Random links

Strategic tennis grunts (from our email)
"The sound of the ball hitting the racket provides useful information, particularly for a mishit or a powerful shot — because you have to move up or back quickly to cope. For years, top tennis players have used grunts and shrieks to conceal this sound from their opponents"
France Bastille Day: 'Complex thinker' Macron 'to skip press conference'
This doesn't reek at all of a detached and snooty elitism. Doesn't seem to bode particularly well for France - although perhaps it's not all that dissimilar in a way to Hillary Clinton arguing about having both private and public positions on an issue.
No needles, no doctor. This vaccine is one you could give yourself
"A press-on patch that delivers flu vaccine painlessly worked as well as an old-fashioned flu shot with no serious side effects, researchers reported Tuesday. ... The hope is the vaccine will be cheaper, easier to give and more acceptable than a regular flu vaccine."

Changing views of college amongst American Republicans

How much of this is Trump and how much of this is the result of Halloween costume email protests at Yale, protesters at the University of Missouri, riots at Berkeley, and the events at Evergreen State College?

The report that the figure comes from notes stark differences between Republicans and Democrats in their views of a lot of institutions. I think that Trump has a lot to do with a generalized distrust but I think that the latter have had a more focused impact on the view of colleges. I wouldn't consider the actions of the protesters there all that representative of academia as a whole (barring certain parts of the university), but they certainly add a lot of fuel to the fire.

Random links

Wrestling’s new villain named himself ‘Progressive Liberal.’ Hillary’s on his shirt.
In the culture-war-as-entertainment category this is kind of funny. If anything seems more likely to increase partisanship, though at least the guy playing this seems sincere in his beliefs: "Part of the trick is that his character’s politics are “not much of a stretch” from his own, as he told Deadspin. 'It’s not like I’m pretending to be something I’m not,' he told Sports Illustrated. 'I’m just turning it up.'"
Not Lack of Ability but More Choice: Individual and Gender Differences in Choice of Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
"mathematically capable individuals who also had high verbal skills were less likely to pursue STEM careers than were individuals who had high math skills but moderate verbal skills. One notable finding was that the group with high math and high verbal ability included more females than males."
Sending knowledge overseas
"But knowledge is a special commodity. It can be reused. Several people can use it at the same time. It causes people to cluster in groups, and tends to grow where those groups have already clustered."
Sunk-cost fallacy and cognitive ability in individual decision-making
On the sunk cost fallacy: "strong evidence of the fallacy was found among the high-cognitive-ability subjects. ... although cognitive ability is predictive of status-quo bias, it was not found to reduce the sunk-cost bias."

"Why a mom's Facebook warning about human traffickers hurts sex-trafficked kids"

The sort of bad stats and accompanying tactics that activists often use can backfire:

The most pernicious part of the viral Facebook post is its comments section. As sex-trafficking survivors and anti-trafficking advocates — myself included — tried to correct the misconceptions in it, and tried to alert the public to the harms caused by misunderstandings and sensationalism, we were met with anger and outrage.

Sound bite quotes and statistics were thrown back at me in an attempt to highlight my “ignorance” on the subject. “Human trafficking happens everywhere,” I was reminded. “It’s in our own backyards.” These are the exact phrases my colleagues and the anti-trafficking movement publicized years ago to raise awareness. We never imagined they’d be used to challenge our own expertise and in defense of efforts that threaten victims.

Discovered this via Elizabeth Nolan Brown whose schadenfreude I share.


Subscribe to Rotundus.com RSS