ideas about the working class are woefully out of date. Here are nine people who tell a truer story of what the American work force does today — and will do tomorrow. [slNYT]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:59 PM Feb 24 2017 - 11 comments [19 favorites]

Or eight legged Proclaimers?

Numerous pictures of animals that look like they're about to drop the hottest albums of the year.
posted by howfar at 1:00 PM Feb 24 2017 - 31 comments [31 favorites (15 in the past 24 hours)]

Triumph of the Will and the Cinematic Language of Propaganda

Folding Ideas is a Youtube channel that analyzes movies and video games. By popular demand, the latest video is on Triumph of the Will and how it reflects fascist ideology and the historical context in which it was made.
posted by RobotHero at 7:18 PM Feb 23 2017 - 21 comments [46 favorites (13 in the past 24 hours)]

I accidentally bought a giant pig

The vet that said if Esther really was six months old, she was possibly a sick runt and would grow to about 200lb, the size of a very large dog. But by her first birthday she had blown past 250lb; she was on track to be at least 500lb.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:44 PM Feb 25 2017 - 39 comments [13 favorites]

Do a Pubmed search after talking to your doctor

When evidence says no, but your doctor says yes [more inside]
posted by peacheater at 10:41 AM Feb 25 2017 - 13 comments [11 favorites]

Caesar, ironically, was born the usual way

C-sections are a boon for humans, who can have very complicated birth situations due to their big heads. But they're not the only mammals with C-sections! (Note: ALL VIDEOS ARE GROSS.) [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:37 PM Feb 24 2017 - 14 comments [10 favorites]

Cloudflare not happy times

Cloudflare CDN has been dumping uninitialized memory from its reverse proxies, including all sorts of things that are supposed to be under HTTPS. Like passwords and private messages from dating sites and cookies and online password manager data. [more inside]
posted by hleehowon at 5:57 PM Feb 23 2017 - 133 comments [37 favorites (9 in the past 24 hours)]

Lo Mein and Plantains

Take a trip to Manhattan's Upper West Side and you might come across a ungentififed relic of naturally occurring fusion cuisine - La Caridad 78 - the last remaining Cuban-Chinese restaurant in town.
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 AM Feb 24 2017 - 29 comments [24 favorites (9 in the past 24 hours)]

19 TripAdvisor User Who Are 100% Done with Scotland

Edinburgh Dungeon: "I don't like it. The actors have Scottish accents and its very hard to understand." [SLBF]
posted by DarlingBri at 4:58 AM Feb 25 2017 - 48 comments [9 favorites]

Doubling the RDA for Fruits and Veggies

New research indicates we should eat 10, not 5, fruits and veggies a day. Here are some real people who talk about how they manage it.
posted by Michele in California at 11:09 AM Feb 25 2017 - 51 comments [9 favorites]

We can fly with our spirit

Miyazaki Dreams of Flying by Zach Prewitt. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:56 AM Feb 24 2017 - 30 comments [20 favorites (7 in the past 24 hours)]

My conclusion: I really don’t understand why dancers turn CW.

Ballet photographer Kent G. Becker asks, Why Do Ballet Dancers Turn Clockwise? While he doesn't come up with a good reason other than "tradition", it's an interesting look at how little variation there is, even compared to other spinning endeavors -- athletes seem to turn mostly counterclockwise, but not as overwhelmingly as ballet dancers.
posted by Etrigan at 8:45 AM Feb 24 2017 - 34 comments [15 favorites (7 in the past 24 hours)]

The photography of Maria Svarbova

Maria Svarbova is a Slovakian photographer who specializes in white and pastel compositions with bright accents, featuring people in carefully static and sometimes eerily affectless poses. The Dining Room. Pool Without Water. Healthy Teeth, Good Mood.

Standing apart somewhat from the rest and visually remarkable in its own right is (n.b. nudity) God's Mirror.
posted by cortex at 1:59 PM Feb 24 2017 - 6 comments [9 favorites (7 in the past 24 hours)]

“...the dogs run on about ten acres of her family’s 142-acre farm.”

Our Lady of Strays [Outside] “The world's greatest dog sanctuary is on a small farm in Costa Rica, where hundreds of canines run wild over the land — eating huge piles of food and slobbering happily on Lya Battle and her small band of dedicated volunteers.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:17 PM Feb 24 2017 - 8 comments [7 favorites]

Hi-Phi Nation

Hi-Phi Nation is a new podcast that uses narrative storytelling to explore ideas in philosophy, featuring thoughtful interviews with philosophers and nuanced storytelling, created by philosopher Barry Lam. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 1:05 PM Feb 23 2017 - 9 comments [48 favorites (6 in the past 24 hours)]

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