Big data, Google and the end of free will Yuval Noah Harari - The Financial Times In Search of Ragu Roads & Kingdoms
Harari discusses the jump from religion, to humanism, and now Dataism: Letting go of “religion” and “feelings” to guide our choices, and allowing computers to make decisions for you. As much as “knowing thyself” is great advice, making good decisions also requires knowing the rest of the world. No matter how much you know yourself, there will be unknown unknowns about the people and things you interact with. Computers might be able to help us there.</br>A specific case I’ve thought deeply about is “choosing what content to consume,” which applies to books, articles, podcasts, MOOCs, etc. Objectively, there is some optimal solution to this question, and Harari’s Dataism probably has a better answer than humanism, regardless of how uncomfortable that thought makes you feel.</br>The idea is powerful, and we can similarly extrapolate to other questions.
How artificial intelligence and machine learning work at Apple Steven Levy - Backchannel
A cuisine’s history, and its people’s sentiments about it, can tell us a lot about culture and how it is formed over time. There is a lot of value when food becomes more than sustenance.
I Got Scammed By A Silicon Valley Startup Penny Kim - Startup Grind
Another one that I can’t comment much on, but want to share.
Hunting for great names in programming David Heinemeier Hansson - Signal v. Noise
Lately I have been bringing up Maslow’s hierarchy over and over. I am one of the few lucky people in the world who (like you, probably, since you’re reading this) get to only worry about the very top of this pyramid. Food, shelter, health - all these are non-thoughts for me. My concerns are much less important. In the context of this article, I have been spending many hours considering how to be happier at work, and spend my time to maximize my learning and my future opportunities. Even in the tech bubble that I live in, things can be much worse, and it is sobering to remember that.
Types Gary Bernhardt
Naming things is much harder than it seems, and its implications much more widespread than one would expect. Spend more time thinking about names.
Different languages have different ways of constraining and enabling programmers. Any language provides us with trade-offs. For a long time, I have thought of types as an added layer of complexity, which makes them unappealing. However, unit tests and documentation are also extra complexity, and I am more than happy to pay the cost for those. Perhaps its time to make the jump and get into static typing.