Today's reading

| Comments (1) | Misc
Via cilogear makes packs, a link to empirical work on how to dig out someone who was buried in an avalanche. Money quote:
To prevent the problem of digging straight down to the victim and creating a non-workable hole, we determined that it was essential to clearly define the excavation area before digging. This area, called the "starter hole," should be excavated first, preferably starting on one's knees. Once this hole is up to the rescuers' waists, then the next level can be excavated. Without this starter hole, rescuers tend to get "tunnel vision" and lose the opportunity to create a hole that will be workable when the victim is reached.

 

Via Crooked Timber Philippe Van Parijs tries to figure out a fair way for everyone to communicate using English. The basic point is that it's a lot easier for people to communicate if we all speak the same language, but it's a much higher burden for those who don't speak English to learn it than it is for native English speakers to, well, do nothing. Is there some way to balance this burden? Incidentally, there's some sort of analogy here to the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, but the incentives are in a different direction—the established players all have IPv4 addresses, it's those who by definition are less established who would likely benefit the most from IPv6.

1 Comments

It's funny, your money quote is right on for more than just avalanche victims.

Interesting how appropriate it is to all of these type of analytic problems, isn't it? When I took the step back and looked at what they're saying contrasted with the general analytic framework of your blog, I was hmm... This should be common sense.

Maybe we need to formulate a new idiom for this concept...

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