The Case of Verge Genomics | In the Pipeline
Ash Jogalekar summed it up perfectly on Twitter yesterday, as shown at right. The problems with Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson’s drug discovery are not data handling problems. The important problems with drug discovery in general are not data handling problems, and unfortunately there are many people who would like to think that they are. Who would perhaps like to think that everything could be solved if we could just obtain and correlate enough data. But what we’re short of is insights, ideas, and understanding, and those come slowly, painfully, and expensively.
medicine  science  research  argument  computing  business  bullshit  chemistry 
4 hours ago
Death to JIRA | TechCrunch
I promised a better way. It is astonishingly simple. We already have an extremely powerful descriptive system which can be used to specify complex systems while including ambiguities, uncertainties, interwoven relationships, iterative levels of success and an arbitrarily broad spectrum of scale and detail. It is called “prose.”

For some reason many companies today seem to be terrified of the prospect of writing more than a couple of paragraphs of clear and simple prose. But a well-written 8-page document can define the nuances of a complicated system far better than a whole cumbersome flotilla of interlinked JIRA tickets.
argument  management  work  writing  design 
The Hunt for Earth’s Deep Hidden Oceans | Quanta Magazine
tl,dr: how to get samples from inaccessible places
These mineral flecks — some too small to see even under a microscope — offer a peek into Earth’s otherwise unreachable interior. In 2014, researchers glimpsed something embedded in these minerals that, if not for its deep origins, would’ve been unremarkable: water.

Not actual drops of water, or even molecules of H20, but its ingredients, atoms of hydrogen and oxygen embedded in the crystal structure of the mineral itself. This hydrous mineral isn’t wet. But when it melts, out spills water. The discovery was the first direct proof that water-rich minerals exist this deep, between 410 and 660 kilometers down, in a region called the transition zone, sandwiched between the upper and lower mantles.
geophysics  chemistry  geology  science  writing 
3 days ago
Random Points on a Sphere (Part 1) | Azimuth
John D. Cook, Greg Egan, Dan Piponi and I had a fun mathematical adventure on Twitter. It started when John Cook wrote a program to compute the probability distribution of distances |xy - yx| where x and y were two randomly chosen unit quaternions:
math  blog  probability  analysis 
7 days ago
Xerox scanners/photocopiers randomly alter numbers in scanned documents [D. Kriesel]
In this article I present in which way scanners / copiers of the Xerox WorkCentre Line randomly alter written numbers in pages that are scanned. This is not an OCR problem (as we switched off OCR on purpose), it is a lot worse – patches of the pixel data are randomly replaced in a very subtle and dangerous way: The scanned images look correct at first glance, even though numbers may actually be incorrect. Without a fuss, this may cause scenarios like:
esoteric  hardware  bug  security  machine-learning 
10 days ago
A Guide to Guides: Axes & Legends in Vega / Observable
A central concern of data visualization is the design of visual encodings: selecting graphical marks (bars, points, lines, ...) and visual attributes (encoding channels such as position, color, size, shape, ...) to represent data dimensions. Visual encodings can be expressed as scale functions that map data values to visual values such as pixel positions, RGB color values, etc. Using the building blocks of marks, encoding channels, and scales, a wide range of chart types can be elegantly expressed.
data-analysis  visualisation  design  graphics  d3  js 
14 days ago
The Bro Code | ChinaFile
Perhaps the spa in the small-town Shandong hotel where I was dining with a cluster of businessmen and officials was an entirely legitimate establishment, and I was misreading the nature of the invitation. But the neon sign outside advertising the “Health Body Center” (康体中心) had replaced the upper strokes in the character 心 with flashing red hearts.

“Health Body” is an approximation; I was sloshed on baijiu, the near-undrinkable spirit ubiquitous at social events, and my memory of the evening is dubious. I had been doing the rounds of provincial cities as my boss’ token foreigner for the whole summer, though, pitching training courses to the dim children of the rich so that they could study at foreign universities, and the routine of hard drinking followed by a group excursion to a brothel was becoming a familiar one. My status as a foreigner was enough to excuse me from the sex itself after only a light barrage of gay jokes from the others, but not from the social obligations around it.
chinese  business  culture  gender  politics  power 
15 days ago
Humus - Rules of optimization
Basically Programming Wisdom (which btw often is a great sources for actual programming wisdom) posted a quote that basically suggested more or less that there’s never a good time to think about performance. Even experts should defer it until later! This is way worse advice than your usual “premature optimization is the root of all evil” tirade. The premature optimization at least addresses something that can be a bit of a problem, i.e. that programmers go ahead and obfuscate code in order to make it faster, without even looking at whether the code had any performance problem to begin with or verifying that the new code actually is any faster, and in the process of doing this introducing bugs and reducing readability. Yes, that’s a real problem and poor engineering practice. And that’s what Knuth was going on about in that quote. But the often omitted continuation is equally important: “Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%." Basically what he was saying is that you should profile your code first, see where your bottlenecks are, and then work to optimize those parts. That’s good advice and I agree.

But I would go a step further than Knuth’s famous quote. If you work in an environment where you have a decent performance culture, you may in fact be able to just fire up the profiler, find your top 3% functions (or top 3% shaders), optimize those and have a shippable product. But if performance work has been neglected for most of the product development cycle, chances are that when you finally fire up the profiler it’ll be a uniformly slow mess with deep systemic issues. Fixing your top 3% function may only lead to a minor observable performance gain, or none at all. You may find that your product won’t be able to reach a shippable state without large scale redesign, delays, budget overrun or cutting features. You don’t want to put your entire team on a 6 months crunch to salvage a fundamentally broken product when you had hoped a small performance push would suffice.
argument  engineering  optimization 
16 days ago
Ian Hacking reviews ‘For and against Method’ by Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend, edited by Matteo Motterlini · LRB 20 January 2000
English-language philosophy of science is still dominated by ideas brought to it by refugees. In the first wave, England got the Austrians, including Karl Popper and Otto Neurath (not to mention Wittgenstein), and later got Paul Feyerabend from Vienna and Imre Lakatos from Budapest. The United States got the Germans, including Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach. The famous Vienna Circle, or Wiener Kreis, was established by Moritz Schlick, a German, who brought other Germans to Vienna. Neither of the two most memorable Viennese philosophers, Wittgenstein and Popper, was a member of this discussion club, although there were various kinds of interaction between them all. The Germans who went to the United States were a solemn lot, at least in print, who have cast a sombre shadow of propriety over American philosophy of science to this day. The Austro-Hungarians, in contrast, were a wild bunch, never comfortable anywhere, but finding England the best refuge. Lakatos really was a refugee; he remained stateless and had to travel on a British Travel Document in lieu of a passport. Feyerabend was in no literal sense a refugee, but he never found a geographical home, even when, at the end of his career, he settled in Switzerland. He was adored by a generation of students in California, but he despised the philosophy practised there by his colleagues, and his spiritual home was certainly London, at least until Lakatos’s death.
methodology  philosophy  history  philosophy-of-science  read-later  book  review 
16 days ago
Tim Geithner Is Living His Best Post-Obama Life by Running Scam to Bleed Poor People Dry
Is Geithner’s firm ashamed of its investment in and management of this vile business? Of course not. Warburg Pincus told the Post that “Mariner Finance delivers a valuable service to hundreds of thousands of Americans who have limited access to consumer credit.” Worse still, Mariner representatives described the company as fulfilling a “social need.”
politics  americana  neoliberalism 
16 days ago
The Curious Wavefunction: Why drug design is like airplane design. And why it isn't.
In a recent paper, Walter Woltosz of Simulations Plus Inc. asks an interesting question: compared to the aeronautical industry where modeling has been applied to airplane design for decades, why has it taken so long for modeling to catch on in the pharmaceutical industry? In contrast to airplane design which is now a well-accepted and widely used tool, why is simulation of drugs and proteins still (relatively) in the doldrums? Much progress has surely been made in the field during the last thirty years or so, but modeling is nowhere as integrated in the drug discovery process as computational fluid dynamics is in the airplane design process.
chemistry  methodology  simulation  argument  reference 
16 days ago
Marx elviselhetetlen igazsága. Egy puritán értelmezés a 200. évfordulóra | Tett
A probléma az, hogy a jobboldali és liberális antikommunisták Marx írásait általában nem ismerik, így nem tudnak vitatkozni velük.
magyar  marxism  argument 
20 days ago
Quadrophobia: Strategic Rounding of EPS Data by Nadya Malenko, Joseph Grundfest :: SSRN
comment by Matt Levine:

"I don’t really know what the SEC is looking for in its quest for the missing 4s, or what it will do if it finds them. It is in the nature of sub-penny rounding that the amounts involved are pretty small. (“In 2013, the most recent year in our sample, the mean (median) aggregate amount of earnings over which management would have to exercise discretion in order to move quarterly EPS by a tenth of a cent was $222,000 ($44,000),” report Malenko and Grundfest.) And there is some legitimate discretion in financial accounting. Most of the time, I suspect, moving $44,000 of revenues or expenses from one quarter to another probably isn’t illegal. Fractional-penny optimization of results, mild prettying up of numbers, probably doesn’t quite amounts to fraud.

And yet it is, pleasingly, an identifiable point on a continuum, a purely quantitative way to identify corporate cultures that are, not necessarily fraudulent, but that are at risk of fraud. Some companies pretty up their numbers, some don’t. The ones who do, do it regularly; the ones who don’t, never do it. The ones who do, tend to end up getting in other sorts of accounting trouble; the ones who don’t, tend not to. If you see a company that never reports earnings of 12.4 or 37.4 or 67.4 cents per share, keep an eye on it. The SEC will."
finance  argument  esoteric  stats  law 
23 days ago
Association of Type 2 Diabetes with Submicron Titanium Dioxide Crystals in the Pancreas - Chemical Research in Toxicology (ACS Publications)
Inhaled and ingested submicron and micron-sized crystals and crystal aggregates are associated with chronic inflammatory degenerative diseases. Diseases of the lung, exemplified by silicosis and asbestosis, result of inhalation of crystalline silica and asbestos. Crystals of sodium urate, cystine, calcium oxalate dihydrate and calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate are associated with chronic inflammatory degenerative diseases of the joints, kidneys, and urinary tract.
Pigment-grade TiO2, typically of rutile phase and of 200–300 nm particle diameter, about half the wavelength of visible light, is widely used. Because of its 2.6 index of refraction, it constitutes the dominant light-scattering, that is, “white” component of indoor wall paints, drinks, foods, toothpastes, medications, cosmetics, paper, and plastics. The annual production of pigment-grade TiO2 has increased in the past 50 years from 2 × 106 tons to 6 × 106 tons, as TiO2 replaced the earlier used, more toxic, lead carbonate white pigment. Consumers and patients are routinely exposed to TiO2 crystals, inhaling and ingesting these.
medicine  health  science  toxicology 
24 days ago
random kitchen sinks
Features are those pesky data attributes on which all machine learning algorithms are trained. While there are many possibilities out there for engineering high-quality features, a particularly simple trick is to just grab a bunch of features at random. Due to some happy coincidences in functional analysis, this lazy technique still provides excellent accurary. Random features thus provide a simple path to generate accurate learning algorithms that run extremely fast and are very easy to implement.
math  stats  esoteric  machine-learning 
26 days ago
The Anti-Witch - HAU Books
eanne Favret-Saada is arguably one of France’s most brilliant anthropologists, and The Anti-Witch is nothing less than a masterpiece. A synthesis of ethnographic theory and psychoanalytic revelation, where the line between researcher and subject is blurred—if not erased—The Anti-Witch develops the contours of an anthropology of therapy, while deeply engaging with what it means to be caught in the logic of witchcraft. Through an intimate and provocative sharing of the ethnographic voice with Madame Flora, a “dewitcher,” Favret-Saada delivers a critical challenge to some of anthropology’s fundamental concepts.

Sure to be of interest to practitioners of psychoanalysis as well as to anthropologists, The Anti-Witch will bring a new generation of scholars into conversation with the work of a truly innovative thinker.
anthropology  magic  book  read-later 
28 days ago
TGM: Aquarius: a mélypontnál is lejjebb « Mérce
Amióta a világ világ, a tőke az osztálykonfliktusokban a vereséget mindig az etnikai-faji és kulturális-nemzeti konfliktusok kiélezésével odázta el, s tízmilliók erőszakos halála árán (vö. világháborúk) állította helyre hegemóniáját és kerekedett fölül a válságon.

Ez nem pusztán manipuláció. Nem pusztán „a figyelem elterelése”. Hanem az ellenerők és az ellenkultúrák meghódítása. Mind a régi szociáldemokráciát, mind a bolsevizmust legyőzte Nyugaton a nacionalizmus, majd a rasszizmus (1914-1944), szétverve a polgári társadalom fölvilágosító és racionalista hagyományát, széttörve a világos osztályfrontokat. Amikor a tőke nem a proletariátusban, hanem valamely etnikai csoportban jelöli meg a saját osztályellenségének strukturális örökösét – és ezt elfogadtatja az ellenerők jelentős részével – , akkor biztos lehet a győzelmében. A munkásosztály támogatásának megszerzése (ld. 1914 augusztusát) a tőkésosztály győzelmének egyetlen biztosítéka. Ez nem változik.

Mint ahogy az se, hogy megfordítva: az antikapitalista baloldal se megy semmire, ha nem szerzi meg a polgári tábor – mindenekelőtt az alkalmazotti középosztály és az értelmiség – egy részének a szolidaritását. Ez se változott.
magyar  politics  neoliberalism  marxism  analysis  argument 
28 days ago
The Apache Groovy programming language
Apache Groovy is a powerful, optionally typed and dynamic language, with static-typing and static compilation capabilities, for the Java platform aimed at improving developer productivity thanks to a concise, familiar and easy to learn syntax. It integrates smoothly with any Java program, and immediately delivers to your application powerful features, including scripting capabilities, Domain-Specific Language authoring, runtime and compile-time meta-programming and functional programming.
java  language  scripting  PLT  read-later 
28 days ago
Silicon Inquiry // Notes From Below
Google was supposed to be the goal, the reward people worked so hard for. And on the surface, it was everything you could have asked for: lots of autonomy, excellent compensation, a workspace that caters to your every need. So why did it feel so empty?

When I talked to other interns about this, the conversations never got very far. We’d concur that the work was kind of dull, and tentatively wonder if there was something better: maybe a different team within Google, or just a different company in the tech industry. Never did we connect our shared malaise to structural issues with the industry itself; it was much more natural to turn inward, and ask ourselves if our unhappiness was the result of personal failings, a symptom of just not being cut out for the industry.
work  life  google  politics  argument 
5 weeks ago
Categorical Informatics
Whenever information from different sources needs to be combined, the data structures supporting that information must first be related. This task, called data integration, is the biggest and most expensive challenge in IT today, accounting for over 40% of enterprise IT budgets.

Our technology performs data-integration tasks — such as querying, combining, and evolving databases — using category theory, a branch of mathematics that has already revolutionized several areas of computer science. Category theory gives us the theoretical guidance missing from current-generation data models (Relational, RDF/OWL, Graph, Key-Value, LINQ) and we have used it to build software for integrating data more quickly and more accurately than existing tools.

Our product consists of two parts:

AQL, an open-source query and data integration scripting language that is hosted in an open-source integrated development environment (IDE).
A proprietary UI and execution engine for increased productivity with AQL - please contact us for licensing information.
category-theory  database  esoteric  tooling 
5 weeks ago
The False Nobility of Space Billionaires | Literary Hub
The privatization of human space flight over the past two decades is sometimes called the Billionaire Space Race. This has shifted responsibility from publicly-funded space agencies to corporations like Boeing and Lockheed Martin and private ventures owned by billionaires. As some of these billionaires are associated with the tech sector, the race is also referred to as Space 2.0. Some of their ventures are working towards launching wealthy tourists into low earth orbit, or to commercializing space transportation. All of the billionaires claim their endeavors are in the spirit of adventure and exploration on behalf of humanity. They believe their ambitions to be noble.
politics  oligarchy  argument  space 
5 weeks ago
Location + time: urban data visualization - MORPHOCODE
To visualize changes over time, we must first understand time itself. Different temporal models support different types of temporal primitives. Most often we use one of the three main types of temporal primitives: a time point; a time interval or a time span.

A time point or an instant is a single point in time. The time interval, on the other hand, has a duration and is constructed by two time points – a beginning and an end. We can think of time points as events, while intervals are associated with processes. The span is a directed amount of time units, for example, 12 days. It is a relative, unanchored temporal primitive without a fixed beginning on the time axis. In that sense time points and intervals are anchored or absolute temporal primitives, with a fixed location on the time axis.
design  visualisation  data-analysis  howto 
5 weeks ago
All watched over by machines – a review of Yasha Levine’s “Surveillance Valley” | LibrarianShipwreck
Surveillance Valley is a troubling book, but it is an important book. It smashes comforting myths and refuses to leave its readers with simple solutions. What it demonstrates in stark relief is that surveillance and unnerving links to the military-industrial complex are not signs that the Internet has gone awry, but signs that the Internet is functioning as intended.
book  review  technology  politics  tor  security 
5 weeks ago
The Political Path to GPS - The New Atlantis
The age-old humbling first task when opening a map for most uses was finding yourself. This was a practical necessity for every map that was not physically anchored in one place and sporting a “You Are Here” sign. No longer in the age of GPS. It’s easy to forget the significance of this change, to think of the blue dot as an eternal finger over your shoulder, not an instant self-centering absent in millennia of previous maps. Today’s circumstantial solipsist is the spot the universe revolves around.
maps  navigation  technology  argument  politics  psychology 
5 weeks ago
CABINET // Inside Jobs
When the police were finally notified, they chose not to perform an exorcism. Being a secular institution, they instead installed a hidden surveillance camera, and, in May 2002, the truth came to light. It was not a ghost at all, but an engineering teacher from Strasbourg. He had been entering the room through a long-forgotten secret passage, access to which was hidden inside one of the bookcases. Unseen—indeed entirely unsuspected—he was able to remove the library’s priceless collection piece by piece, emerging from the walls to take entire shelves of books at a time.
architecture  history  crime  books  essay 
5 weeks ago
How Bitcoin made right-wing conspiracy theories mainstream | Salon.com
Yet the extent to which cryptocurrency applications have entered mainstream politics belies its right-wing underpinnings. Virginia Commonwealth University Professor David Golumbia, who recently published a book "The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism," is blowing the whistle on the kinds of far-right ideas and conspiracy theories that not only inspired cryptocurrency's creation, but which are now trafficked, sometimes unknowingly, by many cryptocurrency boosters on both the right and left.

I spoke with Professor Golumbia about the far-right background of Bitcoin and how crypto is helping to normalize some of the more fringe aspects of right-wing thought. This interview has been condensed and edited for print.  
politics  bitcoin  interview  argument  neoliberalism 
5 weeks ago
Is Your Job a Bunch of B.S.? - Los Angeles Review of Books
ANTHROPOLOGIST AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST David Graeber wrote a 2013 essay for Strike! Magazine that got more attention than an essay in a niche radical magazine typically gets. The piece, called “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs,” inspired responses in outlets from The Economist to Jacobin; the Guardian insisted that the essay would “change your life.”

Much of the attention could be attributed to the essay’s simple but relatable title — everyone seemed to intuitively understand what it meant to call a job “bullshit.” The image of a modern workplace filled with people pretending to look busy while secretly checking Facebook was immediately recognizable. But, more substantively, the piece’s premise struck at one of the core tenets of capitalism. It suggested that many jobs created in the modern economy do not actually need to exist at all.
book  review  bullshit  economics  graeber 
5 weeks ago
US power to rule a digital world ebbs away | Evgeny Morozov | Technology | The Guardian
American policymakers have known perfectly well that the hallmark of effective hegemony is the invisibility of its operations. Getting other people to behave as desired is easier if those others believe that doing so is not only in their interest but also the natural course of history and progress.

Why bother with the messy sale that is colonialism if one could get other countries to surrender through fairytales about the mutual benefits of free trade?

Of all the myths that solidified American hegemony over the past three decades, the myth of technology proved the most potent. It recast technology as a natural, neutral force that could erase power imbalances between countries. Technology was not something to be tinkered with or redirected; one could only adapt to it – much like one would adapt to the vagaries of the market, but with far less resistance.
technology  politics  argument  americana  europe  neoliberalism 
5 weeks ago
What is a water sky? | Mallemaroking
Water Sky - The dark appearance of the underside of a cloud layer when it is over a surface of open water.
navigation  esoteric 
5 weeks ago
Terrorists 'helped by CIA' to stop rise of left in Italy | World news | The Guardian
US intelligence services instigated and abetted rightwing terrorism in Italy during the 1970s, a former Italian secret service general has claimed.
The allegation was made by General Gianadelio Maletti, a former head of military counter-intelligence, at the trial last week of rightwing extremists accused of killing 16 people in the bombing of a Milan bank in 1969 - the first time such a charge has been made in a court of law by a senior Italian intelligence figure.
politics  history  terrorism  americana  cia 
5 weeks ago
The Bullshit-Job Boom | The New Yorker
For more and more people, work appears to serve no purpose. Is there any good left in the grind?
bullshit  culture  economics  work  book  review  graeber  new-yorker 
5 weeks ago
Lost in Math | Not Even Wrong
Sabine Hossenfelder’s new book Lost in Math should be starting to appear in bookstores around now. It’s very good and you should get a copy. I hope that the book will receive a lot of attention, but suspect that much of this will focus on an oversimplified version of the book’s argument, ignoring some of the more interesting material that she has put together.

Hossenfelder’s main concern is the difficult current state of theoretical fundamental physics, sometimes referred to as a “crisis” or “nightmare scenario”. She is writing at what is likely to be a decisive moment for the subject: the negative LHC results for popular speculative models are now in. What effect will these have on those who have devoted decades to studying such models?
physics  philosophy  math  argument  book  review 
5 weeks ago
The Left in Syria: From Democratic National Change to Devastation
Syrian writer Thaer A. Deeb chronicles the miscalculations that have prevented the Syrian left from playing a decisive role in the uprising that began in 2011. 
syria  mideast  politics  strategy 
5 weeks ago
Tech Workers Versus the Pentagon
Workers at Google just scored an impressive victory against US militarism.
ethics  google  politics  interview 
5 weeks ago
Eshell: The Emacs Shell
Eshell is a shell-like command interpreter implemented in Emacs Lisp. It invokes no external processes except for those requested by the user. It is intended to be an alternative to the IELM (see Emacs Lisp Interaction) REPL for Emacs and with an interface similar to command shells such as bash, zsh, rc, or 4dos.
emacs  documentation  shell 
5 weeks ago
That Trigonometry Diagram Again | Advanced Math for Young Students
Since I started this blog, one recurring goal has been to explore ways to visualize mathematical ideas. In that spirit, I spent a few posts talking about this diagram:
math  education 
5 weeks ago
The House of Government: A Saga of the Russsian Revolution: Slezkine, Yuri: Hardcover: 9780691176949: Powell's Books
In this mammoth and profusely researched work Slezkine (The Jewish Century) professor of history at UC Berkeley recounts the Russian revolution through the activities and inhabitants of the House of Government Europe’s largest residential building. Built in 1931 in a central Moscow swamp the house was home to hundreds of Communist Party officials their dependents and maintenance workers. The community lasted just over a decade; Stalin purged many residents in the 1930s and the rest were evacuated in 1941 as the Nazis advanced. Slezkine finds the story of the House of Government worth telling because it was “where revolutionaries came home and the revolution came to die.” This is a family saga of the “Old Bolsheviks” the men and women who midwifed the revolution and guided its early steps before falling victim to Stalin’s paranoid excesses. Slezkine illuminates myriad aspects of these lives including fashion choices and intellectual schisms. He also analyzes Bolshevism’s failure so soon after its apparent triumph inviting controversy by describing the Bolsheviks as “millenarian sectarians preparing for the apocalypse.” Slezkine asserts that the cosmopolitanism and humanism of postrevolutionary culture undermined the single mindedness necessary to maintain their ideology. It’s a work begging to be debated; Slezkine aggregates mountains of detail for an enthralling account of the rise and fall of the revolutionary generation.
russian  history  book  read-later 
5 weeks ago
Peter Turchin The New Machiavelli - Peter Turchin
Thus I looked to reading The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith with great anticipation. I had an inkling that I would disagree on much with the authors, but I was looking forward not to agree, but to learn.

I was mistaken. The book fails, and fails badly, on both theoretical and empirical grounds. It’s so bad, I almost decided not to review it. However, it has been enormously successful. It sold a lot of copies, and garnered more than 200 reviews on the Amazon, most of them glowingly positive (average rating 4.6 out of 5). It also inspired a very popular info-video by CGP Grey (over 6 million views).
politics  book  review  argument  history 
5 weeks ago
Management and Leadership Worksheets & Tools | Lara Hogan
Each of the following management and leadership tools are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

I've created these tools to help you manage your energy drain, set expectations with your team, game plan your 1:1s, and so much more! They stem from the most-common topics that come up in my coaching practice, and I use them throughout my management workshops, too.

Please enjoy them, share them, and attribute them back to Lara Hogan!
management  culture  advice  work 
6 weeks ago
Under Modernity’s Hood: Precision Engineering - The New York Times
In “The Perfectionists,” Simon Winchester celebrates the unsung breed of engineers who through the ages have designed ever more creative and intricate machines. He takes us on a journey through the evolution of “precision,” which in his view is the major driver of what we experience as modern life.
books  review  engineering  read-later 
6 weeks ago
The real price of Madagascar’s vanilla boom
The crop is targeted by gangs and costs as much as silver, but high prices hurt the ice-cream market and do little to reduce poverty on the African island
spice  trade  politics  africa  read-later  economics 
6 weeks ago
The Creative Class Gets Organized
The staff of The New Yorker—the people behind the scenes: editors, fact checkers, social media strategists, designers—are unionizing. They’ve even got a logo: Eustace Tilly with his fist raised. If you’re a loyal reader of the magazine, as I am, you should support the union in any way you can. Every week, they bring us our happiness; we should give them some back. They’re asking for letters of solidarity; email them at newyorkerunion@gmail.com.
journalism  history  argument  read-later  new-yorker  labour-movement 
6 weeks ago
The Committee | Issue 21 | n+1
IN THE EARLY 1970S, the New Yorker, like many other magazines, went through two or three years of difficult financial times — a significant decrease in advertising pages and revenues. In the editorial department, management — William Shawn, the longtime editor of the magazine, the executive editor, Robert Bingham, and the magazine’s counsel and vice president and “liaison” with the business department, Milton Greenstein — responded to the slump with stingy measures. To many staff members it gave minuscule raises or no raises at all. It eliminated a long-standing cost-of-living adjustment — theretofore automatic and annual. It cut the lifetime psychiatric-benefit amount in half — from $20,000 to $10,000. It’s true that many people who worked for the New Yorker not only went to the couch themselves but sent their wives or husbands and children to the couch, too, and that was said to be the reason for the new, draconian rule. The result of this particular cutback was that people had to terminate their analyses on the brink of discovering whom they more deeply resented, Mom or Dad, and, perhaps just as important, which of them William Shawn more closely resembled.
journalism  history  argument  read-later  new-yorker  labour-movement 
6 weeks ago
Your Job Doesn't Matter - VICE
According to David Graeber, we should be excited for robots to take our bullshit jobs.
graeber  work  book  review 
6 weeks ago
Tearing apart printf() – MaiZure's Projects
If 'Hello World' is the first program for C students, then printf() is probably the first function. I've had to answer questions about printf() many times over the years, so I've finally set aside time for an informal writeup. The common questions fit roughly in to two forms:

Easy: How does the printf mechanically solve the format problem?
Complex: How does printf actually display text on my console?
My usual answer?
"Just open up stdio.h and track it down"

This wild goose chase is not only a great learning experience, but also an interesting test for the dedicated beginner. Will they come back with an answer? If so, how detailed is it? What IS a good answer?
*nix  tutorial  tooling  C  shell  esoteric 
6 weeks ago
Gunfight at the Cubic Corral | The Renaissance Mathematicus
Cardano did not steal Tartaglia’s solution and in my naivety I had assumed that everybody with an interest in the history of mathematics already knew the true story, obviously this is not the case so I have decided to retell it here, for once dealing with a couple of real life Renaissance Mathematicae.
math  history  reference  science 
6 weeks ago
How Browsers Work: Behind the scenes of modern web browsers - HTML5 Rocks
This comprehensive primer on the internal operations of WebKit and Gecko is the result of much research done by Israeli developer Tali Garsiel. Over a few years, she reviewed all the published data about browser internals (see Resources) and spent a lot of time reading web browser source code.
web  tutorial  documentation  prog  algoritms 
6 weeks ago
Google - Site Reliability Engineering
In this interview, Ben Treynor shares his thoughts with Niall Murphy about what Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is, how and why it works so well, and the factors that differentiate SRE from operations teams in industry.
devops  google  interview  people  engineering  read-later 
6 weeks ago
Really, non-rational techniques of persuasion. (A somewhat cloudy concept, which I probably ought to work on making clear.) For instance: is a mis-leading or a lie a form of non-rational persuasion? (Probably not.) How about the threat of torture? (No, because it doesn't instill belief, merely lead to a specific action.)
rhetoric  argument  books  list 
6 weeks ago
The Yale Law Journal - Forum: The Ideological Roots of America's Market Power Problem
Mounting research shows that America has a market power problem.1 In sectors ranging from airlines and poultry to eyeglasses and semiconductors, just a handful of companies dominate.2 The decline in competition is so consistent across markets that excessive concentration and undue market power now look to be not an isolated issue but rather a systemic feature of America’s political economy.3 This is troubling because monopolies and oligopolies produce a host of harms. They depress wages and salaries, raise consumer costs, block entrepreneurship, stunt investment, retard innovation, and render supply chains and complex systems highly fragile.4 Dominant firms’ economic power allows them, in turn, to concentrate political power, which they then use to win favorable policies and further entrench their dominance.5
law  history  argument  read-later  capitalism  politics  americana 
6 weeks ago
Richard Smith: Medical research—still a scandal - The BMJ
Twenty years ago this week the statistician Doug Altman published an editorial in the BMJ arguing that much medical research was of poor quality and misleading. In his editorial entitled, “The Scandal of Poor Medical Research,” Altman wrote that much research was “seriously flawed through the use of inappropriate designs, unrepresentative samples, small samples, incorrect methods of analysis, and faulty interpretation.” Twenty years later I fear that things are not better but worse.
medicine  argument  science  stats  methodology  read-later 
6 weeks ago
Remembering When Only Barbarians Drank Milk - Gastro Obscura
For centuries, this was the norm in many parts of the world: People who ate butter and drank milk were uncivilized outsiders.
food  history  book 
6 weeks ago
Sloc Cloc and Code - What happened on the way to faster Cloc | Ben E. C. Boyter
It started by wanting to write a code counter that would be faster than cloc.

scc is a very fast accurate code counter with complexity calculations and cocomo estimates written in Go
scc can be the fastest code counter by a large margin if you disable the garbage collector
find the source for everything on github https://github.com/boyter/scc/
surprisingly walking the file tree can be the bottleneck in your application
memory maps for reading files is useful if the file you are opening is >= 6 MB in size (at least in WSL)
profiling Go code does not work in the WSL
the golden rule of performance tuning is to profile/measure, profile/measure and profile/measure again
the best case vs worst case performance for parallel file tree walking is large
the default file walker is slow due to calling os.Stat on every node and not running in parallel
I have probably messed up the COCOMO estimates calculation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COCOMO
the name comes from joining sloccount, cloc and code complexity in a way that sounds like a Guy Ritchie film
the whole thing below is written as I went along so its likely some parts are contradictory
loc is only faster than tokei on single or dual core machines
complexity  measurement  dev  prog  read-later  stats 
6 weeks ago
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