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Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

bmacs27 Re: Some people never learn. (329 comments)

Right. Since that choice has been made, I look at the poor blokes and I don't begrudge them their mortgage. I'd rather be in suffocating debt than get eaten in the concrete jungle. Ideally the people complaining about the economic consequences of subsidizing the debt would come up with a better substitute than 'let them die and imprison their children.' For now, that's all I'm hearing from the 'fiscal conservatives' on this side of the pond.

Incidentally, if loaning money that is unlikely to be paid back is really a bad idea someone ought to talk to the folks buying up those t-bills.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

bmacs27 Re: How is that startling? (413 comments)

How about governor Gerry, D - Mass.

about three weeks ago
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Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

bmacs27 Re: Some people never learn. (329 comments)

You have two choices, (i) help them live, (ii) let them die. Option (iii) wish they were model citizens, is out of stock. Once we make up our minds between (i) and (ii) we can sort out the specifics.

about three weeks ago
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Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

bmacs27 Re: Some people never learn. (329 comments)

You have a very suburban mentality about all of this. 'A little hard work' doesn't do the trick for everybody. That's a myth. Where can you purchase a $2000 property while living without your own transportation and find steady paying work? Now pretend you don't know how to program computers and do the math again. You simply aren't allowing in your world view room for someone who just CAN'T. Refusing to believe they exist won't make them go away.

about three weeks ago
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Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

bmacs27 Re: Some people never learn. (329 comments)

You didn't answer my question. What are the borrowers supposed to do? They've been priced out of the economy. They cannot compete. The debt model was a compromise welfare scheme. The thought was, with some skin in the game at least people might try and get on their feet. Else, can we go back the more hayekian 'just give them the money?' Otherwise, someone needs to foot the bill to clean up their carcasses.

about three weeks ago
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Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

bmacs27 Re: Some people never learn. (329 comments)

Most people need to borrow just to eat and have shelter. What would you have them do? Even if you could rent, what's wrong with financing a home via mortgage? At least then you are building equity. Your monthly shelter check becomes savings.

about three weeks ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

bmacs27 Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of yo (330 comments)

I'd add that I actually personally like both the anchors, Peter Dayan (modeler) and Read Montague (imager). Given that Dayan stamped his name on the math, I'm sure it is fine. That said... I can imagine the laugh they had at SfN when they decided to run this study. It's click bait. Someone was going to do it. Why not be the ones getting the press?

about a month and a half ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

bmacs27 Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of yo (330 comments)

First, I'd contest your claim that fMRI experiments are inexpensive. For any new faculty working with a magnet, hours on the magnet is almost always a point of negotiation. Typically the facility charges substantial fees to recoup costs associated with purchasing and maintaining the magnet. Bills as high as 10,000 a hour are not unheard of. I've seen them myself, and they were not surprising to seasoned MRI researchers. When there is clinical use of the magnet, often times the cost of operation is passed on to patients. True. However most researchers much prefer dedicated research magnets for obvious logistical reasons (like not running subjects at night).

This may build on existing literature. Skin conductance, and startle responses seem more valuable frankly. I'm not sure what this adds. Either way, I'm not sure where the value in predicting political ideology comes from. Maybe we could lesion some folks to do some social engineering?

Third... Yes I meant what I said. I really think we have no idea what regions outside sensory and motor cortical areas are doing. Hell, we don't even fully know what the retina is doing. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. For example, memories are stored all over your brain in every synapse. What would you call the "memory" area? My problem with "middleware" research is that it is all very dependent on the definitions of your terms. For example... What makes an image pleasant as opposed to neutral? People have agreed upon data sets and so forth, but that's just like standard social psychology. Using correlations with old surveys to validate your new surveys. Around and around we go. There are things you can do, but it all depends on how much squish you're comfortable with. I'm not comfortable spending lots of money on lots of squish. Fmri is a bubble that needs to pop. In the last round of cuts they gutted pure behavior (entire study sections at the nih) in favor of few more pretty pictures. That's a travesty. Don't even get me started on the genetic lines of mice for studying "vision." Stupid things can't even see.

about a month and a half ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

bmacs27 Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of yo (330 comments)

Suppose they had found a result for pleasant images. That's what the paper would have been about. I already mentioned that they "probably" cross validated (see my replies to other replies). I'm being a little harsh, only because of the extraordinary expense necessary to run the study. Even if the results generalize in the way that they claim, the study is of limited scientific utility. It's fluff meant to generate clicks. We can't get at circuits. They have no mechanistic model. This kind of work doesn't really buy us much. It certainly isn't particularly "interesting science." If you had the effect behaviorally that might be more interesting. Then you could at least inform the pollsters. Those of us serious about understanding the brain tend to stick close to a sensory input or a motor output. At least responses in those areas are closely related in predictable ways to objectively measurable phenomena. These guys are kinda all "let's jump in the middle and see what happens." It leaves you with no valid basis for generating a hypothesis. You can spin your results however you choose. For all we know democrats get laid more and that explains the difference in responses.

about a month and a half ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

bmacs27 Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of yo (330 comments)

Okay. Paper read... You know... Since you asked so nicely. Turns out my "totally uninformed speculation" was right on the money. GLMs for the win. How about you? What were you going to add?

about a month and a half ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

bmacs27 Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of yo (330 comments)

That's the idea. I'm sure they did some cross validation, although it was most likely jack knifing (leave one out). That's a fairly low bar. They still got it wrong on 4 subjects. Kinda dumb. Waste of money. Well... That's not true. It paid for a healthy chunk of someone's research magnet. So that's good... I guess... But the stupid things mostly just encourage bad science with pretty pictures. I'd rather fund 1000 social psychologists running surveys, let alone 500 behavioral psychophysicists or a handful of monkey labs. We'd learn so much more. Depressing, but that's what happens when fads take hold.

about a month and a half ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

bmacs27 Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of you (330 comments)

I'm a neuroscientist. Unfortunately this is most likely sensationalist BS, not interesting science. I haven't read the paper. Typically these sorts of "I did fMRI and can predict stuff" papers are of very little scientific utility. Their predictive model almost certainly involves coefficients applied to responses in various voxels or regions of interest. Dollars to donuts they have almost as many coefficients as participants. Even with just a 5 or 6 d space it is not surprising one could find a means of categorizing 83 participants into two categories with relative accuracy. These mind reading studies are a huge waste of public resources in order to make headlines for researchers. Often, these studies cost on the order of 10k per subject. Thus, this study likely cost on the order of a million dollars, and we learned very little other than it's easy to find accurate linear discriminates in large dimensional spaces. Still feel worth it?

about a month and a half ago
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Despite Patent Settlement, Apple Pulls Bose Merchandise From Its Stores

bmacs27 Re: One crap audio brand battling with another (328 comments)

My understanding was that there was basically a built in EQ which inverts the transfer of the speaker. This in effect, "boosts the bass" in order to obtain a flat response. You might lose some step size, but, loudness perception is crap down there anyway.

about 2 months ago
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Despite Patent Settlement, Apple Pulls Bose Merchandise From Its Stores

bmacs27 Re: One crap audio brand battling with another (328 comments)

My understanding was that there was basically a built-in EQ which inverts the transfer of the speaker. The EQ "boosts the bass" in order to obtain a flat response. I don't know what it does to distortion. Certainly you'd lose dynamic range for the low frequencies, but I think loudness discrimination is pretty crappy down there anyway. Dunno. Could be clever.

about 2 months ago
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CERN Tests First Artificial Retina Capable of Looking For High Energy Particles

bmacs27 Re: In the retina? (60 comments)

It depends on what you mean. They are probably talking about the center-surround filtering in the retina (because that is about the only thing the retina does that anyone understands). It's a pretty simplistic view, and most people wouldn't call them "line" filters unless you were talking about something more like the oriented band pass filters of V1.

Dumb pop sciencey article is dumb and pop sciencey.

about 3 months ago
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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

bmacs27 Better idea (516 comments)

We could try taxing capital gains at the standard income tax rate.

about 9 months ago
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CIA Accused: Sen. Feinstein Sees Torture Probe Meddling

bmacs27 Re:power (187 comments)

Which is why we need someone to clearly explain the relative importance of personal impropriety and bad policy making. Most of the rest of the world understands this. Once the electorate gets over their prudishness about sex and drugs we can get back the business of actually governing.

about 9 months ago
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Senator Accuses CIA of Snooping On Intelligence Committee Computers

bmacs27 Re:CIA computers (242 comments)

Yea... they sure did have a bigger problem. Someone (intentionally or unintentionally) leaked to congress their own account of what was really going on.

I think people are being unfair to Feinstein here. This has serious ramifications on congressional oversight of intelligence orgs. At stake is the existence of any elected oversight of spooks.

about 9 months ago
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Crytek Ports CRYENGINE To Linux Support Ahead of Steam Machines Launch

bmacs27 Re:Linux sales figures (132 comments)

In the rapidly approaching future, Windows only gamers will have no value.

about 9 months ago
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Author Says It's Time To Stop Glorifying Hackers

bmacs27 Re:Should we blame Police for break-ins? (479 comments)

She isn't mad at white hats. She just can't hear them over the kiddies pointing, laughing, and chanting PWNT.

about 9 months ago

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