a robot in the desert

1) Neil deGrasse Tyson Doesn’t Think Elon Musk’s SpaceX Will Put People On Mars

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist with the charisma to be a regular on The Daily Show, thinks private space companies are overdue, but that only governments can push the frontiers of space. Silicon Valley, prepare your counter-arguments.

2) When Harvard Met Sally: N-gram Analysis of the New York Times Weddings Section

By analyzing the words and phrases that appeared in the Times wedding section over the past 30 odd years, these data crunchers seek an answer to the question “What do the world’s most self-important people think is important?” It’s also an interesting look at how America and marriage has changed. (Hat tip to a Hacker News user.)

Heinie Beckendorf et al. posing for a photo

3) Electric Schlock: Did Stanley Milgram’s Famous Obedience Experiments Prove Anything?

Milgram’s famous experiments demonstrated that ordinary people will do terrible things when instructed to by an authoritative figure in a white lab coat. But were the participants in on the con?

4) The Steely, Headless King of Texas Hold ‘Em

First machines defeated our Jeopardy chamption. Now it’s our poker players’ turn. #longread


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