Thursday, September 20, 2018

How the Next Downturn Will Surprise Us

NY Times

This article makes sense to me.

Today the markets are even larger, having grown to 360 percent of global G.D.P., a record high. And financial authorities — trained to focus more on how markets respond to economic risk than on the risks that markets pose to the economy — have been inadvertently fueling this new threat.

How Software become Important

This took awhile, about 30 years, from 1980-2010 - when finally people realized its importance. Because it was running their lives.

People were not too bright here. Their world was changing around them - but they refused to notice this.

This change was made possible by huge advances in Computer Hardware. We went from the Vacuum Tube to Solid State and Integrated Circuits in only a few years. Digital processing replaced Analog.

And people sat in the middle of all this, and noticed nothing. They were in shock, but did not realize this either.

I can say what I have just said, in 2018, looking back at it, while I sit in my pajamas, in from of my Laptop, with a fast Internet connection.

But at the time, I was almost as confused as everyone else. Except I was determined to figure things out. Few people were.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

They do not want you to know too much about them

This is a surprisingly common concern. They want you to be their friend - up to a certain point. When, all of a sudden, they don't want you to be their friend at all. You become their enemy instead.

You are left wondering what this hidden secret is - that is so terrible.

This is the plot of many novels and plays - what is this horrible secret? Everybody else wants to know also.

I must give credit to Scaling Knowledge Access and Retrieval at Airbnb for putting my brain cells to work on this esoteric subject.

I have subscribed to DataCamp

I did this because it was so cheap, and because Big Data is now - everyone tells me, where I should be also. How can I argue with everyone?

Maybe you also should try DataCamp, if only to see the clever way their online teaching works. It assumes you know nothing, and holds your hand all the way.

One way to improve conditions in a Poor Area

When I worked in the DC area, in the Sixties, I attended the Unitarian church there. It was located in one of the Black Slums, that cover the DC area. This church paid for a social worker to visit the women in the area, and teach them contraceptive techniques.

She discovered they were already using a vaginal spray for this, and found it effective. It was not completely effective - but it was good enough. And it was inexpensive.She then worked in the neighboring areas, teaching them the same thing.

The church thought it had made a good investment, in the money it paid her.

A World that is not good for People

What happens when mental health professionals also get sick?
The war on global poverty ‘hangs in the balance’
I continue to wonder what is wrong with the world. But I keep coming up with the same answer - it is not good for people. And these two articles, that happened to be in my inbox this morning, are saying the same thing.

The first focuses on the UK and the US. The second on Africa - that is in truly bad shape.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dewey on Education

I am reading John Dewey and American Democracy

And have arrived at the time when he joined the University of Chicago, and started his own school.

This, for me is the most interesting part of the book - as it was for him, personally. The city of Chicago was where

Every conceivable thing solicits you, the town seems filled with problems holding out their hands, and asking somebody to please solve them - or else dump them in the lake.

I hardly need say, one hundred years later - these problems have not been solved. Although enormous efforts have been made to do so. Including efforts by Barack Obama himself.