The STEM thread

John Locke

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Thank you for this.

My best friend growing up is living his best life as he pursues, with his engineering brillance, his passionate work in robotics at MIT.

He's quite a unique guy. Awesome in so many ways and has vision, vision that is a bit limited with his engineering mind.

There are a couple of folks, leaders as such that he works with who are clearly visionaries.

Their star product, or really, as they see it pupil is named Atlas for a reason. One Mark doesn't understand.

Great tribute. Thank you.
 

John Locke

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Seems as good a thread as any.

Spread across two days, I heard this whole 45-minute discussion. It is both fascinating and horrible.

Briefly, Kaku -- one of the founders of string theory -- is a smirking nihilist, trafficking in nothing but arbitrary speculations, grounded in the bizarre Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics.

Penrose is a dignified and rational thinker, fearlessly stating that the Copenhagen view is simply wrong and that there therefore is zero basis for even considering string theory or any "multiverse" talk.

Sabine is also very rational, mostly, in her criticism of Kaku's cookoo ideas, although she is too hung up in standard notions of testability and refutations.

In the end, this is not really a talk about physics but about philosophy. I have the impression, from other sources than this talk, that Penrose holds some Platonist views of mathematics -- but he is still an amazingly lucid, unpretentious, honest thinker. I like and admire him.

The "mystery of the multiverse" is really only that people take multiverse ideas seriously. As Sabine says, this is chiefly a sociological issue, not one of physics.

I even dislike the notion of the Multiverse in Marvel comics -- as it just disintegrates the whole wonderfully unified Marvel Universe into endless what-ifs (Stan Lee was known to disapprove of this development by later Marvel writers) -- but its far worse when we are seriously talking about the one and only Real Universe!

View: https://youtu.be/W39kfrxOSHg
 
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Flagg the Wanderer

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Sadly, here's a real life, real time, issue with the STEM fields:

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1594086199983063041
My daughter is in chemistry, and has companies coming to her, whereas her male classmate who is right behind her in class rank, was published with her on her 2 papers, and shared her summer internship, can't get the time of day. She is trying to reject any company where there is even a sniff that she's filling a quota or getting a leg up for being female, but that's not even realistic.

So I'm not saying this girl isn't experiencing something real, just that it's cutting exactly the opposite way in the job shopping component for my daughter. That doesn't disprove sexism, it's just...it's the more hidden kind, the assumptions that you're where you are because of getting the leg up, that LW #1 is finding.
 

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Yea, thanks Flagg, its apparently a multi headed, complicated issue. Regional biases could play a factor too I'm guessing.

Interesting that she got no responses when she used her full name, but got three when she shortened it to "Alex".
 

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Yea, thanks Flagg, its apparently a multi headed, complicated issue. Regional biases could play a factor too I'm guessing.

Interesting that she got no responses when she used her full name, but got three when she shortened it to "Alex".
So I recently heard about a guy (a coder) who got in a fight with his girlfriend because she accused him of not actually applying to all the jobs he was claiming to be applying for during a period of unemployment. In response, he did an experiment where he created a second identical resume, with a girl's name/made up email address. He attempted to apply to the same 50 jobs, all 3 days apart, half with the female one first and half with the male one first. Only 46 were able to overlap, as some of the postings expired in the interim.

Anyway, allegedly he got 17 responses to the female resume, and 1 to the male resume.
 

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So I recently heard about a guy (a coder) who got in a fight with his girlfriend because she accused him of not actually applying to all the jobs he was claiming to be applying for during a period of unemployment. In response, he did an experiment where he created a second identical resume, with a girl's name/made up email address. He attempted to apply to the same 50 jobs, all 3 days apart, half with the female one first and half with the male one first. Only 46 were able to overlap, as some of the postings expired in the interim.

Anyway, allegedly he got 17 responses to the female resume, and 1 to the male resume.
Not going to lie but that’s unfortunately been going on for at least 35 / 40 years ... during the I am women hear me roar generation. I refused to accept any employment based on sex... Either I earned it or I didn’t. I know there were a lot of us .....now not so much.

~Dee~
 
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I mean, incredible. But we knew this was coming, no?

Cheers
Yes, it's all a part of the continual gains in efficiency in the area of manufacturing that's been occurring since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Many bemoan the loss of jobs in the US in that sector and the transition to a service economy, and some blame political parties and policies and treaties for that.

But what's really been happening is that we (the human race) have been ramping up our knowledge base about how to produce things, and we've gotten really good at. So good, in fact, that we can produce a lot more things with a lot less man-power/woman-power/LGBTQ+-power than ever before.

The good news is this means many humans are freed up from assembly-line jobs; the bad news is that we don't yet have enough other kinds of jobs to offer to those in the manufacturing sector that have been displaced.

Over the last 50-75 years we (the world) have been in a transition from an Industrial Age economy to an Information Age economy - that transition is still ongoing, and naturally there are dislocations and adjustments associated with it. This is a problem, and I do think we'll eventually solve it (or at least reduce it). The birth of the Information Age, like any birth, involves blood, toil, sweat and tears. But birth can also be an occasion of laughter and joy and wonderment and hope for the future, and it's important to recognize those elements too.

Another thing the human race has gotten really good at is producing food. The world population just passed 8 billion, and while there is some hunger and famine in the world, it's not because there's not enough food. It's mainly a distribution problem (or a political one). If you look at the amount of farmland given over to crops like grapes (for wine) and coffee, it's clear that we can produce enough food for everyone, along with a substantial amount of luxury items. This, too, is another reason to be optimistic about the direction in which things are headed.
 
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chevss454

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Research into the causes of Alzheimer's disease has taken an intriguing turn for the better, imo.
After 20 years of accepting amyloid buildup as the direct cause some researchers see the issues which lead to it may be far more impt for finding a treatment.
Great article anyone over 50 should read whether it's in your family or not.

 

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Research into the causes of Alzheimer's disease has taken an intriguing turn for the better, imo.
After 20 years of accepting amyloid buildup as the direct cause some researchers see the issues which lead to it may be far more impt for finding a treatment.
Great article anyone over 50 should read whether it's in your family or not.

the key to all of this is having enough researchers not calling any one finding "settled" or "THE SCIENCE" but continuing to probe, research and expand without ruling out because provable solution/solutions have not been found/vetted. like great detectives do also. great article. can't say i understood 100% of it, but the thought it could be considered a sort of autoimmune disease(my words, not in article) is intriguing.
 

chevss454

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the key to all of this is having enough researchers not calling any one finding "settled" or "THE SCIENCE" but continuing to probe, research and expand without ruling out because provable solution/solutions have not been found/vetted. like great detectives do also. great article. can't say i understood 100% of it, but the thought it could be considered a sort of autoimmune disease(my words, not in article) is intriguing.

Immune issues are thought to be part of it and inflammation is certainly a factpr of Alzheimer's multifactorial causes.
The autosome-lysosome theory (intercellular digestion gone awry) may finally lead researchers to a treatment but it's complicated and will take time to sort out.
 
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Immune issues are thought to be part of it and inflammation is certainly a factpr of Alzheimer's multifactorial causes.
The autosome-lysosome theory (intercellular digestion gone awry) may finally lead researchers to a treatment but it's complicated and will take time to sort out.
I heard a story about this on NPR a few days ago.


If you follow that link, you'll see KCLU listed in banner at the top of the page (KCLU is my local NPR station). I think about half their content is produced by WBUR; listening to that station lets me feel that I'm still connected to the Boston area (and justifies our annual check to the good people at WBUR).
 
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HSanders

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Immune issues are thought to be part of it and inflammation is certainly a factpr of Alzheimer's multifactorial causes.
The autosome-lysosome theory (intercellular digestion gone awry) may finally lead researchers to a treatment but it's complicated and will take time to sort out.
the existence of top level reasearchers who are human beings is one reason that as much as i respect a.i. and find it amazing and fascinating, i don't believe any machine will ever replace a human brain. some of the decisions these researchers made were based on personal experiences. i know a.i. has learning capabilities, but i believe that neither the uniqueness of personal interaction nor the resulting decisions can be replicated by machines.
 
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the existence of top level reasearchers who are human beings is one reason that as much as i respect a.i. and find it amazing and fascinating, i don't believe any machine will ever replace a human brain. some of the decisions these researchers made were based on personal experiences. i know a.i. has learning capabilities, but i believe that neither the uniqueness of personal interaction nor the resulting decisions can be replicated by machines.
I think you're correct, at least in terms of current state-of-the-art and near-term future systems.

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HSanders

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our building automation systems mgr and i just had a discussion on this. he thinks a.i. will beat the brain someday. mainly because a.i. machines will design a.i. machines, and they will get better. i maintained that i agree they will be more "efficient" and a lot of times more "accurate" but sometimes the very falliabilities of the brain lead to amazing discoveries.
 
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