#Research 5 minutes paper: Ranking the effectiveness of worldwide COVID-19 government interventions
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Image from the paper: Co-Implementation network of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions.


The "Ranking the effectiveness of worldwide COVID-19 government interventions”, published on “Nature Human Behaviour” provides a study of the impact of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) on the effective reproduction number, Rt in 79 countries during March-April 2020. 
The paper is very readable, methodologically rich, and presents some very interesting findings that could support future policy decisions when dealing with the pandemic.
#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!   


#BookReview Focusing on what really matters
Monday, October 26, 2020

I haven’t read a productivity book in a while, but boy was I glad the one I reluctantly picked up was “make time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. The timing is no surprise I suppose. During the first months of the pandemic, I was all over the place. I was struggling to process the transition from physical to virtual lectures, the brittle state of health of my loved ones, and the anxiety and uncertainty all around me (which has become omnipresent as of late). I had a hard time staying on task. My mind was whirling all the time. I just couldn’t focus.


Things had to change, and fast. I came to realize that many of the techniques I picked up throughout the years weren’t of much help at the moment. So I went hunting for a solution, and by hunting I mean, in my usual fashion, perusing digital libraries for a book. Strike of luck, I came across “Make Time” and found it to address my most pressing issue of “How to stay on task” in a very approachable manner that I’m sure will resonate with a lot of us.

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