Gendercide – The war on baby girls

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2010/03/04/gendercide

Killed, aborted or neglected, at least 100m girls have disappeared—and the number is rising

IMAGINE you are one half of a young couple expecting your first child in a fast-growing, poor country. You are part of the new middle class; your income is rising; you want a small family. But traditional mores hold sway around you, most important in the preference for sons over daughters. Perhaps hard physical labour is still needed for the family to make its living. Perhaps only sons may inherit land. Perhaps a daughter is deemed to join another family on marriage and you want someone to care for you when you are old. Perhaps she needs a dowry.

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Stream Free Online 200 Films from Tribeca Film Festivals

http://www.openculture.com/2019/04/stream-free-online-200-films-from-tribeca-film-festivals.html

FYI: The Tribeca Film Festival is getting underway today. And to mark the occasion, Kanopy is showcasing a lineup of 200 titles from past festivals and letting you stream them free online. Kanopy writes:

Kanopy’s selection of Tribeca Film Festival titles includes recent festival favorites The Lovers, starring Debra Winger (An Officer and a Gentleman) & Tracy Letts (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), and Back Roads starring Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) and  Jennifer Morrison (House). A selection of dynamic documentaries such as Dior and I and Planet of Snail is available alongside films with unforgettable female performances including Woman Walks Ahead, starring Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Oscar-award winning short film The Phone Call, starring Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water). Several Tribeca-winning films including the 2015 Best Director winner About Elly and the 2017 Audience Award for Best Narrative Film, The Divine Order are also available.

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Firefighting: A Plea for Discretion

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2019/04/firefighting-a-plea-for-discretion.html

Firefighting, the new primer on the financial crisis by the all-star team of Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson (BGP), is a well written, short overview of the consensus position on the U.S. financial crisis. The book has a number of good lines:

…financial institutions, unlike other businesses whose success depends primarily on the cost and quality of their goods and services, are dependent on confidence. That’s why the word “credit” comes from the Latin for “belief,” why we say we can “bank” on things we know to be true, why some financial institutions are called “trusts.”

…the most damaging problem with America’s capital rules was not that they were too weak, but that they were applied too narrowly.

Risk, like love, will find a way.

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Video games probably aren’t bad for boys, but it’s a different story for girls

Plenty of parents fret over their children’s undying love of video games. Do interactive games like Fortnite and World of Warcraft inhibit kids’ ability to hold normal human conversations? Do aggressive games foster an unnatural desire to wield guns and destroy things? Or does gaming help kids develop a crucial suite of 21st-century skills?

A new study from Norway investigates these questions by tracking the relationship between time spent gaming and social competence in a group of 873 kids, starting at age six and checking in every two years until age 12. The results showed that more gaming did not generally predict worse social outcomes in boys, but did have a negative impact on girls: 10-year-old girls who played more games had less social competence at 12.

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Frank Lichtenberg and the cost of saving lives through pharmaceuticals

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2019/04/frank-lichtenberg-and-the-cost-of-saving-lives-through-pharmaceuticals.html

Humans are living longer, better lives thanks to innovations in prescription drugs over the past three decades, according to several new studies by Frank Lichtenberg, the Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business.

Every year, according to Lichtenberg’s research, drugs launched since 1982 are adding 150 million life-years to the lifespans of people in 22 countries that he analyzed. He calculated the average pharmaceutical expenditure per life-year saved at $2,837 — a bargain, he says.

“According to most health economists and policymakers, if you could extend someone’s life by a year for less than $3,000, that is highly cost effective,” says Lichtenberg, who gathered new data for these studies to cast a never-before seen view of the econometrics of prescription drugs. “People might be surprised by how cost-effective drugs appear to be in general.”

…To tease out the answer, the professor gathered data on drug launches and the age-standardized premature mortality rate by country, disease, and year. Drawing on data from the World Health Organization, the United Nations, consulting company IQVIA, and French database Theriaque, Lichtenberg was able to identify the role that pharmaceutical innovation played in reducing the number of years of life lost due to 66 diseases in 27 countries. (“Years of life lost” is an estimate of the average years a person would have lived if he or she had not died prematurely.)

Between 1982 and 2015, for example, the US saw the launch of 719 new drugs, the most of any country in the sample; Israel had about half as many launches. By looking at the resultant change in each country between mortality and disease, Lichtenberg calculated that the years of life lost before the age of 85 in 2013 would have been 2.16 times as high if no new drugs had been launched after 1981. For a subset of 22 countries with more full data, the number of life-years gained in 2013 from drugs launched after 1981 was 148.7 million.

Here is more from Stephen Kurczy, and here is previous MR coverage of Lichtenberg and his work.  Given these estimates, do you really think we should be spending less on pharmaceuticals?

Quantum Computing Explained — It’s Rocket Science

https://hackernoon.com/quantum-computing-explained-its-rocket-science-55d7766edac2

A couple of years ago, I thought Quantum Mechanics was a bunch of theoretical science with no real world applications: Not anymore

In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of Quantum Computing; spearheaded by companies such as D-Wave, Rigetti Computing, and IBM. In a nutshell (Kurzgesagt😉), Quantum Computing will revolutionize computing, allowing us to solve complex computational problems that would have been impossible on classical computers.

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GF Securities Hong Kong Chief Tang Xiaodong Resigns From Firm

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-15/gf-securities-hong-kong-chief-tang-xiaodong-resigns-from-firm

GF Securities Co. said Monday the head of its Hong Kong unit has resigned from the firm, after losses rocked one of its hedge funds.

Tang Xiaodong, who joined in May, stepped down for personal reasons, GF Securities said in the Monday statement. The unit he ran, GF Holdings (Hong Kong) Corp., had set up a hedge fund that lost more than $100 million last year, primarily on foreign exchange trades, leaving it with negative capital.

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Many Chinese suffer discrimination based on their regional origin

https://www.economist.com/china/2019/04/13/many-chinese-suffer-discrimination-based-on-their-regional-origin

Life is often hard for internal migrants in China, especially those from Henan and the north-east

Apr 11th 2019

THE SCHOOLCHILDREN started to vomit. Some fell unconscious and were whisked into hospital. Angry parents demanded an explanation. The food-poisoning scandal quickly lit up Chinese social media. A kindergarten teacher in the central province of Henan was detained—accused of adding sodium nitrite, which can be toxic in large doses, to the meal boxes of at least 23 pupils late last month.

Most comments online have focused on the evil of the act and have expressed sympathy for the parents. But a surprising number have noted the alleged perpetrator’s home province. “I’m not surprised. Henan people would stoop to anything,” says one commentator on Baidu Tieba, a social-networking site. “Apart from wicked, I can’t think of another word to describe Henan people,” chimes in someone with more than 50,000 followers on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, who identifies himself as a financial journalist.

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The case for crying at work

https://qz.com/work/1589513/how-to-handle-crying-at-work/

If you’ve ever cried at work, you may be able to relate to the recent Saturday Night Live sketch “PowerPoint.” In it, a pair of receptionists played by Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon burst into tears in front of their colleagues at a Microsoft training session as soon as their mock PowerPoint presentation appears on the projector screen. The presentation is, to be fair, not very good. The first page features nothing but layers of empty squares and the desperate lowercase missive, “help.”

“We’re so sorry,” Bryant sobs as the befuddled Microsoft instructors attempt to reassure them. “We made trash, sir,” McKinnon chimes in. “We’re going to be fired and slapped.”

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