Random links

Mumbling Danish actors force country’s theaters to subtitle Danish films
Have heard talk of subtitling of media leading to greater English literacy in a lot of Nordic countries, but hadn't expected this. "Whereas in the past, actors were focused on articulating themselves in a way understandable for everyone, their main emphasis has now shifted to being as authentic as possible. Hence, many actors have chosen not to imitate more common dialects and have stuck to local versions of Danish."
Major medical journals don’t follow their own rules for reporting results from clinical trials
"All five journals have endorsed long-established Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines. One CONSORT rule is that authors should describe the outcomes they plan to study before a trial starts and stick to that list when they publish the trial. But only nine of 67 trials published in the five journals reported outcomes correctly"
Transgressive Advocacy: People Are More Likely To Excuse Others' Lies When They Support Shared Morals
"We found that people’s perceptions of the speaker’s transgressive advocacy were uniquely shaped by their personal moral conviction for the cause. Although honesty was positively valued by all respondents, transgressive advocacy that served a shared moral (vs. nonmoral) end was more accepted, and advocacy in the service of a nonpreferred end was more condemned, regardless of its truth value. A troubling and timely implication of these findings is that political figures may be able to get away with lies and corruption without losing support from their political base. "

Vannevar Bush on fear

Fear cannot be banished, but it can be calm and without panic; it can be mitigated by reason and evaluation. - Vannevar Bush

Random links

Memphis lawmakers want to charge officers with felony for turning off body cameras
Not ideal but probably necessary given that people departments have been encountering more of the sort of issues mentioned here. Probably need an exception whereby a member of the public might be able to request the cameras off though - though what happens if one party in a conflict requests this?
In 2017, the feds said Tesla Autopilot cut crashes 40%—that was bogus
"QCS highlights flaws in NHTSA's methodology that are serious enough to completely discredit the 40 percent figure, which Tesla has cited multiple times over the last two years. ... The majority of the vehicles in the Tesla data set suffered from missing data or other problems that made it impossible to say whether the activation of Autosteer increased or decreased the crash rate. But when QCS focused on 5,714 vehicles whose data didn't suffer from these problems, it found that the activation of Autosteer actually increased crash rates by 59 percent."
In the Fake News Era, Native Ads Are Muddying the Waters
"Online experiment finds that less than 1 in 10 people can tell sponsored content from an article"

Kahneman on overuse of "bias"

Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel Prize for his role in the development of behavioural economics -looking at how people can think in ways that we might not think of as rational in some sense. Despite this one thing I find interesting about him is that he now thinks that we overemphasize bias:

Mr. Kahneman: ... we very much overuse the term “bias.” When I started my career, you mentioned the word “error,” and the association would be “random” or “motivated” or “Freudian” error. 50, 60 years ago, that’s how people thought about error. Now you mention error, people are very likely to say, “What’s the bias that caused it?” But in fact, it need not be a bias. A lot of error is random, and there is a radical underestimation of the amount of random error in people’s thinking, and I would like to restore the balance because I think our work, Tversky’s and mine, was, in a sense, too influential. It led people to exaggerate the importance of bias in human affairs and in human thinking, but there are many other ways in which people go wrong than biases.

Ms. Tippett: And I suppose you’re suggesting, also, that if we took that in, that just that distinction would make us just that much — that “random” is not always motivated and malicious. Do you feel like the word “bias” is so much more charged, and that it charges things on top of…?

Mr. Kahneman: Certainly, that’s the case, but also, the fascinating thing about random error, what I call noise, is that it’s invisible, that we’re not aware of it.

Source: An interview for 'On Being'


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