Random links

The CSI Effect
"The CSI effect posits that exposure to television programs that portray forensic science (e.g., CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) can change the way jurors evaluate forensic evidence. ... while legal actors do see the CSI effect as a serious issue, there is virtually no empirical evidence suggesting it is a real phenomenon. Moreover, many of the remedies employed by courts may do no more than introduce bias into juror decision-making or even trigger the CSI effect when it would not normally occur." (via Andrew Gelman
Increased frequency of travel may act to decrease the chance of a global pandemic
Would be nice if this is the case.
Economic Growth from Octavian to Obama
"To get a sense of how recent and unprecedented the Age of Abundance is, consider France. In AD 1, GDP per person in the Roman province of Gaul was $1,050 – and that’s where it remained for the next 13 (yes, thirteen) centuries. During the first half of the 14th century, however, French incomes rose by some 50 percent, reaching a high of $1,553 in 1355."

When should you trust your gut?

It reminded me of the following chunk of the book Superforecasting on how the lack of immediate feedback can lead to overconfidence for police office in their ability to question suspects:

Effective practice also needs to be accompanied by clear and timely feedback. My research collaborator Don Moore points out that police officers spend a lot of time figuring out who is telling the truth and who is lying, but research has found they aren’t nearly as good at it as they think they are and they tend not to get better with experience. That’s because experience isn’t enough. It must be accompanied by clear feedback.

When an officer decides that a suspect is or isn’t lying, the officer doesn’t get immediate feedback about the accuracy of her guess (like the suspect saying, “You’re right! I was lying!”). Instead, events proceed. Charges may be laid, a trial held, and a verdict delivered, or there may be a plea bargain down the road. But this can take months or years, and even when there is a resolution, a huge range of factors could have gone into it. So an officer seldom gets clear feedback that tells her, yes, her judgment was right, or no, it was wrong. Predictably, psychologists who test police officers’ ability to spot lies in a controlled setting find a big gap between their confidence and their skill. And that gap grows as officers become more experienced and they assume, not unreasonably, that their experience has made them better lie detectors. As a result, officers grow confident faster than they grow accurate, meaning they grow increasingly overconfident.

Looking at it again I was mildly amused that female pronouns were used in the paragraph above. I've been kind of meaning to write up something on how politically correct assertions re: gender differences don't seem to be fully aligned with the underlying research. The quote above at least gets into some of the situational elements that, regardless of a person's gender, can tend to produce overconfidence.

Random links

The impact of the ‘open’ workspace on human collaboration
"Contrary to common belief, the volume of face-to-face interaction decreased significantly (approx. 70%) in both cases, with an associated increase in electronic interaction. In short, rather than prompting increasingly vibrant face-to-face collaboration, open architecture appeared to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact instead over email and IM."
Depression and "toxic people"
A twitter thread on the different ways that society seems to treat the two, written in the wake of the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, despite the overlap between the categories.
Why the Most “Cultured” Among Us May Be the Most Resistant to Change
Researchers "analyzed millions of Yelp and Netflix reviews to reveal that people considered the most culturally adventurous are actually the most resistant to experiences perceived as “crossing the line.” That is, those dubbed “cultural omnivores” — because they eat Thai for lunch, play bocce ball after work, and stream a French film that night — are the very ones opposed to mixing it up. No hummus on their hot dogs, forget about spaghetti Westerns, and do not mention Switched-On Bach."

Everything is obvious, once you know the answer

Been reading through Duncan Watts' Everything is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer again, after being reminded of it via a tweet by Dean Eckles starting a twitter thread which provides more context on the tweet below:


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