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A butterfly flaps its wings on Twitter, and a vaccine map goes viral

Skeptical Software Tools

CFR vaccine preventable diseases mapIf you follow the problem of vaccine denialism (like most skeptics do) and are on social media, you probably saw a cool interactive global map of disease outbreaks this week. It was created by the Council on Foreign Relations – there’s a picture of it here and a link below the fold.  

Just in the last week it was posted by many major websites including Kottke.org, Mother Jones, L.A. Times, The Verge, Wired, The Atlantic Wire and even Forbes. And of course all those posts – and the direct link to the map – were being wildly passed around on social media.

Whenever I see something like this going viral, I dig a little bit before I retweet or repost it.  Sometimes there’s a better version of the post to link, or the one you saw didn’t attribute it to the original author correctly. I like to make sure…

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With DeepMind, Google Prepares For A Future Where We See Ourselves In Every Computing Interaction

TechCrunch

Google seems to have paid at least $500 million to acquire DeepMind, an artificial intelligence startup that has a number of high-profile investors, and that has demoed tech which shows computers playing video games in ways very similar to human players. Facebook reportedly also tried to buy the company, and the question on most people’s minds is “Why?”

More intelligent computing means more insightful data gathering and analysis, of course. Any old computer can collect information, and even do some basic analytics work in terms of comparing and contrasting it to other sets of data, drawing simple conclusions where causal or correlational factors are plainly obvious. But it still takes human analysts to make meaning from all that data, and to select the significant information from the huge, indiscriminate firehose of consumer data that comes in every day.

AI and machine learning expertise can help improve the efficiency and…

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Could Watson and Siri love like Her’s Samantha?

One Scientist’s Bid to Debug Human Software

Dear Mr. Manning

I came across this on

Denver Post By Laurie

Lattimore-Volkman

image

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s character sets him apart from so many of his peers. (Craig Walker, The Denver Post)

I am not a sports reporter, not an NFL analyst, not a former player.

I’ve never studied film, and I’ve not catalogued all the best and worst moments in football history.

I know the game of football well, though I still can’t figure out why you can challenge a first-down spot but not a pass interference call.

What I have done is played some seriously rugged flag football games, donned blue and orange every Sunday from August to January for the past 43 years, sat through some unbelievably frigid games at Mile High (once while 7 months pregnant) and cheered for the Denver Broncos since before I can remember … even during the heart-crushing games.

I even named my beloved Black Lab after John Mobley (who I still believe is responsible for saving the Broncos’ victory in Super Bowl XXXII against the Packers).

And most proudly, I am a mom of two little boys who adore their No.18 jerseys and can’t wait to find out “how Peyton Manning’s team did?” every Monday morning.

So I am undeniably biased.

And it is because of my bias — and lack of NFL analysis experience — that makes me far more qualified to talk about your legacy than any of those analysts, former players, coaches and commentators (I’m looking at you, Mike Greenberg and Cris Carter).

They operate in a world where urgency dictates everything, and controversy and sensationalism make the headlines.

No, I am more qualified because I am a mom.

I actually understand — on the most basic level — what legacy truly means.

Legacy is something handed down that matters. It is something that matters to young players and athletes and kids looking for mentors to help them find their way.

You don’t hand down Super Bowl trophies. You don’t hand down NFL MVPs or franchise records. And you don’t hand down touchdowns, statistics or win-loss records.

You hand down an example of work ethic, of courage to come back after a career-threatening injury, of humility in victory and graciousness in defeat, and of perspective on one’s own accomplishments. That legacy matters, and that’s why yours is untarnished even — and especially — after Sunday’s loss.

It matters that you’re professional in the way you talk to reporters.

It matters that you give credit to others — coaches, teammates, mentors.

It matters that you don’t give up in a bad game and keep fighting no matter the odds.

It matters that you take time to write hand-written notes to fans and sign autographs — even after crushing defeat.

It matters that you know the difference between being embarrassed by your team’s performance and just not being the best team on the field that day.

And it matters that you meticulously prepare to play the game … and encourage everyone around you to do the same.

I doubt you take stock in what those analysts say about your legacy (no doubt a trait your father has clearly bestowed upon you and your brothers), but I want you to know that this mom of two young boys who already recognize you’re different from the others, believes your legacy has never been stronger.

And I’m confident thousands of others agree with me.

Whether you win another game, your accomplishments in football are nothing short of remarkable — alongside many other outstanding players. But it’s your character that sets you apart from so many of your predecessors and peers.

And that’s a legacy that matters.

This is a fabulous article written by her and what it truly means to be a Legend. Thank you Laurie!