Posts Archives

  1. Moist Robots

    Scott Adams has this really memorable term for how to think about people: moist robots.  Moist because — well, we’re wet and squishy.  Robots because there are certain predictable behaviors that we repeat.  In situations like A, most people do f(A).  In situation; in situations like B, most people will do f(B).  Sounds very robot-like…

  2. On Vaccines, Guns and Good Science

    Atul Gawande, the surgeon, writer, and public health expert (and author of a couple of my favorite books: The Checklist Manifesto and Better), delivered a commencement speech to CalTech recently, here’s an excerpt: “The scientific orientation has proved immensely powerful… But even where the knowledge provided by science is overwhelming, people often resist it—sometimes outright…

  3. Searching for Pencils

    Sometimes it pays to keep things simple (even though people insist on making things complex).  Take for example this old joke about NASA: In the early days of the space program, NASA discovered that using ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity.  NASA scientists — some of the best and brightest people at the…