Tuesday, January 12, 2016

no payout gambling

Folks buy a lottery ticket for a chance at a prize. If no prize is awarded, regardless of whether or not the prize money is used to sell additional tickets for a future contest award, isn't that false advertising?

How is it legal for folks to sell tickets on prize money they plan not to award, so that they can sell tickets on it again next week? Not awarding of course increases the profit margin of those selling the tickets, but what does it do to the odds that the ticket you bought will pay off?

The standard approach is to fix the odds of winning at much less than one out of the number of entries. This has the added advantage that sequential "failures to award" can bump the prize money for a new entry up, creating interest in the game. The fact that it's a bad investment is old news, while a billion dollar pot is today's news.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

neolithic media

New media sometimes elicits inappropriate neolithic responses, like fear and xenophobia, from crowds first exposed to it. A classic contemporary example of course is the role of radio in 1930's Germany.

Did development of the printing press play a role in religious intolerance on or around the Renniasance in Europe? More importantly, is the internet playing a similar role in the emergence of "conservative" extremism across the globe today?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

beyond social

A media-focus on what nature is saying, rather than only what people are saying, might help.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2-paddle solutions

All these "one oar in the water" narratives about regulation of antibiotics, climate-change, abortion, herd-immunity with vaccines, guns, population, etc. might be seen as classic model-selection problems. For instance, the need for a "smoking gun" e.g. to connect a specific individual pig to a specific individual microbe to a specific illness of a specific individual person may be organism-centric fantasy -- if you drop back to a robust data/model analysis strategy, like agreeing to focus on models that are least-surprised (in a technical sense) by incoming data, folks may be able to work together to tackle these problems understandably while moving their boat along with paddles on both sides of the canoe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

replicable codes

Digital data is the DNA of culture. It deserves to be created & handled with care & respect.

1-paddle arguments

If you want to get down the river safely, you may want to avoid folks (and arguments) that paddle on only one side of the canoe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

self-assembly refocus

Our social systems have by and large evolved to be inhabited by primates that buffer subsystem-correlations associated with between 4 and 5 of the 6 niche-network layers that look inward or outward from self, family or culture. Hence they have to implicitly assume, in effect to protect themselves from and even to build upon, behaviors which are informed to only a limited range of interests.

In some areas, however, long education-times and modern-media are helping to nurture 6-layer primates that don't fit in so well. System participants whose behavior is highly-informed are an especially-important resource that we don't want to waste, so perhaps a re-focus in social-system self-assembly is in order (whether it be to job settings or whatever) to nurture 6-layer primate behaviors (e.g. those whose awareness extends well past the edges of one's own self, family & culture).

What do you think?