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Monday, April 22, 2019

An #EarthDay reflection from Baltimore

Still waiting on our (late now on this end) moving truck, sleeping on an air mattress, hotspotting, sitting in fold-up camping chairs, and eating with plastic utensils. A laudatory Yelp review is increasingly unlikely.

I tweeted:

It's now up.

Read all of it carefully. Fine writing, astute, sobering reflections. Eventually none of us will escape the wrath of the unleashed Anthropocene, intractable dilettante denialisms notwithstanding.

See also Ron's excellent 2015 piece "The Sea Also Rises."

Relatedly, I'm well into Bill McKibbin's new book.

Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out.
Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. 
Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history -- and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away.

Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.
Is it too early to start drinking? (He asks, Samuel Adams Summer Ale already in hand.)

More to come...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Made it safely to Baltimore

What a trek. Eight days, seven nights, dogs and cats in tow in 2 cars. Car trouble and severe weather in OKC. Now we await our moving truck. Hotspotting briefly and episodically off my iPhone.

Lots of time in the car to think. Between NPR stations, classical music, country music, (a tad of hip-hop), Hannity and Limbaugh (ugh)--and lots of JEEEEE-sus..

Giving lots of thought to this:

apropos of a prior post.


More to come...

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Moving day

Truck comes today. KHIT will likely be dark for a week (leaving early Tuesday) as we traverse the country to Baltimore in convoy, dogs and cats in tow. Maybe I'll find time for updates enroute.

Yard signs in our new Baltimore neighborhood. Perfect.


Reviewed in Science Magazine:

…Topol describes the basics of so-called “deep” neural networks—“algorithms that permit software to train itself to perform tasks by processing multilayered networks of data”—by summarizing the kinds of problems for which these methods have been remarkably successful and reciting the litany of concerns arising from inscrutable decisions made by such networks (“baked in” biases, privacy issues, and the susceptibility of computer models to seemingly imperceptible changes to input data). “[They] still don't know exactly what features account for its success,” he writes about a Stanford computer program that matches the diagnostic success rate of dermatologists.

Most AI successes so far in health care have come from the application of image-interpretation methods in domains such as radiology, pathology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. Many of these strategies are restricted, for now, to the research literature, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a handful of such systems.

Techniques for assisting what Topol calls “clinicians without patterns”—medical professionals who make assessments and formulate plans by integrating heterogeneous data from a patient's records, medical literature, and talking with patients and their families—are at even earlier stages of development. These include digesting the medical literature in general internal medicine, diagnosing atrial fibrillation in cardiology, identifying the best available treatment in oncology, introducing precision robotics in surgery, and interpreting subtle cues from online communications in mental health (to which he devotes an entire chapter). Later chapters examine how AI could enhance the operations of the overall health system, aid in basic scientific discovery, and help bring nutrition and diet into consideration.

Last, Topol turns to his vision of how AI can provide a virtual medical assistant to clinicians and how these technologies can lead to the resurgence of the empathy-based care that Topol—and many others—miss in current health care. “AI can help achieve the gift of time with patients,” and that extra time can develop empathy, which “is not something machines can truly simulate.”…
I don't have time right now, but I'll get to it.Wonder what Seamus O'Mahony might think?


My moving truck is late, [bleep]. Now expected to arrive this evening. Not happy. Supposed to arrive yesterday.

Word of the day: "erisology." Interesting. The scholarly study of intractable disagreement. I have an interest there. Also, see my prior post "A 'Science of Deliberation'?"

More to come...

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The noise from wind turbines causes cancer?

So sayeth the 45th POTUS.

Who knew?
“If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value. And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, okay? Rerrrr rerrrr!”
Okeee-Dokeee then.