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Wipe or Wash? Do Bidets Save Forest and Water Resources?
"those who say that bidets waste water, advocates counter that the amount is trivial compared to how much water we use to produce toilet paper in the first place. ... the amount of water used by a typical bidet is about 1/8th of a gallon, with the average toilet using about four gallons per flush. ... making a single roll of toilet paper requires 37 gallons of water"
Do Jobs Follow People or Do People Follow Jobs?
"When it comes to the entire economy, it seems, people follow jobs, not the other way around. ... But when it comes to high-paying knowledge, professional, and creative jobs—the ones that drive the economy and innovation—the opposite is true: Jobs follow people."
Uber Is Using AI to Charge People as Much as Possible for a Ride
Shouldn't be too surprising - the only question seems to be what if anything could or should be done about this.

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How your selfie could affect your life insurance
"Several life insurance companies are testing Lapetus technology that uses facial analytics and other data to estimate life expectancy, he says. ... Lapetus says its product, Chronos, would enable a customer to buy life insurance online in as little as 10 minutes without taking a life insurance medical exam."
How Do You Make a Fox Your Friend? Fast-Forward Evolution
"the experiment is still ongoing, with 56 generations of foxes bred to date — a far cry from the snarling creatures that used to snap at the hands of their caretakers when the research began. The new foxes run toward people, jump on the bed and nuzzle one another as well as their human caretakers. Such a behavioral transformation was to some degree expected, since they were bred from the tamest members of their groups. Perhaps more intriguing, they also look more doglike, with floppy ears, wagging tails and piebald fur."
Scaling: The surprising mathematics of life and civilization
"with every doubling of city size, whether from 20,000 to 40,000 people or 2M to 4M people, socioeconomic quantities – the good, the bad, and the ugly – increase by approximately 15% per person with a concomitant 15% savings on all city infrastructure-related costs."

Which view of Silicon Valley seems more accurate?

Option A:

Though Silicon Valley has well-known problems with diversity in its work force, people here pride themselves on a kind of militant open-mindedness. It is the kind of place that will severely punish any deviations from accepted schools of thought — see how Brendan Eich, the former chief executive of Mozilla, was run out of his job after it became public that he had donated to a campaign opposed to gay marriage.


Option B:

In the tech industry, there's a culture of not criticizing anyone publicly. I like that culture, but I'm not part of it, so I'm free to say that Silicon Valley badboy Peter Thiel looks like a bad guy. I'm kind of neutral on the Thiel vs. Gawker war - Gawker definitely had it coming, but having rich people be able to sue newspapers out of existence due to personal feuds seems like a scary precedent. But Thiel's support of Trump, his habit of making a buck off of government surveillance, and his promotion of nasty political ideas combine to make him the closest thing America has to a comic-book evil mastermind. Thiel's sort-of-reactionary ideas are confined to a small minority of techies, but the Valley's friendly culture means that even those who disagree with him are out there publicly singing his praises. I certainly wouldn't mind if tech industry people got more vocal about disagreeing with Thiel's values.

I think that Option A is probably the more accurate one, although I suspect it might depend somewhat on the net worth of the person in question.

Random links

This gross habit might actually be good for you
"Scientists at a number of prestigious universities including Harvard and MIT now say parents should not actively discourage their kids from picking their noses. They claim ingesting boogers can be good for teeth, as well as overall health as they are packed with a “rich reservoir of good bacteria.”"
Explanatory Judgment, Moral Offense and Value-Free Science
"the moral offensiveness of a scientific hypothesis biases explanatory judgment along several dimensions, even when prior credence in the hypothesis is controlled for. Furthermore, it is shown that this bias is insensitive to an economic incentive to be accurate in the evaluation of the evidence"
At Least Bias Is Bipartisan: A Meta-Analytic Comparison of Partisan Bias in Liberals and Conservatives
"Overall partisan bias was robust (r = .254) and there was strong support for the symmetry hypothesis: liberals (r = .248) and conservatives (r = .247) showed nearly identical levels of bias across studies. Several methodological features moderated the degree of overall bias, and the relative magnitude of bias in liberals and conservatives differed across political topics."


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