When I hear that someone has been given multiple life sentences as punishment for a crime, I ask myself what the difference is between one life sentence and five life sentences. I understand there is symbolism in the additional sentences; and in some cases people with a "life sentence" may be released early. Regardless, would there be a way for multiple life sentences to actually be carried out? Perhaps the sentence could mandate killing the criminal and then resuscitating them again, only to kill them again and then resuscitate them. The process could be repeated enough times that a criminal could serve 5 life sentences in the course of a month. (No, I'm not a lawyer, I just think like one sometimes.)
A new book by a doctor who specializes in resuscitation suggests that there is a common experience of dying that is consistent across cultures. To be considered "dead", one's heart has to stop beating. This stops brain activity, but it does not mean the the brain cells have died. In fact, it is possible for a body to be chilled, and the person to be resuscitated several hours later.
Upon regaining consciousness, many patients have no memory; but others report seeing a bright light and feeling a very loving presence. They recall having their life reviewed with them and feeling pain as they recall times when they caused others pain. Some patients even report being inspired to try to do better with their new lives.
So perhaps instead of giving our prisoners a lethal injection, we could give them "death therapy".
I also can imagine many wealthy people would pay for such an experience, assuming that the resuscitation is perfected, so that the risk of staying dead is minimal.
This is the time of the year when sites around the web compile "best of" lists, as a way of reflecting on the past year. It's one of the few times we reflect on which of the many messages we've been drowning in will have lasting significance -- what messages are more than just noise.
There are two kinds of quantities in the world. Stock is a static value: money in the bank, or trees in the forest. Flow is a rate of change: fifteen dollars an hour, or three thousand toothpicks a day..
I actually think stock and flow is the master metaphor for media today. Here’s what I mean:
Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist.
Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
I feel like flow is ascendant these days, for obvious reasons—but we neglect stock at our own peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audience and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a treadmill, and you can’t spend all of your time running on the treadmill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: Oh man. I’ve got nothing here.
So what are the ways that I can increase my ratio of stock to flow?
You can choose to subscribe only to what is most important and you can filter out messages from people you know less well. It would be nice if there were a service I could subscribe to which could dial back the level of flow and receive a greater quantity of stock on the web. Monthly magazines are supposed to serve this function. Or I can just go to the library and find some classic books.
So for 2013, my resolution is to increase the quality of what I read -- more stock and less flow.
How would Frank Luntz frame Warren Buffett's Tax Debate?
The Secretary-Billionaire Tax Equality Principle
Warren Buffett wrote an op-ed recently that suggested that the top 0.3% of yearly earners were paying too little in taxes.
One of his favorite illustrations of this point is that his secretary pays a much higher tax rate that he does.
His prescription is:
undefined cuts to entitlement programs
higher taxes on the top 0.3%
The Power of Framing
The idea that a secretary should not pay a higher tax rate than their billionaire boss
is hard to argue with and shows the power of "framing".
Here's an other tax framing idea:
It is often said that we don't want to push the burden of current spending onto future generations.
Reihan Salam: During the Bush years, it was often said that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts
represented redistribution from future taxpayers to current taxpayers.
You might reframe this as:
Those older Americans, who can afford it, should not get a better deal their grandchildren's generation
How would you explain it to a 6-year old person that is strangely interested in that subject?
Given the scope and content of what Hammond’s hacks exposed, his supporters agree that what he did was right. In their view, the private intelligence industry is effectively engaged in Psyops against American public., engaging in “planned operations to convey selected information to [us] to influence [our] emotions, motives, objective reasoning and, ultimately, [our] behavior”? Or as the philosopher might put it, they are engaged in epistemic warfare.
When we encounter insults from other people, we must deal with them with reason rather than anger. Either the insult is true, in which case we should be grateful for the insulter for pointing out this area in which we could improve, or it is false, in which case we should pity the insulter for his lack of accurate perception. Either way, an insult is nothing to get upset about.
Last in my own miniature summary of Stoicism, I’d like to point out the difference between Pleasure and Happiness. An alternative philosophy called Hedonism suggests that to have the best life, you simply maximize pleasure. But Stoics reject that, since pleasure is just one dimension of true happiness. Eating cupcakes is pleasurable, as is sex, sleeping in, drinking wine, and watching TV. Higher level pleasures might be had by driving a fancy car for the first few times, receiving compliments from important people or having millions of people ask for your autograph. But each pleasure very rapidly wears out if overused, and the Hedonist is left scrambling desperately higher up the pyramid of earthly pleasures until he runs out of money or health.
Inventor David Patrick, an avid skateboarder, stumbled (or, you know, skated) onto a way to reinvent the wheel as something that he claims is better than the tradition cylindrical model -- something faster, more stable, and more ground-gripping. Its inspiration, Patrick says, "came from a cube." He calls his creation the "SharkWheel," and he has patented the invention -- and is now raising money for its production on Kickstarter.
People think that teaching at a science and engineering school means you'll be faced with a group of awful writers. But I have read enough dense and vague lit criticism to know that writing clearly does not have a direct relationship with interest in the humanities. In some ways, I felt that the rigor of math had better prepared these kids for the rigor of writing.
When soft deleting a model, it is not actually removed from your database. Instead, a deleted_at timestamp is set on the record. To enable soft deletes for a model, specify the softDelete property on the model:
"Chinese people laugh more at weakness; Westerners are about poking fun at authority." But despite these differences, Chou believes that today's crosstalk practitioners are taking some cues from stand-up, integrating up-to-date references while staying true to the historic form.
But Atlas Shrugged is more point-blank with Rand's philosophy, and it's the second-most-influential book of all time, a distant second to the Bible, according to a survey of 5,000 Book-of-the-Month Club members taken a decade ago for the Library of Congress. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a friend of Ayn (pronounced EYE-n) Rand's before her death in 1982, is among its best-known proponents.
One of the most influential business books ever written is a 1,200-page novel published 50 years ago, on Oct. 12, 1957. It is still drawing readers; it ranks 388th on Amazon.com’s best-seller list. (“Winning,” by John F. Welch Jr., at a breezy 384 pages, is No. 1,431.)
Ultimately, thanks to the deposits of over a billion Chinese savers, China Inc. has been able to acquire strategic assets worldwide. This is possible because those deposits are financially repressed — savers receive negative returns because of interest rates below the inflation rate and strict capital controls that prevent savers from investing their money in more profitable investments abroad. Consequently, the Chinese government now controls oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to China and from South Sudan to the Red Sea.
Of course, the dominant individual host in prime time remained Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, whose numbers, just under three million total viewers and 438,000 in the younger viewer category, were not approached by any other host on any network.
3 million - 438,000 = 2,562,000 younger than 25 and older than 54
Berners-Lee's paper was rejected ("The hypertext community were unimpressed with the web; it looked rather simple," CERN's Dan Noyes explains in a post) but he was offered a table where he could demonstrate his World Wide Web to conference attendees. "
"Mutant females lacking serotonergic neurons" showed preferences for females over males. Zhang and company concluded that not having certain neurons that release serotonin "cause[d] a reversal of sexual preference, revealing a role for [serotonin] in regulating sexual preference."