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Robert Smart
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Grandpa
Grandpa

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Who knew? “Yet there was a hidden ethnic dimension that undermined U.S. efforts to prop up the South. South Vietnam, like the Philippines and many other Southeast Asian countries, had a private economy dominated by a tiny Chinese minority called the Hoa. This was a source of great resentment for ethnic Vietnamese, whose own national identity had been defined by centuries of resistance to Chinese imperialism. To many Vietnamese, ‘capitalism’ was code for exploitation at the hands of the Hoa, and ‘communism’ a dog-whistle for Vietnamese ethnic nationalism; predictably, the latter proved more popular” https://medium.com/new-york-magazine/can-americas-two-tribes-learn-to-live-together-6333637e44be
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Cheap energy is the solution, but also the creator of even bigger problems. We need to use energy that the rest of nature doesn't want, then let the world ecosystem recover from our depredations.
https://www.simonsfoundation.org/2018/07/24/foundation-announces-simons-collaboration-on-hidden-symmetries-and-fusion-energy/

P.S. John Baez has (apparently) left g+ for twitter. Can the rest of interesting posters be far behind. Twitter needs to complement other infrastructure like blogs. Maybe twitter and wordpress could be induced to work together.
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I think it is very interesting that she does vigorous exercise. Another amazing mathematician is Emily Riehl who plays Australian Football (in America!). I have a niece who is a successful researcher who does a lot of vigorous exercise. I wonder if the rise of women in many fields is related to their increasing interest in vigorous exercise. This doesn't seem so important for men. Indeed it is hard to imagine Paul Erdos or Max Kelly doing much exercise -- I could be wrong. Of course, even if this observational correlation is correct, we are left not knowing if the correlation is really with the exercise, or with the inclination to do it.
An old suspicion that strange, eight-dimensional numbers called octonions underlie nature’s laws is gaining new life in the hands of physicist Cohl Furey. When she isn’t ski-bumming or training as a mixed martial artist, Furey has been finding intriguing connections between these numbers and the laws of particle physics.
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Nils and Bianca have to be the best dancing couple since Fred and Ginger
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It is insane that things like this can happen without governments throwing a lot of money at figuring out the cause. At least the Europeans responded to the crash in flying insects by banning the newer insecticides, but you also need to investigate if that was the problem.
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More interesting stuff on our weird world: "That Peterson doesn’t actually hold the opinions ascribed to him doesn’t matter at all to the keepers of the social media consensus. They’ll just keep repeating false claims, based mainly on cherry-picked quote fragments and evidence-free assertions, until they harden into social fact, immune from correction or clarification."
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"The mass distribution of disinformation strikes blow after blow against the elemental reason that must undergird the formation of common purposes."
This interesting article also points out the need for an envisaged better future, then offers negatively phrased ones (save the world from ...). This is an error. We need a positive one, and that can only be with a lot of cheap energy, for all the dangers that will also bring. The cheap energy is going to arrive anyway, and it is just a question of whether it comes to a world with a positive plan (which should be to allow the natural world to return to most of the planet).
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Politics is getting weird, and not just in America. Low skill jobs are disappearing, so people are advocating guaranteed income. Paying people to sit around looking at their smartphones is going to raise the level of weirdness and populism. Instead, let's pay people to learn. This will, if done correctly, give people a broader perspective, and create extra skilled workers.

A key will be to build Smart education software that helps people build on what they know, without boring them, but noticing quickly when they're not getting something and figuring out ways to fix that. I wonder if all the new conversational software can help to build such a system. Also if you're teaching lots of people you can experiment on them and figure what works without really knowing why (like playing Go).
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Unfortunately it is very hard to interpret any study about vitamin D, as clearly indicated here. Because vitamin D deficiency is highly correlated with not getting in the sun, so the negative effect might be because of some benefit of sunshine that is unrelated to vitamin D. And not getting in the sun is highly correlated with not getting enough exercise, so that might hold the missing benefit. My advice: cover your bases and get in the sun (but don't get burnt) and get some exercise.
https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vitamin-d-deficiency-may-significantly-increase-diabetes-risk-according-to-new-study/
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