Critical Section

Monday,  02/24/03  10:08 AM

So, I finally "read" the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover-to-cover.  Is it just me, or has this thing jumped the shark?  I like beautiful women as much as the next guy, but I don't know, it just doesn't have the same coolness it once did...  Perhaps because it is so endlessly promoted, so commercial, so - airbrushed...

After four straight days of not enough wind, today we had too much wind in Auckland.  Sigh...

Caltech is sponsoring a Turing Tournament.  You can enter two ways, either by building an emulator, a program which attempts to mimic human behavior, or a detector, a program which attempts to distinguish humans from emulators.  First prize is $10,000 and bragging rights...

An interesting series of discussions are linked from Gene Expression regarding The Bell Curve.  If you're interested in frank discussion of human intelligence, click away...

Unlike many who discuss The Bell Curve, I've actually read it, and I found it fascinating and well-written.  It is regrettable that Murray and Herrnstein were known to have racial views, and even more regrettable that race was mentioned in their book.  This turned debate about the book's ideas to discussions of race, which are nearly always emotional and unproductive.

The most important idea in the book was independent of race entirely - the strong and strongly researched link between intelligence and social behaviour.  (Most of the book analyzes data from a long-term study of Caucasians.)  The fact that low intelligence is a leading indicator of criminality, violence, lack of civility, and poor parenting was suspected before but has now been clearly shown.  The implications are significant for policymakers, philosophers, pundits, and thoughtful people everywhere, particularly in a world where the average intelligence level is steadily dropping.

I urge anyone interested in these issues to read the book, it is well worth your time even if you are unconvinced by or opposed to the authors' views.

Here's something cool: Alluvium uses RSS to form a peer-to-peer music distribution network.

Did you miss the Grammys?  Or are you like me, and did you just realize while reading this that you missed the Grammys?  Ted Barlow shares a brief review which captures the highlights of what seems to have been a dismal effort.  The reason for poor music sales must be online file sharing, what else could it be?  (And it couldn't have anything to do with this...)

Eject! Eject! Eject! has a new essay posted: Confidence.  Read it and you will feel good.

From Steven Den Beste When you sit at a poker table, if after fifteen minutes you can't figure out who the pigeon is, you're the pigeon.  I like that.

Finally, a USB toothbrush.  Huh?  I am not making this up.

About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?