Head Starts are Overrated

Never decide you are too old or too late to the game to try something new. “The tidy specialization narrative cannot easily fit even [the] relatively kind domains that have most successfully marketed it,” Epstein concludes. “So, about that, one sentence of advice: Don’t feel behind…research in myriad areas suggests that mental meandering and personal experimentation are sources of power, and head starts are overrated.”

 Ephrat Livni, “To thrive in a “wicked” world, you need range

On Privacy in a Social Network

(Ringer illustration)

I’m fine living in a world where John Mayer is celebrated but I’m not fine living in a world where John Mayer is celebrated without the appropriate corresponding level of remorse. Spotify recently nixed its much-loved but infrequently used direct messaging feature, citing low engagement. Instead of getting rid of features, however, what Spotify needs most of all is a healthy sense of shame.

Source: Every Spotify Session Should Be a “Private Session” by Kate Knibbs

“…a sample size of one…”

Such thought experiments can be useful tools for exploring situations that can’t be studied in the laboratory. Occasionally, however, unfortunate accidents yield case studies: opportunities for researchers to study scenarios that can’t be experimentally induced for ethical reasons. Case studies have a sample size of one and no control group. But, as the neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran has pointed out in Phantoms in the Brain (1998), it takes only one talking pig to prove that pigs can talk.

Source: Large Hadron Collider: What happened to the scientist who stuck his head inside a particle accelerator — Quartz