The big change is known as the big shift. Or more precisely, the defensive shift. Since baseball began, the rules have been largely the same. The first-baseman stands at first base, the left-fielder — you've got it — positions himself in left field. But now teams are building profiles on opposing players and placing their infielders and outfielders in spots where they are most likely to catch that player’s hits, based on data about past performance. It means the field never looks the same, and even the players can’t always keep up with the constant changes to their positions. The defensive shift away from locked positions is the result of modern data analysis, but where that data is coming from is surprising. Teams armed with data can defend against these hitters by placing potential catchers in those precise spots. It’s why there are now far fewer frantic dashes to catch fly balls. Unfortunately, that removes some of the drama and unpredictability from the game — and that, in turn, ruins baseball for some fans.
We think of our future selves as strangers.
The British philosopher Derek Parfit espoused a severely reductionist view of personal identity in his seminal book, Reasons and Persons: It does not exist, at least not in the way we usually consider it. We humans, Parfit argued, are not a consistent identity moving through time, but a chain of successive selves, each tangentially linked to, and yet distinct from, the previous and subsequent ones. The boy who begins to smoke despite knowing that he may suffer from the habit decades later should not be judged harshly: "This boy does not identify with his future self," Parfit wrote. "His attitude towards this future self is in some ways like his attitude to other people."
How casinos get you to spend more money.
The next time you find yourself in a casino, pause for a second to appreciate the architecture.
Casinos put an enormous amount of thought into their designs. The layout of the tables, the patterns on the carpet, the lighting - they're all explicitly engineered to make gambling more seductive and get you to spend more money.
One surprising example are the curving hallways around the property. Many casinos try to avoid making you ever have to turn at a 90° angle. As Natasha Dow Schüll explains in her fascinating book, Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, a right-angle turn forces people to call upon the decision-making parts of their brain - to stop and reflect on what they're doing. "Casinos don't want that," Schüll told me. "They want to curve you gently to where they want you to go."
Let's be honest with ourselves for a bit. A marketing campaign that uses a cute little baby talking about how easy it is to trade stocks during the Super Bowl was never meant to target the professional investor.
With the takeaway that investing is so easy even a baby can do it, E-Trade (NASDAQGS:ETFC) was targeting the individual that either had never dipped their toe in investing before or the somewhat experienced individual that was simply looking to find a better online broker (NYSEARCA:IAI).
We investors share a disturbing trait — the more uncertainty we face, the more anxious we become. The randomness of world events frightens us; we yearn for someone to make sense of it all.
Can’t tell the future without a degree in market prognostication
Predicting when and where thunderstorms hit is easy meteorology compared to pinpointing the potential for lightning strikes — a difficult but perhaps solvable task thanks to new technology. "Lightning is a beast,” says Paul Frisbie, a scientist with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction Colorado." He is working on a lightning potential index, or LPI, that can predict lightning patterns, raise awareness and decrease casualties.
According to the latest figures from Chicago-based research firm IRI, Americans are buying more almond, soy, and coconut milk, and less cow's milk. For the year ending July 13, supermarkets and other retail outlets sold nearly five percent less refrigerated skim milk last year, while milk substitute sales - such as soy milk - went up more than nineteen percent.
A recent demonstration proved it’s possible to commanded three fully autonomous UAVs collaborating as a team. The machines flew in close formation at the same altitude, separated by approximately 50 meters as they did figure-eight patterns.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) typically fly alone with a team of ground operators controlling their activities through teleoperation or waypoint-based routing. But one aircraft can only carry so many sensors, which limits its capabilities. That’s one reason why a fleet of autonomous aircraft can be better than one flying alone.
A new study challenges the idea that it’s unhealthy to be afraid of crime. Researchers say a little fear may help keep you safe.
Young people who are more fearful of crime are less apt to become victims or offenders of violent acts, says Chris Melde, an associate professor of criminal justice at Michigan State University. Fearful youth tend to avoid potentially dangerous people, locations, and activities such as drug-fueled parties.
A brash tech entrepreneur thinks he can reinvent higher education by stripping it down to its essence, eliminating lectures and tenure along with football games, ivy-covered buildings, and research libraries. What if he's right?
On a Friday morning in April, I strapped on a headset, leaned into a microphone, and experienced what had been described to me as a type of time travel to the future of higher education. I was on the ninth floor of a building in downtown San Francisco, in a neighborhood whose streets are heavily populated with winos and vagrants, and whose buildings host hip new businesses, many of them tech start-ups. In a small room, I was flanked by a publicist and a tech manager from an educational venture called the Minerva Project, whose founder and CEO, the 39-year-old entrepreneur Ben Nelson, aims to replace (or, when he is feeling less aggressive, "reform") the modern liberal-arts college.