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  • Kuali Baba's Avatar
    24,118 posts since Nov '03
    • This space is for sharing interesting and thought-provoking articles, presentations, shows and ideas that provide great insight and might change our lives and societies. Personal essays are welcome, as are those hipster posters, but conspiracy theories do not belong here.

      I'll start with this - why do we go through bubbles and recessions? Our institutions and minds favour stability or constant growth, but that's at odds with reality, which is volatile and unpredictable. Taleb details 5 ways this can change.

      Learning to Love Volatility 

      Summary from Thought You Should See This:

      Rule 1: Think of the economy as being more like a cat than a washing machine.
      —”[The] denial of the antifragility of living or complex systems is the costliest mistake that we have made in modern times. Stifling natural fluctuations masks real problems, causing the explosions to be both delayed and more intense when they do take place.”

      Rule 2: Favor businesses that benefit from their own mistakes, not those whose mistakes percolate into the system.
      Citing the airline and restaurant industries, Taleb describes: “These industries are antifragile: The collective enterprise benefits from the fragility of the individual components, so nothing fails in vain. These businesses have properties similar to evolution in the natural world, with a well-functioning mechanism to benefit from evolutionary pressures, one error at a time.”

      Rule 3: Small is beautiful, but it is also efficient.
      —“Experts in business and government are always talking about economies of scale. They say that increasing the size of projects and institutions brings costs savings. But the “efficient,” when too large, isn’t so efficient.”

      Rule 4: Trial and error beats academic knowledge.
      —“To promote antifragility, we must recognize that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of formal education that a culture supports and its volume of trial-and-error by tinkering. Innovation doesn’t require theoretical instruction, what I like to compare to “lecturing birds on how to fly.”

      Rule 5: Decision makers must have skin in the game.
      —“In the business world, the solution is simple: Bonuses that go to managers whose firms subsequently fail should be clawed back, and there should be additional financial penalties for those who hide risks under the rug. This has an excellent precedent in the practices of the ancients. The Romans forced engineers to sleep under a bridge once it was completed.”

       

       

  • SBS2601D's Avatar
    8,469 posts since Apr '05
    • Anybody heard of algorithmic trading?

      That's the use of computers to exchange stocks.

      Faster than the blink of an eye.

      Faster than finger snap.

      That's "accepting and accentuating" volatility for you.teeth.png

    • In an Emotional World, Singapore Is Comfortably Numb

      Maybe its a sign that I should now apply what I have learnt over a couple of months into this here.

      A sociological approach to this would immediately tear this article to shreds.

      1. Emotion is not "expressed". It is more than that. Emotions are in fact complexes that embody the somatic (biological), feelings, behaviour. What we see here is just one aspect: behaviour, but that's the common mistake for the layman.

      2. There are many perspectives into how we see emotions emerging from.

      -> From self: Biological aspect. Emotions are universal due to our genetic make-up that endows up with the biological capacity for emotions. That means we can't just conclude that we are more emotional than others, unless it be "different" humans we imply. We can also use our cognitive abilities to do "role-taking". That means us formulating courses of actions with advance knowledge on what would happen with their executions. In so doing, we use our mental ability to create our "self" and so shape our emotions.

      -> From culture and social construction. Here we relegate biology as "a base" upon which "secondary emotions" are built upon (etc shame, guilt, pride). Of course this would fit nicely into the above article, which brings me back to the point of how one sided it is considering the many perspectives on emotions.

      -> From interpersonal relationships. There are sociologists who figured that it is wrong to see emotions as arising from "myself" or "them". Instead the loci of emotions arises from the relationships between people. Put simply, it can be said that aggression led to conflict. But it also makes sense to say that conflicts led to aggression! If social relations => social institutions, then we can actually conclude that our very institutions are in fact, not quite as rational as we think. Emotions are embedded inside, and to just conclude that because people are "numb" because they do not express how they feel without taking a look at the social institutions is a tad naive then.

      Which also brings us to another interesting western-centric view of the separation between emotions and rationality.

      1. Our institutions are no more rational than "irrational ones" because those who shaped them can't be called "emotionless" can they? Consider "formal declarations of war". What difference is it from "bomb them to tell them" besides the veil, except that it "seems more rational"?

      2. We can't be rational without emotions. That's what psychologists have concluded after examining a patient who lost his emotions and subsequently became "irrational" despite knowledge of what it takes to be "rational". The hypothesis put forth is that we use emotions to rank our priorities. Without emotions, we won't be "rational".

      Edited by SBS2601D 21 Nov `12, 3:31PM
  • Dalforce 1941's Avatar
    2,186 posts since Dec '11
    • Dear Dalforce,

      Please go forth and fornicate with a spider.

      We have no space for your trash in here.

      Regards,

      Fudgester.

      Edited by fudgester 22 Nov `12, 9:03AM
  • SevenEleven's Avatar
    7,462 posts since Aug '05
  • Dalforce 1941's Avatar
    2,186 posts since Dec '11
  • Kuali Baba's Avatar
    24,118 posts since Nov '03
    • What should you do if you feel sleepy after lunch?
      When's the best time to exercise? 
      Why are you more likely to have a heart attack in the morning?

      If you've got 50 minutes, this documentary will make you rethink your daily activities. Obeying your circadian rhythm might even prolong your life.

      The Secret Life of Your Body Clock 

  • Moderator
    fudgester's Avatar
    25,382 posts since Jan '04
    • Dalforce:

      Go take your Speaker's Corner/ Temasek Review trash elsewhere.

      BY ORDER.

      Edited by fudgester 22 Nov `12, 9:01AM
  • And life goes on... with shades of grey
    BadzMaro's Avatar
    33,748 posts since Apr '04
    • The Art of Manliness... Being On Time!

      Are u always late ? Do u always think u can somehow make it on time ? 

      Being punctual strengthens and reveals your integrity.

      Being punctual shows you are dependable. 

      Being punctual builds your self-confidence.

      Being punctual assures you’re at your best. 

      Being punctual builds and reveals your discipline.

      Being punctual shows your humility

      Being punctual shows your respect for others.

      Being late is a form of stealing.

      Being late disturbs the experiences of other people. 

      Being late strains your relationships. 

      Being late hurts your professional career.

      Being late takes a toll on your life.

      Read more here:

      Maybe its not as "thought provoking", but I am guilty of being late at times. lol

  • Dalforce 1941's Avatar
    2,186 posts since Dec '11
  • SBS2601D's Avatar
    8,469 posts since Apr '05
    • Originally posted by Kuali Baba:

      What should you do if you feel sleepy after lunch?
      When's the best time to exercise? 
      Why are you more likely to have a heart attack in the morning?

      If you've got 50 minutes, this documentary will make you rethink your daily activities. Obeying your circadian rhythm might even prolong your life.

      The Secret Life of Your Body Clock 

      Good watch, very interesting, intuitive too.

      I like the Horizon series.

      If you guys have 50 min also, check out the story of David Reimer.

      A cautionary tale of how we cannot simply assume that nurture can always trump nature.

  • Kuali Baba's Avatar
    24,118 posts since Nov '03
    • A reflection by a friend of mine on being told to "get a life/girlfriend".

      Girlfriends are nice. They’re with you even when you’re boring. They remind you of stuff you had to do that you’ve completely forgotten about. They’re steadfast companions. The sex is regular. These are all things any guy would love to have, and should strive to get. But surely there’s more to life than that?

      ...

      Mind you, I was never good at any of these (short-lived hobbies). I try, I lose interest, I move on to the next obsession. Which is why I have immense respect for those who go all the way with their hobbies and pursue it to a point of real achievement.

      ...

      And all this is somehow lesser than having a girlfriend/social life?

      There ought more to life than just getting married, buying a house, starting a family and then 'boom'. It'd be sad if one lives according to the expectations of other people who can't live their lives for them. Sometimes I wonder how much of this preaching is out of genuine concern, or jealousy bringing one down to the lowest common denominator.

      But I guess there's a reason why certain people are so keen on achieving those standard milestones and why they remain desirable. Having kids is the only way one's possessions and beliefs can live on after he/she dies. It's probably the more "dignified" way of having someone to depend on in old age and to visit one's grave. In short, it's an attempt to preserve one's memory, because we're afraid of being forgotten.

      Edited by Kuali Baba 28 Nov `12, 8:58PM
  • cassie's Avatar
    47,966 posts since May '08
  • SBS2601D's Avatar
    8,469 posts since Apr '05
    • So the single-minded focus of chasing after buses is considered perfectly legitimate and in fact desirable?teeth.png

  • Kuali Baba's Avatar
    24,118 posts since Nov '03
    • Originally posted by SBS2601D:

      So the single-minded focus of chasing after buses is considered perfectly legitimate and in fact desirable?teeth.png

      I didn't see that coming. teeth.png Some of them seem overly self-indulgent but as long as it doesn't harm others (like dashing across the road or demanding unsuitable models), maybe it's okay. tongue.png

  • SBS2601D's Avatar
    8,469 posts since Apr '05
    • Originally posted by Kuali Baba:

      I didn't see that coming. teeth.png Some of them seem overly self-indulgent but as long as it doesn't harm others (like dashing across the road or demanding unsuitable models), maybe it's okay. tongue.png

      I raise you up with this

      teeth.png

    • If anybody is curious about how Samsung burst into the fore in the electronics sector, and amazingly for a sector known for wild turn-overs of leadership, managed to stay at the front since the early 1990s, this paper is for you.

      Creating First-mover Advantages: The Case of Samsung Electronics.

      Written by Prof Shin, who is widely regarded to be expert in East Asian economies, as well as Innovation Economics.

      42 pages long, but will reward the patient people, because it goes in depth into how Samsung's management has worked to its advantage, and how as long as it stays, Samsung's leadership is likely to stay on, barring radical developments. Yet the paper is devoid of all the fancy math and what-not, and is easily accesible for the laymen.

      I have read it, so if anybody wants a summary, I can do so, but not now, as I am busy.

  • Kuali Baba's Avatar
    24,118 posts since Nov '03
    • 7 Productivity Myths Debunked by Science and Common Sense

      Myth #1: You Have to Get Up Early To Accomplish Anything

      Myth #2: Power Through Your Slumps

      Myth #3: Multiple Monitors Increase/Decrease Productivity

      Myth #4: The Internet/Information Overload Is Making Us Stupid, So Disconnect to Get Things Done

      Myth #5: It's Impossible to Get Real Work Done at Home/a Coffee Shop/Library/Away from the Office

      Myth #6: Sorting and Organizing Is the Solution to Email Overload

      Myth #7: [Insert Productivity Technique] Will Fix Everything and Make You a Happy, Productive Person with More Free Time

      Find out the answers after the jump

      Link

    • A poem I came across on a CS profile:

      Dying Slowly - Martha Medeiros (often wrongly attributed to Pablo Neruda)

      He who becomes the slave of habit,
      who follows the same routes every day,
      who never changes pace,
      who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
      who does not speak and does not experience,
      dies slowly.

      He or she who shuns passion,
      who prefers black on white,
      dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
      that turn a yawn into a smile,
      that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
      dies slowly.

      He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
      who is unhappy at work,
      who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
      to thus follow a dream,
      those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
      die slowly.

      He who does not travel, who does not read,
      who does not listen to music,
      who does not find grace in himself,
      she who does not find grace in herself,
      dies slowly.

      He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
      who does not allow himself to be helped,
      who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
      dies slowly.

      He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
      die slowly.

      Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
      reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

      Only a burning patience will lead
      to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
      Edited by Kuali Baba 21 Dec `12, 7:02PM
  • SBS2601D's Avatar
    8,469 posts since Apr '05
    • Here's something interesting:

      Studying Economics Turns People Into Liars

       

    • Where the abbreviation of "xmas" came from.

    • A paragraph from Joseph Stiglitz's book " The Roaring Nineties" on how improper deregulation of industries have led to the money being channeled to the rich instead of where it need be.

      Fortunately most Americans did not know how bad things had become, or they would have become frightened of flying. I did an on-site inspection of the equipment at National Airport, serving the nation's capital. The computers were so old that they still used vacuum tubes that had to be imported from Poland, since almost everyone else had stopped making them. The roomful of out-of-date computers had a computing power less than the laptop on which I am now writing. The backup batteries occupied another room, old-fashioned chemicals with an on-site shower in case any of the acids spilled - but for all the drama, in the event of a black-out, they could last only about a half hour, far shorter than the battery for my laptop.

  • ^Acid^ aka s|aO^eH~'s Avatar
    31,257 posts since Oct '02
  • Kuali Baba's Avatar
    24,118 posts since Nov '03
    • The X'mas one was pretty interesting, especially since I saw at least one "Don't take the 'Christ' out of Christmas" tweet.

  • And life goes on... with shades of grey
    BadzMaro's Avatar
    33,748 posts since Apr '04
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