It’s time for a major rethink of advertising. In fact, an enormous rollback of this runaway industry is in order. It is clear that advances in machine learning and data harvesting have changed the game completely.
But at the same time, knowledge about human limitations has also progressed. We now know how human vulnerabilities and psychological quirks make us susceptible to manipulation.
This is in obvious ways like making us feel inadequate about our bodies, to less obvious ways to do with hijacking primitive reward circuitry in our brains to make us do and buy things that don’t actually make…
With the Trudeau government already struggling to keep up with its numerous promises, many environmentalists will follow the Green Party’s Elizabeth May and decry the Liberal government’s embrace of Harper’s weak and cynical carbon emissions targets.
Quite incompatible with the 1.5 or 2 degree warming targets from the Paris agreement, and seemingly oblivious to the daily barrage of news about how quickly climate changes are happening here and now, and already costing us billions of dollars today, the announcement from Environment Minister McKenna last week was that Canada will leave its 2030 target at about 10% below our 1990 level.
Lenovo’s T450s is another piece of high-production-volume hardware from a vendor with a fairly good reputation for Linux support … but a host of serious problems under Ubuntu’s flagship “Long-term-support” operating system. I’d love to be in touch with others running this machine, to know whether these are all common symptoms for you:
Hardware-ish Problems as of June 2016:
A theme among my posts since 2011 has been the challenges of being a GNU/Linux desktop user at McGill University but outside the departments (Math, Physics, Computer Science?) which support the OS. I believe those departments have eschewed the central university’s services and support and run their own.
McGill ICS (IT services) staff are always very friendly in trying to help, but that fact is that unless the University breaks out of its full-body embrace with Microsoft software, a self-fulfilling prophecy is that there are not many of us open-source OS users who rely on central university services (email and…
This is one of the geekier posts I’ve written, in the sense that the number of people for whom this might be useful is… small and they are not likely to search for it.
In Canada, submitting an application to the government “Tri-Councils” for funding of research costs involves one of a couple of horrid/laborious (soul-crushing) interfaces for entering one’s C.V. information. However, I have nothing useful to say about that task.
On the other hand, the core of the rest of the proposal (for several types of funding) consists of the following:
I taught an introductory undergraduate course in environment, society, and sustainability this past term. We look at big-picture environmental problems from a mostly-social-science perspective.
Early on, we started to compile a list of collective action problems of all kinds which society has already solved. I hope in subsequent years to develop this into a useful online site communicating and animating them: Stay tuned!
As can also happen in the McGill School of Environment’s first natural science course on global environmental problems, some students found the course depressing. The goal of education is empowerment and inspiration to think and act, so…
It’s still hard to buy a turn-key or supported GNU/Linux computer. I keep trying, and I especially prefer to avoid paying what’s called the Microsoft Tax, i.e. the hardware-bundled cost of Microsoft software, which is how they have built and enforced their monopoly and, from what I can tell, thereby reduced the productivity of billions of people for decades, who have become stuck with software designed to enforce lock-in rather than designed to work well.
This may be my shortest blog post ever, but I’ve been wondering (even with Google’s help) for years why I cannot get my matplotlib graphics to display inline in ipython. This is not always desirable, since they’re not editable/zoomable like they are as pop-up windows, but it is often very nice.
It seems that all I needed was to install one more package, “pysides”. Strange. In any case, with:
sudo apt-get install ipython-qtconsole pysides
does the trick. For convenience I put the following alias in my .bashrc file
alias pyqt='ipython qtconsole --pylab=inline &'
and then running pyqt gets me all I want. Using “show()” from the pylab package makes plots appear in the flow of commands and output, as follows:
You may also like the ipython-notebook package for making web-ready python demonstrations.
This is an interlude from my normal blog themes. Just a little bit of physics tells you, I think, how we will cook in a future in which energy is electric and a bit more precious. It seems in North America “retained heat cooking” and induction cookers are both exotic, but they are less so in some other places.
First, my stove, which looks normal, is not so normal in these parts. It’s an induction stove, in which electric energy is transferred directly to the metal of a steel or iron pot through electromagnetic induction, rather than inefficient conduction (most…
Economist @McGillU, working to understand what subjective well-being can teach us about society, communities & sustainability. Former physicist. Climate hawk.