Why Google+ will fail: social networks grow like trees, not on them

Though Google+ is an elegant piece of engineering, it’s not a social network. Jason and Jeff love Google’s technical innovations. Sure, normal technology thrives because of technical brilliance, design beauty and marketing megatonnage. But social networks are affected only marginally by those factors. Instead, in social networks, the users are the product. Users’ habits and passions and commitments to each other are the life-force that makes a social network grow. Just as you can’t build a tree from a bunch of boards, you never could have constructed Facebook or Twitter or eBay or LinkedIn or Wikipedia top-down with a bunch of prefab components. Launching with one hundred million users or a $100 million marketing budget would have more likely killed those sites, not grown them. - blogads.com
#social-media #goog #predictions 0 comments

Berlin airport's non-so-swift fire solution

Confronted with the fire system fiasco, Rainer Schwarz, chief executive officer of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (FBB), the airport company owned by the city of Berlin, the state of Brandenburg, and the federal government, downplayed it. Schwarz and his staff told the airport’s board of oversight, as well as Stephan Loge, the commissioner of Dahme-Spreewald County, who had the final authority to issue the airport an operating license, that they were working through some issues, but that the situation was under control. Schwarz also appointed an emergency task force to propose solutions that would allow the airport to open on time. In March 2012 the group submitted its stopgap: Eight hundred low-paid workers armed with cell phones would take up positions throughout the terminal. If anyone smelled smoke or saw a fire, he would alert the airport fire station and direct passengers toward the exits. Never mind that the region’s cell phone networks were notoriously unreliable, or that some students would be stationed near the smoke evacuation channels, where in a fire temperatures could reach 1,000F. - bloomberg.com
#managing #europe #fail 0 comments
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the data at which the Soviets pushed the Nazis out of Budapest - newyorker.com


Rohrer has conducted a number of studies of interleaving in the laboratory - scientificamerican.com
#memory #learning 0 comments

cramming is 1/3 as effective

in a study of fifth-graders published in Applied Cognitive Psychology in 2011, lead author Hailey Sobel of McGill University reported that students who learned definitions of vocabulary words on a spaced-out schedule remembered three times as many definitions as students who spent the same amount of time learning the material in a single session. - scientificamerican.com
#memory #learning 0 comments

Hungary active in Ukraine

He began with Ukraine, a country that is in the cross hairs of the Hungarian government. It is here that the Orbán government is trying to stir up trouble. Lázár praised the work of the Hungarian military and civilian intelligence in Kiev both during and “after” the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Hungarian intelligence has also been busy in the Hungarian-inhabited parts of the Subcarpathian region of Ukraine. Reading this portion of Lázár’s speech, I gained the distinct impression that in this border region secret agents are busy feeding the Hungarian minority’s dissatisfaction. The Orbán government expects, perhaps even hopes for, a conflict between Ukrainians and Hungarians, which might give Hungary an opportunity to demand a “solution” to the problem. Only yesterday Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette) reported that this year the Hungarian government has provided 116 million forints “for the training of civilian guards,” who are supposed to defend Hungarians against Ukrainian aggression. Lázár in his speech admitted that the Ukrainian government strenuously objects to the Hungarian government’s meddling in the country’s affairs. Indeed, the Orbán government treats Ukraine like a state from whose collapse Hungary might profit. - hungarianspectrum.org
#Hungary #conspiracies #Ukraine 0 comments

Denton openness

Everybody will be back to work this coming week. New office. New execs. Gawker always bounces back. This is just the way that crises play out in open organizations. And I know I would say that, but it is also true. Just think about it: an all-hands meeting in which everybody is free to speak, and they’re backchanneling on Slack [an instant messaging app] and live-blogging on Twitter. Total transparency. Most companies would be terrified! - nytimes.com
#managing #gawker #Twitter #slack 0 comments

Imagining Carr as Gawker's editor in chief.

Q. You said recently that Ta-Nehisi Coates would be your dream Gawker executive editor. Why? What does he offer, or represent? A. I’m not going to talk about individual candidates. But we are looking for a mixture of news judgment, intellectual framework and humanity. The ideal candidate was actually a colleague of yours, David Carr, now sadly no longer with us. Q. Is humanity an important component of journalism? A. Yes, David Carr was described as the most human of humans. Let the writers run a little wild, but they need to be saved from their own selves by editors with a conscience. - nytimes.com
#gawker #carr #RIP 0 comments

REM sleep processes negative emotions?

Interestingly, some recent research has found that sleepers tend to report more negative emotions when woken during REM sleep than during non-REM sleep, suggesting that REM dreams and non-REM dreams may serve different (although complementary) functions in this regard. In particular, the amygdala, which specializes in dealing with unpleasant emotions (e.g. anger, aggression, fear, etc), is very active during REM sleep, and may be involved in the process of resolving emotional issues. This may be supported by the example of clinical depression: one symptom of depression is that sufferers tend to spend a disproportionately large amount of time in REM sleep, in which case these negative emotions may be over-represented, thus perpetuating the depression (deliberate deprivation of REM sleep is often helpful in alleviating depression symptoms). - howsleepworks.com
#sleep #dreams 0 comments

Sleep trimming synapses

While we’re awake, your brain is forming memories. Memory formation involves a process called long-term potentiation (LTP), which is essentially the strengthening of synaptic connections between nerve cells. We also know that learning can actually cause neurons to sprout entirely new synapses. Yet this poses a problem for the brain. If LTP and synapse formation is constantly strengthening our synapses, and we are learning all our lives, might the synapses eventually reach a limit? Couldn’t they “max out,” so that they could never get any stronger? Worse, most of the synapses that strengthen during memory are based on glutamate. Glutamate is dangerous. It’s the most common neurotransmitter in the brain, and it’s also a popular flavouring: “MSG”, monosodium glutamate. But in the brain, too much of it is toxic. Glutamate works as a transmitter molecule by opening channels on the cells that receive it. The channels allow calcium into the cells on the receiving end, which activates them, allowing messages to go through. But too much glutamate can cause excess calcium to build up inside the very cells that receive the message, a harmful process called excitotoxicity. So, if our brains were constantly forming stronger glutamate synapses, we might eventually run into serious problems. One function of sleep, according to the theory, is to protect the brain against excitotoxicity or other “synaptic overload” problems by pruning the synapses. If the brain is essentially removing the “extra” synaptic strength formed during the previous day, it must do so in a way that preserves the new information. One possible mechanism for this is synaptic scaling. After some of the neural connections into a given cell, or “inputs,” become stronger, then all of the synapses on that cell could be weakened. This would preserve the relative strength of the different inputs, while keeping the total inputs constant. It’s as if each neuron were a cup, and each synapse corresponds to a different liquid. During the day, memories form and certain synapses get stronger, which means pouring more of those particular liquids into the cup. At night, synaptic scaling pours some of the mixture back out, bringing it back to the baseline level without changing the relative proportions of the mix. We know that synaptic scaling happens in the brain, but it’s not yet clear whether it has anything to do with sleep. This is an area of ongoing research. While synaptic scaling seems to treat each neuron like a cup to be kept from overfilling, the effect of sleep on for the brain overall may be more like disk defragmentation, according to this idea. After heavy use, hard disks tend to get “fragmented.” This is because when data gets stored, it is written to wherever there happens to be free space on the disk. This makes it inefficient to keep track of it all as files may be split and written in many different places. A defrag consolidates the same data into a more logical order. Defragmentation is a taxing chore for the computer, so many people schedule it to happen overnight. In the same way, sleep may serve to reorganize and reconsolidate memories. The mechanics of how this defragmentation works remain unclear; synaptic scaling might be just one of several processes at work. Defragmentation is not an exact analogy, however. The process could also be likened to archiving your emails to make room in your inbox, or compressing data into zipped files, to free up room on the disk. (This theory is specifically about slow-wave sleep (SWS). It doesn’t try to explain rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, when dreams happen. Interestingly, some animals do not have REM, but they all have SWS. In some animals, like dolphins, only one side of the brain has it at a time, which is strong evidence that SWS, but not REM, is vital for life.) - blogs.discovermagazine.com
#sleep #synapses 0 comments

Fear and anxiety are narratives and not physical states.

In the face of danger, the brain kicks into defense mode, detecting the threat faster than our conscious awareness can ever operate, and sending a host of marching orders throughout the brain and the body, readying all systems to take action. It’s only after this process has begun that the emotions of fear and anxiety rise into consciousness — and only if, LeDoux says, “you have a brain that can be conscious of its own activity,” a brain with the “ability to conceptualize all of that, to label it linguistically, and to integrate it with thoughts and memories.” In other words, fear and anxiety are not wired into the brain as basic responses to the world around us — rather, the responses that lead to them are, and they only coalesce into fear when the brain interprets them as such. - nymag.com
#narratives #neurons #anxiety 0 comments

How Complex Networks Explode with Growth | Quanta Magazine

Dimitris Achlioptas, a computer scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, proposed a possible means for delaying a phase transition into a densely connected network, by merging the traditional notion of percolation with an optimization strategy known as the power of two choices. Instead of just letting two random nodes connect (or not), you consider two pairs of random nodes, and decide which pair you prefer to connect. Your choice is based on predetermined criteria — for instance, you might select whichever pair has the fewest pre-existing connections to other nodes. Because a random system would normally favor those nodes with the most pre-existing connections, this forced choice introduces a bias into the network — an intervention that alters its typical behavior. In 2009, Achlioptas, Raissa D’Souza, a physicist at the University of California, Davis, and Joel Spencer, a mathematician at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, found that tweaking the traditional percolation model in this way dramatically changes the nature of the resulting phase transition. Instead of arising from a slow, steady continuous march toward greater and greater connectivity, connections emerge globally all at once throughout the system in a kind of explosion — hence the moniker “explosive percolation.” - quantamagazine.org
#networks #neurons #consciousness 0 comments

Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation

We show in healthy participants that a brief nature experience, a 90-min walk in a natural setting, decreases both self-reported rumination and neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (sgPFC), whereas a 90-min walk in an urban setting has no such effects on self-reported rumination or neural activity. In other studies, the sgPFC has been associated with a self-focused behavioral withdrawal linked to rumination in both depressed and healthy individuals. This study reveals a pathway by which nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world. - pnas.org

At Least A Third Of All Women Murdered In The U.S. Are Killed By Male Partners

an average of three women are killed every day. More often than not, women are shot. Over half of all women killed by intimate partners between 2001 to 2012 were killed using a gun. - huffingtonpost.com
#guns 0 comments

7 Rejections for AirBnB

We were attempting to raise $150,000 at a $1.5M valuation. That means for $150,000 you could have bought 10% of Airbnb. Below you will see 5 rejections. The other 2 did not reply. - medium.com
#VC #predictions #investing 0 comments

Declawing the ‘tiger mom’

“Our research debunks the idea that there is something intrinsic about Asian culture, traits or values that produces exceptional educational outcomes,” Lee says. “First, the change in U.S. immigration law in 1965 was critical, because it ushered in a new stream of immigrants from Asia who are hyperselected – meaning that they’re more highly educated than their compatriots and also more highly educated than the general U.S. population.” For example, only 4 percent of people living in China have college degrees, but about 51 percent of those emigrating to the U.S. do. […]Moreover, these immigrants exceed the academic attainment of most Americans, 28 percent of whom are college-educated. “The biggest predictor of a child’s success is parental education,” Lee notes. “If your parents are college-educated, the likelihood of you going to college and graduating is very high.” - news.uci.edu
#academia #education #immigration 0 comments

Top Conservative Magazine Calls Bernie Sanders A Nazi

He is, in fact, leading a national-socialist movement, which is a queasy and uncomfortable thing to write about a man who is the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and whose family was murdered in the Holocaust. But there is no other way to characterize his views and his politics. The incessant reliance on xenophobic (and largely untrue) tropes holding that the current economic woes of the United States are the result of scheming foreigners, especially the wicked Chinese, “stealing our jobs” and victimizing his class allies is nothing more than an updated version of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s “yellow peril” rhetoric, and though the kaiser had a more poetical imagination — he said he had a vision of the Buddha riding a dragon across Europe, laying waste to all — Bernie’s take is substantially similar. He describes the normalization of trade relations with China as “catastrophic” — Sanders and Jesse Helms both voted against the Clinton-backed China-trade legislation — and heaps scorn on every other trade-liberalization pact. - thinkprogress.org
#politics #GOP 0 comments

Why it makes sense to bike without a helmet

According to a 2006 French study, pedestrians are 1.4 times more likely to receive a traumatic brain injury than unhelmeted cyclists. - howiechong.com
#health #counter-intuitive #walking 0 comments

Morale: don't interview face-to-face

When everything else is considered, more attractive people tend to earn more money and climb higher on the corporate ladder than people who are considered less pleasing on the eye. One study of MBA graduates found that there was about a 10 to 15% difference in earnings between the most and least attractive people in the group – which added up to about $230,000 (£150,000) over a lifetime. “You are being conferred advantages throughout your life, from your schooldays into the workplace,” says Walker. - bbc.com
#managing 0 comments

Tommy Craggs and Max Read Are Resigning from Gawker

represented an indefensible breach of the notoriously strong firewall between Gawker’s business interests and the independence of its editorial staff. - gawker.com
#journalism #nyc #gawker #rhetoric 0 comments

Gawker's editor celebrates The Writers

The essence of Gawker has always been what happens when we get out of those meetings and go back to writing and editing the stories you do that no one else can do. You writers are this company. You are funny. You are smart. You are vital. You are honest and righteous and pissed-off and stupid, so galactically stupid, and you commit hilarious blunders and you perform great, honking prodigies of journalism that make me proud to have sat in a room with you. Often you do all these things in the same day. You are this company. Nick forgot that, and I hope he one day remembers it. You are, you will always be, the best argument for a company that no longer deserves you. - gawker.com
#journalism #gawker 0 comments

Tommy Craggs and Max Read Are Resigning from Gawker

Tommy Craggs, the executive editor of Gawker Media, and Max Read, the editor-in-chief of Gawker.com, are resigning from the company. In letters sent today, Craggs and Read informed staff members that the managing partnership’s vote to remove a controversial post about the CFO of Condé Nast—a unprecedented act endorsed by zero editorial employees—represented an indefensible breach of the notoriously strong firewall between Gawker’s business interests and the independence of its editorial staff. Under those conditions, Craggs and Read wrote, they could not possibly guarantee Gawker’s editorial integrity. - gawker.com
#nyc #gawker #carr 0 comments

Why "black lives matter" matters

TL;DR: The phrase "Black lives matter" carries an implicit "too" at the end; it's saying that black lives should also matter. Saying "all lives matter" is dismissing the very problems that the phrase is trying to draw attention to. - reddit.com
#USAUSA #racism 0 comments

Gawker's top editors resign on principle (or pique) after controversy

"That is to say, none of the partners in a company that prides itself on its frankness had the decency or intellectual wherewithal to make the case to the executive editor of Gawker Media for undermining (if not immolating) his job, forsaking Gawker’s too-often-stated, too-little-tested principles, and doing the most extreme and self-destructive thing a shop like ours could ever do," Craggs wrote. Read also wrote a memo to Gawker managing executives that echoed the sentiment of Craggs. "I am able to do this job to the extent that I can believe that the people in charge are able, when faced with difficult decisions, to back up their stated commitments to transparency, fearlessness, and editorial independence. In the wake of Friday’s decision and Tommy’s resignation I can no longer sustain that belief. I find myself forced to resign, effective immediately," he wrote. - mashable.com
#gawker 0 comments

A new restaurant in LA

At Sqirl, a tiny restaurant in a strange neighborhood, a young chef is serving up “a sneaky sort of complicated simplicity” - bloomberg.com
#food #california 0 comments

Phone Notifications Are Distracting Even When You Ignore Them

The researchers found that performance on the assessment suffered if the student received any kind of audible notification. That is, every kind of phone distraction was equally destructive to their performance: An irruptive ping distracted people just as much as a shrill, sustained ring tone. It didn’t matter, too, if a student ignored the text or didn’t answer the phone: As long as they got a notification, and knew they got it, their test performance suffered. - theatlantic.com
#managing #mobile #racery #distraction 0 comments