On reform and danger

Random links

Noninvasive spinal stimulation method enables paralyzed people to regain use of hands, study finds
This sounds really cool: "A UCLA-led team of scientists reports that six people with severe spinal cord injuries — three of them completely paralyzed — have regained use of their hands and fingers for the first time in years after undergoing a nonsurgical, noninvasive spinal stimulation procedure the researchers developed. ... In addition to regaining use of their fingers, the research subjects also gained other health benefits, including improved blood pressure, bladder function, cardiovascular function and the ability to sit upright without support."
Watching the Election from The Post-Truth Future
"Contrary to popular sentiment in the US, Chinese readers don’t blindly trust the state-run media. Rather, they distrust it so much that they don’t trust any form of media, instead putting their faith in what their friends and family tell them. No institution is trusted enough to act as a definitive fact-checker, and so it’s easy for misinformation to proliferate unchecked. This has been China’s story for decades. In 2016, it is starting to be the US’ story as well."
Getting the message across: evaluating think tank influence in Congress
"think tanks engage in strategic ideological positioning to maximize their influence. ... think tanks’ ideological positioning affects directly how members of Congress engage with them, both by citing them in floor speeches and in calling them to testify, with more extreme think tanks being cited more frequently in floor speeches and more moderate think tanks called more often to testify." You can find an ungated draft of the paper here

Jessica Livingston on the things not being said

Here's what she had to say back in January 2017:

I recently heard one of the more interesting insights about Silicon Valley I'd heard in a while. It explained something I’d wondered about for years.

But I can't tell you what it was.

There's too much downside in sharing any opinion that could easily be misinterpreted online. Even facts are dangerous to share if they don’t align with what people want to believe.

There's a lot of concern about "fake news" lately. That is a real problem, but there's also the opposite problem: true things that aren't being said.

Some of the most useful things I've learned about startups over the years are also things I'd never share publicly. Not because the ideas are necessarily controversial in their own right, but because anyone could twist them to seem controversial if they were sufficiently motivated to. And when that happens I immediately regret having said anything. It's a massive distraction. I have two young kids, and I have hundreds of startups to keep track of. I don't have time to fight with people who are trying to misunderstand me.

She's probably one of the most influential women in Silicon Valley. That's one - but not the only - reason why I'll probably later post some thoughts on / excerpts of a 2015 essay by her husband on her and her thought.

Random links

Drunk People Are Better at Creative Problem Solving
"Not only did those who imbibed give more correct answers than a sober control group performing the same task, but they also arrived at solutions more quickly."
Tesla battery degradation at less than 10% after over 160,000 miles, according to latest data
"The trend line currently suggests that the average battery pack could cycle through over 300,000 km (186,000) before coming close to 90% capacity."
Misperceptions of Relative Affluence and Support for International Redistribution
"participants underestimate their percentile rank in the global income distribution by twenty-seven percentage points on average, and overestimate the global median income by a factor of ten. Respondents who were randomly assigned to information on the global income distribution supported higher spending on foreign aid"

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