What we learned Thursday at 49ers HQ

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Sitting inside Kwon Alexander’s locker is a football with the Cincinnati Bengals logo on it. It came Sunday via his first interception as the 49ers’ new play-making linebacker, and that ball has barely left his grasp since then.“I’ve got to have a ball in my hand every second of the day,” Alexander said Thursday.SANTA CLARA, CA – JUNE 11: San Francisco 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander participates in a practice on June 11, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News …last_img read more

Can Scientific Journals Perpetuate False Ideas?

first_imgAn unusual paper appeared in PNAS this week.1  Four social scientists from Columbia and Yale argued that scientific papers can actually perpetuate false ideas rather than correct them.  The abstract says that an influential paper can generate momentum that becomes merely cited as fact by subsequent authors:We analyzed a very large set of molecular interactions that had been derived automatically from biological texts.  We found that published statements, regardless of their verity, tend to interfere with interpretation of the subsequent experiments and, therefore, can act as scientific “microparadigms,” similar to dominant scientific theories [Kuhn, T. S. (1996) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago)].  Using statistical tools, we measured the strength of the influence of a single published statement on subsequent interpretations.  We call these measured values the momentums of the published statements and treat separately the majority and minority of conflicting statements about the same molecular event.  Our results indicate that, when building biological models based on published experimental data, we may have to treat the data as highly dependent-ordered sequences of statements (i.e., chains of collective reasoning) rather than unordered and independent experimental observations.  Furthermore, our computations indicate that our data set can be interpreted in two very different ways (two “alternative universes”): one is an “optimists’ universe” with a very low incidence of false results (<5%), and another is a “pessimists’ universe” with an extraordinarily high rate of false results (>90%).  Our computations deem highly unlikely any milder intermediate explanation between these two extremes.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)In other words, scientists tend to follow bandwagons, and one can either be an optimist that they will get it right most of the time, or a pessimist that they get it wrong most of the time.  Either way, the problem arises partly because scientists do not have the resources to study or replicate every experiment, so they tend to trust what is published as authoritative.  The volume of published material is daunting: “More than 5 million biomedical research and review articles have been published in the last 10 years,” they said.  “Automated analysis and synthesis of the knowledge locked in this literature has emerged as a major challenge in computational biology.”  Although new tools for sifting and collecting this information have been designed, what comes out may not always accelerate knowledge toward the truth, but rather maintain inertia against change.    The authors examined millions of statements from scientific texts, then formed a mathematical model to study the “large-scale properties of the scientific knowledge-production process” –We explicitly modeled both the generation of experimental results and the experimenters’ interpretation of their results and found that previously published statements, regardless of whether they are subsequently shown to be true or false, can have a profound effect on interpretations of further experiments and the probability that a scientific community would converge to a correct conclusion.They discovered “chains of reasoning” that relied on previously-published interpretations.  This counters the commonly-held belief that scientific findings act like independent data points that accumulate toward a more accurate picture.  Scientists, like other people, can follow the lemmings over a cliff:There is a well established term in economics, “information cascade”, which represents a special form of a collective reasoning chain that degenerates into repetition of the same statement.  Here we suggest a model that can generate a rich spectrum of patterns of published statements, including information cascades.  We then explore patterns that occur in real scientific publications and compare them to this model.Sure enough, scientists fell into this trap.  They tended to gather around accepted interpretations, though tending to believe their own interpretations most of all: “scientists are often strongly affected by prior publications in interpreting their own experimental data,” they said, “while weighting their own private results… at least 10-fold as high as a single result published by somebody else.”    The researchers applied probability theory to study how likely a chain of reasoning would lead to a correct result:An evaluation of the optimum parameters under our model (see Model Box) indicated that the momentums of published statements estimated from real data are too high to maximize the probability of reaching the correct result at the end of a chain.  This finding suggests that the scientific process may not maximize the overall probability that the result published at the end of a chain of reasoning will be correct.As they noted, the model is more significant than just for teasing academic curiosity: “If the problem of convergence to a false ‘accepted’ scientific result is indeed frequent, it might be important to focus on alleviating it through restructuring the publication process or introducing a means of independent benchmarking of published results.”1Rzhetsky, Iossifov, Loh and White, “ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published online before print March 16, 2006, doi 10.1073/pnas.0600591103.Imagine that: the very methodology invented to uncover truth could suppress it.  This could explain the near uniform acceptance of Darwinism and condemnation of intelligent design (and other maverick ideas) in Big Science.  Could it be that publication sets off a chain reaction that gains momentum and leads to erroneous interpretations?  Could scientists sometimes be just as prone to crowd psychology as the rest of us?  And you thought that the scientific method, peer review and publishing were safeguards against collective error.  The Hwang scandal should have provided a sharp wake-up slap (see 01/09/2006).    Lest we make this one paper a self-fulfilling prophecy and start a new erroneous information cascade, we grant that such things are difficult to model mathematically with confidence.  Thomas Kuhn’s cynical view of science is not without controversy, and many scientists do work independently and interpret their results carefully.  These authors, though, should be commended for alerting us to the fact that scientists and scientific publications can perpetuate “microparadigms” that could be false.  There is anecdotal evidence to support this claim in the case of evolution vs. intelligent design.  Those who publish in the journals any statements about I.D. tend to cite the standard ID-bashing texts as references: Pennock, Gross, Forrest etc.  It is unlikely they actually read those books, and even less likely they consider the arguments on both sides.  To them, the experts have spoken, and Judge Jones has ruled, so all is needed is to make a short statement with a footnote to the authorities.    More anecdotal evidence comes from a scientist active in the ID movement, who shall remain unnamed, who stated that, in his experience, scientists tend to be very fair and self-critical in their own narrow specialties, but on other subjects, are among the most dogmatic, closed-minded people he knows.  Time and again he has seen them follow the leader – to merely ask questions like “what does Richard Dawkins think about it?  Well, then I’m agin it, too!”    On the flip side, pro-evolution scientific papers often reference authorities carelessly.  An author may refer briefly to Darwin’s finches as evidence for natural selection, for instance, passing a lateral footnote to the Grants, merely assuming that the Grants demonstrated evolution in their work, without actually studying their work critically to see whether the evidence is valid or convincing (08/24/2005, 04/26/2002).  These cases illustrate how scientists can sometimes march in lock-step on certain topics, assuming one another’s authority, instead of contributing their own independent empirical findings toward an objective truth.  Science is an intensely human enterprise and, therefore, is subject to human foibles like crowd psychology.  Our finiteness and human nature limit our ability to grasp natural realities.  One scientist cannot possibly know everything even in his or her own field.  Imagine mastering five million articles in ten years, just in one area (biomedical research), to say nothing of replicating or verifying each paper’s experimental results.  We’re human; we’re limited; it’s so much easier to cite the popular statements of the leaders and follow the chain-of-reasoning gang.  The more controversial the material (e.g., evolution vs intelligent design), the more it would seem that polarized interpretations are geared to maintain their own momentum.  Applying Newton’s Laws to social science, a body of ideas tends to remain stationary or in uniform linear motion unless acted on by a sufficient force.  And – every action to oppose the momentum has an equal and opposite reaction.(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New lease on life for Joburg buildings

first_imgThe Casa Mia building in Berea, Johannesburg, has been given a new lease on life. (Image: Joshco) Tenants do have to abide by a strict set of house rules, but as a result the buildings are kept clean and in good repair. Communal cooking facilities in Joshco buildings are scrupulously clean and well equipped. An all too common scene in the inner city – washing strewn over balconies, cramped accommodation and buildings in need of care.(Images: Janine Erasmus) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lizette Stokes  Account director, Jenni Newman PR  +27 82 322 5162 or +27 11 506 7354• Rory Gallocher  CEO, Joshco  +27 11 406 7303 RELATED ARTICLES • Drive to clear housing backlog • SA housing innovation on show in US • SA’s housing drive ‘taking shape’ • New technologies for social housing • Sustainable building on the rise in SAJanine ErasmusThe Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is addressing a need for affordable, safe and clean housing in the inner city and nearby suburbs.Joshco is a council-owned body run by an independent board, and is both a developer and a rental agent. It was established in 2004 in response to the growing demand for well-managed accommodation in the city.Joshco acquires and converts buildings ranging from residential houses to multi-storey apartment blocks and entire housing estates, and then offers them to residents at monthly rates that start at under R1 000 (US$123) and go up to between R4 000 ($492) and R5 000 ($615), depending on the sizes and facilities available.The organisation says that with the 7 500 units spread across its 22 projects in the city and greater Johannesburg, about 25 000 tenants now have a roof over their heads. It has also stated that it’s working towards a goal of 15 000 units.Joshco is also able to provide emergency accommodation in the event of, for instance, shack fires, but stresses that this is not its core business.Prospective tenants must be South African residents of a legal age to enter into a contract, with dependants – for which they must provide proof – and a total household income of not more than R7 500 ($923) per month. Applicants must also already have registered with the national housing waiting list.Bringing life back into the inner cityIn 2010 Joshco won the UN Scroll of Honour, a prestigious award for work done in the field of human settlements. The organisation was unanimously selected as the winner by that year’s judging panel.Recently Joshco showed off some of its 10 inner city projects to a media group.While inner city living can be noisy, smelly and dangerous – just as it is in any number of big cities around the world – the tenants in Joshco buildings are comfortable in the knowledge that their buildings are properly maintained and safe.“All our buildings are secure,” said Joshco CEO Rory Gallocher, “and it’s often the tenants themselves who ask for it to be stepped up, although this could lead to an increase in costs.”Every Joshco building has a 24-hour guard on duty, and access is controlled with a fingerprint scanner. Visitors have to check in and have their print scanned and logged into the system for a certain period. If, by the end of this period, the visitor has not yet left the building, the guard can easily track down the visitor and follow up on the situation.Many of the rooms are communal, meaning that at the least tenants share a toilet and bathroom and may also share a kitchen, but these are large and well equipped. In some rooms cooking is allowed but where it is not, an alarm will alert the building supervisor.The organisation is also strict when it comes to crowding the rooms with more tenants than are allowed – if overcrowding is noticed, the lessee will receive notice promptly.The 11-floor Casa Mia building in the bustling suburb of Berea was once a hotel, and then an old-age home. Since Joshco took it over in April 2011, it offers 179 units ranging from studio apartments to two-bedroom flats. Rent starts at R750 ($92) per month.MBV, close to Joubert Park, the city’s oldest park, was once a military hospital but now can accommodate tenants in 184 communal housing units.The run-down old Chelsea Hotel in the densely populated suburb of Hillbrow today bears a fresh coat of paint and has undergone extensive maintenance since Joshco took it over back in 2008. It has 80 communal rooms and rent starts at R675 ($83).These are just a few of the current opportunities available for tenants.Other projects include the conversion of the former men-only City Deep hostel into family units, and the formalisation of the entire Sol Plaatjie settlement, in Roodepoort on Gauteng’s west rand, into a low-cost housing development complete with utilities and proper roads.Next on the list is the previously derelict AA House in Wanderers Street on the northern edge of the Johannesburg CBD. The building, restored to the tune of R40-million ($4.9-million), will offer 215 bachelor units and bigger rooms, and can also accommodate emergency tenants. It’s due to be officially opened later in July.Joshco is also finishing off the Linatex building in New Doornfontein, east of the CBD. This is an emergency shelter with 160 beds, each of which has its own locker, and a transitional shelter for tenants who are between buildings.Gallocher said that these refurbishments are just the beginning, as city management has identified over 130 so-called bad buildings in the inner city alone, which are ripe for redevelopment. Joshco’s efforts are helping to bring life back into Johannesburg and restore some of its lost respectability.This falls in line with the city’s 2040 growth and development strategy, which outlines a plan of incremental development goals to be fully rolled out by 2040.last_img read more

Amajimbos defeat Nigeria to make CAF Youth final

first_img26 February 2015The Amajimbos, the South African national under-17 team, sailed into the final of the 2015 CAF u17 African Youth Championships with a 1-0 win over Nigeria in Niamey, Niger, on Wednesday afternoon.It was a solid performance from the South Africans, and a goal from mercurial goal- poacher Khanyisa Mayo was all the Amajimbos needed to overcome probably their biggest obstacle on their way to being crowned the African champions.HungryBoth teams had already sealed their place at the World Cup in Chile and started the match at a high tempo. It was the South Africans who looked hungrier to win the match.Mbatha started the attack for Amajimbos as early as the third minute of the game but his shot did little to trouble the Nigerians.When the Amajimbos went on the attack in the 26th minute, Mayo swept home the single crucial goal.Tight defenceNigeria came back a rejuvenated side in the second half, pushing for the elusive equaliser. However, a combination of good goalkeeping from Mpoto and tight defence put paid to any of their chances pulling things back.Amajimbos coach Molefi Ntseki was over the moon about the victory – but said he was not surprised by the outcome.“We watched Nigeria throughout the tournament, because there was a chance of us playing them. We identified a lot of mistakes in their game and this victory was down to our homework and our players playing to instructions. Nigeria are a good team, make no mistake about that, but this is a culmination of our plans coming together,” said Ntseki.The South Africans will face the victor of Thursday’s semi-final, when Mali and Guinea face off. The final is scheduled for Sunday.By reaching the semi-finals, all four countries qualified for the Fifa U-17 World Cup, taking place in Chile from 17 October 17 to 8 November.South African u17 starting line-up: Mondli Mpoto, Katlego Mohamme, Keanu Cupido, Reeve Frosler, Notha Ngcobo, Thendo Mukumela, Athenkosi Dlala, Sibongakonke Mbatha, Nelson Maluleke (c), Luvuyo Mkatshana, Khanyisa Mayo.Source: South African Football Associationlast_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar’s philosophical reply to Shah Rukh Khan’s sentimental tweet

first_imgIn his own inimitable way, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Wednesday wished Sachin Tendulkar for his upcoming film and elicited a philosophical response from the cricket legend.A film on Tendulkar – Sachin A Billion Dreams – will release worldwide on May 26 and celebrities across various walks of life have been wishing the cricket legend on social media. Shah Rukh’s good luck post though stood out.Tendulkar, who rarely shows his emotions, gave a glimpse of his philosophical side while responding to the gesture of extremely popular actor.”I believed, when u did well I would 2 & when u didn’t,I will fail. Like a billion others I miss my guiding lite. ATB for the film,” Shah Rukh tweeted.@sachin_rt I believed,when u did well I would 2 & when u didnt,I will https://t.co/UhouyNYvvx a billion others I miss my guiding lite.ATB for the film- Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 19, 2017In reply, Tendulkar tagged Shah Rukh’s post and replied:”Zindagi me haar na hoti to koi kabhi jeet ta nahi aur kuch seekhta bhi nahi. Touched by your words like a billion others, love u @iamsrk :-)”.Zindagi me haar na hoti to koi kabhi jeet ta nahi aur kuch seekhta bhi nahi. Touched by your words like a billion others, love u @iamsrk 🙂 https://t.co/zsjDfStHQY- sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 19, 2017Among the other notable personalities to have wished Tendulkar include Rajnikanth, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Shreya Ghosal.last_img read more

10 months agoWatford boss Gracia plays down Deeney wind-up celebration

first_imgWatford boss Gracia plays down Deeney wind-up celebrationby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford boss Javi Gracia hailed goalscorer Troy Deeney after victory over West Ham.The Watford captain slammed home a first-half penalty and Gerard Deulofeu added a late second to stun West Ham 2-0 and scupper their bid to win five matches on the spin.Deeney celebrated his successful spot-kick by punching the corner flag out of the ground in front of the West Ham supporters.”What I saw was that after the goal he was running to the corner,” Gracia said.”I don’t know what he said. I can’t tell you if it’s a good or bad celebration, I often see players running into the corner.”I like the way he plays, his commitment, all the things he does day by day. Like all the players he maybe makes mistakes but he is our captain and an important player for us.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Ice breaker reaches Victoria ends coast to coast to coast voyage around

first_imgVICTORIA – The Polar Prince ice breaker docked in Victoria on Saturday, marking the end of a 150-day voyage exploring Canada’s coastline.The Canada C3 expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage celebrated the country’s 150th birthday by travelling 23,000 kilometres and visiting 75 communities.Expedition leader Geoff Green says the journey highlighted the fact that Canada is both an ocean nation and a polar nation, in having the longest coastline of any country, which is predominately in the Arctic.He said with so many communities relying on the oceans, lakes and rivers, he predicts Canada will become a global leader in championing ocean conservation efforts.“One of the things we’ve seen on this journey is how connected we are to that ocean and how important it is to all the incredible communities coast to coast to coast,” Green said.He added the voyage was a significant opportunity to meet with Indigenous communities and discuss reconciliation.“Since the moment we left Toronto, we have been on the territory of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people every step of the way,” he said.Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, said although Indigenous people struggle with the history of their relationship with Canada, they are proud Canadians and welcomed the opportunity to share their traditions with the expedition.“We love sharing the arctic, sharing our homeland … with those who want to learn,” he said.Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, also took part in the celebrations, announcing Canada has reached its goal of protecting five per cent of its oceans and coastline by the end of this year.Two years ago, the amount of protected marine and coastal areas in Canada sat at only 0.9 per cent.He said new marine conservation areas announced earlier this year off the B.C. coast and in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in Quebec ensured the five-per-cent milestone was reached and the government is now focused on raising that to 10 per cent by 2020.“We also know that our oceans are under threat, threat from climate change, overfishing and pollution and many other real threats,” he said. “Our government will live up to and exceed the commitments we have made to Canadians in terms of ocean protections.”last_img read more

Police identify Dease Lake victim and charge Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky

first_imgIn consultation with the BC Prosecution Service, 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, have now been charged with one count of 2nd-degree murder for the death of Leonard Dyck.  The RCMP have not yet laid charges in relation to the deaths of Lucas Folwer and Chyna Desse.As a result of the charges, Canada-wide warrants have been issued for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky. RCMP investigators across the country continue to share information with other law enforcement agencies as the suspects remain at large. There are concurrent investigations in Saskatchewan and Manitoba into the sightings reported to the police of the two suspects. Saskatchewan RCMP had received reports of the suspects being spotted in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan on July 21. On July 24, Manitoba RCMP confirmed that the RAV4 the pair were travelling in, was recovered on fire in the Gillam area in the Northern part of the province in the evening of July 22.We continue to ask the public to remain vigilant for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky and consider them to be armed and dangerous. The two may be using a different vehicle, on foot or even travelling separately. If they are spotted, do not approach, call 9-1-1 or your local police immediately. DEASE LAKE, B.C. – The RCMP have confirmed the identity of the man found near Dease Lake.Police can now confirm that the man discovered deceased on July 19, 2019, at a Highway pullout about two kilometres south of the vehicle fire south of Stikine River Bridge on Highway 37 is Leonard Dyck from Vancouver, BC.BC RCMP are releasing a photo of Len and expanding their request for any additional information from anyone who may have spoken to Len during his travels in northern BC.center_img The BC RCMP Major Crime tiplines remain open in support of the Leonard Dyck, Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese homicide investigations. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-543-4822 or 778-290-5291.The Dyck family have been notified and they wish to provide the following statement:“We are truly heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of Len. He was a loving husband and father. His death has created unthinkable grief and we are struggling to understand what has happened. While we understand there will be interest in knowing more about him and the impact he had during his life, we are asking for the public and the media to please respect our privacy during this difficult time.”last_img read more

Zidanes second coming at Madrid like winning a trophy

first_imgMADRID: Real Madrid’s players feel like they have won a trophy following Zinedine Zidane’s return to the club after a troubling 10-month spell in the wake his departure, defender Alvaro Odriozola said.Zidane resigned as Madrid coach last May after winning a third consecutive Champions League title, but the Frenchman made a remarkable comeback earlier this month when Santiago Solari was sacked.That was less than five months after Julen Lopetegui was also removed from the role due to disappointing results. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe European champions, who were knocked out of this year’s Champions League in the last 16 by Ajax Amsterdam after a chastening 4-1 defeat, enjoyed a therapeutic 2-0 win over Celta Vigo in Zidane’s first game back in charge.They will be looking to extend the positive feeling his return has brought when they host Huesca on Sunday.”Zidane’s return has reignited the hopes of supporters and for us it’s practically like winning a trophy, we are very happy,” Odriozola said in an interview with website La Galerna.”We have talked about what he likes about my game and about my weak points, ‘Zizou’ always tells you the truth and players appreciate sincerity like that.” Madrid are 12 points behind runaway La Liga leaders Barcelona and have no realistic prospect of winning a trophy this season after they were also eliminated in the Copa del Rey semi-finals by Barca.last_img read more