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Jess Austin
Lived in Gascozark MO
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Jess Austin

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Hey, what's the use of public spending if it doesn't pass through the maximum possible number of sticky fingers before arriving at its "intended" destination?

Private foundations, however, should definitely consider this point.
Scientists spend 40% of their time chasing grants according to some estimates. Suppose they spend 20% of their time doing something else, such as teaching. That means they spend no more than 40% of their time doing research. If universities simply paid their faculty a salary rather than giving them a hunting license for grants, the faculty could spend 80% of their time on research rather than 40%. Of course the numbers wouldn’t actually work out ...
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Jess Austin

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Still looking under the lamppost...
Mice — inbred to reduce genetic variation — are used as laboratory models of humans in hundreds of situations. Researchers assume there are big similarities between humans and one particular genetically-narrow species of mouse. A new study, however, found that the correlation between human genomic changes after various sorts of damage (“trauma”, burn, endotoxins in the blood, and so on) and mouse genomic changes was close to zero. According to a ...
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Jess Austin

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This is why tenure exists. Bravo Prof. Lewis!
Harvard released a letter from Dean Michael Smith Friday presenting what most likely will be the final public word on the so-called “cheating scandal.” Harvard Magazine does an excellent job summarizing and glossing the letter, and noting what it does not say as well as what it does. (The full text of Dean Smith’s letter is included in the HM article. The editor also seems to have been able to clarify some of the letter’s ambiguous language about...
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Jess Austin

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Jess Austin

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How did I know when I first heard about this that Whitlock would be the only journalist in the nation to get this right?
Notre Dame isn't the only institution that's gone all-in on Te'o.
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Jess Austin

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That which most of us predicted, is now come to pass.
While Windows 8 and Surface were holding everyone’s attention, Microsoft began radically changing its Office business model. Office 2013 retail editions no longer ship with physical media and are permanently locked to the first computer they are activated on, just like OEM editions. There are no options for “family packs” of multiple licenses, nor installations on multiple machines. Clearly Microsoft no longer wants you to buy these editions. Wha...
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Jess Austin

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It's tempting to be sympathetic to his dilemma, but I'm not.
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This is awesome. They are proactively attempting to correct a manufacturing problem for customers who haven't even noticed it. Also they're telling the whole world about it. I'm so happy with my Surly, and I look forward to the day I have enough spare cash to buy another.
The quality of our products is something we take very seriously here at Surly. We’ve hung our hat on having a low warranty return rate and providing products that work. We are not infallible, however, and that’s why we have a warranty policy. If we made your stuff wrong, we’ll make it right within the confines of that policy – and we’ll do so as quickly and efficiently as we can. Recently, we’ve seen a small percentage of our Snowblind White Pu...
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Jess Austin

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Hear, hear! A small portion of these hundred students may be cheats, but most of them were trapped and scammed by a poorly-planned poorly-run course. Prof. Lewis has a nuanced, strategic, complete understanding of the purpose of the institution, which one seldom finds in administrators or younger professors. (Hint: education is about more than never admitting that a professor screwed up.)
The story that appeared in the Boston Globe about the "cheating scandal" a few days ago (behind a paywall, sorry) spent a certain amount of time on the perceptions of accused students that they were involved in an adversarial rather than educational process with the University. I was reminded that it has been more than thirty years now since the educational philosophy of the Administrative Board was laid out by then dean of the College John Fox, ...
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Jess Austin

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I love the comparison. In general, my rule about the future is: don't credit doomsday scenarios. Rationality breaks down in regions of noncontinuous payoffs. Because we can reason effectively about gradual trends, that's what we should do. (Lamppost hehehe.)

Speaking more specifically, the real entitlement problem is not Social Security, but rather Medicare plus whatever-the-hell we're adding in 2014. Even that wouldn't be a problem if healthcare costs were growing at a predictable rate that was not too much greater than productivity growth for the overall economy (because after all, shouldn't every additional bead of sweat wrung from the brows of the proletariat be transferred forthwith to the physicians and drug companies?). Alas, we don't live in that world. Based purely on measurements from the recent present, we know that costs are increasing unsustainably. We don't have to build a computer model to see the trouble we're in; pencil and paper suffice.

As for the climate, I've been talking up Siberia and Canadia for a long time. The Russian people are dying out; by 2100 southerners will face little resistance colonizing the erstwhile taiga. Asteroids have caused extinctions through climatic shocks, but in every case most biomass survived. Whatever we're doing, it's not going to be a Chicxulub. If the tropics really are growing less hospitable, the people who live there will notice, and move. If they don't notice, then maybe the computer models need a bit of work.
Paul gives an essentially full-throated endorsement of the dovish position on Social Security. As always the crux is that uncertainty militates against decisive action: So the threat, if you like, is that future benefits will fall short of what people now expect. To avert this threat, the usual suspects insist that we must gradually reduce the program’s generosity. That is, in order to guard against cuts in future benefits we must … cut future be...
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Jess Austin

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So true! Actually I think many more [non-violent] "infractions" should be civil rather than criminal matters. The classical objection to this is that then only the wealthy will be protected, but as Greenspun points out only the wealthy enjoy the protection of our current system. The least they could do is pay for it themselves.
A few journalists have called recently to ask about Aaron Swartz. Some have asked for my personal thoughts on whether I thought MIT was right to cooperate with the Secret Service in investigating and arresting Aaron. I didn’t know the facts well enough to offer an opinion but I began wondering why MIT, with its $10 billion in the bank, and JSTOR, with its thousands of paying customers, need assistance from the government in pursuing alleged copyr...
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In his circles
44 people
Have him in circles
28 people
Philip Austin's profile photo
Joshua Aman's profile photo
Sarah Schrock's profile photo
Nina Owen Jones's profile photo
David Kadavy's profile photo
Jesse Anttila-Hughes's profile photo
Hyun-Sup Byun's profile photo
Caleb Loya's profile photo
Chris Lewman's profile photo
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Gascozark MO - Cambridge MA - Denver - Singapore - Tokyo - Monrovia CA - Honolulu HI
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