The day when the singularity came

A philosophical sci-fi essay about what to do with your life using some new data, with a reading list for rainy Sunday afternoons It was the 27th January 2016 when the penny finally dropped. It was reported that in October 2015, Google’s artificial intelligence program had beaten the European champion of the board game Go.1Continue reading “The day when the singularity came”

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When are kids born? Anyway, when are babies conceived?

My current subject is the seasonality in the number of births. I have looked up the number of live births in several countries over a number of years with monthly resolution. My primary question is whether there are certain months of the year in which more babies are born than could be expected. There areContinue reading “When are kids born? Anyway, when are babies conceived?”

The moat approach to scientific authority — Beware of the guru!

Warren Buffett, perhaps the greatest investor of all times, prefers his holdings to have what he calls a `moat’; some form of protection that sets a business apart from the competition, similarly to how a moat protects a castle from intrusion.1 The economic moat should function by making it impossible for rivals and new entrantsContinue reading “The moat approach to scientific authority — Beware of the guru!”

Height matching for a harmonious-looking pair

I’m somewhat obsessed with the heights of people around me. I also have an interest in harmony and aesthetics. So I have been thinking what height proportions make a nice couple. If you are looking for a partner from the opposite sex (whether for a romantic relationship or for dancing), what height would be aContinue reading “Height matching for a harmonious-looking pair”

How Facebook could make money by letting users sell their friends

I originally wrote the entry as an online article and it ended up being quite long. So I decided to start with an extra summary to present the core idea briefly. Well, it made the whole thing that much longer. Summary Advertising connects demand with supply: it connects people who have money to spend toContinue reading “How Facebook could make money by letting users sell their friends”