Friday, February 18, 2011

Linkism: Morning

Trouble in the Chinese railway system with the firing of its chief.

Demand for health care has been decreasing—and the reasons why.

Private foundations are stepping in to improve India’s schools. The unfortunate plight:
…most Indian schools still perform poorly. Barely half of fifth-grade students can read simple texts in their language of study, according to a survey of 13,000 rural schools by Pratham, a nonprofit education group. And only about one-third of fifth graders can perform simple division problems in arithmetic. Most students drop out before they reach the 10th grade.

Those statistics stand in stark contrast to China, where a government focus on education has achieved a literacy rate of 94 percent of the population, compared with 64 percent in India.

A pretty incredible story about corruption in the Turks and Caicos: it’s so bad that the British government has revoked its sovereignty and is running the place itself.

A potential solution to the problem of searching surveillance video.

A map of world alcohol consumption.

On Watson and medicine:
For a long time a certain set of economists has griped about health care. One of my particular gripes has been the very concept of a physician in the modern era.

A physician is more or less a human database and an incredibly expensive one. With medical training we basically take some of the most valuable brains on earth and hack them into doing something a brain is not intended to do: store and retrieve massive amounts specific information on demand with very low error rates.

On the other hand we have this machine called a computer which does this effortlessly and at low cost. Bare minimum we should forget about cramming drug interactions into human minds and just let them look it up in a database.
More on implications of Watson for real-life applications. Also, Ken Jennings on Ken Jennings losing to Watson.

It’s official: Hollywood will release the highest number of sequels ever next year.

A nice slideshow about Cezanne’s series of card players paintings. Didn’t realize how many of these I’d seen in person.

Are Keynesian economics doomed politically inherently?

More on the implications of Stuxnet.

Does the Air Force have a secret stealth bomber?

Why do the French translate American movie titles so badly?

The implications of Google Data Explorer.

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