Links - November 20, 2016
I am actively trying to de-emphasize content about Trump, and the election, but it is tough. Expect to find traces and parallels to these themes for the next few months.
- A Bad Carver Sarah Perry - Ribbonfarm
A dose of historical perspective for these times of economic anxiety and anomie. Unbundling and specialization leads to recondensation and reformation. In cycles, humanity tends towards complexity.
- A Country Is Not A Company (1996) Paul Krugman - Harvard Business Review
This is not about Trump. This is about (macro)economics, business, and the mind-bending realization that they are inherently different. Macro versus micro, closed systems vs. open systems, zero-sum games vs. growing pies. Out of all my classes at Northwestern, International Finance was probably the most unexpectedly enlightening. This is it, in a nutshell.
- I’m a Latino in Tech, and I Think the ‘Diversity’ Discussion Is Broken Eric M. Ruiz - Observer
A piece that echoes a lot of my own thouhgts on identity, well-summarized by quoting Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan: “…a philosopher from Peru resembles a philosopher from Scotland more than a janitor from Peru.”
- Fake News Ben Thompson - Stratechery
Facebook is a scapegoat among the aggregators. Hacker News could be just as guilty of this same issue, but they don’t operate at scale, and are not frequented by Average Joe. People are lazy, including me, and we will read whatever confirms what we already think. Some of us just do a bigger effort than others to keep our biases at bay.
- Who Will Command The Robot Armies? Maciej Cegłowski - Idle Words
In classic Pinboard style, Cegłowski starts up high with evil armies, police, and governments, but shows how in the end individuals - in this case, technical individuals - are on the hook. Facebook, Amazon, Google, and yes, Apple, all are comprised of individuals. What do we do to make sure that our decisions remain moral?
- You Are Still Crying Wolf Scott Alexander - Slate Star Codex
The media is a shit-show. Yesterday I watched Amanda Knox (which I definitely don’t recommend), and the whole time I kept thinking of this article. Unfounded phrases get repeated over and over for views and clicks, making monsters and presidents out of thin air. Trump is bad, but I trust that things will not change that much in the short term.
- Wind Waker Graphics Analysis Nathan Gorodn - Medium
Reading about graphics and procedural generation has become a new hobby for me.
- Language, Meaning and Machines agibs010 - Goldsmiths, University of London
Honestly, I don’t remember how I found this article. I assume Twitter. Finding who to give credit for it was impossibly hard. In any case, while the whole thing was interesting, the most valuable piece was learning about Pierre Jaquet Droz and his 18th century robots.
- A Trunk Full of Truffles Planet Money
A fun look at an extremely small market, dealing only in high luxury fungi.
- The Backlash Has Arrived Exponent
Aggregation Theory applied to Trump.
Trumped in SF November 9, 2016
It has been a crazy few months. Yesterday and today were rough days. Continue reading...
Día De Los Muertos November 3, 2016
Living in San Francisco means having a wealth of cultural events to enjoy. Due to the large Latin population, the Día De Los Muertos celebration in The Mission was one I didn’t want to miss. Since most people in Costa Rica don’t celebrate the holiday, the traditions were unfamiliar to me, and it was surprising to see how openly people honor their loved ones.
I went with the intention to stay for ten minutes, and ended up walking around for almost two hours. More...
Writing November 1, 2016
So it’s a bit over a year since I wrote about writing. Has anything changed? Well, yes. I initially thought I’d be sharing many more blog posts about my own thoughts, but for some reason those all end up in half-baked Google docs. Hitting publish is hard. It is much easier to write one or two lines of commentary on someone else’s writing, than to produce any essay worth sharing. But there is a gray area right next to content creation: Continue reading...