Problematic Conclusions

There’s an old joke I heard from one of my psychology professors at Johns Hopkins: “A psychologist is studying a frog. He puts it on a table near a yard-stick and says ‘JUMP!’ and the frog jumps a foot. The psychologist notes this down in his lab book and cuts one of the frog’s legs off, then puts it back in its starting position and says ‘JUMP!’. The frog jumps – not as well – 8 inches. The psychologist notes this down and removes another leg. The frog manages to jump 4 inches. With only one leg remaining, the frog is ordered to JUMP! and it manages to sort of shift its weight, painfully. The psychologist records 1/4 inch. When the psychologist removes the frog’s remaining leg, the frog just sits there, and the psychologist writes in his lab book: frog with legs removed loses its hearing.”

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Book Review: Ramp Hollow

Despite of my sniffiness about AI, I have to admit that Amazon.com’s “books people like you liked” algorithm is pretty good. That’s not surprising, because they have so much data behind it, nobody has been arsed to spend the money to manipulate the reviews in my part of the market, and the algorithm is really easy to implement. I’ve tried to cut back on my purchases via Amazon, but sometimes I use the recommendations to search for the books on Ebay.

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