Summary of “Takeaways From the Sloan Conference”

“I’m not a person that frowns upon analytics,” ex-NBA player Jalen Rose said this weekend during a panel at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.
Morey pointed out that although a statistic like RPM can pick up on how some players provide a role when they’re on the floor that helps the team win, “That player could be very replaceable by multiple players with that same skill set. Even though it’s correct that they’re creating that winning, in our roles of having to decide player to player, you have to think about how else can you fill that role.” In other words, data can’t be the be-all and end-all.
One front-office stats guy told me that he observes people making mistakes most frequently with NBA.com’s defensive rating, which is a team statistic, not a player statistic.
The situation, the referees, the players on the floor, and luck all play a significant role in any number that a machine spits out.
Multiple league executives say that a better way of analyzing defense is to focus on the process rather than the results-looking at whether rotations were on time or late, or the way in which a player navigated a screen to chase a shooter, or whether a player was in the right position to help.
Intriguing Trade-Reform Ideas Morey said he thinks the fundamental challenge with trades is that draft picks are the only way to bridge the gap between how two teams value one player.
“The value changes up and down all the time, and it makes for a not-very-liquid market.” Morey said that the league should allow teams to put player-performance conditions on draft picks during trades, so that a pick’s ultimate position could be affected by the success or health of a traded player.
Bhostgusters! The coolest research paper at Sloan this year is titled “Bhostgusters: Realtime Interactive Play Sketching With Synthesized NBA Defenses.” In the paper, a five-person team from the Technical University of Munich aims to approach “Play sketching from a data-driven perspective.” In layman’s terms, you can draw up a play on a touch screen using their system, then simulate how a defense might respond to it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Manage Stress Like an Olympic Biathlete”

About 30 seconds before she gets to the shooting range, Egan looks at the wind flags and thinks about how she might adjust.
“There’s my target, here’s my trigger, this is my process, now I’m going to make the shot.”
One of the most vulnerable moments is when a biathlete has hit four targets and is about to take the last shot.
“‘If I hit this, I’ll win the gold medal’ – as soon as you have that thought, you’re definitely going to miss it,” Egan says.
“I have to use some kind of process-oriented word about how to shoot well.
“If you’ve ever been to a biathlon race, you get to the last shooting stage and so many people are missing – the pressure is on,” Egan says.
The key to biathlon is focusing on your own process and tasks and not being distracted by the potential outcome or how others are performing.
You have to let go of how everyone else is doing, and focus on your own work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “An Evolutionary Anatomy of Affect: Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio on How and Why We Feel What We Feel – Brain Pickings”

“A purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity,” William James wrote in his pioneering 1884 theory of how our bodies affect our feelings.
That tessellated relationship is what neuroscientist Antonio Damasio examines in The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures – a title inspired by the disorienting fact that several billion years ago, single-cell organisms began exhibiting behaviors strikingly analogous to certain human social behaviors and 100 million years ago insects developed interactions, instruments, and cooperative strategies that we might call cultural.
At the heart of his inquiry is his lifelong interest in the nature of human affect – why we feel what we feel, how we use emotions to construct selfhood, what makes our intentions and our feelings so frequently contradictory, how the body and the mind conspire in the inception of emotional reality.
How and what we create culturally and how we react to cultural phenomena depend on the tricks of our imperfect memories as manipulated by feelings.
The ground zero of being corresponds to a deceptively continuous and endless feeling state, a more or less intense mental choir underscoring everything else mental The complete absence of feelings would spell a suspension of being, but even a less radical removal of feeling would compromise human nature.
Although “Human emotions are recognizable pieces of a standard repertoire” which stretches all the way back to single-cell organisms and which evolved in order to produce the possibility of sociality and cooperation between organisms, something does make human feelings unique – something philosopher Simone Weil touched on in her poignant meditation on how to make use of our suffering.
If there is no distance between body and brain, if body and brain interact and form an organismic single unit, then feeling is not a perception of the body state in the conventional sense of the term.
In the remainder of the thoroughly fascinating The Strange Order of Things, Damasio goes on to examine the relationship between feeling and intellect, how advances in medicine and artificial intelligence transfigure the problem of immortality, the origin of mind along the arrow of evolution, the dialogue between image-making and memory in how we construct and experience emotion, and how feelings illuminate various other aspects of the evolution of culture and consciousness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Want to learn statistics? These are the best books, and they’re free to download”

The stats most people learn in high school or college come from the time when computations were done with pen and paper.
People who have taken intro statistics courses might recognize terms like “Normal distribution,” “t-distribution,” and “Least squares regression.” We learn about them, in large part, because these were convenient things to calculate with the tools available in the early 20th century.
We shouldn’t be learning this stuff anymore-or, at least, it shouldn’t be the first thing we learn.
As a former data scientist, there is no question I get asked more than, “What is the best way to learn statistics?” I always give the same answer: Read An Introduction to Statistical Learning.
If you finish that and want more, read The Elements of Statistical Learning.
Statistical learning is meant to take the best ideas from machine learning and computer science, and explain how they can be used and interpreted through a statistician’s lens.
“While knowledge of those topics is very valuable, we believe that they are not required in order to develop a solid conceptual understanding of how statistical learning methods work, and how they should be applied,” says Daniela Witten, a coauthor of An Introduction to Statistical Learning.
The statistical learning tools are wonderful in themselves, but I’ve found they work best for people who are motivated by a personal or professional project.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Be Good to Yourself: 10 Powerful Ways to Practice Self-Love”

No matter what happens on the outside, do you treat yourself with love, care, and respect or not?
If you’re in a place today where you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to take a quantum leap and become someone who does.
When you feel good about yourself, it means that what you’re thinking is aligned with how your soul/higher self sees you.
Choose to be most loving and forgiving with yourself when things don’t go as planned.
Ask yourself what you need and then spray that all over yourself.
Because let’s face it: It’s easy to love what you love about yourself and not so easy with the things you don’t.
You don’t need to love everything about yourself to develop self-love; all you need is acceptance.
Next time something happens that makes you want to get down on yourself, see this as your practice to accept what is.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Stoic Guide To Navigating The Modern Workplace”

Below are Stoic exercises and strategies, pulled from the new book The Daily Stoic, that will help you navigate your workplace with better clarity, effectiveness, and peace of mind.
DON’T MAKE THINGS HARDER THAN THEY NEED TO BE.”If someone asks you how to write your name, would you bark out each letter? And if they get angry, would you then return the anger? Wouldn’t you rather gently spell out each letter for them? So then, remember in life that your duties are the sum of individual acts. Pay attention to each of these as you do your duty … just methodically complete your task.”
We would never let another person jerk us around the way we let our impulses do.
Seneca, On the Brevity of Life, 20.2.Every few years, a sad spectacle is played out in the news.
We must not get so wrapped up in our work that we think we’re immune from the reality of aging and life.
Who wants to be the person who can never let go? Is there so little meaning in your life that your only pursuit is work until you’re eventually carted off in a coffin?
Epictetus, Discourses, 4.3.6b-8.The dysfunctional job that stresses you out, a contentious relationship, life in the spotlight.
Don’t forget to ask: Is this really the life I want? Every time you get upset, a little bit of life leaves the body.

The orginal article.

Summary of “To Handle Increased Stress, Build Your Resilience”

Managing stress over the long term requires cultivating your own resilience skills before seeking external solutions so that you can turn changes, stresses, and challenges into opportunities.
To begin to shift the way you deal with stress and cultivate resilience, there are a handful of things you can do right now.
How we perceive stress can be just as important to how we handle it as the amount of stress we’re experiencing.
A 2013 Harvard study also revealed that when researchers told participants that the physiological signs of stress prepared them to cope better they became less anxious and more confident in stressful situations, viewing their stress response as helpful.
You might ask, “How can I use the energy created by feeling stressed about this new job to better prepare for it?” or “What can I learn from the stress about my increased workload that will help me better prioritize my time?”.
Take time to reflect on your personal context as well as the larger business and global context to better understand the root causes and possible ways to alleviate and avoid future stress.
By identifying actions you can take you’ll be able experiment with solutions and new behaviors and discover productive ways to handle challenges and stress.
By making conscious choices that help us build these skills, we’ll be between equipped to turn our stress and challenges into opportunities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tristan Harris on how Facebook and Twitter bring out the worst in us”

When you open up the blue Facebook icon, you’re activating the AI, which tries to figure out the perfect thing it can show you that’ll engage you.
If the first thing you do when your eyes open is see Twitter and there’s a bunch of stuff to be outraged about, that’s going to do something to you on an animal level.
Where are our choices coming from? Ezra Klein If we had had this conversation a couple of years ago, I think the thing somebody would’ve said is, “You’re telling me that rather than listening to the choices I make, you want Facebook to decide what is better for me? You want Google to decide what is better for me?”.
Tristan Harris This is an interesting thing too about changing too fast.
Tristan Harris Now we’re getting into more of the practicality of what is the system and what is the problem and then how do we fix it? The advertising business model is the thing that forces the technology companies to maximize attention.
How do we decouple the link between the stock price and how much attention is extracted? This is the thing that I’m actually most alarmed about in the current system.
Tristan Harris This week, we launched this big campaign with Common Sense Media called the Truth About Tech campaign, because it’s one thing when we talk about adults, it’s another thing when we talk about children.
When you talk about regulation, or we talk about how we’re going to get out of this, the specific things you do is another question.

The orginal article.

Summary of “American Giant’s Hoodie Can’t Save US Manufacturing By Itself”

Donald Trump tried to make the deal he struck to save factory jobs at the Carrier HVAC plant in Indiana a synecdoche for his professed concern over the welfare of the American worker.
You might want to want to read a story about American manufacturing; you might say, “Hmm, yes, American manufacturing, very important” and nod if asked about it in a social setting, but the reality of it – how cotton is grown and yarn is made and fabric is dyed and finished, how factory workers do their jobs to maximize efficiency and how plants and mills adapt to innovation and how companies are structured to make the margins possible – is complex and, frankly, boring.
So why is this the unsexy, complicated message that Bayard Winthrop wants to tell me, and for me to tell you, this story about American manufacturing? Why does he want you to read a story about how cotton is grown and how factory workers work and how yarn is made, when he could tell me an easy-to-digest, consumer-centric story about the greatest hoodie ever made?
Winthrop’s goal is to be able to price American Giant’s clothing so that, as he says, the “Gap between virtue and action is nonexistent.” If a customer is shopping for virtue, he or she is probably able to afford these mall brands, which don’t have the made-in-America pedigree American Giant has.
According to Winthrop, the cost of the addition isn’t passed on to American Giant nor the American Giant customer.
As soon as I have the chance, I ask: So, what’s the media missing about the story of American manufacturing, in Bayard Winthrop’s opinion? His answer is about the nature of the apparel industry.
One of the often-told narratives about American Giant is that Winthrop is spearheading an American manufacturing revolution.
American Giant’s real secret in many ways isn’t the well-made sweatshirt or the PR-friendly American supply chain or the loyal customers – it’s the luxury not to be run like other businesses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I have forgotten how to read”

Out for dinner with another writer, I said, “I think I’ve forgotten how to read.”.
It’s been unnerving to realize: I have forgotten how to read – really read – and I’ve been refusing to talk about it out of pride.
To read was to disappear, become enrobed in something beyond my own jittery ego.
When we become cynical readers – when we read in the disjointed, goal-oriented way that online life encourages – we stop exercising our attention.
What’s at stake is not whether we read. It’s how we read. And that’s something we’ll have to each judge for ourselves; it can’t be tallied by Statistics Canada.
We should, instead, marvel at the fact we ever read books at all.
Do they grab; do they anger? Can this be read without care? Are the sentences brief enough? And the thoughts? It’s tempting to let myself become so cynical a writer because I’m already such a cynical reader.
So maybe that change into a cynical writer can be forestalled – if I can first correct my reading diet, remember how to read the way I once did.

The orginal article.