#news and #comments #digest (@robertolofaro) for 2014-12-12


#EU #prepares new #rules for #immigration http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2014/12/12/actualidad/1418412219_246284.html #security #diplomacy

#Chechenia 20 years later http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2014/12/11/tchetchenie-vingt-ans-amers_4539230_3214.html #security #diplomacy

#UK – #technical #glitch #closes #down #airspace in #London http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2014/12/12/actualidad/1418398635_848485.html #business

#EU – #protests in #Greece http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2014/12/11/actualidad/1418327914_844702.html and #Italy http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2014/12/12/actualidad/1418374264_201978.html #economy

coming soon: #captain #Euro against the #Eurosceptics http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2014/12/11/actualidad/1418329672_624454.html #marketing #politics #Gold #Mercury

#oil #price s #impact on #producing #countries http://www.faz.net/aktuell/finanzen/devisen-rohstoffe/oelpreisverfall-bedroht-russland-und-venezuela-13318277.html and http://www.faz.net/aktuell/finanzen/devisen-rohstoffe/iea-senkt-prognose-fuer-weltweite-erdoel-nachfrage-13317635.html #Russia #Venezuela

#interview with #Bolaffi on #Italy and #Germany http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/angelo-bolaffi-im-interview-ueber-italien-deutschland-beziehung-13316185.html?printPagedArticle=true#pageIndex_2 #politics #Turin #Napolitano #Gauck

1. #fear #removal #hormone and #gene #therapy
mmmh… while in some pathological, blocking fears it might make sense, the number of misuses (e.g. in the military, or with financial markets traders) that comes to mind is endless

so, yet another medicament to alter behavior?

fear has its uses- including to avoid excessive risk taking, what a Nobel Prize winner called “Irrational exuberance” in one of his books, and is also useful self-defense mechanism in learning (e.g. you learn quickly that fire burns), or to build new patterns by avoiding failing ones, also on less-critical activities

as an example, “social fears”, such as “fear of being late and the ensuing embarrassment”- OK, there are plenty of people who already lack that πŸ˜€

I answered with a joke
a) because I am not interested in the opportunity (visit author’s profile https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=306487669 – maybe you might be interested)
b) as a Luddite rebuttal of the epidemic of these boring tests (formally, a question mark between digits would have been appropriate, as it is a “find the missing operator” problem)

exercise to test your problem-solving abilities: I posted as an answer (1+1+1+1)x1 =4…(4+4+4+4)x4=64 (my Luddite joke- I re-arranged the terms of the equation to reduce the number of parentheses, but the number of characters stays the same), while obviously the pattern could be (1+1)x(1+1)=4… (4+4)x(4+4)=64; when/if do the two diverge? do not use “brute force” (manual calculation), write a formula that shows it (if feasible) πŸ˜‰

the test was:
“solve if u r a genius
11 x 11 = 4
22 x 22 = 16
33 x 33 = ???

did you try?

obviously, the easiest function that replicates that pattern of the problem is actually basically spelled out by the graphical signs in the problem description: 4(x ^ 2) (four-x-square), for any x

and my solution was a joke inasmuch I re-arranged the symbols, reduced the number of parenthes, kept the number of signs an invariant, but… gave a misleading hint: they are one and the same

the sequence of results is just a matter of simple intuitive algebra involving just additions and a multiplication, and therefore re-arranging the values doesn’t alter the result (I am avoiding any “technical” terms on purpose) πŸ™‚

now, if that problem and others can be called “genius problems”, we are assuming that numeracy reached a new low in the XXI century (IQ is here irrelevant) πŸ˜€

funny- a book that I reserved at a local library first appeared between those that I could take on loan, then, after I went asking for it… returned again “on hold” πŸ™‚

OK, I am not entitled to read it right now, so I will speed up the process on others, and might eventually have to buy it instead of reading it before deciding if it is worth buying πŸ˜€

but maybe you can read it at your own library and let me know if it is, as I read in other reviews, worth reading:


I read years ago a previous book from the same author (“Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552/) and that was definitely worth reading πŸ™‚

4. #sense-#blending

the color of your mug might affect the taste of your #coffee http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/09/how-the-color-of-your-coffee-mug-can-change-the-way-your-coffee-tastes/


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