Link Dumpage: Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper

No, I've made absolutely no dent in my list of things to read.

  • The Expert Mind: "He thus put in a nutshell what a century of psychological research has subsequently established: much of the chess master's advantage over the novice derives from the first few seconds of thought. This rapid, knowledge-guided perception, sometimes called apperception, can be seen in experts in other fields as well. Just as a master can recall all the moves in a game he has played, so can an accomplished musician often reconstruct the score to a sonata heard just once. And just as the chess master often finds the best move in a flash, an expert physician can sometimes make an accurate diagnosis within moments of laying eyes on a patient. But how do the experts in these various subjects acquire their extraordinary skills?"
  • The Hive: "Can thousands of Wikipedians be wrong? How an attempt to build an online encyclopedia touched off history‚Äôs biggest experiment in collaborative knowledge ... The power of the community to decide, of course, asks us to reexamine what we mean when we say that something is "true." ... The community decides that two plus two equals four the same way it decides what an apple is: by consensus. Yes, that means that if the community changes its mind and decides that two plus two equals five, then two plus two does equal five."
  • Jeopardy! Archive Glossary: Includes a number of strategems, wagering and otherwise, named after the players that originated them, such as "Forrest Bounce: 1. n. a clue-selection strategy, employed during the Jeopardy! Round or the Double Jeopardy! Round, in which the next clue is selected from a randomly-chosen category different from the category of the last clue, potentially giving an advantage to the player with control of the board by confusing his or her opponents."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: "I think of what we do as 'massively multiplayer participatory storytelling,'" She tells me how the Mind Candy [Perplex City] team tries to infiltrate their players' lives and blur the lines between reality and fantasy. ... On a lighter note, Perplex City is the reason 127 people formed a spontaneous conga line in Trafalgar Square, all in the name of puzzle-solving glory ... We moved on, then, discussing other ways they'd really like to completely immerse their players. Her favorite idea? Kidnapping. She really wants to kidnap one of you. "I really do! And I don't think I'm the only one! In a perfect world, we'd be able to infiltrate your whole world."
  • The Biology of B-Movie Monsters: "Much of the movie is taken up with the Lilliputian team struggling to climb up onto pieces of furniture and then back down again. For the latter, they need not have invested so much time and effort in securing pieces of string to use as ropes: they could simply have jumped ... Indeed, sufficiently small animals cannot be hurt in a fall from any height: A monkey is too big, a squirrel is on the edge, but a mouse is completely safe ... These facts were known to our ancestors, who used this aspect of scaling to gruesome effect--a common strategy during medieval sieges was to take a carcass of a horse, let it ripen for a few days in the sun, and then catapult it over the walls of the besieged town. On impact, the carcass would indeed splash, spreading contagion throughout the city."