#onlinePicks This Week's Digest : Issue 2
Monday, November 09, 2020

Image created by upklyak

 

- Amid the US election celebratory TwitterFest, one particular tweet resonated. In it, a video of McCain’s 2008 concession speech with the caption “Remember when US election was polite?”. To which I’m tempted to reply “Remember when the whole world was polite?” But was it really, polite that is? Most definitely not. Much of the blame for our skewed conception lies on the internet’s shoulders. With reports that violence and incitement on Facebook have been on the rise for the last few weeks, I can’t help but wistfully think of a time the internet was the emblem of open knowledge and random acts of kindness. How do we mend this sorry replica of our once beloved internet? Get humans off it! Or more realistically, build safe public virtual spaces where friction abounds but amid thick webs of social ties

 

- Data visualization fails and wins: Maps and misconstructions

 

#onlinePicks This Week's Digest
Sunday, November 01, 2020

Image created by upklyak

 

- The cover of this month’s nature magazine is dedicated to Africa’s genome. It stars African researchers’ efforts to present whole-genome sequence analyses that cover a multitude of ethnolinguistic groups. This is an absolutely necessary work as response to disease, for instance, is strongly associated to genome-level population variations. An incredible step towards redressing the lack of diversity in genetic research.

 

- New York Times Magazine’s spread on Palantir is worth the detour. Starting from Thiel's realization that PayPal’s anti-fraud algorithms could help the U.S. government combat terrorism, Palantir has since diversified into many industries. With just 125 customers (CIA, US Department of Health and Human, Airbus etc.), who pay $10 million to $100 million annually for the Data “integration” services, the controversial company has become quite the powerhouse with a market capitalization at nearly $16 billion. The spread paints a rather interesting profile of Palantir CEO Alex Karp and raises intriguing questions on the social implication of Analytics!   

 

#onlinePicks The Correlation Between Arts and Crafts and a Nobel Prize
Sunday, September 13, 2015

Source: The Correlation Between Arts and Crafts and a Nobel Prize

 

The average scientist is not statistically more likely than a member of the general public to have an artistic or crafty hobby. But members of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society -- elite societies of scientists, membership in which is based on professional accomplishments and discoveries -- are 1.7 and 1.9 times more likely to have an artistic or crafty hobby than the average scientist is. And Nobel prize winning scientists are 2.85 times more likely than the average scientist to have an artistic or crafty hobby.

 

I guess now would be a good time as ever to pick up those piano lessons. 

#onlinePicks The National Geographic Buyout: Evolution or Assassination?
Sunday, September 13, 2015

Source: The National Geographic Buyout: Evolution or Assassination?

 For my forty years on this earth NatGeo has been an important part of my education. I’m going to guess that it will still produce incredible content moving forward. How honest with the evidence some of that content will be, however, is something we all now need to take into consideration. 

 

And that is exactly what's sad about the whole thing.

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