Morning Ed: Science {2018.09.10.M}

[Sc1] Go on. Do it. Divide by zero.

[Sc2] This is a supervillain origin story.

[Sc3] Carl V Philips writes about perceptions and anchoring bias, a term I’d never heard before. The context is tobacco and nicotine products, but it’s a fascinating look at the intersection between science and psychology.

[Sc4] When a top empathy researcher has empathy problems.

[Sc5] Sex science and porn science.

[Sc6] Asteroid vs Volcanoes: Choose your disaster movie. And speaking of collapse

[Sc7] Online betting can identify weak psychological studies, but they can’t be used. Which honestly may be for the best, as betting markets were better at predicting elections before people knew they were good at predicting elections.

[Sc8] A look at the science and non-science of the multiverse.

[Sc9] Does the origin to life track back to a protein named Ambidoxen?


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Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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6 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Science {2018.09.10.M}

  1. Sc1: Not the first time that division by zero was allowed. Old CDC machines supported it in hardware, returning the special value NaN (not a number) as a result. Any subsequent operation using NaN would fail. In numerical programming, division by zero is most often the result of an error in logic. The problem with the CDC approach is that the error is not detected until the NaN is used, which may be in a quite different part of the code. Pony’s producing a valid result will make finding such bugs even more difficult.

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    • Agreed, the debugging of such code gets harder, but that’s about it. As you note, algorithms where a divisor could be zero should have a check built in to make sure that the operation can’t happen. Except people always forget to do such checks until it throws a NaN exception (or similar).

      Knowing that Pony won’t throw such an exception would discourage me from using it for math intensive work.

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  2. Sc2: Its only a super villain origin story if you turn the diamond into a piece of jewelry after it gets hit with anti-matter. That way the person that puts it on will become some sort of wedding related super villain.

    Sc4: I think we call this irony.

    Sc5: The first link seems like the male equivalent of the alleged allure of bad boys to women. Your partner might be emotionally unstable but that can also mean more exciting than an emotionally stable person.

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