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Re: Ant
  • 10/13/2014 2:12:43 PM
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On that topic, isn't insance to consider that less than .01% of Gates' worth could easily set an impoverished town of villagers for life? Not that money should just be given away, but the scale is insance when the dollars get that high.

Re: Ant
  • 10/10/2014 2:44:48 PM
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It's nice to know it isn't all doom and gloom and there are people working on innovating solutions that no one else is.   Wish I was a billionaire like Bill Gate and fund all these interesting projects. 

Re: Monitoring the kid
  • 9/17/2014 9:53:31 AM
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I remember as a teen, my grandfather duly noted movies he had seen on TV and gave a short description. He explained it allowed him to not watch the same movie again unless it was a good one. With the proliferation of apps and the storage capabilities to store most of our daily life activities, there's surely going to be some interesting results to see in the next decates as we are able to pour through lots of data.

Re: Ant
  • 9/16/2014 12:54:48 PM
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I hadn't heard of them either, but what good is an awards ceremony that no one knows about. The title or award handed out would be useless if it doesn't come with a following.

Re: Ant
  • 9/16/2014 9:58:32 AM
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@Seth. That's great information about the Golden Goose Awards. I hadn't heard of them.

I wonder how many of the award winners had also been named for things like the Golden Fleece Awards (that Senator Proxmire started 40 years ago), highlighting government waste.

The Golden Goose Awards highlight the long-term benefits of some of this research spending. That gets forgotten, particularly during election years when anti-government candidates (an oxymoron, by the way) criticize things like that rat-brushing concept by only looking at the short-term work.

Re: Ant
  • 9/16/2014 8:31:32 AM
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Seth, I must admit, in reading your explanation of the Golden Goose Awards there was a part of me that was thinking, "Come on, is this for real?" It's so easy to read sarcasm into these sorts of descriptions, especially given the fact that they are so obscure and are using federal funding (our tax dollars at waste sort of thing). So, thanks for sharing the link (http://www.goldengooseaward.org) -- this is really fascinating stuff. The photo panel on the website definitely brings the work to life.

 

Ant
  • 9/16/2014 1:08:24 AM
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@ James, I love articles like these because they show how important it is to study obscure and to many irrelevant things.  I've heard many people dismiss things such as anthropology.

There is a wonderful organization out there called the Golden Goose Awards that gives awards for for such strange projects.  Per their website, "The purpose of the "Golden Goose" award is to demonstrate the human and economic benefits of federally funded research by highlighting examples of seemingly obscure studies that have led to major breakthroughs and resulted in significant societal impact.  Such breakthroughs include development of life-saving medicines and treatments; game-changing social and behavioral insights; and major technological advances related to national security, energy, the environment, communications, and public health. Such breakthroughs may also have resulted in economic growth through the creation of new industries or companies."

Their website is www(dot)goldenggooseaward(dot)org Some awards. 

RAT AND INFANT MASSAGE "A young scientist takes a small brush, the kind you would use to clean a camera lens, and rubs it briskly down the back of an infant rat – a rat pup. No, he's not giving rat pups a massage to relieve boredom. He's actually doing research, funded by the federal government. If this strikes you as frivolous or a waste of tax dollars, consider this: a discovery resulting from these experiments led to a momentous change in how premature babies are cared for that has saved lives and billions of dollars in health care costs. Because of this research, thousands of preemies have survived, grown stronger, thrived, and gone on to live healthy lives."

AUCTION DESIGN "What's the connection between social sciences research on game theory and your ability to make calls from your cellphone anywhere in the country, watch your favorite cable TV show, find a good restaurant anywhere in the world, or live stream the "big game" on your smartphone? Meet Robert Wilson, Paul Milgrom, and Preston McAfee, whose basic theoretical research on game theory and auctions, much of it federally funded, eventually helped the Federal Communications Commission figure out how to allocate the nation's telecommunications spectrum through sophisticated, enormously complex auctions."

Re: Monitoring the kid
  • 9/12/2014 4:50:26 PM
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Aren't there apps for books you've read? Surely there must be -- even our recently updated city library lets you keep a list of books you've read (plus a wish list).

Re: Monitoring the kid
  • 9/12/2014 3:50:46 PM
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@Beth. Or, suppose you had built a little database of everyone you had worked directly with in our field, with maybe a couple bits of information about them, and tried to follow where they ended up over the years. What conclusions could you have reached?

Suppose you mapped every big city you visited for business or pleasure and some details about them.

One thing I wish I had done was to log every book I've read. That occured to me in a book store recently when I was trying to figure out which books by certain authors I have and haven't read. I hate getting a book home and realizing I've read this one. Note to smart app developers: Consider the market for something like that.

Monitoring the kid
  • 9/12/2014 2:40:55 PM
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@Jim, so I'm thinking I should go out and buy my 13 year old a FitBit or smartwatch or some such device, that I'd then upgrade every year or two with the latest, even more data aware device, and start making him gather and store his data now so that when he's my age he's got a few -- OK, many -- decades of historical data for his intensive analysis. I hope I'm not too late.



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