Links - April 27th, 2016
- I was an undercover-bot for 2 months. Here is what I learned. Ami Ben-David - Chatbots Magazine - Medium
I don’t buy the bot craze. The technology is not there yet, and as the author well describes, the user experience feels just like calling a bank, or a telco, and being greeted by a distorted digital voice asking how one can be helped. Some day.
- The Rising Costs of Scaling a Startup Tom Tunguz
An oldie, but goodie. Someone should repeat this analysis and include 2015/2016 data. We’ve probably already crossed the 2x threshold.
- 15 Fundamental Laws of Software Development Matthew P Jones - Exception not Found
One of those lists that invariably will be printed out, and pinned to a cube, by a grumpy coworker.
- Generally Accepted Accounting Standards (GAAP) Fred Wilson - AVC
- F*** You, I Quit — Hiring Is Broken Sahat Yalkabov - Medium
I have been on the other side of the table of many interviews since I started working at Apple. It is unbelievably hard to gauge the skills of a front-end engineer, even more so when more than half the people involved in the interview process do back-end work day to day.
- Antitrust and Aggregation Stratechery - Ben Thompson
As is mentioned toward the end, “the most effective monopoly killer is the next monopoly.”
- Wikipedia’s Piracy Police Are Ruining the Developing World's Internet Experience Jason Koebler - Motherboard
Sometimes, free is a problem.
- The Log: What every software engineer should know about real-time data's unifying abstraction Jay Kreps - LinkedIn Engineering
To be honest, I haven’t finished reading this, but it was profusely recommended by randos on HN and coworkers alike. The preferred stack, and the JS framework du jour might have changed since then, but the basics are still the same. This essay tries to explain distributed systems fundamentals from “the log” up.
Links - April 26th, 2016
- You can take the derivative of a regular expression?! Julia Evans
Even though I didn’t take a regex class, the similarities with my stochastic modeling class are stark. Now I want to learn more!
- I Have Valuable Information Cory Watson - One Mo' Gin
We can always be better, smarter, etc. Watson talks about why he shares what he learns: one step at a time, helping others along the way, understanding that there is always more than we can process.
- Understanding the Rich Tapestry of American Culture as Experienced Through Food Mark Suster - Both Sides of the Table
Last time Suster recommended a movie, Supermensch, I wasn’t sold, but watched anyway. It was awesome, and now I want to watch this one too. VCs should do more movie/book/etc reviews. After all, a deep understanding of culture can give you an edge to make better bets than others. I am sure it has helped Upfront Ventures get where they are.
- When to Rewrite from Scratch - Autopsy of a Failed Software Umer Mansoor - Code Ahoy
Building software is hard. Learn from others’ mistakes.
- Economics and Self-Awareness Paul Krugman - The New York Times
When reality contradicts your beliefs, most likely, you have to change your beliefs.
- O Reader! My Reader Silvia Killingsworth - The Awl
A little bit hyperbolic, I use Feedly and it works more than fine, but the internet definitely changed the day Google shut down Reader.
- Uncanny Valley Anna Wiener - N + 1
Long, but so worth it. As Paul Ford tweeted, this essay is “a great catalog of Silicon Valley self-deceptions.”
The Descriptor Protocol, and Python Black Magic April 26, 2016
Trying to make sense of what is perhaps the most basic behavior of objects and classes in Python. Continue reading...
Links - April 25th, 2016
- The Average 29 Year Old Derek Thompson - The Atlantic
In this short and data-centric piece, Thompson makes the argument that since most mainstream media is based in large cities, “…well-educated journalists in these dense cities wind up with a skewed impression of the world” and they feed us their biases. “An irony of digital media is that the Internet distributes journalism, but it concentrates journalists.”
- Bots won't replace apps. Better apps will replace apps. Dan Grover
Everyone talks about “bots”, but “bots” are not new. Grover makes a great analogy between early iOS skeumorphism and the metaphors of “conversational UI” that have leaked into these new user experiences. He goes on to argue that the notification systems in modern operating systems are broken, which I fully agree with, and suggests the rise of meta-platforms like WeChat and Facebook Messenger as the path forward.
- Why Write in English? Tim Parks - The New York Review of Books
A few months ago, an article titled Teach Yourself Italian was published in the New Yorker. In it, the author (Jhumpa Lahiri) discusses her journey from the United States to Italy, and her discovery of how language affected her identity as she wrote a book in a language that wasn’t her own. Parks discusses Lahiri’s work, compares her to other authors that went through similar transitions, and ultimately explains why he still writes in his mother tongue, even after years of living abroad.
- Minimum Viable Superorganism Kevin Simler - Ribbon Farm
Perhaps a bit too paranoid, discussing conspiracy theories more than it should, but interesting nonetheless. Simler explains the economics behind the social structures that align our incentives to work together toward common goals.
- Machine Learning Meets Economics, Part 2 Nicolas Kruchten - Datacratic MLDB
If you haven’t yet, go read Part 1.
- Making 1 million requests with python-aiohttp Paweł Miech
- The Rich Don't Work Anymore—Working Is for Poor People Robert Reich - Alternet
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