Monday, May 31, 2021

The uses of fear …

 Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is well over one hundred thousand light years across. We only see a pitiful portion of it. Although it contains several hundred billion stars in its expanse, we can only see a fraction of a fraction of them.

And even that doesn’t fully capture the essence of a galaxy, which also has planets, gas, dust, dark matter, and more. Galaxies are colossal objects, their true nature only becoming apparent to us a century ago.

Deepfake Maps Could Really Mess With Your Sense of the World

Wired: “Researchers applied AI techniques to make portions of Seattle look more like Beijing. Such imagery could mislead governments or spread misinformation online….In a paper published online last month, University of Washington professor Bo Zhao employed AI techniques similar to those used to create so-called deepfakes to alter satellite images of several cities. Zhao and colleagues swapped features between images of Seattle and Beijing to show buildings where there are none in Seattle and to remove structures and replace them with greenery in Beijing. Zhao used an algorithm called CycleGAN to manipulate satellite photos. The algorithm, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley, has been widely used for all sorts of image trickery. It trains an artificial neural network to recognize the key characteristics of certain images, such as a style of painting or the features on a particular type of map. Another algorithm then helps refine the performance of the first by trying to detect when an image has been manipulated…”

If the ministerial code is completely malleable then we’re in deep trouble

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I posted this thread on Twitter this morning: The new independent adviser on ministers’ interests, Christopher (Lord) Geidt gave two rulings yesterday. Both suggest that
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Nailing the truth twisters down

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It is a year since this Tweet was posted on the official UK Civil Service Twitter account: The post did not survive online for long,
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Fifty Shades of Black Fords and Browns - The uses of fear …

… The ‘weaponisation’ of behavioural psychology

New Book on Decision in Human Judgment, Including Sentencing 

Steven Brill offers this New York Times book review of Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Su

There are about 465,000 open positions in cybersecurity nationwide as of May 2021, accordingto Cyber Seek — a tech job-tracking database from the U.S. Commerce Department — and the trade group CompTIA”  Link here, though if you bring up skills mismatch you still get shouted down these days.

One-minute Covid breath test approved in Singapore (Bloomberg).  And my early April Covid predictions.

Predicting high-impact science.  And Ashlee Vance on Celine Halioua and her anti-aging start-up and work (Bloomberg).

The importance of immunocompromised individuals for Covid issues.

Ross Douthat on Foucault is completely correct(NYT)

Brain synchronization remains an underdiscussed topic (NYT)