Zipfian Academy is like App Academy, except for data science instead of programming. If for some reason my medical career collapses, I’m doing this. If not for the price tag and impossibility of getting that much time off, I’d do it anyway, just for fun.
The excitement is not only at such a good idea, but at seeing the App Academy model expand into other fields. Maybe one day there will be Academies in every marketable skill, and people won’t have to go to college unless they really really want to accrue $100,000 in debt and waste four years of their lives getting drunk and sitting through General Ed bullshytte classes.
This isn’t the perfect model, since it still permits credential-olatry and the $16,000 price tag still locks out the disadvantaged. But a $16,000 credential sure beats a $100,000 credential, and if it catches on maybe it would accrue the same system of loans and scholarships.
I really like this idea. I am pretty sure that for most of my life, I never told anyone my crushes because it was always easier to put it off, say “I’ll definitely tell her sometime, but I don’t want to suffer the fear and anxiety today”. Meanwhile, summer fades to autumn, autumn into winter, and winter into now she’s dating some other guy plus we’re graduating soon anyway and it’s not worth the trouble.
There’s also something else I can’t quite put my finger on, some sense of “if I tell her out of the blue it will be really weird and creepy, I have to wait for an appropriate moment”. Of course this never came, or if it did I delayed it until the next appropriate moment because of the fear-and-anxiety thing.
Well, now there’s a Schelling fence. The appropriate moment is May 7th.
This also fits into my plan to give the West a Japanese-style Golden Week. May Day, Star Wars Day, Cinco De Mayo, and Tell Your Crush Day. It kind of works. Spring, space battles, Mexicans, and love – the four corners of the human experience.
Terror Mixed With Weariness
In Right Is The New Left, I wrote:
I worry that soon they’ll start firing people for disagreeing with the idea that you should be able to fire people for disagreeing with ideas. Like, this could go uncomfortably far.
By “soon”, I meant “within the next couple of decades”. Well, the first person I know of who got fired for disagreeing with the idea that you should be able to fire people for disagreeing with ideas lost their job just under two weeks from the time I wrote that.
A big congratulations to Josh Olin for being the inaugural victim of a new meta-level of awfulness, and to the Game Revolution article for making sure to emphasize in their headline how the firing was “understandable”. I’m not mad. If it hadn’t included that, probably they would have fired whoever wrote the article.
[trigger warning: rape]
You may have seen this article going around: Male Rape In America. It starts by informing people that despite popular belief, men are often the victim of rape, which is of course true and important and needs to be more widely known.
But it starts by saying that under traditional definitions, “in asking 40,000 households about rape and sexual violence, the survey uncovered that 38 percent of incidents were against men.
Then it adds that “When [cases of forced penetration] were taken into account, the rates of nonconsensual sexual contact basically equalized, with 1.270 million women and 1.267 million men claiming to be victims of sexual violence.”
As far as I know neither of these two estimates include prisons, which were previously the only place where rates of male rape were thought to approach the female background level.
While male rape is definitely more of a problem than anyone wants to let on, saying that the rate between sexes is basically equal – or even as near-equality of 38-62 – is astounding to me. The strongest argument against: men are overrepresented as perpetrators of every violent crime, therefore most rapists are probably men, and most men are straight.
Weirder still, Ozy points out that the yes answers to “have you ever been raped in your lifetime” trend disproportionately female as one would expect, but yes answers to “have you been raped in the last year” trend equal between sexes. This is the reverse of my expectation, where men might have experiences of molestation from childhood or rape from a term in prison but much less as community-dwelling adults.
I await replication with interest.
Medical resident duty hour limits have been this constant war between “exhausted doctors make more mistakes” and “doctors who are working off handoffs make more mistakes”. The battles in this war are newspaper headlines about such-and-such a patient dying because a doctor made a mistake for such-and-such a reason. For a while, the people who wanted to limit duty hours to prevent exhaustion-related mistakes have had an insurmountable advantage, and right now there are very strict laws promising DIRE CONSEQUENCES to any hospital that makes residents work more than sixteen hours a day or eighty a week (uh…thanks, I guess).
Now some evidence is starting to come out favoring the “longer hours, fewer handoffs” position, with Why Doesn’t Medical Care Get Better When Doctors Rest More? as the latest volley. See also Strictly Limiting Hours Has Not Improved Patient Safety.
I classify this under “guilt” because all of the older doctors where I work tell me about the time when Men Were Real Men and you worked thirty-six hour shifts and how nowadays we have it too easy and will never learn anything. Meanwhile, I am somehow managing to get out even earlier than the duty hours mandate (TODAY I LITERALLY WORKED A NINE HOUR DAY!?!) and feeling overworked and like I am surfing on the edge of burnout. This is totally feeding into my “you do not have what it takes to be a real doctor” phobia.
TIL Hitler originally joined Nazis as gov agent to infiltrate them. That is SOME commitment to not blowing cover… http://t.co/VjNpLcMMq0
— Scott Alexander (@slatestarcodex) May 1, 2014
.@slatestarcodex He decisively discredited the Nazis and eliminated their effectiveness as an organization.
— Benjamin R Hoffman (@ben_r_hoffman) May 1, 2014
I feel like this would make a good metaphor for superintelligent AI. If you build an insufficiently-Friendly AI and tell it “discredit this organization”, you can be certain that the organization is going to end up very, very discredited, more discredited than anything else has ever been.
But you might not like how it happens.