My Faults My Own

…willing to sacrifice something we don't have

for something we won't have, so somebody will someday.

IN  WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo—a sometime artist, economist, poet, trader, expat, EA, and programmer—writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: March 17)

A collection of things that I was glad I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | The rise of the temporary scientist — relevant to my interests, naturally.


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | Has the Tervuren Central African museum been decolonized? — "In a word, no. They shut the place down for five years and spent $84 million, to redesign the displays, and what they reopened still looks and feels incredibly colonial. That’s not an architectural complaint, only that the museum cannot escape what it has been for well over a century..."

Neat: Submarine Cable Map


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Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | Privacy

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Should climate change limit the number of kids

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January 23 Links: Sciences from Soft to Hard; Eggs from Hard to Soft

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The first was going to be about my favorite Operating Systems professor ending up in the Financial Times for her quotes at Davos on David Cameron's proposed policies banning strong encryption, but then it passed 450 words, and I spun it off into its own post.

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Instead, (speaking of economics and expert opinions,) The Upshot asks how economists came to dominate the [public-policy] conversation, beating out historians, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and demographers:

Two hundred years ago, the field of economics barely existed. Today, it is arguably the queen of the social sciences.

These are the conclusions I draw from a deep dive into The New York Times archives first suggested to me by a Twitter follower. While the idea of measuring influence through newspaper mentions will elicit howls of protest from tweed-clad boffins sprawled across faculty lounges around the country, the results are fascinating. And not only because they fit my preconceived biases.

Using the new Chronicle tool that catalogs the entire Times archive, I discovered that in

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January 16 Links: Technologies, Games, and Play

Yes, the Friday linkwrap is, in fact, going out on Friday. We're living in the future!

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The Harvard Political Review reports that a Chicago nonprofit is scraping Twitter to pass on complaints about food poisoning in restaurants to the Chicago Department of Public Health:

Foodborne Chicago depends on human judgment in addition to computerized predictions. First, the algorithm "surfaces tweets that are related to foodborne illnesses." Next, "a human classifier goes through those complaints that the machine classifies, [...determining] what is really about food poisoning and what may be other noise." The Foodborne team then tweets back at the likely cases, providing a link for users to file an official complaint. In short, computers deal with the massive quantity of Twitter data, and humans ensure the quality of the result. According to its website, between its launch on March 23, 2013 and November 10, 2014, the Foodborne algorithm flagged 3,594 tweets as potential food poisoning cases. Of these tweets, human coders have identified 419,

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January 9 Links: Futures and Pasts of Things

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The Upshot, when they're not putting out awesome data features, apparently publishes things like Obama's Community-College Plan: A Reading List, which is a useful read on (1) what is actually being proposed (2) how it compares to other similar proposals and programs (3) why any of this matters.

The odds of a Republican Congress passing an Obama proposal on any issue aren't very high... [But i]f nothing else, the Obama proposal seems likely to increase the profile of the universal-college movement. That movement echoes the universal-high-school movement of the early 20th century, as I mentioned in an article Thursday. (...)

And a short bit of opinion on the necessity of "universal college":

Yet we never stop to ask why 13 years of universal education has become the magic number -- and why it should permanently be so, given how much more complex our society and economy have become in the ensuing century. If nine years of free education was the sensible norm for the masses in the

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January 2 Links: "2015"

First, I apologize (again!) to anyone who actually noticed that I'd gone on something like a month-long hiatus for most of December -- I had a lot of finals, and let this thing fall by the wayside. But welcome back, because here we go again, in a new year, with new tweaks in the linkwrap formatting. (Like them? Hate them? I'm still tinkering, so do feel free to comment!)

First, you should totally check out Scott Alexander's 12/14 linkwrap at Slate Star Codex; it's got:

  • Werewolves (and the President of Argentina)
  • Nuclear rocket engines
  • Gender bias in maritime disasters ("Women and children first!" a myth?)
  • A new cure for Alzheimers
  • ...and so much more.

Do it!

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Okay, okay, real links from me. The Economist explains why so many Koreans are named 'Kim'.

Kim:21.6%, Lee:14.8%, Park:8.5%, Choi:4.7%, Jung:4.4%
via Wikipedia, prevalence of the names Kim, Lee, Park, Choi, and Jung (combined with common similar-spellings)

It's got a lot to do with the country's feudal history (there was a time when surnames

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November 28 Bucket o' Links: "(Un)reality" Edition

Welp, some weeks I just sit on the linkwrap for an extra five days. Plan is still to throw another one up this Friday, by which I mean, tomorrow... urp.

Blah blah blah blah Reading Feed blah.

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Sometimes, when we're interacting with people on the internet, we forget that, on the other end of a digital pipeline, there's an actual human being.

...and so, sometimes the right way to deal with internet trolls is by letting their mothers know what they're up to:

Alanah Pearce, student and sometime-game-reviewer, is quoted in The Guardian:

"A while ago, I realised that a lot of the people who send disgusting or overly sexual comments to me over the internet aren't adult males... It turns out that mostly they're young boys and the problem is they don't know any better, so responding to

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November 21 Bucket o' Links: "Languages, Language, and Words, Words, Words" Edition

I'm going to continue calling these my Friday linkwraps, in the hopes that I'll (1) actually publish one on Friday someday, or, failing that, (2) not slip to a write-on-Saturday, publish-on-Sunday schedule if I call them my Saturday linkwraps instead.

I'm still running an updated-almost-daily feed of readworthy links at My Faults My Own | Reading Feed. Check it out if you're a fan of these BoL's!

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For reasons which may later become clear, I've written two subtly different versions of this post, for different audiences. Poets, dreamers, and readers who don't particularly care to erect walls between fantasy and reality, click here. Readers who don't have time for my mind games and just want to read a normal Bucket o' Links, click here.

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November 14 Bucket o' Links: "Science, B****es!" Edition

If you find yourself enjoying these weekly linkwraps, seek help from your doctor you might be interested in the so-called "Reading Feed" I've been updating for two weeks now. Basically, instead of spamming Facebook with everything I read, like, and see fit to re-link, I keep one running list of the things I think it's worth the time to have read.

I don't quite manage to update every day, but it's been running for 12.35 milliSpirits[?] so far, so maybe I'll be able to keep it up into the future. Maybe not. Anyway, it's more of a reject pile for Bucket o' Links than anything else, but if you want more of stuff like this, check it out?

NB: I'll roll the URL blog.rossry.net/reading/ to always point to the current month, with previous months separated off into their own pages, e.g. blog.rossry.net/reading-oct-2014/.

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We landed on a comet!

'Philae? Is Everything OK?' / 'I landed! I'm on a comet! I'm OK and I'm on a comet.'

XKCD live-comic'd the event, and if you missed that, you can

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