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Joel Webber
Engineer, dad, Xoogler, startup founder Reformed drummer and game developer.
Engineer, dad, Xoogler, startup founder Reformed drummer and game developer.

Joel's posts

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Nice to see 538 doing a fairly comprehensive piece on basic income. Very thoughtful, and supportive of experiments:

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Tl;dr -- presubmit code reviews have more to do with culture, security, and knowledge sharing than with catching bugs early.

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What a wonderful idea. I've never visited Sweden, though I've spent a little time nearby in Denmark, and I'm sorely tempted to try this out myself.
This is the kind of initiative each country should use. Making the world a smaller place !

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There's a good chance you still harbor suspicion of fat, saturated or otherwise. And there's also a good chance your doctor is still giving you the advice that you should minimize your intake of the stuff. If your doctor's telling you this, then they're not a little bit off -- they're flat-out wrong, the evidence is overwhelming at this point, and was actually pretty strong even before the "fat hypothesis" took over in the 50s and 60s. This article does a good job explaining how that came to pass, and was driven by one of the well-known failure modes of the scientific process -- specifically, deference to authority, and to the strong-willed-but-wrong.

"[...] the science writer Gary Taubes has assembled a critique of contemporary nutrition science, powerful enough to compel the field to listen. One of his contributions has been to uncover a body of research conducted by German and Austrian scientists before the second world war, which had been overlooked by the Americans who reinvented the field in the 1950s. The Europeans were practising physicians and experts in the metabolic system. The Americans were more likely to be epidemiologists, labouring in relative ignorance of biochemistry and endocrinology (the study of hormones). This led to some of the foundational mistakes of modern nutrition." [emphasis mine]

This, for me, is the most damning part. Loose correlations from shoddy epidemiological studies are the bane of health science. Epidemiology has an often-deserved reputation for being only a step up from reading tea leaves. Such studies should be used to support or refute an underlying hypothesis, but taken as truth on their own, they're more likely to obscure than illuminate.

Imagine if we tried to do physics or chemistry with only correlation studies, underlying theory be damned? That's obvious nonsense, yet largely representative of how we study health and nutrition.

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This has to be the most weird and wonderful cultural juxtaposition I've seen in ages.

Western speed/thrash metal
-> Japanese Pop
-> Back to the Late Show

Quoth Colbert: "I have no idea what I'm about to see."
This made my day. I'm so glad this exists

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When Bloomberg is suggesting that a Basic Income makes more sense than a minimum wage (I agree), that lends credence to the idea that it's not just some crazy fringe scheme.

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(Courtesy of one Matt Crawford on Facebook)

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Yes, I'm pimping my company's blog, but this one's really good, I promise :)

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As the evidence mounts to the point of being overwhelming, and the generations brought up on reefer madness and drug-war era propaganda die off, we'll eventually get change even in the US.

Sometimes these things change in a kind of "punctuated equilibrium", where change that seemed impossible one year becomes inevitable the next (see also: same-sex marriage). Crossing my fingers that this is the case here.

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After the recent `leftpad()` debacle in Node-land, here we have the horrifying logical conclusion of non-hermetic insanity:
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