Blog


big-data-makes-for-exceptional-machine-learning
  • December 9, 2016

What Makes You Tick? Using Machine Learning to Study Social Media Science Communication

The first paper I wrote for my PhD just got published! Here’s the link to download it, and here’s the story behind the paper: I started my PhD with the goal of critically examining the process and outcomes of social media science communication. Despite the flurry of activities in this domain and the huge amount […]

din
  • January 7, 2016

Where are the Baby Dinosaurs?

Let’s talk about dinosaurs. Because, dinosaurs. Have you ever wondered why aren’t there many (if at all) baby or adolescent dinosaur bones on display in museums? We have a large amount of different types of dinosaurs with enchanting and colourful names like Piatnitzkysaurus or Bambiraptor (I kid you not), but where are their baby versions? […]

elon
  • December 21, 2015

Elon Musk

I just finished reading Elon Musk’s biography by Ashlee Vance. The book is like an extended version of waitbutwhy’s article on Musk but provides a more in-depth and human view into Musk as a person, not just an entrepreneur with an incredible vision and is willing to take insane risks to realise his goals. If I haven’t mentioned […]

medicine
  • December 9, 2015

Innovation vs. Diffusion

An interesting article on the trade-off between innovation and diffusion, using the war on cancer as example: The social conditions that birthed a new idea in one place impeded the spread of that same idea in another. People who push for greater innovation in the marketplace often naïvely assume that what is good for the […]

empathy
  • December 7, 2015

Empathy is a Choice

Why does a single crying child or an injured puppy arouse more empathy than a large number of suffering people, e.g. in epidemics, wars or natural disasters? Isn’t it odd that empathetic feelings diminish when they are needed the most? Is empathy a limited resource that we cannot extend indefinitely and is therefore a source for […]

male-vs-female-brain
  • December 2, 2015

The Myth of Distinct Male and Female Brains

Like the article says, one of the biggest hurdles to gender equality is crumbling. Based on rigorous analysis of core features seen in the brain scans of more than 1,400 female and male subjects, a new study found that there is essentially no difference between the brains of the two sexes. most [brains] are unique mixes […]

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A man stands in front of a bonfire at the 1999 Woodstock Festival, Sunday, July 25, 1999, in Rome, N.Y. After almost 72 hours of peace and love, Woodstock '99 ended in blazing chaos Sunday night as hundreds of concertgoers turned into vandals, starting fires and looting. (AP Photo/Observer-Dispatch, Michael P. Doherty)
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  • November 27, 2015

Thresholds of Violence

An interesting way to look at how school shootings catch on. Malcolm Gladwell, in his signature lead-with-facts-and-then-surprise-with-counter-intuitive-theory style tells the story of how people have different thresholds for carrying out certain actions. Social processes are driven by our thresholds, i.e. the number of people who need to be doing some activity before others agree to join them. […]

Ethical cars
  • November 26, 2015

Why Self-driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? In actual fact, it makes perfect sense. It is a classic case of choosing between two evils: should a self driving car drive into a group of school kids or ram into a wall (potentially killing the driver)? Would you buy a car that could potentially kill you? This reminds me […]

stars
  • November 10, 2015

Toastmasters speech #7: It’s all in the stars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a giant star is going through the final stages of its life. It has been shining for 10 billion years, but now, it is running out of gas, and is slowly dying. The core of the star collapses under its own gravity. The force of […]

happiness
  • February 14, 2015

Hacking Happiness

True happiness comes from within. I believe true happiness comes from living with a core set of values you’ve chosen for yourself and then ensuring each of your actions, all day, stems from these values. At the end of the day you can ask yourself if you lived in accordance with your values. If you did, […]

germany
  • October 15, 2014

Toastmasters speech #2: Lost and Found in Germany

One of the unexpected benefits I have gotten out of Toastmasters is it has given me an opportunity to reflect on my life, and condense bits of them into interesting stories worthy of an audience. Dear madam toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and guests, today I’d like to share with you a very important chapter of my […]

psychology
  • July 12, 2014

Slacktivism?

Online causes might attract more clicks than commitments. The article includes several studies that discovered ways to drive token support into real actions. His group ran its first study shortly before a date when Canadians annually show support for veterans by wearing poppy flower pins. Participants consisted of 92 people who walked across a concourse […]