April 11th, 2007 - Open Knowledge
Apr. 11th, 2007
12:29 am - Real Estate Roller Coaster
10:58 pm - Anybots
"In a March 21 interview, CNET News.com's Zamir Haider spoke with Trevor Blackwell, founder of Mountain View, Calif.-based Anybots, and saw humanoid robots that may one day be used to perform dangerous tasks. He got close to walking robot Dexter and its pneumatic limbs."
11:02 pm - How don't I love thee?
April 9, 2007, 11:06 pm
How Don’t I Love Thee?
By John Tierney
"Suppose you’re an ordinary-looking guy whose online picture is ranked around the median in attractiveness. (In the study, the ratings of attractiveness were done by independent male and female observers hired by the researchers.) And suppose you’d like to be as successful with women as a guy whose picture is ranked in the top tenth. Then you’d need to make $143,000 more than him. If your picture is ranked in the bottom tenth, you’d need to make $186,000 more than him.
Similarly, according to the study, a 5-foot-0 guy would need to make $325,000 more than a 6-foot-0 man to be as successful in the online dating market. A 5-foot-4 man would need $229,000; a 5-foot-6 man would need $183,000; a 5-foot-10 man would need $32,000. And if that 6-foot-0 man wanted to do as well as a 6-foot-4 man, he’d need to make $43,000 more.
For women in the online study, shorter is better. A 5-foot-6 women would need to make $59,000 more than a 5-foot-0 or 5-foot-2 woman to do as well. She’d need to make $50,000 more than a 5-foot-4 woman."
I wonder what the age premium is? How much does a 35 year old need to make to best a 25 year old?
11:19 pm - How karma really works
"There are all kinds of reasons offered why you should go out of your way to do the right thing for other people. Some people say you should do it out of fear of divine or supernatural repercussions if you don't or in hope of some supernatural reward, that is to say, for religious reasons. Some people say you should do it because you've been told to, that is to say, out of obedience. Some people say you should do it because it makes you look good, because it increases the odds that people will do nice things for you, that is to say, for your own reputation. (And I have to say that, while it was never my thought or intention, my own life proves that that the logic behind that reason is sound.) Some people say you should do it because other people will judge you harshly if you don't, they teach you to be ashamed of yourself if you don't. Some people say you should do the right thing to rid yourself of nagging feelings of debt over the nice things that have been done for you, that is to say, out of gratitude.
Some of those reasons are good reasons, some maybe not so good. But the reason that touches me the most deeply is this one: whenever you do something cruel, the people around you see that the world contains cruelty, that cruelty is within the realm of normal behavior. Whenever you do something selfish or negligent, people learn to expect selfishness and negligence. But when you do the right thing, you create a world in which other people learn that they can expect other people to do the right thing. Or, at least, they can sometimes hope others will do the right thing without being total saps. And I know that, when they're making snap decisions about how far out of their own way to go on behalf of others, people treat their experience of "how the world works" as one of the bigger, more important inputs. Every time you heal a hurt, right a wrong, or prevent harm, you get one reward immediately: you immediately, and without any social or legal or spiritual intervention needed on your behalf, get to live in a world that has one less hurt person in it, one less victim of injustice, one less harm done. And from that moment forward, you get to live in a world where that effect has rippled outwards, as that person and everybody around them and everybody who knows them lives their life, makes their own decisions, with yet one more reminder that sometimes people do do the right thing."
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