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Cathy O'Neil

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 12:41pm
Hi all, After talking to a bunch of my friends and acquaintances in public education I’ve realized that not only is the school reopening plan a total freaking disaster, but it’s absolutely deliberately so. My newest Bloomberg piece: School Reopening Is a Disaster in the Making From New York City to Florida, students and teachers […]
Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 1:01pm
Yesterday I wrote a new Bloomberg column in which I took Trump seriously when he repeated for the nth time that our problem is that we do too many tests, which thus shows too many confirmed COVID-19 cases. And when I say “seriously”, what I mean is I thought through what kind of model of […]
Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 1:01pm
Yesterday I wrote a new Bloomberg column in which I took Trump seriously when he repeated for the nth time that our problem is that we do too many tests, which thus shows too many confirmed COVID-19 cases. And when I say “seriously”, what I mean is I thought through what kind of model of […]
Friday, August 7, 2020 - 1:46pm
I just wrote a new Bloomberg column about how I was wrong to predict 600 daily deaths by COVID in Florida by now; right now it’s at 184. But the fishy data coming out of Florida makes me think I’m not as wrong as I wish I were. Narrow definitions of what counts as a […]
Friday, August 7, 2020 - 1:46pm
I just wrote a new Bloomberg column about how I was wrong to predict 600 daily deaths by COVID in Florida by now; right now it’s at 184. But the fishy data coming out of Florida makes me think I’m not as wrong as I wish I were. Narrow definitions of what counts as a […]
Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 10:43am
Hey guys, Let’s face it, the federal response to COVID has been counterproductive. We’re on our own. In my newest Bloomberg piece, I suggest that we should crowdsource CO2 levels in places like schools, airports, and buildings where people work, so we know the ventilation is good: People need a way to crowdsource data on […]
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 5:47pm
A few months ago (it was published March 19th), Politico asked me and other “thought leaders” to predict how Coronavirus would change the world. The answers are here, and include various fancy people predicting “a decline in polarization”, “less individualism”, “a healthier digital lifestyle”, “science reigns again,” and my personal favorite, Tom Nichols’s prediction that […]
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 5:47pm
A few months ago (it was published March 19th), Politico asked me and other “thought leaders” to predict how Coronavirus would change the world. The answers are here, and include various fancy people predicting “a decline in polarization”, “less individualism”, “a healthier digital lifestyle”, “science reigns again,” and my personal favorite, Tom Nichols’s prediction that […]
Friday, May 12, 2017 - 4:36pm

Israeli historian Yuval Harari is getting a lot of attention with a dramatic vision of the future, in which humans merge with technology to evolve beyond themselves and ultimately colonize outer space -- potentially making our generation one of the last of Homo Sapiens.

I'm hoping this is more of a cautionary tale than a roadmap for the development of our species.

Harari is a book-writing rock star, whose volume "Sapiens" won praise from the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Gates. In his follow-up, "Homo Deus," he makes a lot of speculative statements in a way...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 2:40pm

Graphics courtesy of meta-chart.com

My buddy Brian Conrad alerted me yesterday to a very welcome three-way intersection:

So, anyone surprised? I’m not. But I am excited. Here’s what we’ve got on Ravelry:

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 9.18.17 AM

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 11:28am

Maybe it’s not so bad to have algorithmic overlords -- at least when they are pressured into protecting people rather than exploiting them.

Earlier this week, Facebook declared that it will no longer let certain kinds of advertisers engage in racial profiling. Specifically, it will prohibit credit, housing, and employment advertisers from using “ethnic affinity” categories -- marketing profiles that correlate strongly with race -- in deciding whom to exclude from their audience.

The reform didn’t happen out of the blue. Pressure came first from a ProPublica investigative experiment last October, in which the news organization successfully submitted to Facebook a housing advertisement...

Friday, January 6, 2017 - 9:51am

Yesterday I wrote a post about the unsurprising discriminatory nature of recidivism models. Today I want to add to that post with an important goal in mind: we should fix recidivism models, not trash them altogether.

The truth is, the current justice system is fundamentally unfair, so 

Cathy O'Neil is the author of the blog mathbabe.org and several books, including Weapons of Math Destruction.