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John MacLeod
7,838 followers -
cartoonist (Dishman, Space Kid), geek, quasi-curmudgeon, old stick in the mud...
cartoonist (Dishman, Space Kid), geek, quasi-curmudgeon, old stick in the mud...

7,838 followers
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trying to match the eyes...
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Today is comin' along!
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The new (unified) G+ desktop notification panel is losing notifications left and right. For a while I thought that all the extra notifications I was seeing when I checked on mobile occasionally were dupes -- but it turns out that most of them are notifications that were never presented to me on desktop, in vast numbers. Right now I can find (on the unusable standalone notifications page) about 30 recent notifications that were never presented to me in the notification panel. I'm not even sure how to deal with them now. Awful. This is unacceptable -- you have one job to do notifications panel, and that's to accurately show me my damned notifications! Also, a high percentage of the time when I click on actions in the desktop notification panel pop-up boxes, the panel blows away and I'm thrown to a new G+ tab. Does anyone bother to stress test this stuff any more in the context of users with many followers who get lots of notifications?

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garrr, Dr. Old Guy is being all cryptic again... #comics #ZazzComics #LEDcomic #HunterM 

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Rare Wildlife Sighting: a pair of Payphoniae demiboothus - long thought extinct!
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It's National Book Week. The rules are, grab the closest book to you, turn to page 56, post the 5th sentence as your status. Don't mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your status.

"The answer: five to seven, arguably."

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The comic is getting better all the time. I like the interaction between hope and her hair stylist in panel 2....

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"...unlike the original study, the subjects in these new ones weren’t just college students ..."

Wait, what?

Okay, this is on me, not remembering that the original 2010 study was conducted on college students -- I have no recollection of this being said. But still....

I've spent years, letting myself get depressed by the idea that this study has shown that people's minds cannot be changed by appeals to reason... watching it become adopted as a general truism in discussions, feeding the "post-facts" era, etc...

But all this time, the study was conducted on people in their late teens and early twenties?? The age where you know everything and no one can tell you any different?! I was like that at that age, my friends were, my kids are now, it is a rare exception to find anyone in this age group who significantly veers from this....

Holy mackinaw, if in 2010 they had come out and said "This study proves that you can't change the minds of late teens and early twenties with new facts and appeals to reason", I'd be like "what else is new?"

Holy mackinaw again.
Via Slate Star Codex: apparently the "backfire effect" of political facts isn't necessarily correct:

> First described in a 2010 paper by the political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, the idea is simple: If someone believes something that’s false, and you present them with a correction, in many situations rather than update their belief they will double down, holding even tighter to that initial belief. [...]

> Two new upcoming studies of the backfire effect call into question its very existence. These studies collected far more subjects than the original backfire study, and both find effectively no backfire effect at all. And unlike the original study, the subjects in these new ones weren’t just college students — they were thousands of people, of all ages, from all around the country.

> If this new finding holds up, this is a very important, well, correction: It suggests that overall, fact-checking may be more likely to cause people, even partisans, to update their beliefs rather than to cling more tightly to them. And part of the reason we now know this is that Nyhan and Reifler put their money where their mouths were: When a team of two young researchers approached them suggesting a collaboration to test the backfire effect in a big, robust, public way, they accepted the challenge. So this is partly a story about a potentially important new finding in political science and psychology — but the story within the story is about science being done right. [...]

> As the paper notes, the experiments were set up in ways designed to maximize the chances of a backlash effect being observed. Many of the issues the respondents were asked about are extremely politically charged — abortion and gun violence and illegal immigration — and the experiment was conducted during one of the most heated and unusual presidential elections in modern American history. The idea was something like, Well, if we can’t find the backfire effect here, with a big sample size under these sorts of conditions, then we can safely question whether it exists.

> And that’s what happened. “Across all experiments,” the researchers write, “we found only one issue capable of triggering backfire: whether WMD were found in Iraq in 2003.” Even there, changing the wording of the item in question eliminated the backfire effect.
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