The Half-Life of Facts

Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date

The Half-Life of Facts

New insights from the science of science Facts change all the time. Smoking has gone from doctor recommended to deadly. We used to think the Earth was the center of the universe and that the brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. In short, what we know about the world is constantly changing. Samuel Arbesman shows us how knowledge in most fields evolves systematically and predictably, and how this evolution unfolds in a fascinating way that can have a powerful impact on our lives. He takes us through a wide variety of fields, including those that change quickly, over the course of a few years, or over the span of centuries.

Universities and Innovation Economies

The Creative Wasteland of Post-Industrial Society

Universities and Innovation Economies

Students drop out of universities in large numbers, many graduate to jobs that do not require a degree and a large number learn little at university, whilst graduate salaries have shrunk over time and student loan debt and default have grown. University research achievements have declined while university administration has expanded massively. The contemporary university is mired in auditing, regulation, waste and aimlessness and its contribution to serious social innovation has deteriorated markedly. The miserable state of the universities reflects a larger social reality, as bureaucratic capitalism has replaced creative capitalism. Universities and Innovation Economies examines the rise and fall of the mass university and post-industrial society, considering how we might revitalize economic and intellectual creativity. Looking to a much more inventive social and economic paradigm to drive long-term growth, the author argues for a smaller, leaner, more effective university model - one capable of delivering a greater degree of high-level discovery and creative power. A potent critique of the post-industrial mass university that urges a reimagination of universities as places of discovery and invention, this book will appeal to readers interested in higher education, creativity, social theory, the sociology of work and organisations, political economy, pedagogy and public policy.

1,411 QI Facts To Knock You Sideways

1,411 QI Facts To Knock You Sideways

1,227 QI Facts blew your socks off. 1,339 QI Facts made your jaw drop. Now the QI team return with this year's groaning sack of astonishment. Prepare to be knocked sideways... Orchids can get jetlag. Lizards can't walk and breathe at the same time. There are 177,147 ways to tie a tie. Ladybird orgasms last for 30 minutes. Traffic lights existed before cars. Sir Bruce Forsyth is four months older than sliced bread. The soil in your garden is 2 million years old. If there are any facts you don't believe, or if you want to know more about them, all the sources can be found on qi.com. This ebook edition now includes hyperlinked page numbers which give the reader direct access to the sources on the QI website.

The Half-Life of Hate

The Half-Life of Hate

A high school boy decides to experiment with drugs, but in doing so transforms his life into a macabre nightmare of bloodshed and madness. While confronted by his familys dark past, he strives to unearth an unknown evil, but risks losing his sanity.

The Half-life of an American Essayist

The Half-life of an American Essayist

Twelve essays on subjects ranging from the history of boxing and the typewriter to theories of beauty, the notebooks of Paul Valéry, and a defense of the seven deadly sins.

Overcomplicated

Technology at the Limits of Comprehension

Overcomplicated

Why did the New York Stock Exchange suspend trading without warning on July 8, 2015? Why did certain Toyota vehicles accelerate uncontrollably against the will of their drivers? Why does the programming inside our airplanes occasionally surprise its creators? After a thorough analysis by the top experts, the answers still elude us. You don’t understand the software running your car or your iPhone. But here’s a secret: neither do the geniuses at Apple or the Ph.D.’s at Toyota—not perfectly, anyway. No one, not lawyers, doctors, accountants, or policy makers, fully grasps the rules governing your tax return, your retirement account, or your hospital’s medical machinery. The same technological advances that have simplified our lives have made the systems governing our lives incomprehensible, unpredictable, and overcomplicated. In Overcomplicated, complexity scientist Samuel Arbesman offers a fresh, insightful field guide to living with complex technologies that defy human comprehension. As technology grows more complex, Arbesman argues, its behavior mimics the vagaries of the natural world more than it conforms to a mathematical model. If we are to survive and thrive in this new age, we must abandon our need for governing principles and rules and accept the chaos. By embracing and observing the freak accidents and flukes that disrupt our lives, we can gain valuable clues about how our algorithms really work. What’s more, we will become better thinkers, scientists, and innovators as a result. Lucid and energizing, this book is a vital new analysis of the world heralded as "modern" for anyone who wants to live wisely.

A Little Book of Unknowing

A Little Book of Unknowing

What if the facts on which we base our lives are shown to be unreliable? What if our expectations are confounded? What if we let go of those assumptions and expectations? What if we let go of our familiar, habitual ways of thinking? What if we let go of the very need to know? Unknowing is at the centre of spiritual life. It is only by creating a space in which anything can happen that we allow God to speak; only by stepping back that we allow space for that unpredictable Spirit that brings us gifts beyond any of our imaginings... "God dwells only where man steps back to give him room."

Investing with the Trend

A Rules-based Approach to Money Management

Investing with the Trend

Investing with the Trend provides an abundance of evidence for adapting a rules-based approach to investing by offering something most avoid, and that is to answer the “why” one would do it this way. It explains the need to try to participate in the good markets and avoid the bad markets, with cash being considered an asset class. The book is in three primary sections and tries to leave no stone unturned in offering almost 40 years of experience in the markets. Part I – The focus is on much of the misinformation in modern finance, the inappropriate use of Gaussian statistics, the faulty assumptions with Modern Portfolio Theory, and a host of other examples. The author attempts to explain each and offer justification for his often strong opinions. Part II – After a lead chapter on the merits of technical analysis, the author offers detailed research into trend analysis, showing how to identify if a market is trending or not and how to measure it. Further research involves the concept of Drawdown, which the author adamantly states is a better measure of investor risk than the oft used and terribly wrong use of volatility as determined by standard deviation. Part III – This is where he puts it all together and shows the reader all of the steps and details on how to create a rules-based trend following investment strategy. A solid disciplined strategy consists of three parts, a measure of what the market is actually doing, a set of rules and guidelines to tell you how to invest based upon that measurement, and the discipline to follow the strategy

The Best American Infographics 2013

The Best American Infographics 2013

The rise of infographics across virtually all print and electronic media—from a striking breakdown of classic cocktails to a graphic tracking 200 influential moments that changed the world to visually arresting depictions of Twitter traffic—reveals patterns in our lives and our world in fresh and surprising ways. In the era of big data, where information moves faster than ever, infographics provide us with quick, often influential bursts of art and knowledge—on the environment, politics, social issues, health, sports, arts and culture, and more—to digest, to tweet, to share, to go viral. The Best American Infographics captures the finest examples from the past year, including the ten best interactive infographics, of this mesmerizing new way of seeing and understanding our world.

Dumb Ideas Won't Create Smart Kids

Straight Talk About Bad School Reform, Good Teaching, and Better Learning

Dumb Ideas Won't Create Smart Kids