Sub-Urban Renewal: Thanks to new tunneling technologies, real estate trends are down. Way down.

“The cost to burrow down is dropping, while the price (and hassle) of erecting a skyscraper in a dense urban area just keeps rising. The breakthrough comes thanks to tunneling technologies that are now being used on huge transportation projects, like Boston’s Big Dig and Moscow’s Lefortovo highway tunnel project. Over the next 10 years these techniques will be used to hollow out space beneath the world’s great cities.” –Sub-Urban…

Spell Czech, for Better or Wurst?

Silly title for a news summary of a University of Pittsburgh study. The study found students who used spell- and grammar-check made more errors than students who just used their head. Of students who were asked to revise a passage without the spell checker, those with higher SAT’s did a much better job (5 errors) than those with lower SATs (12 errors). But when students used Microsoft’s grammar- and spell-check,…

Giving Mirth [Appreciation of Jean Kerr]

“Now that almost all of her books are out of print, however, she may be best known as the Doris Day character in the treacly 1960 film version of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, which erases Kerr’s extraordinary literary career and morphs her into a home remodeling-obsessed, suburban stay-at-home mom. While the movie’s producers may have been trying to streamline Kerr’s discursive collection of essays into a standard-issue Hollywood plotline,…

Critical Thinking, Human Factors

Ron Zeno has posted a summary of and a few comments on Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments (Justin Kruger and David Dunning – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology). People are generally pretty bad at estimating their own performances (the people who are worst at a skill grossly overestimate their ability because they don’t know enough about the skill…