How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy - "A former academic mathematician and ex-hedge fund quant exposes flaws in how information is used to assess everything from creditworthiness to policing tactics, with results that cause damage both financially and to the fabric of society. Programmed biases and a lack of feedback are among the concerns behind the clever and apt title of Cathy O'Neil's book: Weapons of Math Destruction." [more inside]
World After Capital by Albert Wenger [Work in Progress; GitHub; GitBook; PDF; FAQ] - "Technological progress has shifted scarcity for humanity. When we were foragers, food was scarce. During the agrarian age, it was land. Following the industrial revolution, capital became scarce. With digital technologies scarcity is shifting from capital to attention. World After Capital suggests ways to expand economic, informational and psychological freedom to go from an industrial to a knowledge society." (previously)
Every Philip Seymour Hoffman Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best By Nathan Rabin [Vulture.com]
“...we figured this would be a good time to delve deep into Hoffman’s filmography to determine what art of Hoffman’s is objectively, definitively better than his other art. In making our selection, we considered both the quality of the film as well as Hoffman’s performance. Though we strived to be as complete as possible, we were not able to see Mockingjay Part 2 ahead of this article, nor were we able to track down two of his most obscure early films, Szuler and Joey Breaker, left behind in VHS format. We still, however, had an awful lot to sift through, much of it awfully good.”
The Future of (Post)Capitalism - "Paul Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy." (previously; via) [more inside]
On the occasion of a new Terminator movie, io9 brings us a list of Every Time Travel Movie Ever, Ranked. Spoiler: Back to the Future is at the top, The Lake House is at the bottom, and Star Trek IV is in the middle.
China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
Best Ever Albums aggregates 17,000 "greatest album" charts to establish a statistical consensus on popular music rankings. [more inside]
US News and World Report (USNWR) ranking of the top ten universities in mathematics are: 1. Berkeley ; 2. Stanford ; 3. Princeton ; 4. UCLA ; 5. University of Oxford ; 6. Harvard ; 7. King Abdulaziz University ; 8. Pierre and Marie Curie – Paris 6 ; 9. University of Hong Kong ; 10. University of Cambridge [more inside]
Philosopher Brian Leiter announced that he will be stepping down as editor of the Philosophical Gourmet Report, a highly influential reputational ranking of philosophy Ph.D. programs he created in 1989 while he was a graduate student, and which has been published on the Internet since 1996. [more inside]
Washington Monthly has attempted to identify America's worst colleges.
what it's like to fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class (includes lots of photos) [more inside]
The 100 Greatest Painters in Western History (according to the editors of This Recording). [more inside]
Many people say that a law degree enables the holder to do virtually anything. Am Law Daily explores the logical fallacies behind this statement.
Discover Magazine posted a couple of blog entries about the law school scam as a cognitive bias and why law school tuition isn't more dispersed.
A report by the ABA shows that some law schools hire as many as 15% of new graduates in an effort to boost employment numbers.
After five years of number-crunching and methodological controversy, the NRC's rankings of US graduate programs were released today, three years after the target date and fifteen since the previous ranking. Peruse the results at phds.org. Instead of numerical ratings, the NRC released two rankings, the "R-ranking" and the "S-ranking", each one with a wide error bar around it. Confused yet? Brian Leiter thinks the philosophy rankings "qualify as somewhere between "odd" and "inexplicable."" The University of Washington's CS department says their ranking of 15-32 is "clearly erroneous." Obviously, the only appropriate response is to compute asymptotic formulae for the number of possible fuzzy rankings.
You can rank U.S. colleges by subjective, random methodologies. Or, you can rank colleges by what really matters: how much money you'll make after you graduate. [more inside]
In a time of top 10 lists, there are those who aim higher: They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? maintains an annually updated list of the 1,000 greatest films ever made, as well as the 250 greatest of the 21st century. Kevin B. Lee wants to see them all. How many have you seen? (via)
Vault.com has created its own ranking of the top US law schools. Vault's blog post about it is here. Above the Law, a popular legal blog, commented here. It leaked the 2009 US News rankings here. [more inside]
A BBC Horizon documentary, asks "Is alcohol worse than ecstasy?" (iPlayer link valid for UK users until 11 Feb). Here comes the science... [more inside]
Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the 1970s (dis|cuss|discuss).
The 100 greatest British albums... and look what came first. Why? I personally don't believe the justification given. And surely the word Rock is missing from the title of the poll because I don't see many other genres mentioned. To be honest, I'm with Miranda Sawyer on this one -- why aren't more girls aloud?
College Rankings! Seems like everyone's talking about 'em. There's the good ole controversial US News & World Report rankings, but thanks to the the librarians at UIUC, this wonderful site has links to many, many, many different rankings, including ones that let you make your own rankings. There's also rankings of some of the more important non-academic features of colleges, too. Does college rank really matter?
The inaugural World Terrorism Index from the World Markets Research Centre ranks Australia at 38 (out of 186), the UK at number 10 and the US at number 4. So who is number 1? [More inside...]
Best song of the last quarter century? Ok, I liked the song when it came out,(Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit) and can still listen to it today. But, VH1 is saying it is the best song for the last quarter century. That, I have a problem with. It is going to take me some time to reflect on this and come up with some alternates. I thought you folks may have your own opinions as well. So, lets hear it, what do you think is the best song of the last quarter century?
Does being valedictorian still matter? A New Jersey high school student with top grades and a 1570 SAT score is suing her school (including a $2.5 million punitive damages demand) for deciding to make her one of three "co-valedictorians." Considering that valedictorian is an award given well after college acceptance letters are sent out, is the title actually relevant in the American education system? Has anyone here actually gained something (other than pride) via the highest GPA in their class?
Which Country Has The Most Beautiful Women? The best quality of life? The most divorces? The most mobile phones? The highest cost of living? Which one is the most visited? Rank the bastards! After browsing through this website, I'm sure the conclusion that we're all living in the wrong one is inescapable. The statistics and sources may be questionable, but there sure are a lot of interesting lists here! Meanwhile my own country, Portugal, has just been denounced as the the laziest in Europe and the booziest in the world. They lie! They lie! [Actually, it's a fair cop, guv. And it was nice to drag down the Brits with us.]
U.S. states ranked according to smartness. The ranking was based on such factors as average high school dropout rate, how much teachers earn and how frequently they are attacked, etc. There are probably some other relevant factors they might have included, but didn't. What criteria do you think would be most appropriate for measuring a state's relative intelligence?
Alexa's Top 500 Websites - Accurate or not, here is Alexa.com's list of their top 500 ranked websites - globally. This has been touched on both earlier today and back in April. Today's top ten sites iclude two korean sites, one japanese, one chinese, and six us-based sites. Also a more-clear definition of Alexa's Ranking system is here, complete with biases listed (such as IE users only, Alexa Users only, etc).
The cars that made America CNN/Money picks the 10 greatest American cars of all time
The two best music videos ever are Spike Jonze productions, says VH1. Weapon Of Choice wins, followed by Sabotage. Personally I'd go for Island In The Sun out of the Jonze oeuvre, but all-time......off the top of my head I'd probably go for Lionel Ritchie's comedy classic 'Hello'. What do you reckon to be the top dog of music promos?
Today, MetaFilter is the CoolSTOP Best of Cool award winner. Joe Jenett says "At first, the large fonts seemed awkward to me - then it dawned on me that when you have a lot to read, the big type is kinda nice!" I just wanted to add that if you register, you can change the body text font size and family, turn off link underlining, and launch hyperlinks in new windows if you want, it's all in the preferences.
Gomez.com looks like they're doing the same thing that Bizrate is doing: rating the dotcommerce companies. It seems like a lot of companies have been copying the Amazon interface, now I see why. In the 'Ease of Use' category, Amazon is number one in books, toys, and music (they would have swept all their categories but Borders won for Video).
Jerry's Ranking of the U.S. Presidents - Think fast! Who was the better President, Franklin Pierce or John Tyler? Time's up! It's Tyler. Of course, this guy also says that Clinton is better than Lincoln, so I guess that's the problem. Tyler has nothing on Pierce anyways....