Elon Musk in conversation at TED

I found this well worth the watching - an update on all the sorts of crazy projects he's involved in:

Random links

The Influence of Effortful Thought and Cognitive Proficiencies on the Conjunction Fallacy: Implications for Dual-Process Theories of Reasoning and Judgment
"participants higher in numeracy were less likely to make conjunction errors, but this association only emerged when participants engaged in two-sided reasoning, as opposed to one-sided or no reasoning. Confidence was higher for incorrect as opposed to correct judgments, suggesting that participants were unaware of their errors."
This Home Was Built by a 3-D Printer
"the concrete structure only took 24 hours to assemble and includes a bathroom, a living room and a compact functional kitchen."
This Beautiful Carbon-Neutral “Leather” Is Grown From Mushrooms: Your leather jacket could come from plant waste soon.
"while livestock requires massive resources, the mushroom process happens in a closed loop. A pair of leather shoes might produce 33 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution; the mushroom “leather” is carbon neutral. ... 'More than the ethical or ideological issues, its market acceptance will come about because it’s so cheap to create it,' says Ross."

George Orwell on the freedom of the press

George Orwell, from a proposed preface to Animal Farm

Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news — things which on their own merits would get the big headlines — being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that “it wouldn’t do” to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralized, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is “not done” to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was “not done” to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

This was written over 70 years ago - so the specific political concerns (and national context in which you live) may be different, but I think that similar pressures continue to exist.

Random links

Obama administration spent billions to fix failing schools, and it didn’t work / Dismal Voucher Results Surprise Researchers as DeVos Era Begins
I don't have much confidence in any political party to improve schools.
Trump Diary 9: Black Blocs and U-locks - Waggish
"The right and the left elites had very different relationships with their respective underculture groups. In short, the right politically enfranchised its underculture allies, while the left culturally enfranchised its underculture allies."
Scientists' Evaluations of Research: the Biasing Effects of the Importance of the Topic
The more important the topic the worse the average quality of research in an area. "When the topic was important, scientists in both samples were significantly more likely to overlook the methodological flaws, and significantly more lenient in their recommendations that the studies be published."

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