Assorted Links X

  1. Witches Outnumber Presbyterians in the US

    It makes sense that witchcraft and the occult would rise as society becomes increasingly postmodern. […] Plus, Wicca has effectively repackaged witchcraft for millennial consumption.


    a May 2017 editorial in the Los Angeles Times written by novelist Diana Wagman openly spoke of putting a curse on the president and encouraged others to cast similar spells in order to #BindTrump.

  2. Why are relatively poor people not more supportive of redistribution?

    People tend to think they are in the middle of the income distribution, regardless of whether they are rich or poor.


    Surprisingly, telling poor people that they are poorer than they thought makes them less concerned about the gap between the rich and poor in their country


    Upon receiving the treatment this led people to realise two points. Firstly, there are fewer people in their country with a living standard they considered to be relatively poor than they had thought. Secondly, what they had considered to be an ‘average’ living standard (their own standard of living) is actually relatively poor compared to other people in their country.

  3. Unrestricted adversarial examples challenge

    Astonishingly, no known machine learning system can reliably tell a bird from a bicycle when there’s an adversary involved.

    My colleagues and I have proposed a contest to see if we can change this.

  4. Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age

    With regard to discount rates for life saving, we find that individuals do, indeed, discount future lives saved. In fact, their discount rate for lives saved is almost as high as their real discount rate for money. The median respondent in our surveys requires that 2.3 lives be saved five years from now for every life saved today—a discount rate of 16.8%. (By contrast, the median rate at which respondents discount money over this period is 20%.) The median respondent requires that 44 lives be saved 100 years from today for every life saved today, implying a discount rate of 3.4% fora 100-year horizon.