Summary of “Switzerland is Prepared for Civilizational Collapse”

More than any other country, Switzerland’s ethos is centered around preparing for civilizational collapse.
Zurich is famous for its 1200 fountains, some of them quite beautiful and ornate, but it’s the multiple small, simple fountains in every Swiss village that really tell the story.
If the central government fails, the Swiss might not even notice.
Swiss males are required to serve in the military creating a robust reservoir of trained citizens ready to serve in an emergency.
As a further example of how ridiculously well prepared the Swiss are for any and all threats, there are things like hidden hydroelectric dams built inside of unmarked mountains so that in the event of mass bombings, they’ll still have electricity from these secret facilities.
To thousands of military bunkers permeating the Swiss mountains there are several hundred thousand private and public fallout shelters the largest of which can hold some 20,000 people.
As the Swiss continue to improve their already fantastic railway system it’s standard practice to convert old railway tunnels to security shelters.
It’s no surprise that Nassim Taleb likes Switzerland because this is a country that has made itself anti-fragile in order to survive the black swans of civilizational collapse.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Switzerland is Prepared for Civilizational Collapse”

More than any other country, Switzerland’s ethos is centered around preparing for civilizational collapse.
Zurich is famous for its 1200 fountains, some of them quite beautiful and ornate, but it’s the multiple small, simple fountains in every Swiss village that really tell the story.
If the central government fails, the Swiss might not even notice.
Swiss males are required to serve in the military creating a robust reservoir of trained citizens ready to serve in an emergency.
As a further example of how ridiculously well prepared the Swiss are for any and all threats, there are things like hidden hydroelectric dams built inside of unmarked mountains so that in the event of mass bombings, they’ll still have electricity from these secret facilities.
To thousands of military bunkers permeating the Swiss mountains there are several hundred thousand private and public fallout shelters the largest of which can hold some 20,000 people.
As the Swiss continue to improve their already fantastic railway system it’s standard practice to convert old railway tunnels to security shelters.
It’s no surprise that Nassim Taleb likes Switzerland because this is a country that has made itself anti-fragile in order to survive the black swans of civilizational collapse.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Estonia, the Digital Republic”

Taavi Kotka, who spent four years as Estonia’s chief information officer, is one of the leading public faces of a project known as e-Estonia: a co√∂rdinated governmental effort to transform the country from a state into a digital society.
An e-resident has no leg up at the customs desk, but the program allows individuals to tap into Estonia’s digital services from afar.
The putative grandfather of Estonia’s digital platform is Tarvi Martens, an enigmatic systems architect who today oversees the country’s digital-voting program from a stone building in the center of Tallinn’s Old Town.
For decades, he pointed out, digital technology has been one of Estonia’s first recourses for public ailments.
Not all of Estonia’s digital leadership in the region is as openly rehearsed.
Beyond X-Road, the backbone of Estonia’s digital security is a blockchain technology called K.S.I. A blockchain is like the digital version of a scarf knitted by your grandmother.
I booked a meeting with Marten Kaevats, Estonia’s national digital adviser.
The more he learned of Estonia’s digital endeavors, the more excited he became.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Jobs Report Is Overhyped. Here’s Why That’s A Problem.”

“Excellent Jobs Numbers just released – and I have only just begun,” he said.
Here’s the thing: The U.S. didn’t add 209,000 jobs in July.
“There is a lot misunderstanding around the mechanics of the jobs report,” said Matt McDonald, who is a partner at the Washington-based consulting firm Hamilton Place Strategies and writes a monthly analysis of the jobs report.
In March, The Washington Post recounted 19 examples of the president dismissing the jobs data as fake before he took office.
A little secret of the economics trade is that the jobs data is the statistical equivalent of a best guess.
According to the BLS, the actual monthly change in the number of jobs likely falls somewhere in the range of 120,000 more or 120,000 less than its estimate.
The BLS estimated that 50,000 jobs were added then, meaning that the actual change in the number of jobs could be anywhere between a gain of 170,000 and a loss of 70,000.
Since 2003, the average change between the first estimate of a month’s job gains or losses and the third and final estimate is an increase of 11,000 jobs, according to the BLS’s Current Employment Statistics program, which conducts the survey of companies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “9 Technology Mega Trends That Will Change The World In 2018”

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder we’re essentially doubling the amount of data created in the world roughly every two years.
Trend 3: Exponential growth in computing power is fueling massive tech advances.
Between 1975 and 2015, computing power doubled at a rate of every two years, before slowing to the current rate of approximately every two and a half years.
We’re reaching the limits of what traditional computing power can handle.
Thankfully, on the horizon, we have quantum computing.
Probably the most significant transformation of computing power ever, quantum computing will see computers become millions of times faster than they are right now.
Tech leaders are in a race to launch the first commercially viable quantum computer, capable of solving problems that today’s computers can’t handle.
Computers are now able to learn in much the same way as we humans do, and this leap in AI capabilities has been made possible by the massive increases in data and computing power.

The orginal article.

Summary of “9 Technology Mega Trends That Will Change The World In 2018”

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder we’re essentially doubling the amount of data created in the world roughly every two years.
Trend 3: Exponential growth in computing power is fueling massive tech advances.
Between 1975 and 2015, computing power doubled at a rate of every two years, before slowing to the current rate of approximately every two and a half years.
We’re reaching the limits of what traditional computing power can handle.
Thankfully, on the horizon, we have quantum computing.
Probably the most significant transformation of computing power ever, quantum computing will see computers become millions of times faster than they are right now.
Tech leaders are in a race to launch the first commercially viable quantum computer, capable of solving problems that today’s computers can’t handle.
Computers are now able to learn in much the same way as we humans do, and this leap in AI capabilities has been made possible by the massive increases in data and computing power.

The orginal article.

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Companies can’t even keep simple data like our passwords and credit card numbers safe, so should we trust them with our most personal data: our DNA? When you mail a tube of your spit to a personal genomics company, that’s exactly what you’re doing, and it turns out that data isn’t as private as you might have thought.
23andme admitted years ago that its real goal is not to make money selling DNA tests but to collect massive amounts of personal data.
Ancestry.com’s policy is similar, granting itself permission to use your information to sell you things, find your relatives, and perform studies internally.
Helix keeps your information on file, and hands out the relevant results to each partner that you authorize.
It’s your DNA. It’s your personal information, unique to you, even if your name isn’t attached.
In the meantime, if you don’t want these companies to have unfettered access to your most personal data, your best bet is to not click those great Cyber Monday deals, which are admittedly looking pretty good right now.
Update 12/1/2017: A previous version of this post stated that 23andme will “Happily” turn over your information to law enforcement “If asked.” We updated the piece to say that they will turn it over if required.
A spokesperson from 23andme writes: “We use all legal measures to resist any and all law enforcement requests to protect the customer’s privacy. To date, we have successfully challenged these requests and have not released any information to law enforcement.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Five ways to fix statistics”

To use statistics well, researchers must study how scientists analyse and interpret data and then apply that information to prevent cognitive mistakes.
In the past couple of decades, many fields have shifted from data sets with a dozen measurements to data sets with millions.
How do we reduce the number of choices an analyst has to make without missing key features in a data set? How do we help researchers to explore data without introducing bias?
We need more observational studies and randomized trials – more epidemiology on how people collect, manipulate, analyse, communicate and consume data.
Open-science practices can benefit science by making it more difficult for researchers to make overly strong claims from noisy data, but cannot by themselves compensate for poor experiments.
To demote P values to their rightful place, researchers need better ways to interpret them.
Better than rules about how to analyse data are conventions that keep researchers accountable for their analyses.
How should researchers account for variables such as gender or age, if they do so at all? Which extreme data points should be excluded, and when? The plethora of options creates a hazard that statistician Andrew Gelman has dubbed the garden of forking paths, a place where people are easily led astray.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Drone Maker D.J.I. May Be Sending Data to China, U.S. Officials Say”

In a statement to The New York Times, a D.J.I. spokesman said that users can control how much access the company can have to their data and that it shares data only “Pursuant to appropriate legal process.”
The accusations point to a broadening debate in both the United States and China over how to secure vast data reserves that are being vacuumed up by commercial technology companies.
Customers often have little knowledge of where their data might end up, experts said, while D.J.I. and others give themselves considerable leeway in the fine print of their user agreements to transfer data across borders.
A recent cybersecurity law calls for companies like Microsoft and Apple to store data within China’s borders.
Out of concerns about data protection, the company added a feature last year that allows a drone pilot to cut off any connection to the outside internet while flying.
A new D.J.I. product set up to help large companies, government agencies, farms and law enforcement manage drones, uploads a large amount of critical data – like flight plans, video and location – to servers.
Last year company officials told The New York Times that it complied with Chinese government requests to hand over data it collects in China and Hong Kong.
More recently, one security expert recently outlined how D.J.I. left key digital information accessible to the public that could allow someone to look at customer data on its servers, including military and government flight logs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Five ways to fix statistics”

To use statistics well, researchers must study how scientists analyse and interpret data and then apply that information to prevent cognitive mistakes.
In the past couple of decades, many fields have shifted from data sets with a dozen measurements to data sets with millions.
How do we reduce the number of choices an analyst has to make without missing key features in a data set? How do we help researchers to explore data without introducing bias?
We need more observational studies and randomized trials – more epidemiology on how people collect, manipulate, analyse, communicate and consume data.
Open-science practices can benefit science by making it more difficult for researchers to make overly strong claims from noisy data, but cannot by themselves compensate for poor experiments.
To demote P values to their rightful place, researchers need better ways to interpret them.
Better than rules about how to analyse data are conventions that keep researchers accountable for their analyses.
How should researchers account for variables such as gender or age, if they do so at all? Which extreme data points should be excluded, and when? The plethora of options creates a hazard that statistician Andrew Gelman has dubbed the garden of forking paths, a place where people are easily led astray.

The orginal article.