Cost Disease

From the article (not my own words):

“If some government program found a way to give poor people good health insurance for a few hundred dollars a year, college tuition for about a thousand, and housing for only two-thirds what it costs now, that would be the greatest anti-poverty advance in history. That program is called ‘having things be as efficient as they were a few decades ago’.”

Read more at Philip Greenspun’s blog:
https://blogs.harvard.edu/philg/2017/03/04/another-economic-sourpuss/

The original source is here:
https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/

Crude Linear Models Almost Always Outperform Human Judgment

Fascinating article – from 1979 – on how even a crudely-constructed linear model is almost always superior to human expert judgment on classification tasks:

Robyn M. Dawes, “The Robust Beauty of Improper Linear Models in Decision Making”

Is there still any role for people in decisionmaking?

But people are important. The statistical model may integrate the information in an optimal manner, but it is always the individual (judge, clinician, subjects) who chooses variables. Moreover, it is the human judge who knows the directional relationship between the predictor variables and the criterion of interest, or who can code the variables in such a way that they have clear directional relationships.

Now consider how good machine learning and AI algorithms have become at these parts of the task! Soon it might become optimal to delegate the whole process to machines.

No more VoIP for SMS two-factor auth?

New NIST standards disallow the use of VoIP-based phone numbers for SMS two-factor authentication. Argh, if I can’t use my Google Voice number, how can I receive SMS codes overseas without paying exorbitant telco roaming charges? I don’t consider a mobile-OS 2FA app to be a reliable substitute.