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Four short links: 15 July 2009

A collection inspired by Science Foo Camp attendees

  1. Endogenous steroids and financial risk taking on a London trading floor (PNAS) — We found that a trader’s morning testosterone level predicts his day’s profitability. We also found that a trader’s cortisol rises with both the variance of his trading results and the volatility of the market. Our results suggest that higher testosterone may contribute to economic return, whereas cortisol is increased by risk. Our results point to a further possibility: testosterone and cortisol are known to have cognitive and behavioral effects, so if the acutely elevated steroids we observed were to persist or increase as volatility rises, they may shift risk preferences and even affect a trader’s ability to engage in rational choice.
  2. The Origin of Universal Scaling Laws in Biology — eye-opening paper that blew my mind. Highlight of Sci Foo was meeting the author and shaking his hand. Relates metabolic rate, size, heart rate, and lifespan by applying physics to biology.
  3. Ushahidi — open source software for managing disasters. The Ushahidi Engine is a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline. Our goal is to create the simplest way of aggregating information from the public for use in crisis response.
  4. Dissecting the Canon: Visual Subject Co-Popularity Networks in Art ResearchIn this paper we analyze a classic da-
    taset of art research, which collects ancient art and architecture and their Western
    Renaissance documentation since 1947. [T]here is clearly a long tail of monument
    popularity.
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  • Falafulu Fisi

    Nat Quoted:
    Relates metabolic rate, size, heart rate, and lifespan by applying physics to biology.

    Yep, Physics is everywhere man. Here is an interesting paper which is debate amongst one group of Econo-Physicists (physicists who apply theoretical physics into economic theory) and another group of Economists. Econo-physicists concluded in the following paper:

    There is little or nothing in existing micro- or macroeconomics texts that is of value for understanding real markets.

    Full paper (PDF) below, which is freely downloadable:

    Response to Worrying Trends in Econo-physics