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Thomas Dimiduk
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Interesting Dystopia/Utopia Short novella:

http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm

What do people think about the Australia project therin? Anyone wanna help build something like it?
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Interesting point +Alaina Lynn. The story didn't go into education for kids at all, but yes it is a potentially large complication. Your idea of age mattering less and people learning when they want to seems like one good option. Though there is the fact that it seems people learn more easily when they are young, so it might be harder for people to learn as much later in life. There is also the question of of how much you actually need everyone to know if you actually have robots which can manage everything.

I think one good solution might end up being the emergence of much better educational games. If you think about how hard kids are willing to work to get good at a video game, and manage to translate that into something where they have to learn actually useful things to progress in the game, it could be quite powerful for motivating kids to learn.

I as far as feasibility goes, I kind of ignore the Mind Machine interface stuff since I don't think it is particularly necessary for the society. The general social order stuff supported by robotic production seems like it would be possible within our lifespan given sufficient startup capital, a host country willing to work with the project like Australia in the story, and a good collection of smart people setting their minds to it.
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In a moment of weakness I gave #expedia my cell number while booking. Now I am getting robo calls. Not Cool. Will be staying away from expedia for a while.
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robo calls??! hehe
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/07/25/rand-paul-introduces-bill-to-reform-civil-asset-forfeiture/

This could be really important. Civil forfeiture being use in some rather horrifying abuses of power by many police departments, and the do it particularly to the most vulnerable.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/08/12/taken

I particularly like the part where the proposed bill would have money go into the general treasury fund, rather than specifically to the police budgets.
The Republican senator's crusade for criminal justice reform represents a remarkable shift in public discourse.
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Victor Echeverria's profile photoThomas Dimiduk's profile photoDavid Nicholl's profile photo
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Eh, I am happy whenever sense breaks out on capital hill, no matter the source.
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Lessig is taking a swing at fixing money in politics. I don't know if fighting fire with fire will work here, but I respect Lessig a whole lot more than just about anyone in politics, so I say lets give this a shot. I have pledged, please consider pledging and/or sharing the word.
MayOne.us - SuperPAC to end all SuperPacs. Join our effort to win a Congress committed to reforming the influence of money in Politics.
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Yes, there is that problem. In the end elections are still technically decided by votes not money, and there are a lot more people in the 99%. I don't think it is realistic to actually outspend them, but it might be realistic to get enough publicity out there to get 51% of the electorate to realize that there are smarter ways to do things. Hopefully the fact that what Lessig wants is more sensible will make it much cheaper to convince poeple.
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It seems like scientists are all about immortality these days. It's not just plants and people that are getting the treatment, though. A team of Harvard engineers are developing a way of producing color that could produce paint that never fades, and displays that never go dark.
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Nice explanation for the (relatively) lay person of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Inflation discovery by the BICEP2 team.

This is far from my area of physics, but it looks like a pretty awesome discovery.

my tldr; (feel free to correct me if you know this better)
The inflationary Big Bang theory predicts that Inflation caused the universe to suddenly become optically transparent. The photons last scattered at that early time are the CMB. The polarization of these photons is not completely explained by standard gravitational lensing, but could be explained by gravity waves caused by the inflation of the early universe.

via +Felipe Lessa 
 
Echoes

Today's post is a summary of the BICEP2 results on inflation.  It has a lot of images, so it's on the blog.  At noon I'll be on the radio talking about the results (http://goo.gl/cnlWlq), so I've been spending much of my time doing background reading.  Tomorrow will bring a more traditional post.
Yesterday a research project known as BICEP2 announced important results regarding cosmic inflation. The result centers on what is known as B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background. This is pretty big news, but it is also pretty complex, so let's look at what's really going on here and why this matters.
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My Think Penguin router arrived today:
https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/free-software-wireless-n-broadband-router-gnu-linux-tpe-nwifirouter2

tldr; Looks like a great router, better range than my old one, bunch of neat config options, and now I can ssh into my router :). If anyone is in the market for a new router or would like one that is more secure and Free, you might want to pick one up.

I had been having trouble with wireless connection in my new room, so when I got an email about a Respects your freedom router that looked like it had good antenna, I decided to grab one. It is only ~$64 shipped, which is a small price to pay for freedom in my book.

I had been interested in moving to a proper open router after listening to a talk by Jim Gettys explaining how crucial it is to be able to do security upgrades to a router (the takeaway there is that if you are running a router with stock firmware, you are probably vulnerable to having your router pwned).

The basics of this router was just as easy to set up as any generic router you might buy, and it was only slightly harder to figure out things like getting ssh access to the router and doing scans for what channels all the other people around me are on (turns out my neighborhood has lots of people on channel 1, 6, and 11), I don't know why other routers don't have a way to check channels of potentially interfering other networks.

Still more things I can do to do more with the router, but first day it is already a nice step up from my old router.
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Indeed it is. If you are in the market for a new router (or just have a budget with space for one), I would suggest one.
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My foray into math/algorithms:
http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/12748673

My paper on how to speed up fitting (solving an inverse problem) holograms. I showed that you can get a factor of ten speedup (or better) by only looking at a random subset of the pixels in a hologram.

I would like to think the paper (or at least the intro) is reasonably easy to read, so check it out
Title: Random-subset fitting of digital holograms for fast three-dimensional particle tracking. Author: Dimiduk, Thomas Gwilym; Perry, Rebecca Wood; Fung, Jerome; Manoharan, Vinothan N. Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors. Citation: Dimiduk, Thomas G., ...
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Awesome news about a big donation to help with fundamental research into mental illness:

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/07/broad_psychiatric_research_gift/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=07.23.daily%202

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/22/science/650-million-psychiatric-research.html

This is still a very hard problem, and we can't really expect results soon, but at least they are going to dig in and try to establish some firm scientific underpinnings.
Philanthropist Ted Stanley announced plans to donate $650 million to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to foster research into psychiatric diseases, whose biological causes, long a mystery, scientists have begun to tease out in recent years.
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Apparently (assuming I could get them to hold still and find an ergonomic grip), I could:
Overhead press a Cheetah
Bench press a Komodo Dragon
Squat a Baby Elephant
Deadlift a Male Giant Panda
http://whatanimaldoyoulift.herokuapp.com/

I particularly like the dragon Bench Press ;)
How much weight are you picking up and putting down with authority? lbs, kg. You are even lifting a. TWITTER-BRAG AT THE BROS · WHAT OTHER ANIMALS DO YOU EVEN LIFT. Questions? Come at me.
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You and a tranquilizer gun and a camera have some work to do.
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Nice long article explaining a bit about what happens in high frequency trading. Even better, it offers some hope in the form of the story of a new exchange called IEX which apparently manages to fix the crazy unfair advantage high frequency traders get on normal markets.
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/magazine/flash-boys-michael-lewis.html?_r=0

Someone built a version of what I have been ranting needed to be done to fix the stock market.
How a band of outsiders discovered that the stock market was rigged — and set out to change it.
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I would like to point out that, based on this description of high-frequency trading, a more correct term would be "low-latency trading".
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Further demonstrating that medicine is complicated, a 90,000 person, 25 year study has shown that mammography makes essentially no statistically significant difference in breast cancer mortality for women 40-59 years old. It does however lead to significant treatment of cancers that wouldn't have killed the patient. 

The actually British Medical Journal article is also quite readable if you want more detail:
http://press.psprings.co.uk/bmj/february/breastscreening.pdf
A 25-year study involving 90,000 women has found that the breast-cancer screenings did not lower the death rate from the disease and had harms.
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I am a grad student in Physics at Harvard.  I work in the Manoharan Lab (manoharan.seas.harvard.edu) I work on using Digital Holographic Microscopy to study biology (specifically cell growth).  

I am one of the core developers of Holopy www.launchpad.net/holopy a python package for analyzing digital holograms.  

I am creator of GroupEng: www.groupeng.org a computer utility to aid instructors in forming groups groupwork in their classes, specifically in following research recommendations for retention of women and minorities in engineering. 

I try to stay reasonably active, doing Aikido, Hiking, Sailing, Kayaking, Cross Country Skiing, Running, ...

I try to adhere to "If you don't have anything worth saying, don't say anthing" with respect to posting.  Don't expect a ton of posts from me, but I try to keep the quality reasonably high.  
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