50 years ago


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Hiring process

I have just recently been through the hiring process 3 times in an organisation I volunteer in. And I have not been sufficiently prepared which bothers me tremendously and has caused a lot of frustration. I assumed someone else handled the details and you really shouldn’t assume something like that. In the future I will try to do better.

Though the jobs are not technical, this talk reminded me of many of the details I had forgotten:


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Irrational ideas


In the free market of ideas, rationality is now too boring and cliched to get attention, so those who wish to impress must resort to clever insanity.

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Sagsbehandlingstid i Nævnenes Hus

Jeg søgte i midten af september 2017 om en tilladelse og fik prompte – efter ca. en uge – afslag. Det afslag klagede jeg over, indenfor tidsfristen på 4 uger (og ikke først i november som der står i nedenstående orientering). Jeg har løbende fået orienteringer om at jeg ikke får svar endnu…

Jeg er faktisk overbevist om at alle medarbejdere i Nævnenes Hus arbejder hårdt og korrekt. Jeg er også klar over at min klage ikke er den vigtigste i verden og at jeg bør være tålmodig.

Jeg er dog bestyrtet over at der er en beholdning af ældre sager af en sådan størrelse, at jeg nok først får svar i 2020. Og, skal vi være ærlige, måske først i 2022. I 2020 udløber de tilladelser jeg havde nået at indhente fra andre myndigheder…

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We suck at random

Asking 8,500+ college students in USA to pick a random number between 1 and 10:

I am pretty sure that is culturally specific, but I instinctively chose 7 as well. In other cultures other numbers have significant meanings, like the 4 (unlucky) and 8 (lucky) in Chinese culture.

Looking at the data set, you’ll quickly find pedantic responses with non-integer values.

Also, see xkcd and Dilbert.

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Bringing up a kid

This comic demonstrates something I find happening all the time; I feel the need to explain something that I know could be controversial or emotional so I put a lot of effort into being as precise and open about it as I can.

And my son accepts it because how should he know it might be controversial.

The other side of this is when my son asks a fundamental or deeply complex question out of the blue. Like when I got the “what’s the meaning of life?” question one day, driving him to school.

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Is it Friday? Yet?

Obvious link to test if it is.

It looks like there’s a correlation between weekdays and happiness, with us being the happiest on week-ends.

(BH is Bank Holiday)

Are You Happy While You Work?“, published in The Economic Journal, has a bunch of interesting findings:

  1. We are the most happy when we are not working
  2. Working, we are happiest (and most productive) when working from home
  3. But if we are not at home, we are happiest when they are with other people, anyone except our boss
  4. And the situation at work that makes us almost as happy as not being at work, is socialising at work
  5. Being in a long-term relationship makes us less happy to be working,
  6. While having children makes us happier to be working
  7. What is the only thing that makes us less happy than being at work? Being sick in bed

Reading this at the same time as I’ve begun reading David Graeber’s 2018 “Bullshit Jobs” makes me think we are doing this wrong.

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No surprise: Easier access lowers piracy

Easier online access to movies and TV in recent time has lowered piracy of those media.

This is not a surprise.

But now online platforms are fragmenting and siloizing, making it impossible to view a sizable part of the offerings with just one streaming subscription.

This will result in more piracy.

I am wondering what the solution should be? Pay-per-view seems like a really bad idea but might just end up being the best.

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Modern wheat is OK

I had heard that modern wheat variants were heavily dependent on agrochemicals (pesticides and fertilisers) but apparently that was wrong: Modern wheat outperforms older varieties even if less fertiliser, water or pesticide is used.

It is simply more robust.

That conclusion is actually a by-product of a study that tried to pinpoint how modern wheat varieties could be bred to yield even more. The study claims a theoretical 23% gain is possible.

You can find the article regarding the study using DOI: 10.1038/s41477-019-0445-5, if you know how.

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The not-so-Backfire Effect

Apparently the Backfire Effect isn’t that much of a thing, after all.

The Backfire Effect is the idea that when a claim aligns with someone’s ideological beliefs, telling them that it’s wrong will actually make them believe it even more strongly.

This might align pretty well with how we experience real-life discussions but a recent review of seven major studies found little to no of this effect.

Apart from the fact that I was wrong I find this new knowledge encouraging.

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