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June 14, 2011

Bayesian Truth Serum


Just a teaser, the headline up top is part of the title of MIT professor Drazen Prelec's October 15, 2004 Science Magazine paper entitled "A Bayesian Truth Serum for Subjective Data"; the abstract follows.

Subjective judgments, an essential information source for science and policy, are problematic because there are no public criteria for assessing judgmental truthfulness. I present a scoring method for eliciting truthful subjective data in situations where objective truth is unknowable. The method assigns high scores not to the most common answers but to the answers that are more common than collectively predicted, with predictions drawn from the same population. This simple adjustment in the scoring criterion removes all bias in favor of consensus: Truthful answers maximize expected score even for respondents who believe that their answer represents a minority view.

Economist Tyler Cowen, in his book "Discover Your Inner Economist," noted that the techniques described in Prelec's paper can be used to indirectly get a person's real opinion about something by asking the individual what she thinks everyone else believes.

Wrote Cowen, "The premise behind this approach is the following. If people truly hold a particular belief, they are more likely to think that others agree or have had similar experiences."

He continued, "When we talk about other people, we are often talking about ourselves, whether we know it or not."

June 14, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Easy Feet Foot Scrubber












June 14, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Paige Thompson's Lip Art


The Texas college student's series


"Animal-ipstick" is "an ongoing collection


of different animals


painted on my lips."


Below, the artist.


[via Milena and Digital Bus Stop]

June 14, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Office Paper Roll & Holder


Not what it might appear to be on first glance.

From the website:


Simply tear off the paper you need for shopping lists or similar memory aids, as a temporary repository for ongoing project notes, or as a less stressful form of guest book: your guests only need to inscribe their names.

Will hold office paper rolls of up to 4.5 cm in diameter and up to 7.5 cm wide.

Made of brushed stainless steel approximately 1 mm thick.

28.5 cm H x 11.5 cm W x 3.5 cm D; weighs 450 g.

Paper holder rod is 6 mm Ø.

Comes with one paper roll.



[via Svpply]

June 14, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

LEGO Pizza


[via electricBricksDirecto Al Paladar and Las Lentejas]

June 14, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

iPhone Photo Printer


"Print crystal-clear high-resolution 4" x 6" 300dpi photographs straight from your iPhone in less than 55 seconds — no computer required."

Also works with iPod touch.

7"W x 4"D x 6"H.



June 14, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Medical "Wall of Shame"


The opening paragraph of Milt Freudenheim's May 31, 2011 Business section front page story in the New York Times: "Federal health officials call it the Wall of Shame. It's a government web page that lists nearly 300 hospitals, doctors and insurance companies that have reported significant breaches of medical privacy in the last couple of years."

What's "significant?"

How about the records of at least 500 people: is that significant enough for you?

"As required by section 13402(e)(4) of the HITECH Act, the Secretary [of Health & Human Services] must post a list of breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals.  These breaches are now posted in a new, more accessible format that allows users to search and sort the posted breaches.  Additionally, this new format includes brief summaries of the breach cases that OCR has investigated and closed, as well as the names of private practice providers who have reported breaches of unsecured protected health information to the Secretary."

June 14, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Ants Salt & Pepper Shakers


"But joe — which one's the salt?"



But perhaps mademoiselle would prefer something in fire ant red?


No problema.



Uh oh, now I've gone and gotten Flautist started....

[via Oddee and Joe Peach who added, "I'mmm Baaaaaaack!"]

June 14, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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