A list of articles I read. 51
2017 19
Date Title Subtitle Comments
On Getting Old(er) in Tech This is a topic I'm interested in, as I'm approaching my 40s and I'm a software engineer. tl;dr: you have to keep learning.
Is the Default Mode of the Brain to Suffer? "When the brain is "at rest," it’s doing anything but resting." This is obvious to anybody who's ever tried to meditate. The good news seems to be that there's mounting evidence that becoming more aware of what's going on in our minds (e.g. by meditating) changes our default state (our "default mode network", or DMN) in a positive way.
The Teletext Salvagers: How VHS is bringing teletext back from the dead Teletext died on 23 October 2012. Now, digital archeologists are digging through VHS tapes to get it back This is brilliant. My position is that we should archive everything, as much as possible. I was a fan of teletext in the 80s, so it's kind of sad to think that all those pages are now probably lost.
How Camus and Sartre split up over the question of how to be free So I guess the question is how ideas can influence politics. Do you compromise or do you fight (using violence if needed)? Do you want absolute justice (according to your ideology) or do you want communication? You can't have both.
The secret to living a meaningful life Your ambitions to improve your life do not need to be confined by your personality. The title is a clickbait, of course. Our core projects affect our happiness, so they should feel attainable and be aligned with our values. Nothing that Getting Things Done (GTD) hasn't said before, I guess.
The science of Westworld A summary of recent artificial intelligence research "A summary of recent artificial intelligence research" using Westworld, one of my favorite shows, as an illustration. This works well and the article touches on some complex topics/issues (intermediate tests towards a more complete Turing test, memory and neural networks, AI control problem, etc.).
Facebook is terrifying I'm not terrified. Is there anything wrong with me? More seriously, I do have things to hide (my passwords, for one thing), but I'm less concerned than most people about privacy issues.
Pourquoi des économistes votent non à la RIE III Oui, il nous faut une réforme, mais évidemment pas celle-ci. Car la RIE III est bourrée de défauts, incohérente, et potentiellement dangereuse pour l’emploi, estime François Grin, économiste Un article clair, qui semble indiquer que la RIE III est une mauvaise solution. Une source précieuse quelques jours avant les votations fédérales du 12 février 2017.
The 15-Minute Habit Worth Making Time For I've been writing a diary since 1993, but it's always refreshing to read about the reasons other people are also journaling. I would just object to calling everything a "journal" when a more precise terminology is available (Getting Things Done, free writing, brainstorming, etc.). Or maybe I'm doing it wrong...
Why paper is the real 'killer app' With apps taking over our lives, there’s a movement afoot as people yearn for simpler, technology-free times. Paper might be a solution for brainstorming and note-taking, but I remain convinced that it's not a good way to organize tasks and projects. Simple online documents win, here.
Don’t set goals for yourself—instead, create systems that make it easy for you to succeed This is Scott Adams' approach. And also the basis for Getting Things Done (GTD), I guess. The article itself was not particularly illuminating.
You (and Your Therapist) Can Change Your Personality We can (somewhat) change our personality, with the help of therapists. I don't really know what to do with this information. I guess it's a source of hope if we don't like some facets of our personalities?
A Painless Q-Learning Tutorial A very easy-to-understand introduction to Q-learning.
Deep Q-Learning (Space Invaders) Again, we live exciting times: we can now reproduce state-of-the-art AI papers by just using (relatively) easy-to-use libraries (Theano, here, but many others are available).
Food packaging is not the enemy of the environment that it is assumed to be Vacuum packs mean meat can stay on shelves for between five and eight days Packaging is apparently very useful for meat and dairy products in particular. Another reason to become vegetarian/vegan?
Scientists say your "mind" isn’t confined to your brain, or even your body This reminds me of the concept of extended phenotype by Richard Dawkins, but I'm not convinced it is as useful here.
A "new" star should appear in 2022 A tale of scientific serendipity We live exciting times. An astronomer has predicted a nova before it happened.
How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail Why worldview threats undermine evidence Nothing new here: facts often don't convince people. Just like statistics don't convince people, but anecdotes sometimes do. We're all victims of cognitive biases.
Why 30 is the decade friends disappear — and what to do about it People get busy with their work and their family. Nothing new, here. I'm not sure the "what to do about it" part of the title has really been addressed by the article. Is the solution really to be less demanding - or something like that?
2016 32
Date Title Subtitle Comments
Why do we work so hard? Ryan Avent reckons that our jobs have become prisons from which we don’t want to escape
On Digital Minimalism
A History of Hard Drives
A possible answer to the hard problem of consciousness: subjective experience is communication
The mystery of why you can't remember being a baby Babies are sponges for new information – so why does it take so long for us to form your first memory? BBC Future investigates.
Is Physical Law an Alien Intelligence? Alien life could be so advanced it becomes indistinguishable from physics.
Wherefore art thou Macintosh?
Why You Are Immortal (No Religion Involved)
Dalai Lama: Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded
Fighting Loneliness With Public Living Rooms Meet the group combating social isolation through cups of tea.
You Can Have Emotions You Don’t Feel
‘Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 5’ Review Bootlegs reveal the inner workings of Miles Davis’s creative process.
Consciousness Isn’t a Mystery. It’s Matter.
Video Games Are Boring Maybe everything we know is wrong, says Brie Code
The Important Habit of Just Starting
Microsoft, I forgive you!
The comeback of cursive Once derided as a relic of the past, handwriting looks poised for a revival
The problems with philosophical zombies
Am I Introverted, or Just Rude?
Lifelogging is dead (for now) A funny thing happened on the road to capturing everything: Hardware failed to keep up, and social media made it redundant.
Why can’t we see that we’re living in a golden age? If you look at all the data, it’s clear there’s never been a better time to be alive
What it feels like to be the last generation to remember life before the internet
Adding ages The fight to cheat death is hotting up
‘HitnRUN Phase Two’: An Oral History Of Prince’s Last Studio Album
Would a Work-Free World Be So Bad? Fears of civilization-wide idleness are based too much on the downsides of being unemployed in a society premised on the concept of employment.
This Top-Secret Food Will Change the Way You Eat
How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars
A 'Brief' History of Neural Nets and Deep Learning, Part 1
The Mind–Body Problem, Scientific Regress and "Woo" The science of consciousness, far from converging on a sensible paradigm, is going backward
Plaidoyer pour une (bonne) communication sceptique Article invité de Xavier Ristat, auteur du blog Cygnification qui traite de la communication (et un peu du scepticisme)
The first self-driving car fatality proves nothing The death of a driver using the Tesla Autopilot function doesn’t show that the technology is unsafe
What’s Next for Artificial Intelligence The best minds in the business—Yann LeCun of Facebook, Luke Nosek of the Founders Fund, Nick Bostrom of Oxford University and Andrew Ng of Baidu—on what life will look like in the age of the machines