Links van 16 februari 2014 tot 22 februari 2014

Bad boy Amazon and George Packer’s latest salvo | The Story’s Story
Still, Amazon must save more books than it destroys. If you read any amount of literary criticism, journalism, or scholarly articles, you’ve read innumerable sentences like these: “[Malcolm] Cowley persuaded Viking to accept ‘On the Road’ after many publishers had turned it down. He worked to get Kerouac, who was broke, financial support.” How many Kerouacs and Nabokovs didn’t make it to publication, and are unknown to history because no Cowley persuaded a publisher to act in its own best interests? How many will now, thanks to Amazon?

If I ruled the world: Daniel Dennett
Lord Acton famously said that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but he might just as truly have swallowed his “r”s and said “Power coopts.” I distinctly recall that many a wild-eyed student radical in the 60s was turned into a conscientious steward of the university simply by being given some of the power demanded. If I ruled the world, I don’t know which way I would go. I’m equally afraid of unleashing my inner Nero on the one hand and turning into an overcautious consensus-seeker on the other—if only out of fear that I’d make some well-intended blunder that brought calamity to the planet.

Massive Hole Discovered Under Antarctica, Bigger Than The Grand Canyon – Forbes
A giant valley deeper than the Grand Canyon is buried beneath several miles of glacial ice in West Antarctica, according to a new study by British scientists. The sub-glacial canyon is nearly two miles deep, 200 miles long and 15 miles wide.

How to Explore Cause and Effect Like a Data Scientist – Thomas C. Redman – Harvard Business Review
The ability to think analytically is important for any manager today. The first steps, as I’ve explained before, involve collecting data, making some simple plots, drawing basic conclusions, and planning next steps. But data do not give up their secrets easily. While we can use data to understand correlation, the more fundamental understanding of cause and effect requires more. And confusing the two can lead to disastrous results.

Confounded: The Enigma of “Blind Tom” Wiggins | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed
"I am astounded. I cannot account for it, no one can. No one understands it," a St Louis man uttered after watching Blind Tom perform in concert in 1866. His mystification was by no means isolated. Few other performers on the nineteenth century stage aroused as much curiosity as "Blind Tom" Wiggins. Born a slave in Georgia in 1848, by the time he died Hoboken in 1908, he was an international celebrity and his name was a byword for inexplicable genius.

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