Science and Technology links (August 4th, 2018)

  1. About 80% of the ocean remains unmapped and unexplored.
  2. Even a mild concussion (a fall on your head) can double your risk of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s).
  3. Apple is selling approximatively two smart watches for each laptop. And they are selling about three iPads for each laptops. (I do not own an Apple watch: I don’t know what I’d use it for.)
  4. Researchers from OpenAI have trained a human-like robot hand to manipulate objects like we would.
  5. Diabetes is not good for your brain:

    Compared with participants with normoglycaemia, the multivariable-adjusted rate of global cognitive decline associated with prediabetes and diabetes was increased (…) Similarly, memory, executive function and orientation z scores showed an increased rate of cognitive decline with diabetes.

  6. We have all been told to eat whole grain cereals. Do they keep the doctor away? Maybe not:

    There is insufficient evidence from randomised controlled trials to date to recommend consumption of whole grain diets to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, or lower blood cholesterol, or blood pressure.

  7. We are using much less land than we used to, which means that there is more land for forest and wild animals. People in 2014 used about a third of the land, compared with people from 1961, on a per capita basis.
  8. In the USA, energy use per capita has fallen by 20% since a peak in the late 1970s. In fact, in most occidental countries, energy use per capita has been falling for the last decade. Distance driven by cars, per capita, are also either plateauing or on the decline.

Daniel Lemire, "Science and Technology links (August 4th, 2018)," in Daniel Lemire's blog, August 4, 2018.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

4 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (August 4th, 2018)”

  1. About whole grains and cardiovascular disease. Whole grains help with control of blood glucose as they provide fiber. So they help with diabetes and gut microbiome.

    The comparisons they do are against refined grains diet. I’d assume both are low on saturated fats and other significant factors in heart disease.

    Also not all grains are the same. Oats have higher β-Glucans and give protection against heart disease.

  2. The comment “We are using much less land than we used to” is a bit misleading though, as I would have intuitively assumed that this is in absolute terms and not per capita. This leads me to ask: did land use increase in absolute terms in the last 50 years?

  3. US population has also INCREASED around 44% since the late 1970s…

    per capita improvements are of little value if they are not matched by a flat or declining total population. And the social conversation seems to consist primarily of

    • population will “naturally” decrease because reasons (which appear to be related, if you push, to the cost [money and opportunity] of raising children). This is why the state and society don’t need to to worry about population growth

    along with

    • it is so expensive and difficult to raise children, and that is why [insert social policy] is needed to reduce this cost and difficulty.

    The mutual incoherence in all these viewpoints seems unlikely to lead to optimal (or even positive) outcomes.

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