Triple-Decker Weekly, 136

Why is there something rather than nothing? […] No experiment could support the hypothesis ‘There is nothing’ because any observation obviously implies the existence of an observer. [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Percentage of scientific paper titles containing “observations” or “data” in the past century

Test subjects followed instructions from an “Emergency Guide Robot” even after the machine had proven itself unreliable — and after some participants were told that robot had broken down

People spend too much time on problems in which the reward difference between the options is low

When people choose not to reveal personal information — to be “hiders” — they are judged negatively by others. Observers rate those who reveal even questionable behavior more positively.

We feel more authentic when we’re with other people and behave as they expect us to

The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. […] Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know. And that’s pretty much all of reality, whatever reality might be. [Quanta]

News of the successful use of ether anesthesia on October 16, 1846, spread rapidly through the world. […] Incredibly, this option was not accepted by all, and opposition to the use of anesthesia persisted among some sections of society decades after its introduction. We examine the social and medical factors underlying this resistance. […] Complications of anesthesia, including death, were reported in the press, and many avoided anesthesia to minimize the considerable risk associated with surgery. Modesty prevented female patients from seeking unconsciousness during surgery, where many men would be present. Biblical passages stating that women would bear children in pain were used to discourage them from seeking analgesia during labor. […] In certain geographical areas, notably Philadelphia, physicians resisted this Boston-based medical advance, citing unprofessional behavior and profit seeking. [Journal of Anesthesia History]

The Sorrows of Young Werther was published in 1774, when Goethe (1749–1832) was just twenty-?ve years old. A product of true literary genius, it not only represents one of the greatest works of literature ever written, but it also offers keenly intuitive insight into one of the most terrible and mystifying emotional disorders that plague humankind. Well before Sigmund Freud, and most probably destined to become an important source of Freud’s understanding of melancholic depression, Goethe was able to peer into the soul of those af?icted with what is now termed Major Depressive Disorder (and some forms of Bipolar Disorder) and see what is taking place within those who are suffering from it. It is impressive how clearly Goethe grasped the twin roles played in melancholia of narcissistic object choice and extreme ambivalence toward a love object. [The Psychoanalytic Quarterly | PDF]

Postmodernism’s Self-Nullifying Reading of Nietzsche

Researchers found complex ‘fractal’ patterning of sentences in literature, particularly in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake

Samuel Beckett, Aphasic Speech Automatisms, and Psychosomatic Language

AI-written novel passes literary prize screening

New research shows that you only need handful of influencers to give the impression that everyone is talking about your brand. [Thanks Tim]

We present a case with excessive Internet use, with a particular focus on phenomenology and psychiatric comorbidities. Fifteen-year-old girl with childhood onset attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, adolescent onset trichotillomania, and disturbed family environment presented with excessive Facebook use. Main online activity was creating profiles in names of mainstream fictional characters and assuming their identity (background, linguistic attributes, etc.). [Journal of Behavioral Addictions]

Inside the company that provides fake paparazzi, pretend campaign supporters, and counterfeit protesters

After learning to identify with someone else’s face, do people think their appearance has changed?

How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge. There is a term studying this phenomenon.

A cocktail party in a dish: How neurons filter the chatter

Many situations in our lives require us to make relatively quick decisions as whether to approach or avoid a person or object, buy or pass on a product, or accept or reject an offer. These decisions are particularly difficult when there are both positive and negative aspects to the object. How do people go about navigating this conflict to come to a summary judgment? […] We demonstrate […] that when positivity and negativity conflict, the valence that is based more on emotion is more likely to dominate. [Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin]

Procrastination as a Fast Life History Strategy

When one is actively looking for an event with loose probabilistic and temporal expectancies on its occurrence, the awareness of otherwise unnoticed events improves. This finding provides new insights on the attentional mechanisms behind the initial stages of serendipity. [Elsevier]

The First Brain — The Brain Occupying the Space in the Skull. All of us are familiar with the general presence and functioning of this brain as a receiver of information which then gets processed. The Second Brain — The brain in the gut. It has been proven that the very same cells and neural network that is present in the brain in the skull is present in the gut as well and releases the same neurotransmitters as the brain in the skull. Not just that, about 90 percent of the bers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. The Third Brain — The Global Brain. This is connected to the neural network that extends from each being on this planet beyond the con nes of the skull and the anatomy of the gut. It is inter-dimensional in nature and contains all frequencies of energies (low and high) and their corresponding information. […] Every human being is born with the three brains described above, but Autistic Beings are more connected and more in-tune with all three simultaneously. But make no mistake – most autistic beings are not necessarily aware of the existence or their connection to these three brains beyond their volitional control although they are accessing information from all three to varying degrees almost all the time. One of the manifestations of being tuned-in to this third brain is Telepathy. [Journal of Neurology and Neurobiology | PDF]

Half the world to be short-sighted by 2050

Researchers have located the genes that could explain the differences in how humans experience happiness.

New data confirm that for countries worldwide long-term trends in happiness and real GDP per capita are not significantly positively related

Even people aged over 90 report better life satisfaction and happiness than those aged 40-59

A quarter of men over 85 had sex in the last year

Parkinson’s patients trained to respond to placebos

Clearing Out Old Cells Increases Life Span of Mice by 25 Percent

Study Finds You Can Grow Brain Cells Through Exercise

Normal aging is known to be accompanied by loss of brain substance. Machine learning was used to estimate brain ages in meditators and controls. At age 50, brains of meditators were estimated to be 7.5 years younger than that of controls. These findings suggest that meditation may be beneficial for brain preservation. [NeuroImage]

Researchers activate previously dormant memory cells

Much sleep talking does not occur during dreams

Can’t sleep in an unfamiliar bed? Half your brain is still awake watching for threats

Women appear to sleep on average for 30 minutes longer than men

How often does psychotherapy make people feel worse?

In Delaware, the state eliminated the not guilty by reason of insanity defense within days of the Hinckley verdict, creating instead the option of “guilty but mentally ill.”

The purpose of the present study was to examine the associations of marijuana use with changes in intellectual performance in two longitudinal studies of adolescent twins (n = 789 and n = 2,277). […] Marijuana users had lower test scores relative to nonusers and showed a significant decline in crystallized intelligence between preadolescence and late adolescence. However, there was no evidence of a dose–response relationship between frequency of use and intelligence quotient (IQ) change. Furthermore, marijuana-using twins failed to show significantly greater IQ decline relative to their abstinent siblings. Evidence from these two samples suggests that observed declines in measured IQ may not be a direct result of marijuana exposure but rather attributable to familial factors that underlie both marijuana initiation and low intellectual attainment. [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]

The war against cocaine rests on a simple idea: If you restrict its supply, you force up its price, and fewer people will buy it. Andean governments have thus deployed their armies to uproot the coca bushes that provide cocaine’s raw ingredient. Each year, they eradicate coca plants covering an area 14 times the size of Manhattan, depriving the cartels of about half their harvest. But despite the slashing and burning, the price of cocaine in the U.S. has hardly budged, bobbing between $150 and $200 per pure gram for most of the past 20 years. How have the cartels done it? In part, with a tactic that resembles Wal-Mart’s. The world’s biggest retailer has sometimes seemed similarly immune to the laws of supply and demand, keeping prices low regardless of shortages and surpluses. Wal-Mart’s critics say that it can do this in some markets because its vast size makes it a “monopsony,” or a monopoly buyer. Just as a monopolist can dictate prices to its consumers, who have no one else to buy from, a monopsonist can dictate prices to its suppliers, who have no one else to sell to. If a harvest fails, the argument goes, the cost is borne by the farmers, not Wal-Mart or its customers. […] The raw leaf needed to make one kilogram of cocaine powder costs about $400 in Colombia; in the U.S., that kilogram retails for around $150,000, once divided into one-gram portions. So even if governments doubled the price of coca leaf, from $400 to $800, cocaine’s retail price would at most rise from $150,000 to $150,400 per kilogram. The price of a $150 gram would go up by 40 cents—not much of a return on the billions invested in destroying crops. Consider trying to raise the price of art by driving up the cost of paint. […] A dollar spent on drug education in U.S. schools cuts cocaine consumption by twice as much as spending that dollar on reducing supply in South America; spending it on treatment for addicts reduces it by 10 times as much. [Wall Street Journal]

We study the effect of the illicit drug business on terrorism for a sample of 58 countries for the 1984–2007 period. We find that in the long run, higher drug prices are associated with more terrorism

One reason your hair is thinning? Some of it turns into skin.

Facial hair, like many masculine secondary sexual traits, plays a significant role in perceptions of an array of sociosexual traits in men. While there is consensus that beards enhance perceptions of masculinity, age, social dominance, and aggressiveness, the perceived attractiveness of facial hair varies greatly across women. Given the ease with which facial hair can be groomed and removed entirely, why should some men retain beards and others choose to remove them? We hypothesized that men with relatively sexist attitudes would be more likely to allow their facial hair to grow than men with less sexist attitudes. […] Men from the USA (n = 223) and India (n = 309) […] Men with facial hair were significantly higher in hostile sexism than clean-shaven men; hostile sexism was a significant predictor of facial hair status. [Archives of Sexual Behavior]

Male preference for female pubic hair: an evolutionary view

Because ovulating (i.e., high-fertility) women are both more attractive to men and also more attracted to (desirable) men, ovulating women may be perceived to pose heightened threats to other women’s romantic relationships. Across 4 experiments, partnered women were exposed to photographs of other women taken during either their ovulatory or nonovulatory menstrual-cycle phases, and consistently reported intentions to socially avoid ovulating (but not nonovulating) women – but only when their own partners were highly desirable. Exposure to ovulating women also increased women’s sexual desires for their (highly desirable) partners. These findings suggest that women can be sensitive to subtle cues of other women’s fertility and respond (e.g., via social exclusion, enhanced sexual attention to own mate) in ways that may facilitate their mate retention goals while not thwarting their affiliative goals. [Journal of Personality and Social Psychology]

Using luteinizing hormone tests to verify ovulation, across two studies (Samples 1 and 2), we found that women whose partners were relatively low in sexual desirability felt less close to their partner (Samples 1 and 2) and were more critical of their partner’s faults (Sample 2) on high-fertility days of the cycle just prior to ovulation compared with low-fertility days of the cycle. Women whose partners were relatively high in sexual desirability felt closer to their partner (Sample 1) and more satisfied with their relationship (Sample 2) on high- than low-fertility days of the cycle. There were no such shifts in women’s commitment to their relationship. Therefore, partner sexual desirability predicts women’s high-fertility assessments of relationship quality but not their intentions to stay in their relationship, consistent with the dual mating hypothesis. These findings suggest that variations across the ovulation cycle in women’s reproductive hormones play an important role in relationship dynamics. [Hormones and Behavior | PDF]

A tampon alternative you can wear during sex

Sally Ride’s tampons might be the most-discussed tampons in the world. Before Ride became the first American woman in space, scientists pondered her tampons, weighed them, and NASA’s professional sniffer smelled them—better to take deodorized or non-deodorized?—to make sure they wouldn’t smell too strongly in a confined space capsule. Engineers considered exactly how many she might need for a week in space. (Is 100 the right number?, they famously asked her. No, Ride said. That is not the right number.) The engineers were trying to be thoughtful, though; reportedly they packed the tampons with their strings connected so that they wouldn’t float away. […] Before women went into space, there were not only the sadly typical concerns that women would become weepy or unable to function during their periods, but also that the menstrual cycle might somehow break in space. Would the blood come out without gravity to pull it from the womb? Maybe it would all pool up in there, or even flow backward through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen—a frightening condition called retrograde menstruation. In the end, someone just had to try it and see what happened. And what happened was … nothing much. The uterus is pretty good at expelling its lining sans gravity, it turns out. [Phenomena | The Conversation]

Early Menarche is Associated With Preference for Masculine Male Faces and Younger Preferred Age to Have a First Child

Passion and sexual satisfaction typically diminish in longer-term relationships, but this decline is not inevitable. We identified the attitudes and behaviors that most strongly differentiated sexually satisfied from dissatisfied men and women who had been together for at least three years (N = 38,747). […] The vast majority of these participants reported being satisfied with their sex lives during their first six months together (83% W; 83% M). Satisfaction with their current sex lives was more variable, with approximately half of participants reporting overall satisfaction (55% W; 43% M) and the rest feeling neutral (18% W; 16% M) or dissatisfied (27% W; 41% M). More than one in three respondents (38% W; 32% M) claimed their sex lives were as passionate now as in the beginning. Sexual satisfaction and maintenance of passion were higher among people who had sex most frequently, received more oral sex, had more consistent orgasms, and incorporated more variety of sexual acts, mood setting, and sexual communication. [Journal of Sex Research]

Edible underwear was never meant to be eaten

Testosterone beyond Sex

Stressful, busy days have been linked with increases in angry and withdrawn marital behavior. The process by which stressors in one domain, such as work, affect an individual’s behavior in another domain, such as the marital relationship, is known as spillover. [Journal of Family Psychology]

Does Couples’ Communication Predict Marital Satisfaction, or Does Marital Satisfaction Predict Communication?

Previous research has demonstrated that sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction are distinct but correlated constructs, but relatively few studies have examined how they are related over time. [PDF]

When leaning forward to kiss to a romantic partner, individuals tend to direct their kiss to the right more often than the left. Studies have consistently demonstrated this kissing asymmetry, although other factors known to influence lateral biases, such as sex or situational context, had yet to be explored. The primary purpose of our study was to investigate if turning direction was consistent between a romantic (parent-parent) and parental (parent-child) kissing context, and secondly, to examine if sex differences influenced turning bias between parent-child kissing partners. […] The results indicated that the direction of turning bias differed between kissing contexts. A right-turn bias was observed for romantic kissing; a left-turn bias was exhibited for parental kissing. There was no significant difference of turning bias between any parent-child kissing partners. Interpretations for the left-turn bias discuss parental kissing as a learned lateral behavior. [Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition]

Consuming alcohol, for example, really can make everyone else appear more physically attractive. […] Also, playing hard-to-get almost never works. […] Despite what many people think, opposites very rarely attract. In fact, decades of research has shown that attraction is most likely to be sparked when two people perceive themselves as being very similar to each other. [Quartz]

This study aims to investigate the frequency and amount of female DNA transferred to the penis and underwear of males following staged nonintimate social contact with females and to compare the findings with the amount of female DNA transferred to the penis and subsequently to the underwear of a male who had engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse with a female. […] It was possible to demonstrate that DNA can occasionally transfer to the waistband and outside front of underwear worn by a male following staged nonintimate social contact. [Science & Justice]

How does genetics explain non-identical identical twins?

Hijab and “Hitchhiking”: A Field Study

Your Brain Limits You to Just Five BFFs

264 right-handed, 246 mixed-handed and 360 left-handed students were requested to indicate on five maps of cinema halls what place they would choose. All three handedness groups showed a preference for the right and a corresponding directional bias towards the left space. However, they differed significantly from each other on the magnitude of this bias which was most pronounced in right and less in left handers. […] It is hypothesized that right, mixed and left handers differ in a large number of behavioral choices and strategies, modeled by cerebrally lateralized mechanisms and that the cinema seating preference is only one of them. [Cortex]

The QWERTY effect postulates that the keyboard layout influences word meanings by linking positivity to the use of the right hand and negativity to the use of the left hand [PDF]

Two mathematicians have uncovered a simple, previously unnoticed property of prime numbers — those numbers that are divisible only by 1 and themselves. Prime numbers, it seems, have decided preferences about the final digits of the primes that immediately follow them. Among the first billion prime numbers, for instance, a prime ending in 9 is almost 65 percent more likely to be followed by a prime ending in 1 than another prime ending in 9. In a paper posted online today, Kannan Soundararajan and Robert Lemke Oliver of Stanford University present both numerical and theoretical evidence that prime numbers repel other would-be primes that end in the same digit, and have varied predilections for being followed by primes ending in the other possible final digits. […] This conspiracy among prime numbers seems, at first glance, to violate a longstanding assumption in number theory: that prime numbers behave much like random numbers. Most mathematicians would have assumed, Granville and Ono agreed, that a prime should have an equal chance of being followed by a prime ending in 1, 3, 7 or 9 (the four possible endings for all prime numbers except 2 and 5). [Quanta]

According to film mythology, the Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov conducted an experiment in which he combined a close-up of an actor’s neutral face with three different emotional contexts: happiness, sadness, and hunger. The viewers of the three film sequences reportedly perceived the actor’s face as expressing an emotion congruent with the given context. It is not clear, however, whether or not the so-called “Kuleshov effect” really exists. The original film footage is lost and recent attempts at replication have produced either conflicting or unreliable results. The current paper describes an attempt to replicate Kuleshov’s original experiment using an improved experimental design. In a behavioral and eye tracking study, 36 participants were each presented with 24 film sequences of neutral faces across six emotional conditions. For each film sequence, the participants were asked to evaluate the emotion of the target person in terms of valence, arousal, and category. The participants’ eye movements were recorded throughout. The results suggest that some sort of Kuleshov effect does in fact exist. [Perception]

This paper explores the psychoanalyst’s dilemmas in treating a man who came for analysis as a self-identified compulsive liar.

Although most people agree that there is such a phenomenon as intuition, involving emotionally charged, rapid, unconscious processes, little compelling evidence supports this notion. Findings support the notion that nonconscious emotions can bias concurrent nonemotional behavior — a process of intuition

Language and thought are not the same thing

Friday the 13th: The Empirics of Bad Luck [PDF]

‘Roaring and Social Communication in African Lions (3 studies)

Most fans in many popular sports pay less for their tickets than conventional economic theory would predict. Which poses the question: are team owners therefore irrational? Not necessarily. There are (at least?) four justifications for such apparent under-pricing. First, say Krautmann and Berri, owners can recoup the revenues they lose from under-pricing tickets by making more in other ways: selling programmes, merchandise and over-priced food and drink in the stadium. Secondly, Shane Sanders points out that it can be rational to under-price tickets to ensure that stadia are full. […] Thirdly, higher ticket prices can have adverse compositional effects: they might price out younger and poorer fans but replace them with tourists […] a potentially life-long loyal young supporter is lost and a more fickle one is gained. […] Fourthly, high ticket prices can make life harder for owners. They raise fans’ expectations. [Stumbling and Mumbling]

…the immaculate ultrawhite behind the French doors of a new GE Café Series refrigerator […] the white hood of a 50th anniversary Ford Mustang GT […] the white used to brighten the pages of new Bibles, the hulls of super yachts, the snowy filling inside Oreo cookies […] All this whiteness is the product of a compound known as titanium dioxide, or TiO2. A naturally occurring oxide, TiO2 is generally extracted from ilmenite ore and was first used as a pigment in the 19th century. In the 1940s chemists at DuPont refined the process until they hit on what’s widely considered a superior form of “titanium white,” which has been used in cosmetics and plastics and to whiten the chalked lines on tennis courts. DuPont has built its titanium dioxide into a $2.6 billion business, which it spun off as part of chemicals company Chemours, in Wilmington, Del., last fall. A handful of other companies produce TiO2, including Kronos Worldwide in Dallas and Tronox of Stamford, Conn. Chemours and these others will churn out more than 5 million tons of TiO2 powder in 2016. China also produces large amounts of the pigment, and its industries consume about a quarter of the world’s supply. Most of China’s TiO2 plants, however, use a less efficient and more hazardous process than the one developed at DuPont. Starting in the 1990s, if not earlier, China’s government and Chinese state-run businesses began seeking ways to adopt DuPont’s methods. Only they didn’t approach the company to make a formal deal. According to U.S. law enforcement officials, they set out to rip off DuPont. “At first, you’re like: Why are they stealing the color white?” says Dean Chappell, acting section chief of counterespionage for the FBI. [Bloomberg]

We investigate the role of networks of alliances in preventing (multilateral) interstate wars. We first show that, in the absence of international trade, no network of alliances is peaceful and stable. We then show that international trade induces peaceful and stable networks: Trade increases the density of alliances so that countries are less vulnerable to attack and also reduces countries’ incentives to attack an ally. We present historical data on wars and trade showing that the dramatic drop in interstate wars since 1950 is paralleled by a densification and stabilization of trading relationships and alliances. Based on the model we also examine some specific relationships, finding that countries with high levels of trade with their allies are less likely to be involved in wars with any other countries (including allies and nonallies), and that an increase in trade between two countries correlates with a lower chance that they will go to war with each other. [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]

The average has triumphed as the primary statistic of our time. We explore how the average came to dominate how we talk about data, and whether we would be better off using the median.

A little-known effort to conduct biological warfare occurred during the 17th century

The Exotic Animal Traffickers of Ancient Rome

How Voltaire made a fortune rigging the lottery

Man kicked out of all-you-can-eat buffet after eating more than 50 lbs of food, sues for $2-million

People who weigh more than others see distances as farther away

Replacing butter with vegetable oils does not decrease risk of heart disease

KFC Is Making a Nail Polish That Tastes Like Chicken [thanks GG]

Poultry Workers Forced to Wear Diapers to Increase Efficiency

London toilet for rent at £3,000 per month

New York Democrats claim Republican-controlled Senate won’t give them enough toilet paper

People typically overestimate how much others are prepared to pay for consumer goods and services. [PDF]

-0.5% Interest rate: Why people are paying to save. Negative interest rates, once a theoretical curiosity, are now the stated policy of some powerful central banks. [NY Times]

The academic publishing market that Elsevier leads has an annual revenue of $25.2 billion. According to its 2013 financials Elsevier had a higher percentage of profit than Apple, Inc.

Imposter becomes guest editor of scientific journal, using a fake email address

On average, CEOs earn $176,840 annually. College presidents, $377,261.

They found a 9% earnings premium for lesbians over heterosexual women, compared with a penalty of 11% for gay men relative to straight men. Lesbians receive no wage premium in the public sector.

A 10% relative drop in smoking in every state is predicted to be followed by an expected $63 billion reduction (in 2012 US dollars) in healthcare expenditure the next year.

Piper Jaffray analyst Stan Meyers said animated films generally cost about $100 million to make, as well as an additional $150 million to promote. An executive producer who wants to drastically cut costs traditionally has two choices: water and hair. Those are the most expensive things to replicate accurately via animation. It’s no mistake that the characters in Minions, the most profitable movie ever made by Universal, are virtually bald and don’t seem to spend much time in the ocean. [Bloomberg]

Hedge fund “quants” who use computer systems to trade financial markets earned more money than some of the industry’s most famous stockpickers, who posted large losses in 2015. The most prominent among the quants was string theory expert and former code breaker James Simons of Renaissance Technologies, who earned $1.7bn, putting him in joint first place. He was joined in the top 10 earners by former Columbia University computer science professor David Shaw of DE Shaw who made $750m and John Overdeck and David Siegel of Two Sigma who made $500m each. Their success came in stark contrast to some of the biggest names on Wall Street who rely on human investment judgment rather than lines of computer code. [FT]

Wall Street’s getting crushed by a form of financial engineering you’ve probably never heard of

Escorts raised prices in 2015, largely in response to several years of rising hotel costs

Fred Trump could be seen during construction patrolling the work site, pouring water into paint buckets to save money

NRA Convention sells “ex-girlfriend” target that bleeds when you shot at it

Sextortion: Cybersecurity, teenagers, and remote sexual assault

Running app Runkeeper is secretly tracking you around the clock and sending your data to advertisers

Samsung warns customers not to discuss personal information in front of smart TVs

Your phone number is all a hacker needs to read texts, listen to calls and track you

Imagine standing at a bus stop, talking to your friend and having your conversation recorded without you knowing. Hidden microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed.

Scientists made see-through wood that’s stronger than glass

Shazam for Plants and for birds

TSA paid $1.4 million for Randomizer app that chooses left or right

MasterCard and Visa didn’t make, or even look, for profits for decades. MasterCard started as a not-for-profit membership association, in 1966, and Visa did the same, in 1971. Both associations managed their brands and ran the clearing and settlement systems for banks that issued cards or helped merchants accept cards. These card networks were allowed to charge their members just enough to cover cost and provide working capital. […] Then the banks decided to turn the associations into for-profit companies, IPO them, and cash out. MasterCard IPO’d in 2006, and Visa followed two years later. Now they are very focused on making money. […] Many other multisided platforms haven’t made the leap to making money. […] Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) are multisided platforms that help members reach agreements over a standard (For example, mobile carriers, handset makers, chip providers and many others have to agree on a common standard — like 4G — for what they do to work together.) The SSO usually publishes a standard and disseminates it at low cost or even for free. That standard may then become a platform for many firms that produce complementary products and their customers. [Harvard Business Review]

Scientists To Open Mass-Cloning Factory in China This Year To Clone Cows, Pets, Humans The ambitious and futuristic facility hopes to be mass-producing one million cows every 12 months by 2020.

Scientists discover fourth state for water molecules

No more washing: Nano-enhanced textiles clean themselves with light

How these island rats survived 75 metric tons of poison [study]

Computer programs used by John Cage

Nonlinear Effects of Superstar Collaboration: Why the Beatles Succeeded but Broke Up

Every top 5 song, from 1958 – 2016

Ass eating restaurant in Japan [Thanks GG]

“you only have 100k because of ur url.” “uh no i had 93k before i got this url so excuse u.” [New Republic]

New app makes your iPhone photos searchable

Will destruction of any planet in the solar system have an impact on earth?

Polar Bears in Canada Are Pooping Glitter

Sweaty Guy at Show Uses You as Personal Towel

Erase™ and Replace™

Selling phone