Interesting

Posts that may be completely irrelevant to the main themes of the site, but are nonetheless interesting.

Here’s a long but fascinating post on deciphering the opening chord in A Hard Day’s Night. Along the way it gives a good explanation of Fourier transforms for the non-mathematician. It also gives a really good example of why it’s important to look at the overall reasonableness of a result, rather than blindly relying on […] Read more

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Frances Coppola has an interesting take on how the positions of both women and men in society are changing.

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We often hear that Big Pharma doesn’t develop drugs that treat diseases generally found in the less well off parts of the world, because there’s no money in it. We also hear that antibiotic-resistant superbugs are on the rampage, and that there’s no hope of outwitting them. OK, what we actually hear is that bacteria […] Read more

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What’s the one piece of technology that no high tech company is without? Whiteboards. To my mind, a huge improvement over their low tech predecessor, the blackboard, but some disagree. They prefer the tactile feel of chalk: I hate the dust, and even thinking about the scraping noise of back of the blackboard rubber against […] Read more

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We’ve all come across signs of link rot, the phenomenon by which material we link to on the distributed Web vanishes or changes beyond recognition over time. In all cases it’s annoying to follow a link to a page that no longer exists, but sometimes it really matters. Jonathan Zittrain writes: We found that half of the links in […] Read more

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There’s a bit of a furore going on at the moment: it turns out that a controversial paper in the debate about the after-effects of the financial crisis had some peculiarities in its data analysis. Rortybomb has a great description, and the FT’s Alphaville and Tyler Cowen have interesting comments. In summary, back in 2010 […] Read more

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Over the last few months there have been several interesting pieces about innovation, the size of companies, and other rather loosely connected topics. Back in December, the Schumpeter column in the Economist reviewed an article arguing that large firms are often more innovative than small ones. This seems counter-intuitive – surely small companies are nimble […] Read more

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I found these interesting: Kaprekar’s constant — not everything has to be useful to be appealing and fun. Apparently the Roman Empire was more equal than the USA, while in Britain income inequality rose faster between 1975 and 2008 than in any other OECD member country. How to get your keys back if you drop them down […] Read more

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There’s some cool stuff here: Are shredders still useful? From the results of a recent DARPA unshredding contest, I’d say they mostly are. Hat tip Bruce Schneier. Good arguments for transparency in the corporate world. An economist would say “what would I do if I were a horse?“ One of the best advent calendars on the […] Read more

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I’ve found these interesting, in one way or another: Is the eurozone a casino? The current betting strategy is madness. Do what I say, not what I do. xkcd’s really on a roll at the moment — one for mathematicians. One for your Christmas list. It would be so cool! You should choose your Christmas cards carefully […] Read more

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