Chicago Transims Evacuation

Uploaded on Jun 23, 2011
A collection of clips showcasing the downtown Chicago buildings, a normal day case simulation at 20% load, and a preliminary evacuation from the area (Evacuees are the purple cars).

Uploaded on Jun 23, 2011
A collection of clips showcasing the downtown Chicago buildings, a normal day case simulation at 20% load, and a preliminary evacuation from the area (Evacuees are the purple cars).

Climate is the long term patern

Published on Oct 4, 2013 This edition of COSMIC JOURNEYS explores the still unfolding story of Earth’s past and the light it sheds on the science of climate change today. While that story can tell us about the mechanisms that can shape our climate. it’s still the unique conditions of our time that will determine […]


Published on Oct 4, 2013
This edition of COSMIC JOURNEYS explores the still unfolding story of Earth’s past and the light it sheds on the science of climate change today. While that story can tell us about the mechanisms that can shape our climate. it’s still the unique conditions of our time that will determine sea levels, ice coverage, and temperatures. Continuar leyendo "Climate is the long term patern"

history of the universe

Uploaded on Apr 11, 2011 Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is “Big History”: an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.


Uploaded on Apr 11, 2011

Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is “Big History”: an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.


communist camarads

A Russian joke goes like this:

Two old communist camarads are sitting in a park talking to each other.
– You know Dimitri, everything they told us about communism was a lie.
– Well, yes… But that’s NOT the problem.
– what’s the problem?
– The problem is that everything they told us about capitalism is true

A Russian joke goes like this:

Two old communist camarads are sitting in a park talking to each other.
- You know Dimitri, everything they told us about communism was a lie.
- Well, yes… But that’s NOT the problem.
- what’s the problem?
- The problem is that everything they told us about capitalism is true

Walmart Stores, Inc

LOS ANGELES — Warehouse workers in Southern California have filed a petition in court to name Walmart as a defendant in a federal wage-theft lawsuit, marking a significant turn in low-wage supply chain workers’ fight with the world’s largest retailer.

Although workers in Walmart’s contracted warehouses in California and Illinois have alleged labor violations in the past, the filing on Friday is the first time Walmart itself has been directly implicated in the claims of abuse. Until now, only the retailer’s subcontractors have been accused in court of shorting workers on pay and forcing them to work in substandard conditions.

«Walmart’s name does not appear on any of these workers paychecks, and the Walmart logo does not appear on the t-shirts they’re required to wear,» Michael Rubin, the workers’ lawyer, said on Friday. «But it has become increasingly clear that the ultimate liability for these workplace violations rests squarely on the shoulders of Walmart.»

While Walmart directly manages much of its distribution network, the company outsources the operation of some of its largest warehouses to third-party logistics firms, which in turn hire low-paid temporary workers to perform the heavy lifting. These warehouses have become the target of a union-backed organizing effort through the groups Warehouse Workers United and Warehouse Workers for Justice, and several of them have been hit with employee lawsuits and labor-law violations.

In the case amended Friday, six workers at a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Riverside, Calif., sued a series of subcontractors last year, claiming they were paid less than the minimum wage, required to work in excessively hot conditions and retaliated against by superiors as they loaded and unloaded trucks and containers. Although the workers said the products they handled were destined for Walmart stores, the mega-retailer was not originally named in the suit.

Worker advocates have argued all along that Walmart, as the top company in the contract chain, is morally responsible for the working conditions at the warehouses its goods pass through. By trying to bring Walmart into the lawsuit now, they hope to prove that the company is legally and financially responsible as well, arguing that Walmart controls the operation and serves as the ultimate beneficiary of the work.

«I know that Walmart is responsible for all of this, even though they say they have nothing to do with us,» said one of the plaintiffs, David Acosta, speaking in Spanish on a call with reporters Friday. «The boxes say Walmart, the containers say Walmart — everything belongs to Walmart.»

Walmart spokesman Dave Tovar has said the company has made a «business decision» to no longer comment for Huffington Post stories, «due to the one-sided reporting and unfair and unbalanced editorial decisions.»

Acosta said he and his colleagues, many of them Latino immigrants, worked 12 to 16-hour days, earning roughly the minimum wage without overtime pay. He said they received a lunch each day but no other breaks. «Our dignity was thrown to the floor,» he added.

The success or failure of the suit could have broader implications for workers who try to sue subcontractors. As HuffPost reported last year, much of the retail sector’s supply chain is now predicated on a system of outsourcing, where larger, brand-name players subcontract the work to smaller, little-seen players, who ultimately hold the legal liability for workers’ well-being. A similar arrangement now persists in many food-processing and manufacturing operations as well.


Walmart Stores, Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. With over two million employees and 8,500 stores, Walmart is the largest private employer in the world. It is also the third largest corporation in the world, ranked just behind the energy giants Shell and ExxonMobil.
There is perhaps no U.S. corporation that exploits its workers as brutally and effectively as Walmart. Paid on average only $8.81 per hour, hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees—including many full-time workers—live below the poverty line. To keep these underpaid workers vulnerable and compliant, Walmart deploys numerous union-busting tactics and other dirty tricks such as forcing higher-paid, full-time employees to work inconvenient “flexible” shifts in order to get them to quit, imposing Darwinian-style policies on the sales floor to reduce worker morale, and pressuring employees to work overtime without pay or risk being fired. Walmart also systematically engages in illegal employee wage theft, as store managers are trained to falsify time sheets or simply not pay employees for all their hours worked. In fact, between 2005 and 2011, Walmart settled over 70 class action lawsuits involving the stolen wages of over a million current and former employees, costing the company more than $1 billion in damages. And rather than providing affordable health benefits, Walmart offers each of its workers assistance in applying to state and federal welfare programs such as Food Stamps and Medicaid. Recent studies estimate that Walmart’s work force collects a staggering $2.6 billion in taxpayer-funded welfare annually, a sum amounting to $420,000 per store. 
Walmart’s enormous market share combined with its business model of selling the cheapest possible products also puts downward pressure on wages along its entire supply chain of manufacturers and farmers, as thousands of Walmart suppliers [(both in the U.S. and abroad)] are forced to cut their own labor costs in order to compete. Walmart also destroys many more jobs than it creates, eliminating approximately 150 retail jobs in every county it enters, along with many service jobs too, as Walmart’s arrival often decimates entire downtown shopping districts. Walmart’s main pretense—that its low prices save consumers money—is more than offset by the reduced spending power of large segments of the population resulting directly from Walmart’s negative impact on jobs and wages. For these reasons and more, there is no corporation more singly responsible for the impoverishment of American workers than Walmart.
  • Walmart made $15.4 billion in profits in 2011, despite the recession.
  • If Walmart paid all their 1.4 million U.S. employees an extra $5,000 per year, they would still make over $7 billion in profit.
  • The six heirs to the Walmart fortune are together worth $93 billion, which is equal to the net worth of the bottom 41% of the U.S. population.
  • The Walton family has given only 2.4% of their wealth to charity. By comparison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and over 70 other wealthy people have given over 50%.
On October 9th, 2012, hundreds of Walmart employees in twelve states walked off the job in the first ever strike in the corporation’s fifty year history, achieving widespread public support and winning some early concessions from the corporation. Given Walmart’s size and influence over the entire economy, the continuing campaign by these courageous workers carries implications far beyond the behemoth’s own big box stores, as their efforts help promote the growth of a mutually-supportive grassroots movement of education, protest and civil disobedience.

References & external links:

LOS ANGELES -- Warehouse workers in Southern California have filed a petition in court to name Walmart as a defendant in a federal wage-theft lawsuit, marking a significant turn in low-wage supply chain workers' fight with the world's largest retailer.

Although workers in Walmart's contracted warehouses in California and Illinois have alleged labor violations in the past, the filing on Friday is the first time Walmart itself has been directly implicated in the claims of abuse. Until now, only the retailer's subcontractors have been accused in court of shorting workers on pay and forcing them to work in substandard conditions.

"Walmart's name does not appear on any of these workers paychecks, and the Walmart logo does not appear on the t-shirts they're required to wear," Michael Rubin, the workers' lawyer, said on Friday. "But it has become increasingly clear that the ultimate liability for these workplace violations rests squarely on the shoulders of Walmart."
While Walmart directly manages much of its distribution network, the company outsources the operation of some of its largest warehouses to third-party logistics firms, which in turn hire low-paid temporary workers to perform the heavy lifting. These warehouses have become the target of a union-backed organizing effort through the groups Warehouse Workers United and Warehouse Workers for Justice, and several of them have been hit with employee lawsuits and labor-law violations.

In the case amended Friday, six workers at a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Riverside, Calif., sued a series of subcontractors last year, claiming they were paid less than the minimum wage, required to work in excessively hot conditions and retaliated against by superiors as they loaded and unloaded trucks and containers. Although the workers said the products they handled were destined for Walmart stores, the mega-retailer was not originally named in the suit.

Worker advocates have argued all along that Walmart, as the top company in the contract chain, is morally responsible for the working conditions at the warehouses its goods pass through. By trying to bring Walmart into the lawsuit now, they hope to prove that the company is legally and financially responsible as well, arguing that Walmart controls the operation and serves as the ultimate beneficiary of the work.
"I know that Walmart is responsible for all of this, even though they say they have nothing to do with us," said one of the plaintiffs, David Acosta, speaking in Spanish on a call with reporters Friday. "The boxes say Walmart, the containers say Walmart -- everything belongs to Walmart."
Walmart spokesman Dave Tovar has said the company has made a "business decision" to no longer comment for Huffington Post stories, "due to the one-sided reporting and unfair and unbalanced editorial decisions."

Acosta said he and his colleagues, many of them Latino immigrants, worked 12 to 16-hour days, earning roughly the minimum wage without overtime pay. He said they received a lunch each day but no other breaks. "Our dignity was thrown to the floor," he added.

The success or failure of the suit could have broader implications for workers who try to sue subcontractors. As HuffPost reported last year, much of the retail sector's supply chain is now predicated on a system of outsourcing, where larger, brand-name players subcontract the work to smaller, little-seen players, who ultimately hold the legal liability for workers' well-being. A similar arrangement now persists in many food-processing and manufacturing operations as well.




Walmart Stores, Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. With over two million employees and 8,500 stores, Walmart is the largest private employer in the world. It is also the third largest corporation in the world, ranked just behind the energy giants Shell and ExxonMobil.
There is perhaps no U.S. corporation that exploits its workers as brutally and effectively as Walmart. Paid on average only $8.81 per hour, hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees—including many full-time workers—live below the poverty line. To keep these underpaid workers vulnerable and compliant, Walmart deploys numerous union-busting tactics and other dirty tricks such as forcing higher-paid, full-time employees to work inconvenient “flexible” shifts in order to get them to quit, imposing Darwinian-style policies on the sales floor to reduce worker morale, and pressuring employees to work overtime without pay or risk being fired. Walmart also systematically engages in illegal employee wage theft, as store managers are trained to falsify time sheets or simply not pay employees for all their hours worked. In fact, between 2005 and 2011, Walmart settled over 70 class action lawsuits involving the stolen wages of over a million current and former employees, costing the company more than $1 billion in damages. And rather than providing affordable health benefits, Walmart offers each of its workers assistance in applying to state and federal welfare programs such as Food Stamps and Medicaid. Recent studies estimate that Walmart’s work force collects a staggering $2.6 billion in taxpayer-funded welfare annually, a sum amounting to $420,000 per store. 
Walmart’s enormous market share combined with its business model of selling the cheapest possible products also puts downward pressure on wages along its entire supply chain of manufacturers and farmers, as thousands of Walmart suppliers [(both in the U.S. and abroad)] are forced to cut their own labor costs in order to compete. Walmart also destroys many more jobs than it creates, eliminating approximately 150 retail jobs in every county it enters, along with many service jobs too, as Walmart’s arrival often decimates entire downtown shopping districts. Walmart’s main pretense—that its low prices save consumers money—is more than offset by the reduced spending power of large segments of the population resulting directly from Walmart’s negative impact on jobs and wages. For these reasons and more, there is no corporation more singly responsible for the impoverishment of American workers than Walmart.
  • Walmart made $15.4 billion in profits in 2011, despite the recession.
  • If Walmart paid all their 1.4 million U.S. employees an extra $5,000 per year, they would still make over $7 billion in profit.
  • The six heirs to the Walmart fortune are together worth $93 billion, which is equal to the net worth of the bottom 41% of the U.S. population.
  • The Walton family has given only 2.4% of their wealth to charity. By comparison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and over 70 other wealthy people have given over 50%.
On October 9th, 2012, hundreds of Walmart employees in twelve states walked off the job in the first ever strike in the corporation’s fifty year history, achieving widespread public support and winning some early concessions from the corporation. Given Walmart’s size and influence over the entire economy, the continuing campaign by these courageous workers carries implications far beyond the behemoth’s own big box stores, as their efforts help promote the growth of a mutually-supportive grassroots movement of education, protest and civil disobedience.

References & external links:

tit for tat

Nice Guys Finish First (BBC Horizon television series) is a 1986 documentary by Richard Dawkins which discusses selfishness and cooperation, arguing that evolution often favors co-operative behaviour, and focusing especially on the tit for tat strat…


Nice Guys Finish First (BBC Horizon television series) is a 1986 documentary by Richard Dawkins which discusses selfishness and cooperation, arguing that evolution often favors co-operative behaviour, and focusing especially on the tit for tat strategy of the prisoner's dilemma game. The film is approximately 45 minutes long and was produced by Jeremy Taylor.

The twelfth chapter in Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene (added in the second edition, 1989) is also named Nice Guys Finish First and explores similar material.

This strategy is dependent on four conditions, which have allowed it to become the most successful strategy for the iterated prisoner's dilemma:[1]
  1. Unless provoked, the agent will always cooperate
  2. If provoked, the agent will retaliate
  3. The agent is quick to forgive
  4. The agent must have a good chance of competing against the opponent more than once.
In the last condition, the definition of "good chance" depends on the payoff matrix of the prisoner's dilemma. The important thing is that the competition continues long enough for repeated punishment and forgiveness to generate a long-term payoff higher than the possible loss from cooperating initially.

A fifth condition applies to make the competition meaningful: if an agent knows that the next play will be the last, it should naturally defect for a higher score. Similarly if it knows that the next two plays will be the last, it should defect twice, and so on. Therefore the number of competitions must not be known in advance to the agents.

Generally, in game theory, effectiveness of a strategy is measured under the assumption that each player cares only about him or herself. (Thus, the game-theory measure of effectiveness is impractical in many real life situations where players do have a vested interest in, or an altruistic compassion towards, other players.) Furthermore, game-theory effectiveness is usually measured under the assumption of perfect communication, where it is assumed that a player never misinterprets the intention of other players. By this game-theory definition of effectiveness tit for tat was superior to a variety of alternative strategies, winning in several annual automated tournaments against (generally far more complex) strategies created by teams of computer scientists, economists, and psychologists. Some game theorists informally believe the strategy to be optimal, although no proof is presented.

In some competitions tit for tat was not the most effective strategy, even under the game-theory definition of effectiveness. However, tit for tat would have been the most effective strategy if the average performance of each competing team were compared. The team which recently won over a pure tit for tat team outperformed it with some of their algorithms because they submitted multiple algorithms which would recognize each other and assume a master and slave relationship (one algorithm would "sacrifice" itself and obtain a very poor result for the other algorithm to be able to outperform tit for tat on an individual basis, but not as a pair or group). This "group" victory illustrates one of the important limitations of the Prisoner's Dilemma in representing social reality, namely, that it does not include any natural equivalent for friendship or alliances. The advantage of tit for tat thus pertains only to a Hobbesian world of so-called rational solutions (with perfect communication), not to a world in which humans are inherently social.






However, that this winning solution does not work effectively against groups of agents running tit for tat illustrates the strengths of tit for tat when employed in a team (that the team does better overall, and all the agents on the team do well individually, when every agent cooperates).


Proving that a new approach can secure victory in a classic strategy game, a team from England's Southampton University has won the 20th-anniversary Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma competition, toppling the long-term winner from its throne. The Southampton group, whose primary research area is software agents, said its strategy involved a series of moves allowing players to recognize each other and act cooperatively.
The Prisoner's Dilemma is a game-theory problem for two players. As typically described, two accomplices are arrested and separated for interrogation by the police, who give each the same choice: confess to authorities (defect) or remain silent (cooperate). If one defects and the other cooperates, the defector walks free and the cooperator gets 10 years in jail. If both cooperate, both get six months. If both defect, both get six years. Neither suspect knows the other's choice. "The Prisoner's Dilemma is this canonical problem of how to get cooperation to emerge from selfish agents," said Nick Jennings, a professor in computer science at Southampton University and leader of the winning team along with his Ph.D. student, Gopal Ramchurn. "People are very keen on it because they can see so many parallels in real life." Before Southampton came along, a strategy called Tit for Tat had a consistent record of winning the game. Under that strategy, a player's first move is always to cooperate with other players. Afterward, the player echoes whatever the other players do.

The strategy is similar to the one nuclear powers adopted during the Cold War, each promising not to use its weaponry so long as the other side refrained from doing so as well. The 20th-anniversary competition was the brainchild of Graham Kendall, a lecturer in the University of Nottingham's School of Computer Science and Information Technology and a researcher in game theory, and was based on the original 1984 competition run by a University of Michigan political scientist, Robert Axelrod.

The Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma is a version of the game in which the choice is repeated over and over again and in which the players can remember their previous moves, allowing them to evolve a cooperative strategy. The 2004 competition had 223 entries, with each player playing all the other players in a round robin setup. Because Axelrod's original competition was run twice, Kendall will run a second competition in April 2005, for which he hopes to attract even more entries. Teams could submit multiple strategies, or players, and the Southampton team submitted 60 programs. These, Jennings explained, were all slight variations on a theme and were designed to execute a known series of five to 10 moves by which they could recognize each other. Once two Southampton players recognized each other, they were designed to immediately assume "master and slave" roles -- one would sacrifice itself so the other could win repeatedly. If the program recognized that another player was not a Southampton entry, it would immediately defect to act as a spoiler for the non-Southampton player. The result is that Southampton had the top three performers -- but also a load of utter failures at the bottom of the table who sacrificed themselves for the good of the team. Another twist to the game was the addition of noise, which allowed some moves to be deliberately misrepresented. In the original game, the two prisoners could not communicate. But Southampton's design lets the prisoners do the equivalent of signaling to each other their intentions by tapping in Morse code on the prison wall. Kendall noted that there was nothing in the competition rules to preclude such a strategy, though he admitted that the ability to submit multiple players means it's difficult to tell whether this strategy would really beat Tit for Tat in the original version. But he believes it would be impossible to prevent collusion between entrants.

"Ultimately," he said, "what's more important is the research." In Jennings' case, the real interest is agents. "What's interesting from our point of view," he said, "was to test some ideas we had about teamwork in general agent systems, and this detection of working together as a team is a quite fundamental problem. What was interesting was to see how many colluders you need in a population. It turns out we had far too many -- we would have won with around 20." Jennings is also interested in testing the strategy on an evolutionary variant of the game in which each player plays only its neighbors on a grid. If your neighbors do better than you do, you adopt their strategy. "Our initial results tell us that ours is an evolutionarily stable strategy -- if we start off with a reasonable number of our colluders in the system, in the end everyone will be a colluder like ours," he said. The winners don't get much -- an unexpected $50 check and a small plaque. But, says Kendall, "Everybody in our field knows the name of Anatol Rapoport, who won the Axelrod competition. So if you can win the 20th-anniversary one, in our field there's a certain historical significance."

solutions

Things are not what they are but what we think they are in terms of what we compare them to
Psychological value is prime

  • Things are not what they are but what we think they are in terms of what we compare them to
  • Psychological value is prime