Assorted links IX

  1. GBD Compare | Viz Hub
Both sexes, All ages, 2017, DALYs per 100,000
Heatmap showing rankings of causes of DALY losses by country
  1. Why Arabic Is Terrific

Nearly all Arabic words consist of a three-consonant root slotted into a pattern of vowels and helper consonants. The root gives the word its base meaning, while the pattern modifies this meaning in a systematic and predictable way. This idea is so cool that you’d think it came from a constructed language, and yet Arabic has actual native speakers who live completely normal lives and will not try to talk to you about Runescape.


Here are some common patterns using the root k t b, whose basic meaning is ‘writing’:

pattern pattern meaning result
m–a-a place name مكتبة maktaba (library)
-aa-i- active participle كاتب kaatib (writer)
ma–uu- passive participle مكتوب maktuub (written)
-a-a-a basic verb كتب kataba (to write)
a–a-a causative verb أكتب aktaba (to dictate)
-i-aa- noun كتاب kitaab (book)
-u-u- plural noun كتب kutub (books)
  1. No, it’s not The Incentives—it’s you

In the last few years, I’ve noticed that uncomfortable discussions about questionable [research] practices disproportionately seem to end with a chuckle or shrug, followed by a comment to the effect that we are all extremely sophisticated human beings who recognize the complexity of the world we live in, and sure it would be great if we lived in a world where one didn’t have to occasionally engage in shenanigans, but that would be extremely naive, and after all, we are not naive, are we?


Imagine if every time you went to your doctor—and I’m aware that this analogy won’t work well for people living outside the United States—she sent you to get a dozen expensive and completely unnecessary medical tests, and then, when prompted for an explanation, simply shrugged and said “I know I’m not an angel—but hey, them’s The Incentives.”
  1. South Koreans lock themselves up to escape prison of daily life

“This prison gives me a sense of freedom,” said Park Hye-ri, a 28-year-old office worker who paid $90 to spend 24 hours locked up in a mock prison.


Clients get a blue prison uniform, a yoga mat, tea set, a pen and notebook. They sleep on the floor. There is a small toilet inside the room, but no mirror.
  1. Swedish ISP Protests ‘Site Blocking’ by Blocking Rightsholders Website Too

[…] after academic publisher Elsevier applied for an order to ban a series of domain names, including Sci-Hub.


So, in addition, Bahnhof has gone ahead and banned its visitors from accessing the official website as well.