Daniel Lemire's blog

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Science and Technology links (August 6 2023)

  1. In an extensive study, You et al. (2022) found that meat consumption was correlated with higher life expectancies:

Meat intake is positively correlated with life expectancies. This relationship remained significant when influences of caloric intake, urbanization, obesity, education and carbohydrate crops were statistically controlled. Stepwise linear regression selected meat intake, not carbohydrate crops, as one of the significant predictors of life expectancy. In contrast, carbohydrate crops showed weak and negative correlation with life expectancy.

  1. Tupy and Deutsch write:

The world’s population has increased eightfold since 1800, and standards of living have never been higher. Despite increases in consumption, and contrary to the prophecies of generations of Malthusians, the world hasn’t run out of a single metal or mineral. In fact, resources have generally grown cheaper relative to income over the past two centuries. Even on the largest cosmic scale, resources may well be limitless.

  1. Though the United States has one of the fastest economic growths, its growth might be limited since the 1970 by uneqal rate of innovations among industries. That is, economic progress might be held back by bottlenecks.
  2. In the past, people built extensive cities underground, where tens of thousands of people lived, protected from invaders.
  3. In some cases, workers are less productive when working from home. The productivity of workers randomly assigned to working from home is 18% lower than those in the office. Workers who prefer home work are substantially less productive at home than at the office (27% less compared to 13% less for workers who prefer the office).
  4. Law students are optimistic: 95% believed they would end up in the top half of the class.
  5. HMB, a common muscle-building supplement, might also protect your brain.
  6. Antibiotics are associated with the inflammatory bowel disease.
  7. Statins, a commonly prescribed class of drugs, might increase insuline resistance and cause diabetes.
  8. Artificial intelligence (deep reinforcement learning) has improved the speed of some data sorting algorithms, in practice. Meanwhile a simple algorithm based on zip compression can beat fancy artificial intelligence techniques at text classification.
  9. A cocktail based on metformin (anti-diabetes drug) and leucine (a common supplement) can protect against muscle atrophy.