What the readers saw- our weekly round up of stories from near and far

We hope you all enjoyed your cocktail night. There’s a wealth of stories for all you intelligent educated people to consider this week, so here goes- we are just going to line ’em up.

Doing it all wrong

Why the baffling differences in the way Coronavirus behaves in different places around the world? Here’s a high death rate in city A, while there’s none over in city B. Country C is poised for disaster, they said back in March-except of course, it hasn’t happened. According to Zeynep Tufecki in the Atlantic, we have been concentrating too much on the famous R rate in our modelling, and not enough on a factor called k which measures its dispersal potential. The article is written in lucid, intelligent Atlantic style. It’s a journal we recommend to anyone. Correction. Everyone


Why is being a chief executive like a man in a bookshop?

Imagine you are standing in a bookshop, and you can only afford one book. But as you look along the shelves, there are hundreds of quite good ones. History, Science, business, psychology, novels………All screaming “I’m good, buy me!” It’s the same for a Chief Executive. All your underlings are trying to get their ideas noticed, as are salesmen from outside the company, who are trying to sell you things like IT apps and water coolers. According to Warren Buffet the secret of success is to say “No!” to just about everything. Here Marcel Schwantes of Pocket explains why.


Go to the ant, O sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise (Prov 6, 6)

How do complex animal societies like ants of bees manage to work together? Apparently by a few simple rules, which are observed by all. Kevin Hartnett for pocket looks at how simple algorithms hold ant societies together. “She prepares her bread in summer, and gathers her food in harvest.” !!

we thank Mr Peter Seymour of Hertfordshire for the above stories

Nature is another publication that we rate highly. Here’s a fantastic story about using AI to diagnose Covid 19 just from your voice. There’s a link to the main story as well

Alexa, do I have Covid -19?

Researchers are exploring ways to use people’s voices to diagnose everything from coronavirus infection to depression. They are using artificial intelligence to recognize when a condition is disturbing the delicate dance of the brain, nervous system and vocal anatomy. Even the words you use can be a sign: for example, a shrinking vocabulary might indicate a neurodegenerative disease. Researchers emphasize that the technology would be only a part of a clinician’s diagnostic arsenal, and there are serious privacy concerns — but the advantages of such a light-touch tool are clear. “This is not invasive, it’s not a drug, we’re not changing anything,” says Tal Wenderow of the voice-analysis company Vocalis. “All you need to do is speak.”Nature | 12 min read

We hope you shall be restful today, gentle readers, as befits a good weekend. We at LSS are going to be rather occupied with some good people who want us all to survive global warming. We may well come back to you, so watch this space.

#covid-19 #sars-cov-2 #coronavirus #warrenbuffet #k dispersal #artificialintelligence #algorithms #diagnosis

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