Links (42)

On the statistics of individual variations of productivity in research laboratories Everything you always wanted to know about saturated fat Peter Mitchell and the ox phos wars, when OXPHOS was controversial Langmuir on pathological science Sydney Brenner "How academia and publishing are destroying scientific innovation" What people don’t realise is that at the beginning, it was just a handful of people who saw the light, if I can put it that way. So it was like belonging to an evangelical sect, …

Are ideas getting harder to find?

Are ideas getting harder to find? (2020) by Nicholas Bloom, Chad Jones, John van Reenen and Michael Webb repeatedly pops up in discussions of technological progress, the great stagnation and related topics. They take a different angle from the usual, rather than debating whether there is stagnation or not in a range of metrics (Like TFP, Moore's law, crop yields), they instead opt for taking the optimistic view (That those metrics are advancing as usual, in some of their models) and calculate instead how mu…

What should you remember? SRSing your life

In my Bloom's Two sigma essay, in section 12, What should you learn I was thinking about a problem that comes before the question of the optimal learning method. Once one has decided, say, that one wants to start practicing SRS, what should one SRS? Should a software engineer SRS their programming language of choice? Of course not: They are using it all the time. Spaced repetition works, but knowledge or skills you use every day are effectively built in SRS. There is also knowledge one is exposed to daily t…

Book review: Scientific Freedom, the elixir of civilization

In the science policy world a term often heard is "high-risk, high-reward" activities; funding initiatives, projects, or researchers that individually are likely to fail but that also hold potential for truly radical, breakthrough discoveries. But what about "low-risk, high-reward", wouldn't that be nice? One more of Stripe Press' beautifully edited tomes, Scientific Freedom: the elixir of civilization, is Donald Braben's theoretical case for the existence of such scientific opportunitie…

Book review: Malignant

I just finished reading Vinay Prasad's Malignant, a book on the current state of oncology, covering everything from the way clinical trials are run to the myriad of ways cancer therapies can be administered (as neoadjuvants, adjuvants, in a metastatic setting etc). I jokingly described Prasad's take as "cancer therapiesnihilism" on Twitter in the same way that John Ioannidis has been described as a methodological terrorist. It is nihilistic in that relative to what one would hear from the pharma…

Links (41)

Deriving multiple aging clocks out of looking at blood plasma; also includes nice table of proteins that accumulate (or decrease their frequency) with age and what they might be doing. Bryan Caplan on Matt Yglesias' One Billion Americans In the same way that the secretome of stem cells can ameliorate Alzheimer in a mouse model(See previous links), stem cells may not be needed to help regenerate injuries to the heart (in this case, in pigs), just what they secrete, as if telling cells "hey there are ste…