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Friday, June 14, 2019

Links - 14th June 2019 (2)

Why Seeing Photos of Ourselves Disappoints Us - "1. We think we're more attractive than we actually are.
2. The mere exposure effect works against us.
The mere exposure effect suggests that the more we encounter a stimulus, the more we tend to like it (Zajonc, 1968). It stands to reason that if we see ourselves often—for example, in the mirror—so we should find ourselves more attractive. However, when we look at ourselves in the mirror, our image is reversed...
Do you prefer selfies to traditional photographs of yourself? Many individuals do, especially if they take selfies regularly (Re et al., 2016). However, you should be aware that selfies only make you seem more attractive to yourself. When evaluating photographs of other people, most of us prefer photographs taken by someone else over selfies (Re et al., 2016).

Daniel Kahneman explains why most people don't want to be happy - "We think we want to be happy. Yet many of us are actually working toward some other end, according to cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics. Kahneman contends that happiness and satisfaction are distinct... working toward one goal may undermine our ability to experience the other. For example, in Kahneman’s research measuring everyday happiness—the experiences that leave people feeling good—he found that spending time with friends was highly effective. Yet those focused on long-term goals that yield satisfaction don’t necessarily prioritize socializing, as they’re busy with the bigger picture... satisfaction is based mostly on comparisons. “Life satisfaction is connected to a large degree to social yardsticks–achieving goals, meeting expectations.” He notes that money has a significant influence on life satisfaction, whereas happiness is affected by money only when funds are lacking. Poverty creates suffering, but above a certain level of income that satisfies our basic needs, wealth doesn’t increase happiness... In other words, if you aren’t hungry, and if clothing, shelter, and your other basics are covered, you’re capable of being at least as happy as the world’s wealthiest people. The fleeting feelings of happiness, though, don’t add up to life satisfaction. Looking back, a person who has had many happy moments may not feel pleased on the whole. The key here is memory. Satisfaction is retrospective. Happiness occurs in real time... a person who knows they can go on a trip and have a good time but that their memories will be erased, and that they can’t take any photos, might choose not to go after all. The reason for this is that we do things in anticipation of creating satisfying memories to reflect on later. We’re somewhat less interested in actually having a good time. This theory helps to explain our current social media-driven culture. To some extent, we care less about enjoying ourselves than presenting the appearance of an enviable existence. We’re preoccupied with quantifying friends and followers rather than spending time with people we like. And ultimately, this makes us miserable.We feel happiness primarily in the company of others"

Why Has Eating Become So Complicated? - "Remember a decade ago, when Atkins was all the rage? In hindsight, we were such innocents! Today, so many people I know are on a special dietary plan of some kind. Whether it’s gluten-free, raw food, keto, vegan, etc., it seems that we all have a defined nutritional regime. The last time I had friends over to my place, I had three guests each with vastly different diets (try simultaneously feeding a vegan and paleo mate and watch the moral sparks fly)! Finding food that everyone could eat required hours of online scouring and multiple levels of cooking which took all the social fun out of the night for this cook. The entire episode left me wondering: why does eating have to be so complicated and what’s happened in the last decade or so that’s driven us to the point where our starting point with food is that everything is likely to be bad for us, possibly toxic and undoubtedly deemed "wrong"?"
Sadly the article doesn't address the question or dig into the psychology of diets

Woman Who Media Claims Created Black Hole Image Contributed 0.26% of Code - "As the mainstream media attempts to give researcher Katie Bouman credit for the first “photos” of a black hole, it appears her role may have been mostly supervisory, and that other researchers did the majority of the leg work.According to data provided publicly by GitHub, Bouman made 2,410 contributions to the over 900,000 lines of code required to create the first-of-its-kind black hole image, or 0.26 per cent. Bouman’s contributions also occurred toward the end of the work on the code.In contrast, contributor Andrew Chael wrote over 850,000 lines of code. While CNN attempted to give Bouman full credit, explaining “That’s where Bouman’s algorithm — along with several others — came in,” they slyly admitted that fellow researchers told CNN “‘(Bouman) was a major part of one of the imaging subteams,'” even after CNN incorrectly wrote on the previous line that she was on one of the “imaging teams,” not subteams... While the Western media attempted to use her gender to make a point, Asian publications, including Asahi, offered a more nuanced and truthful article, writing that “207 scientists in 17 nations and regions took part in the project,” and refusing to assign the achievement to any one of the scientists.For her part, Bouman made it clear on Facebook that she did not want sole credit for the achievement... It appears the American mainstream media lost sight of the truth in an attempt to give a female scientist undue credit for a massive achievement that should have the entire scientific community involved with the photo patting itself on the back collectively."

How Katie Bouman Accidentally Became the Face of the Black Hole Project - The New York Times - "As the first-ever picture of a black hole was unveiled this week, another image began making its way around the internet: a photo of a young scientist, clasping her hands over her face and reacting with glee to an image of an orange ring of light, circling a deep, dark abyss.It was a photo too good not to share. The scientist, Katie Bouman, a postdoctoral fellow who contributed to the project, became an instant hero for women and girls in STEM, a welcome symbol in a world hungry for representation... In their eagerness to celebrate her, however, many nonscientists on social media overstated her role in what was a group effort by hundreds of people, creating an exaggerated impression as the photo was shared and reshared. As Dr. Bouman herself was quick to point out, she was by no means solely responsible for the discovery, which was a result of a worldwide collaboration among scientists who worked together to create the image from a network of radio antennas... While she led the development of an algorithm to take a picture of a black hole, an effort that was the subject of a TED Talk she gave in 2016, her colleagues said that technique was not ultimately used to create this particular image."

Scientific Progress and the Culture Wars - "Someone promptly created a Wikipedia page for her, and it is already more extensive than the Wikipedia pages for many Caltech professors with far longer records of accomplishment. At least one politician made a point of publicly congratulating her... singling out one individual from a large team (which reportedly includes 40 other women) denies the other team members their deserved recognition, possibly arousing resentment from co-workers. Also, justifying this lopsided attention as a remedy for some sort of social ill makes it harder to highlight anyone else. Even deserved attention for someone like Andrew Chael can now be tarred as part of a backlash... A good analogy might be trying to get your laptop to communicate with a friend’s document scanner via Wi-Fi. Your friend has everything configured in a particular way, has spent a lot of time playing with security settings, and uses a different operating system than you. Can you make it work? Probably. Will it take some hard work? Quite possibly. A team like the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has to work at least as hard on integrating many different instruments and algorithms as on developing and improving the instruments and algorithms. This makes it meaningless for an outsider to conclude which individual was or wasn’t pivotal on such a project. The greatest unsung heroes of this work are almost assuredly the people who coordinated between the many sub-teams. An additional contributor to this mess is the poor quality of science journalism... Media outlets with little understanding of how large science projects work played up an individual’s role in a team effort, and worked to fit the story into a political narrative... the furor began with activists upbraiding news outlets (by name) for not mentioning Bouman, and every second that they didn’t run a story about her was another second for the critical Tweet to get shared more widely.

The Science Of A Great Subway Map - "a map need not stay geographically faithful to be visually useful. In certain other real-world applications, this understanding might be critical; designing in-car navigation maps that take peripheral vision into account could potentially save lives... The daily map, geographically inclined just as the public wanted back in the 1970s, is a mess. The diagrammatic Vignelli weekend map, meanwhile, hardly looks like a mongrel at all–a sign of the designer’s preternatural understanding of visual processing. Intuition confirmed."
Maps that are pretty and/or geographically accurate may not be useful

Twitter CEO Dorsey unleashes ‘hate speech’ storm with sign denouncing India’s caste system - "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is facing accusations of inciting hatred and violence in India, and has upset both activists and Hindu nationalists, by holding a sign denouncing the Hindu caste system.Dorsey posed for a picture with six women in India brandishing a poster that read “Smash Brahminical patriarchy” during a visit last week to discuss the role of Twitter in the country... [Twitter's] response [apologising] was less than satisfactory for activists who questioned why Twitter wouldn’t endorse a message to denounce an oppressive system. The uploaders of the photo also accused Dorsey and Gadde of “throwing us under the bus to save your skin”, claiming the image was not, in fact, “private” but was captured by a Twitter rep and mailed to the group to share."

Research confirms 5 uncomfortable facts about young male suicide - Australian Men's Health Forum - "A total of 1,994 of the 2,209 cases were found to be “non-LGBT” suicides. Of these, 4 out of 5 suicides (80.3%) were men and boys. In addition to finding that there were four times more male suicides than female suicides, the study also confirmed the following five truths about male suicide:
1. Most male suicides are not linked to mental health issues
2. Relationship problems are the key issue
3. Most men who suicide die on the first known attempt
4. Most male suicides had no history of suicidality
5. It’s a myth that men aren’t getting help"

95pc young grads work in unskilled jobs, survey shows - "Up to 95 per cent of today’s young graduates are overqualified for their current jobs while 50 per cent work in low-skilled non-manual occupations... “Not only do the skills mismatch signify wastage of human resources but they also put into question the view often expressed in the media that youth are ‘choosy’ about jobs — they should not be considered ‘choosy’ if they are doing jobs below what they are educated or trained for... KRI said the findings underscore the deeper structural problem that beleaguers the job market today, where supply of graduates far exceeds demand, industries continue to prefer cheap labour and mismatch in skills and requirements is widespread thanks to a backward education policy that puts too much focus on paper qualifications.”
And maybe the Malaysian education system sucks and can't produced trained graduates

Good Samaritan says woman who accused him of assaulting her after fixing her car made it up - "A Good Samaritan claims his life is in tatters after a woman who he helped falsely accused him of sexual assault.Kenan Basic spent two weeks in a maximum security prison, lost his job and is now going through a divorce, after a 19-year-old woman made false accusations against him.Mr Basic stopped to help the teenager in November last year after she crashed her car and pulled into a BP in Bankstown, in Sydney's south-west.The 36-year-old married father-of-one spent almost two hours helping the woman get her car back on the road.CCTV captured the entire interaction and shows the pair chatting happily and even embracing before she drives away... after they drove off, the woman told police Mr Basic indecently assaulted and stalked her. The teenager claimed Mr Basic had allegedly propositioned her for sex in return for his help before following her and once again propositioning her... all charges against Mr Basic were dropped after the woman broke down when pressed by detectives in an interview and finally told the truth - that she'd been lying about the accusations... Mr Basic said the incident has deterred him from stopping and helping a young woman ever again"
"You have nothing to fear if you're not a creep" - Feminists
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