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Christopher Taylor
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Take the Stanford 'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence' class this fall. Taught by Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun. Get graded on a curve along with the Stanford students. About 10 hours of work per week. Anyone else keen?

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A few one-page explanations of the Higgs boson. Interesting although they all seem quite technical. +Tom Whyntie can you do any better?

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Bring on Skynet.

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This guy churns out custom essays for students who are too stupid/lazy to write their own, and he's written an anonymous article about it. Pretty interesting, as well as pretty vile.

I did like this line though: "As long as it doesn't require me to do any math ... I will write anything."

At least the mathmos are safe, for a while!

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It seems obvious to me that academics are being raped by journal publishers.

Academics put in countless hours to write the papers that appear in journals.

They have to jump through hoops to get the papers into journals, via an anonymous peer-review process for whose efficacy no evidence has ever been produced (see link).

In some cases, academics pay to have their work published in journals (this is the opposite of how publishing is supposed to work!)

Academics peer review papers for the journals, without being paid, out of some bizarre sense of obligation to the journal (or perhaps out of a noble sense of obligation to the pursuit of knowledge... but more likely because they're scared they won't get published in the journal again unless they write reviews for it).

Academics then pay to read the journals.

At every stage of the process they're being screwed, while the journal publishers continue to generate profits (for some reason, large-scale pirating of academic journals has yet to take off).

My question is: do academics view the situation in the same way that I do? If so:

(a) Is anything being done to change this (I know about arxiv, which doesn't have a review process, and PLoS, which doesn't seem to be that well respected... any others?)
(b) Why isn't more being done?
(c) What else could be done?

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Very cool illusion: when faces are flashed at you in quick succession, and your eyes are focused over to one side, the faces appear to be highly distorted and ugly. What causes this? (via +Tom Hartley)

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I liked a line near the end: "... the propensity of participants to remember the location of the information, rather than the information itself, is a sign that people are ... organising vast amounts of available information in a more accessible way."

So essentially, we're storing our information by reference rather than by value. I knew it'd be worth learning about pointers someday!

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Summary: you should post everything to public.
This neatly sums up why I (a) have no subject or topic-based circles and (b) post everything to Public. Personal stuff aside, posting to a specific topic-based circle makes assumptions about what people are or aren't interested in and honestly, I don't know most of you well enough to judge that, and vice versa.

The cross-pollination of perspectives and interests is a key feature of Twitter and it could be one of Google+.

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H.R. Giger could learn a lot from this guy.

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I imagine most people reading this will be fully on board with the value of socialized medicine, but in a 'it's nice to read things I agree with' kind of way, you might enjoy reading this story of one American's interaction with the British healthcare system.

Particularly: "The cost of calls to my insurance company to get permission to see an NHS doctor who didn’t charge me a penny will be six times what I paid for the medicine that cured my infection."
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