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Dante Johnson
Worked at Auntie Anne's
Lived in Alaska


Dante Johnson

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Seriously, I'm going to need to binge watch Gargoyles. How the hell did I miss all of this?

have a complex about people thinking I’m stupid. I look for judgment from others when I share an idea, I expect most things I say to have at least a degree of stupidity, and I live with the Imposte...
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Dante Johnson

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via +paul beard 
So many of us are clueless about business and finance. Here's why that's just the way the investment class likes it
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Daniel Straub remembers the night he got hooked on basic income. He had invited Götz Werner, a billionaire owner of a German drugstore chain, to give an independent talk in Zurich, where Straub was…
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Dante Johnson

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I love how quickly and effectively gamers tend to perform. I don't think the human/computer dynamic being describe is just right, though. This comes on the heels of the excellent humans losing to a machine at Go for the first time, so of course it's brought up. But when you read the article, it seems pretty evident that the computers beat the brute force method of trying to solve this problem. 

The computer that beat the Go champions had to be specialized to do what it did, learning how to play the game similarly to how humans learn how to play. If the time and effort to create the machine learning algorithm and programming was put into solving this, I don't doubt that machine would produce the same level of (if not better) results. 
Gamers trump AI, help solve quantum physics problem

Pressed to find a solution for a complicated quantum physics problem that neither the researchers themselves nor an algorithm could properly solve, Danish physicists turned to the gaming community.

They devised a game which mimicked the task at hand while also keeping it fun, and found some gamers came up with novel “outside the box” solutions which the algorithm couldn’t even touch.

Points for humanity!

The problem the researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark were trying to solve deals with moving atoms around without wrecking the information they contain, which is essential to the functioning of a quantum computer.

Using lasers, scientists can trap atoms in an optical lattice so you can use them to code qubits or quantum bits which can be 0 and 1 at the same time, unlike classical bits.

It’s when you move the atoms using so-called optical tweezers to perform operations that things start to crumble. Move them too slowly and the system loses its quantum state. Too fast and again you disrupt the system.

“There is a shortest process duration with perfect fidelity, denoted the quantum speed limit (QSL),” the authors write in their paper published in Nature, “which imposes a fundamental limit on the process duration.”


{Warning: Flashing gif

I have therefore linked to the LA Times, which has a nice, easy-on-the-brain image embedded within its coverage...}

See the paper:

Exploring the quantum speed limit with computer games

Humans routinely solve problems of immense computational complexity by intuitively forming simple, low-dimensional heuristic strategies1, 2. Citizen science (or crowd sourcing) is a way of exploiting this ability by presenting scientific research problems to non-experts. ‘Gamification’—the application of game elements in a non-game context—is an effective tool with which to enable citizen scientists to provide solutions to research problems. The citizen science games Foldit3, EteRNA4 and EyeWire5 have been used successfully to study protein and RNA folding and neuron mapping, but so far gamification has not been applied to problems in quantum physics. Here we report on Quantum Moves, an online platform gamifying optimization problems in quantum physics. We show that human players are able to find solutions to difficult problems associated with the task of quantum computing6. Players succeed where purely numerical optimization fails, and analyses of their solutions provide insights into the problem of optimization of a more profound and general nature. Using player strategies, we have thus developed a few-parameter heuristic optimization method that efficiently outperforms the most prominent established numerical methods. The numerical complexity associated with time-optimal solutions increases for shorter process durations. To understand this better, we produced a low-dimensional rendering of the optimization landscape. This rendering reveals why traditional optimization methods fail near the quantum speed limit (that is, the shortest process duration with perfect fidelity)7, 8, 9. Combined analyses of optimization landscapes and heuristic solution strategies may benefit wider classes of optimization problems in quantum physics and beyond.

Computers may trounce humans at games like chess and Go, but there’s one game we’ve still got a lock on: quantum physics. Scientists who had people play an online video game that mimicked a troublesome quantum mechanical problem found that the gamers were far better than the computers at working out viable solutions.
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Dante Johnson

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Researchers at Rice University have discovered that the strong field emitted by a Tesla coil causes carbon nanotubes to self-assemble into long wires. This phenomenon has been named "teslaphoresis" and could help pave the way for the scalable assembly of nanotubes.

In addition to forming a circuit between two LEDs, the nanowires are also capable of harvesting energy from the emitted electromagnetic field to illuminate them. While the field from the Tesla coil is currently limited to only a few feet, patterned surfaces and multiple coils could create much more complex nanowire patterns.

Learn More:

#ScienceGIF #Science #GIF #Nanotubes #Carbon #Teslaphoresis #Tesla #Electricity #Wire #Nanowire #SelfAssembly #Physics #TeslaCoil #Current
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Dante Johnson

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via +Doug Senko as a comment in another thread.

I assume +Jennifer Freeman will be interested in this, because reasons.
From the era of slavery to the rise of Donald Trump, wealthy elites have relied on the loyalty of poor whites.
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Dante Johnson

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There's a decent bit of talk about behavioral economics and what it's bringing to the table, which is satisfying to read as well. I'm so glad that people are starting to look more at reality when it comes to this stuff.
Krueger on spillover effects in minimum wage studies:

Let me make some initial comments. In our book, we discovered spillover effects. When I say we discovered it, we asked in a very direct way when the minimum wage went from $3.35 to $4.25, and you had a worker who was making $4.50, did that worker get a raise as a result?

And what we found was that a large share of fast food restaurants responded “yes.” We had these knock-on effects or spillover effects.

Interestingly, they tended to occur within firms that were paying below the new minimum wage. You had some restaurants that were already above the new minimum wage. And the increase in the minimum wage had very little effect on their wage scales, which suggests that internal hierarchies matter for worker morale and productivity.

Only to economists is that surprising. The rest of the world knows that the way that they’re treated compared to other people influences their behavior, and the way that they view their job and how likely they are to continue on their job, and so on.

The standard textbook model, by contrast, views workers as atomistic. They just look at their own situation, their own self-interest, so whether someone else gets paid more or less than them doesn’t matter. The real world actually has to take into account these social comparisons and social considerations. And the field of behavioral economics recognizes this feature of human behavior and tries to model it. That thrust was going on, kind of parallel to our work, I’d say.

Now, I also found it interesting that when the minimum wage was at a higher level compared to a lower level, the spillover effects were less common.

So to some extent, the spillover effects are voluntary and the companies are willing to put up with somewhat lower morale when the minimum wage is at a relatively higher level. And I always found it curious that companies would complain, “It’s not the minimum wage itself, it’s that I’m going to have to pay more than everybody else.” Well, that shows that you’re actually not behaving the way the model that you just cited to argue that you are going to hire fewer workers says you should behave. Because you’re voluntarily choosing to pay people, who were working before at a lower wage, a higher wage.

And it also gets you to think, well, maybe the wage from a societal perspective was too low to start with. And the fact that employers are taking into account these spillover effects when they set the starting wage means that from a societal perspective, we could get stuck in an equilibrium where the wage is too low.

Now, I always suspected that the spillover effects kind of petered out when you got 50 cents or a dollar an hour above the new minimum wage. But interestingly,work by David Lee, who was a student of David’s and mine at Princeton, suggests that the spillover effects are pretty pervasive throughout the distribution. And he used a different method, one that I think is quite compelling to look at: What happened around minimum wage increases in states where they really had more of a binding effect?

And he found quite significant spillover effects. So one area where I think the literature has deviated from what we concluded in our book was we thought the spillover effects were there but they were modest. And I would say, if anything, it points to a larger impact of the minimum wage because of the spillovers.

But still no disemployment effect. This later:

And [Ashenfelter] used to like to tell a story, which I remember vividly, where he met with some restaurant group when he worked, I think, at the Labor Department. And they said, we’ve got a problem in our industry: The minimum wage is too low and we can’t get enough workers.

And that’s inconsistent with the kind of view that the market determines the wage, and you get all the workers you want at the going wage, and you can raise the wage if you can’t get enough workers. And I think he was always sympathetic to the famous quote, in “A Wealth of Nations,” where Adam Smith said that employers rarely get together when the subject doesn’t turn to how to keep wages low; that there’s a tacit and constant collusion by employers. So I think he kind of set a tone where it was acceptable if you found results that went against the conventional wisdom.
Card and Krueger discuss the origins of empirical techniques they advanced, how the United States is falling behind when it comes to data, and two conflicting threads of contemporary economic theory.
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You’ve heard opponents argue again and again that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. (And you’ve seen us refute their claims at every turn.) If you increase labor costs for businesses, they claim, employers will have to either raise costs or lay off employees. They discuss
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Dante Johnson

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Whether I was working as a barista or a paralegal, the story was the same: My employers wanted me to keep my mouth shut about money.
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Even CEOs are often just puppets for the real masters.

This may explain the stated views of CEOs like John Mackey (Whole Foods), John Schnatter (Papa John's Pizza), or this guy:

via rms://
Did you know that a high percentage of powerful business executives represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or its more local affiliates actually support an increased minimum wage, paid sick days for employees, extended maternity and paternity leave, and other progressive policies that benefit workers and families?If you didn't, there's a reason for that.
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Dante Johnson

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Gotta love +Elizabeth Warren​!
A Republican witness at today's banking hearing attempted to claim there were no warning signs before the collapse VIDEO
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Dante's Collections
Occasionally depressed. Rarely irrational.
I don't participate. I watch, I observe, I listen, I think. 

I like to talk about thoughts and ideas and meanings. I try to make sense of things.

I find beauty in the combination of power and elegance. A flame, a tiger, a lightning bolt, a blade. I love the sound of rain.

Passion, dedication, and commitment. Whether love, work, hobby, or some other important part of life, greatness becomes more likely with those three ingredients. 

I believe that the deliberate spreading of misinformation by those whose role is to deliver accurate information should be a criminal offense.

I prefer games with clear rules.
Bragging rights
I type using the Dvorak keyboard layout. Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker from Next Generation) took a picture of me once.
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Alaska - Japan - Oklahoma - Florida
Soon: Financial Planner.
  • Auntie Anne's
  • Panera Bread
  • Winn-Dixie
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Dante Johnson's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Sweden closes four prisons as number of inmates plummets

Decline partly put down to strong focus on rehabilitation and more lenient sentences for some offences

Unlearning Mistaken Ideas

'The psychological study of misconceptions shows that all of us possess many beliefs that are flawed or flat-out wrong—and also that we clin | A Project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center

Super PAC Polishes Huntsman's Resume. November 15. Someone. A super PAC backing Jon Huntsman for president makes three misleading or fal

A War of Voting: Could Redistricting and Voting Law Changes Help Republi...

A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice warns changes to voting laws could strip the voting rights of more than 5 million people -- a

The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era

Hi, everyone. I’m Michael Grunwald from TIME Magazine, and Josh has generously invited me to blog this week about my new book, The New New D

symmetry breaking » Blog Archive » CERN spin-off: More efficient sola...

Nothing exists in a vacuum, except for maybe the physics career of Cristoforo Benvenuti. While working at CERN, Benvenuti developed equipmen

How the Finnish school system outshines U.S. education

( -- Educational philosophy in Finland is strikingly different than in the United States, but the students there outperform U.S.

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong | Video on

TED Talks Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? "Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz makes a compel

The Baloney Detection Kit: A 10-Point Checklist for Science Literacy

How to assess the believability of claims without succumbing to cynicism. After last month's vintage-inspired short films on critical thi

New computers respond to students' emotions, boredom

Emotion-sensing computer software that models and responds to students' cognitive and emotional states -- including frustration and boredom - All Starcraft 2 video casted matches / VODs in one place !

Keeps track of the best Starcraft 2 video casted matches from all over the Internet

YouTube - TEDxCanberra - Ash Donaldson - Cognitive dissonance

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Bluebrain | Year One

Henry Markram is attempting to reverse engineer an entire human brain, one neuron at a time. This piece is an introduction to director Noah

YouTube - Philip Wesley: Dark Night Of The Soul

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YouTube - Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation

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Bluebrain | Year Two

Henry Markram is attempting to reverse engineer an entire brain, one neuron at a time, on IBM supercomputers. This piece is the Year Two pre

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?

The very act of making decisions depletes our ability to make them well. So how do we navigate a world of endless choice?

YouTube - Critical Thinking

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YouTube - Conformity

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