Baby You Can Drive My Car

Top five vehicle selection by women sorted by ethnic group.

Bland book3 rev1

[via Polk]

The Changing Nature of Delusions

From a new study, the changing 20th century nature of delusions in American psychiatric hospital. Fantastic stuff:

…more patients after 1950 believe they are being spied upon is consistent with the development of related technology and the advent of the Cold War.

Delusional content tended to reflect the culture at the time, with focus on syphilis in the early 1900s, on Germans during World War II, on Communists during the Cold War, and on technology in recent years.

Indeed, delusions now are being reported relating to computers, the internet and computer games.


Cannon BJ, Kramer LM. Delusion content across the 20th century in an American psychiatric hospital. The International journal of social psychiatry. 2011. Available at: [Accessed March 31, 2011].

Unearthing America’s Past

Interesting looking new book (“Before the Revolution: America’s Ancient Past“) on unearthing America’s past in its layered historical strata:

[A half-millenium before Columbus’s arrival history] was already happening in North America, where Ancient Native civilizations (like the one built by the Anasazi) were rising and falling; amidst a changing climate, new ways of life, powered by a revolution in agriculture, were being established in new parts of the continent. In Europe, meanwhile, during what we often call the Middle Ages, things were changing, too. Agriculture allowed for the accumulation of wealth, and European land started being divided up into parcels, ruled by armed lords, in the system we now call feudalism. Richter begins by exploring the roots of these two different ways of life — one driven by an idea of property, the other more decentralized — which were, unbeknownst to either side, on a crash-course.

Conventional wisdom has it that invading Europeans simply wiped out the Native way of life. In fact, Richter argues, it’s better to think of what happened in terms of historical layers, each new layer inheriting the shape of the previous one. In the fifteenth century, conquistadores brought the European Middle Ages to America, fueled by religious zeal; but, almost at the same time, European traders built a different kind of life, learning to coexist with Native civilization and importing a sensibility we might recognize as modern and capitalistic.

More here.


Field Notes: Inflation, Trade, DEC, etc.

  • Pagerank matrix of world trade network (Source)
  • Would DEC Still Exist if Non-Competes Didn’t? (Source)
  • Preqin survey finds 50% rise in public pension plans investing in hedge funds (Source)
  • Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon expects “serious” inflation (Source)
  • Co-residence patterns in hunter-gatherer societies (Source)
  • Locating the U.S. oil production recovery (Source)
  • Skunked: Reforming U.S. entitlements (Source)

Take Part in Prediction Tournament

Want to take part in a prediction/forecasting tournament and aid research? Here’s your chance to take part by being a member of a team doing so in national security, global affairs and economics:

Prediction markets can harness the “wisdom of crowds” to solve problems, develop products, and make forecasts. These systems typically treat collective intelligence as a commodity to be mined, not a resource that can be grown and improved. That’s about to change.

Starting in mid-2011, five teams will compete in a U.S.-government-sponsored forecasting tournament. Each team will develop its own tools for harnessing and improving collective intelligence and will be judged on how well its forecasters predict major trends and events around the world over the next four years.

The Good Judgment Team, based in the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California Berkeley, will be one of the five teams competing – and we’d like you to consider joining our team as a forecaster. If you’re willing to experiment with ways to improve your forecasting ability and if being part of cutting-edge scientific research appeals to you, then we want your help.

We can promise you the chance to: (1) learn about yourself (your skill in predicting – and your skill in becoming more accurate over time as you learn from feedback and/or special training exercises); (2) contribute to cutting-edge scientific work on both individual-level factors that promote or inhibit accuracy and group- or team-level factors that contribute to accuracy; and (3) help us distinguish better from worse approaches to generating forecasts of importance to national security, global affairs, and economics.

Apply here.

Field Notes: Fonts, Tesla vs BBC, Debt, Correlations, etc.

  • Evolution of worldwide stock markets, correlation structure and correlation based
  • graphs (Source)
  • Debt: The first five thousand years – David Graeber (Source)
  • Visualization font (Source)
  • The Future of Books. (Source)
  • Tesla Sues BBC For Libel Claiming Top Gear Rigged Tests, BBC “will be vigorously defending” (Source)
  • Tesla’s statement on Top Gear suit (Source)

Patent Reform Readings

For something else I’ve been working on, some readings on first-to-file versus first-to-invent and patent reform.

Global Land Use Change from 8000 BP to -50 BP

Nifty animation of changes in global land use from 8000 BP to -50 BP. I wish it was a little faster and I had to turn off the sound, but still interesting:

More here.

Field Notes: Citations, Coal, Cookstoves, Radiation, Cities, etc.

  • Top 20 Countries in all research fields (Source)
  • Lincoln, Neb. Most Satisifed US City (Source)
  • Propagation of Cascades in Complex Networks: From Supply Chains to Food Webs (Source)
  • The revival of cookstove research (Source)
  • Radiation Dosage Chart (Source)
  • Coal from here to eternity (Source)
  • The citation cycle (Source)

Reactor Antipodes: Uruguay

From an editor at the New Scientist, where the Fukushima reactor would come out if it went straight thru center of earth and poped out other side. Good to know.


[via Die Welt]