Saturday, September 10, 2016

Articles of Interest - ISIS Recruits, Genes, Bias, Map Artist

There's way too much information for anyone to keep up with.  Here are some ideas worth considering.

Danes choose love over punishment to fight terrorists with some apparent success.
". . . France shut down mosques it suspected of harboring radicals. The U.K. declared citizens who had gone to help ISIS enemies of the state. . . But the Danish police officers took a different approach: They made it clear to citizens of Denmark who had traveled to Syria that they were welcome to come home, and when they did, they would receive help with going back to school, finding an apartment, meeting with a psychiatrist or a mentor, or whatever they needed to fully integrate back into society."

When a Person Is Neither XX nor XY: A Q&A with Geneticist Eric Vilain

People argue that the use of computers, human bias can be eliminated, but this piece shows that human bias can still be reflected in the programs they write.

"That has important applications. Any bias contained in word embeddings like those from Word2vec is automatically passed on in any application that exploits it. One example is the work using embeddings to improve Web search results. If the phrase “computer programmer” is more closely associated with men than women, then a search for the term “computer programmer CVs” might rank men more highly than women. “Word embeddings not only reflect stereotypes but can also amplify them,” say Bolukbasi and co."

Secrets are not a secret anymore if more than one person knows...
“A real secret is something which only one person knows.” ― Idries Shah, Reflections

There are no secrets that time does not reveal. Jean Racine If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. Khalil Gibran
An argument against having backdoor keys to break into phones.

Rubric Memo  -  A spoof on academic memos and the use of rubrics.
"We refer to this rubric as Project 3.5.1, which you will recognize as a series of numbers. By entering data about your courses into this rubric, you help us to improve education for all our students, to whom we have also assigned numbers. We have also assigned you a number based on an Enigma-encrypted combination of the street address of your childhood home and your ATM PIN code, which we hacked (please see attachment 7)."

Map Maker Artist Perfectionist 
"These days, almost all the data cartographers use is provided by the government and is freely available in the public domain. Anybody can download databases of highways, airports, and cities, and then slap a crude map together with the aid of a plotter. What separates a great map from a terrible one is choosing which data to use and how best to present it."

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