Learnstream Links


October 18, 2016

Being More Than "Just the Programmer" (prog21.dadgum.com)

October 12, 2016

Teaching Your Child Emotional Agility (mobile.nytimes.com)

October 8, 2016

How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016 (hackernoon.com) This

October 6, 2016

Steve Bannon: This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America (www.bloomberg.com)

October 5, 2016

ICER 2016 trip report | Bits and Behavior (blogs.uw.edu) Good overview of ICER 2016.

October 4, 2016

The Green Universe: A Vision (www.nybooks.com)

October 1, 2016

potch 🔔 @ LibertyJS on Twitter: "DRY: Don't Repeat Yourself DAMP: Do Abstraction/Minimalism Pragmatically MOIST: Maybe Only Innovate Some Times?" (twitter.com)
The Democratization of Censorship — Krebs on Security (krebsonsecurity.com)

September 22, 2016

Andrew Sullivan: My Distraction Sickness — and Yours (nymag.com)

September 17, 2016

Institutionalized | Hapgood (hapgood.us) Good description of the power of institutions, which I was introduced to via Latour's Missing Mass paper. For open education we need to dismantle the institutions around the traditional textbook

September 16, 2016

Clippy and the History of the Future of Educational Chatbots (hackeducation.com)
It’s Bayes All The Way Up | Slate Star Codex (slatestarcodex.com) Nice description of two studies of the kind of stuff in Surfing Uncertainty with a psychiatry angle. I want to rethink some of his qualms with a less exactly Bayesian approach to the top-down processing.

September 5, 2016

Recommendations - #vim on freenode (www.vi-improved.org)
Human and Artificial Intelligence May Be Equally Impossible to Understand (nautil.us) Seems obvious to me that we have some fundamental steps between current ML methods and real humanlike intelligence, so imposing interpretability on current models doesn't sound productive. It could be that humanlike AI is an iterative process between deep learning perception and machine-interpretability, but we have little clue what the latter looks like. The pneumonia/asthma example is a good lesson about using current ML in practice. The ML model is a function of conditions -> long term outcome, but you're using it as conditions -> immediate actions. Yes, interpretability may help bridge that gap, but we have to know those aren't the same thing.
[no title] (hapgood.us) Is human brain just adding social/argumentative aspects to a logical, planning animal brain?

September 4, 2016

dy/dan » Blog Archive » NCTM Puts up a Sign (blog.mrmeyer.com) "Curricular coherence" is a consideration when creating your own lessons and is hard to achieve when choosing online materials.

September 3, 2016

What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists | Aeon Ideas (aeon.co) "I still get the occasional joke from colleagues about my ‘crackpot consultant business’, but I’ve stopped thinking of our clients that way. They are driven by the same desire to understand nature and make a contribution to science as we are. They just weren’t lucky enough to get the required education early in life, and now they have a hard time figuring out where to even begin."
[no title] (hapgood.us) Call for tech that supports professional updates. More than the fact that *Facebook* fails here is that professional publications do. in cs, Alan Kay says we have a pop science, which perhaps tarnishes the spread of the most important information. (I find this hard to judge as CS is so broad.) Maybe as a general trend other fields are too pop and/or too broad?

August 24, 2016

Why Do Intervention Effects Fade? - Daniel Willingham (www.danielwillingham.com) Study suggests that intervention effects fade due to pre existing differences that still take affect after the intervention. Similar to Scott Alexander: genetics explain *more* variation at later ages (but regardless of interventions?). Willingham is more hopeful about education: we need to keep up the extra effort with these students (reminds me of article on good versus great CF treatment)

August 22, 2016

Squirrel take GoPro and gives best POV EVER!!! - YouTube (www.youtube.com) gopro on a squirrel it's unfortunately missing most of the actual branch-paths that the squirrel is following because it's positioned too high.

August 21, 2016

The digital revolution in higher education has already happened. No one noticed. — Medium (medium.com) "Given the lousy fit between institutional assumptions and the actual lives of most students, we should applaud their inventiveness in using digital options to make college work for them. But we should also recognize our complicity in creating a system that works so badly in the first place."

August 16, 2016

Tolerance Troubles | Slate Star Codex (slatestarcodex.com) Medicine is super complicated: depending on the person and whether they've developed tolerance, medicine can take a full range of effects (from intended effect to no effect to opposite of intended effect)

August 15, 2016

Kay2013.pdf (cognitivemedium.com) "[If designing the Dynabook] Today, we would emphasize not just learning to think well in a complex world of many kinds of evidence, cultures and contexts, but being trained to think well under many kinds of stress, including those of time, scale, opinions, and almost invisible desires that are genetically generated and affect conscious decision making."

August 14, 2016

Making Algorithms Accountable - ProPublica (www.propublica.org) "At ProPublica, we obtained more than 7,000 risk scores assigned by the company Northpointe, whose tool is used in Wisconsin, and compared predicted recidivism to actual recidivism. We found the scores were wrong 40 percent of the time and were biased against black defendants, who were falsely labeled future criminals at almost twice the rate of white defendants."
Welcome to AirSpace | The Verge (www.theverge.com) the digital spreads aesthetic to physical spaces, bringing about sameness
Building-Thinking-Classrooms-Feb-14-2015.pdf (www.peterliljedahl.com) "In each class I saw the same basic behaviour – an assumption, implicit in the teaching, that the students either could not, or would not think. Under such conditions it was unreasonable to expect that students were going to spontaneously engage in problem solving enough to get stuck, and then persist through being stuck enough to have an AHA! experience."
Classroom Metrics - Real World Case Study for Games in Schools - Extra Credits - YouTube (www.youtube.com) Study with Planet Mechanic found that game-only learning gain were 0.1% while instruction + game were 10% (and instruction-only 6%).
Aiming Higher: Bloom and Vygotsky In the Classroom - YouTube (www.youtube.com) Connects Bloom's (revised) taxonomy with Vygotsky's ZPDs: you don't have to move from bottom to top of the taxonomy, but rather activities with higher-order skills can build up the lower levels *when* the activities are within ZPD.
The Bell Curve - The New Yorker (www.newyorker.com) The difference between good and great hospital for cystic fibrosis care: knowing the difference between 99.5% and 99.95% survival rates and using ad hoc measures to get patients doing the right things. "The buzzword for clinicians these days is “evidence-based practice”—good doctors are supposed to follow research findings rather than their own intuition or ad-hoc experimentation. Yet Warwick is almost contemptuous of established findings. National clinical guidelines for care are, he says, “a record of the past, and little more—they should have an expiration date.”"
MIT Press Journals - Review of Economics and Statistics - Abstract (www.mitpressjournals.org) "poverty starts bad and stays bad in terms of subjective well-being" (via slatestarcodex.com)
Effects of Initiating Moderate Alcohol Intake on Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A 2-Year Randomized, Controlled Trial (PDF Download Available) (www.researchgate.net) positive effect of moderate alcohol intake from a randomized study
The big puzzle in economics today: why is the economy growing so slowly? - Vox (www.vox.com) 8 theories to explain slow gdp growth. demographic explanations are always surprising and compelling to me.

August 13, 2016

Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here - Scientific American (www.scientificamerican.com) Israel now gets 55% of its water from desalination (via slatestarcodex.com)

August 8, 2016

Answering Questions | Five Twelve Thirteen (fivetwelvethirteen.wordpress.com) When should a teacher answer a student's question? When it causes thinking to continue...

August 5, 2016

No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons (Reloaded).: Iterating Towards Bethlehem (www.rifters.com) Spider with a tiny brain is able to do complex cognitive tasks -- very very slowly

July 31, 2016

[no title] (computinged.wordpress.com) C++ lambdas are much harder than C++ iterators for beginners

July 30, 2016

The Deepest Cave in the World – Krubera Cave (20 Photos) : theCHIVE (thechive.com)
Post-Partisanship Is Hyper-Partisanship | Slate Star Codex (slatestarcodex.com) "I predict (50% probability) that the progressives most carefully bubbled and separated from any actual threat from Republicans – which disproportionately includes politicians, journalists, and other opinion-makers – will start treating the Trump-voting classes more like Tibetans. I predict when they talk about specific bad Republicans like Trump, they’ll focus more on the ways they are funny and cartoonish (far too easy with Trump, but maybe the next guy will be a better test) instead of the ways they’re threatening. I predict that conflicts within the progressive movement will be increasingly vicious and increasingly likely to use poor whites as a political football (“the other side is bigoted against poor whites!”). I predict this will happen much more if the Democrats win the election than if they lose it; it’s always easier to be gracious toward a vanquished opponent."

July 28, 2016

Is AlphaGo Really Such A Big Deal? | Quanta Magazine (www.quantamagazine.org) Good articulation of the signifies of deep mind's progress

July 27, 2016

Udemy's Exodus, Amazon's Gain | Inverse (www.inverse.com) online instructors moving from Udemy to Amazon
Why We're Different | Edge.org (www.edge.org) In the example of test scores, twin studies show that 60% of variance in hereditary. Polygenic models that account for variations in DNA can now explain 10% of variance. Still early stages -- these are not yet based on complete DNA sequencing. "DNA is the best predictive game in town because it's causal. By being able to predict, we can begin to intervene."
Physical analog models (www.johndcook.com) "Hydraulic engineering gets into some of the most complicated math there is. Allegedly when Albert Einstein’s son Hans said he wanted to study how sediment moves underwater, Einstein asked him why he wanted to work on something so complicated. The physics involved happen on such a small scale that we still haven’t built equations complex enough to capture them. And so Stanford Gibson, a world-class numerical modeler, is one of the most ardent supporters of physical models." "When you build a small thing to study how a big thing works, you’ve got to have some theory relating the behavior of the two. If the real thing is 1000 times bigger than the model, does that mean you can simply multiply measurements from the model by 1000 to predict measurements of reality? Sometimes. Some effects scale linearly, but some do not."

July 26, 2016

How The West Was Won | Slate Star Codex (slatestarcodex.com) There's no dominating western culture, but a universal culture that most of the world is moving toward. I think we could find a powerful definition of universal culture and I don't think it's "better" (nor do I think details of outcomes are inevitable). It may be roughly "least common denominator" -- a mix of better and easier.
Cognitive mediation of putting: Use of a think-aloud measure and implications for studies of golf-putting in the laboratory (www.sciencedirect.com) The analysis showed that, during putting: more thoughts were verbalized overall by more-skilled golfers than less-skilled golfers; both groups verbalized more thoughts overall during higher-complexity putts (i.e., longer distance putts, and putts under higher stress when executed from a new starting location) than lower-complexity putts; and the two groups did not differ significantly in the number of thoughts related to motor mechanics.

July 25, 2016

[no title] (computinged.wordpress.com) U. Illinois has the most innovative program I have heard of for meeting these new needs.  They are creating a range of CS+X degree programs.  First, these CS+X programs are significant parts of the “X” departments
Is Listening to an Audio book "Cheating?" - Daniel Willingham (www.danielwillingham.com) "An influential model of reading is the simple view (Gough & Tumner, 1986), which claims that two fundamental processes contribute to reading: decoding and language processing. “Decoding” obviously refers to figuring out words from print. “Language processing” refers to the same mental processes you use for oral language. Reading, as an evolutionary late-comer, must piggy-back on mental processes that already existed, and spoken communication does much of the lending. "

July 23, 2016

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For July 22nd, 2016 - High Scalability - (highscalability.com) plusepsilon: I transitioned from using Bayesian models in academia to using machine learning models in industry. One of the core differences in the two paradigms is the "feel" when constructing models. For a Bayesian model, you feel like you're constructing the model from first principles. You set your conditional probabilities and priors and see if it fits the data. I'm sure probabilistic programming languages facilitated that feeling. For machine learning models, it feels like you're starting from the loss function and working back to get the best configuration

July 22, 2016

Things Probably Matter | Slate Star Codex (slatestarcodex.com) "So it looks like happiness can change. It just didn’t change in China over the past thirty years. The apparent paradox of improving economic situation and stable/decreasing happiness is genuinely paradoxical. Intangibles are probably just way more important than money, even amounts of money big enough to raise whole countries out of poverty."

July 16, 2016

Pokemon Go Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small, Local Businesses. Here's How It Works | Inc.com (www.inc.com) Huge business implications from augmented reality at scale: local businesses buy lures in Pokémon Go to attract costumers
[no title] (www.sciencedirect.com) Scientists now able to reconstruct moving visual scenes from fMRI
[no title] (computinged.wordpress.com) Two predictions from learning science that don't hold up in the CS context. In CS: giving students subgoals is better than students forming their own, mastery goals are better than performance goals

July 15, 2016

Sequence Matters, But How Exactly? A Method for Evaluating Activity Sequences from Data (www.educationaldatamining.org) Used student log data to determine that it may be better to learn fraction equivalence and ordering before fractions on a number line.

July 13, 2016

Potentially big win in addressing the achievement gap - Daniel Willingham (www.danielwillingham.com) Quick intervention to significantly reduce college dropout

July 12, 2016

Frame of Reference - Invisibilia (pca.st) With transcranial magnetics, woman with autism is able to immediately experience emotional subtleties of human interactions. What are the implications for learning new ways of thinking beyond knowledge acquisition/automaticity/conceptual change? Similar to representation change or beyond?

July 11, 2016

Why Students Don’t Like Active Learning « Annie Murphy Paul (anniemurphypaul.com) Students don't like active learning. How can educators convey the benefits?

July 5, 2016

Deep Learning for Chatbots, Part 2 – Implementing a Retrieval-Based Model in Tensorflow – WildML (www.wildml.com)
Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood? - The New York Times (www.nytimes.com)
Inside the Mirrortocracy (carlos.bueno.org) "The first step toward dis­solv­ing these petty Cul­tures is writ­ing down their un­writt­en rules for all to see. The word "privilege" lit­eral­ly means "private law". It's the sec­re­cy, de­ni­able and im­mune to an­alysis, that makes the balan­ce of power so lop­sided in favor of in­sid­ers."
In an Uber World, Fortune Favors the Freelancer - The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) "if the Uber idea spreads, it could discourage corporate training and may require that workers have stronger educational backgrounds. Ideally, formal education should refocus to prepare people for subsequent self-instruction and retraining."
Cargo Cults and Interview Questions (braythwayt.com) story about cargo cult in interview questions. being able to speak intelligently about *some* detail is much more important than being able to correctly answer about one particular detail.
More on conversational UIs (28 Jun., 2015, at Interconnected) (interconnected.org) collection about bots/conversational UIs

July 4, 2016

"Turning the database inside out with Apache Samza" by Martin Kleppmann - YouTube (www.youtube.com) Breaks down what we use a database for and the types from DB to UI. Suggests that everything should be a stream.
[1606.03498] Improved Techniques for Training GANs (arxiv.org) generating images with generative adversarial networks
[1606.01868] Unifying Count-Based Exploration and Intrinsic Motivation (arxiv.org)
fp1187-altadmri.pdf (kar.kent.ac.uk)
The Missing 11th of the Month « David R Hagen (drhagen.com)

June 22, 2016

[no title] (mathwithbaddrawings.com) Chunking illustrated
Understand the Brain? Let’s Try Donkey Kong First. | In the Pipeline (blogs.sciencemag.org) What do the tools we use to understand the brain tell us about another complex system that we do understand (microprocessor)? Very little it turns out

June 21, 2016

What Bill Gates is afraid of - YouTube (www.youtube.com) Bill Gates: biggest impact and highest probability for major human death is an epidemic that spreads fast and kills. Ebola showed we aren't ready if this combination happens (last time: Spanish flu, but transportation was 50x less).

June 12, 2016

Will It Hit the Hoop? • Activity Builder by Desmos (teacher.desmos.com) Very nice structured activity on Desmos (by Dan Meyer)