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Interesting Reads

In Misc. on January 28, 2010 by David Tagged: , , ,

Hal Varian of Google recommends statistics as career.

A: If you are looking for a career where your services will be in high demand, you should find something where you provide a scarce, complementary service to something that is getting ubiquitous and cheap. So what’s getting ubiquitous and cheap? Data. And what is complementary to data? Analysis. So my recommendation is to take lots of courses about how to manipulate and analyze data: databases, machine learning, econometrics, statistics, visualization, and so on.

The Case for Open Immigration.

A: I think freedom of movement is one of the most basic human rights, as anyone who is denied it can confirm. It is abhorrent that the rich and the educated are allowed to circulate around the world more or less freely, while the poor are not — causing, in effect, a form of global apartheid….The economic case for open borders is as compelling as the moral one.When it comes to the domestic economy, politicians and policymakers are forever urging people to be more mobile, and to move to where the jobs are. But if it is a good thing for people to move from Kentucky to California in search of a better job, why is it so terrible for people to move from Mexico to the U.S. to work?

The Statue of Liberty is engraved with the quote “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Is it sad that in this modern age, this might be ironic?  Do we fear the influx of new ideas and individuals because they will take away jobs or opportunities?

One of the major arguments against immigration is the threat of terrorism, yet ironically this is one of the most effective strategies against terrorism. Travel to the United States tends to improve the individual’s perception of the United States, and subsequently advances the perception of America in the individual’s friends and family. This increased dialogue is only of the few effective ways of moderating extremist viewpoints.

Speaking about safety and terrorism, the adapting standards of privacy and security.

I remember being told as a child: “Never talk to strangers.” That’s actually stupid advice. If a child is lost or scared or alone, the smartest thing he can do is find a kindly looking stranger to talk to. The real advice is: “Don’t answer strangers who talk to you first.” The difference is important. In the first case, the child selects the stranger—and the odds of him selecting a bad person are pretty negligible. In the second case, the stranger selects the child; that’s more dangerous.

The SAT is interesting.

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