Posted: February 18, 2018 Filed under: 4 or 5 Things, Learning stuff, links, Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: links
Bruce Sterling on cognition and computing, in reference to AI, shows that conflating the 2 ideas can be misleading and restricting. A different perspective to view AI through.
This is 2+ years old now but shows, very effectively, that the malware/botnet/ad-fraud space is complex. Google’s efforts with spider.io
Lot’s of short pithy bits of advice about writing, from Paul Graham. Really worth reading.
Working in top end restaurants can be like this.
Quantum field theory explained in a children’s picture book kind of way.
Posted: June 4, 2017 Filed under: 4 or 5 Things, Globalisation, links, Technology, Who's going to pay | Tags: futurology, globalisation, Technology
I periodically revisit the links at the bottom of my reading list (managed by pocket) to see if I can either dump them from the list unread, leave them there for reading at an unspecified future point or ideally read them and push them to my archive.
Having done this recently these 4 links from 2014 stood out. All of them talk about the way the world is today, and are particularly interesting to me as they could all just as easily have been published this year (with some small changes no doubt).
The Economist challenges the principle of driving shareholder value and notes that since it became a corporate mantra the value of a CEO’s remuneration has increased 8-fold, which most certainly was not the point. Please remember the quote that follows is from 2014 when no-one thought Brexit or Trump likely to come to pass….
And that trend, which has spilled out to the rest of the developed world, is leading to the growing anger of voters and the resistance to globalisation which may eventually cause even more damage to business and investors.
This link is a guide to Shenzhen, almost certainly out of date in some regard (I’m no Shenzhen expert), but the reality of the Chinese tech markets is fascinating and although it took me nearly 3 years to read this I’m still glad i did.
A good overview from the Guardian about progress made by ‘robot’ writers. The primary example here is a quick news story about an earthquake report, in this case some gentle tremors. Published and approved by a human, but written by a computer. This was in 2014, I can’t help but imagine this is more widespread today.
Hammond was in the limelight recently, having claimed that by 2025 90% of the news read by the general public would be generated by computers. “That doesn’t mean that robots will be replacing 90% of all journalists, simply that the volume of published material will massively increase,” he explains. “Take the example of small amateur baseball games. They don’t interest the media, but several dozen people follow each one. Quill collates data on thousands of these games and can produce thousands of articles almost instantaneously, one for each match, in a style similar to sportswriters, who are easy to imitate.”
The last link is about the nature of the global clothing industry, although the article concentrates on the Korean impact on LA’s Jobber market.
How did this neighborhood become what it is? The answer lies in a 50-year process of migration and generational progress—one that has recently reached a kind of critical mass.
A well written and good exploration that reminds us that even in these times of incredible and fast change the slower moving trends driven by demographics and migration still hold some sway.
Posted: February 11, 2017 Filed under: Globalisation, links, Uncategorized | Tags: Politics
I’m more than slightly fed up with the huge amount of writing about the US administration that has been dominating my reading sources since the trump election. It’s understandable, of course even fundamentally important actually, and I’ve been duly consuming a lot of it to try and keep up, but I just want to get some texture back into my reading.
So, to that end this linkdump is an attempt to draw a small line under the one topic I’ve been reading more about than anything else since November 2016. I’m not signing off completely, but I am trying to re-balance what I’m reading. You’ll be able to form a quick opinion about where I sit on the question of Trump and Bannon from the sources, let alone the content of these pieces, but there are also a number of well written essays/articles here that I think are sincere and informative regardless of which side your opinions trend towards.
The Economist tries to be even handed in a high level view of the Trump administration recognising the potential for improved domestic economics while worrying about the fragility of the western world order built by the US since WW2, and largely, of course, built for the US also.
Politico offers up an overview of the kind of secrets that will now be available to Trump. Very interesting and slightly scary, regardless of who holds power.
The United States has invested trillions of dollars to ensure that its president can know more than anyone else on Earth—knowledge meant to be deployed to the country’s advantage in trade negotiations, military posturing and a thousand other ways big and small
There are a bunch of pieces raising the alarm about Steve Bannon. Some are focused on where he comes from, politically, and what he has previously claimed to be his political goals, others worry specifically about his elevation to the National Security Council.
In 2015 Bloomburg called him the most dangerous political operative in America
From the Washington Post, The danger of Steve Bannon on the National Security Council
Michael Mullen, who served on G W Bush’s security council is concerned about the potential for the NSC to become politicised.
The security council was formed in 1947 to serve a unique role in our government. It facilitates and coordinates, providing a forum through which federal agencies discuss and debate policy and, ultimately, provide counsel to the president about how best to keep the American people safe. At N.S.C. meetings, representatives from the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department, the intelligence community and other agencies speak freely and critically about the full breadth of options available to the United States. Those discussions can get heated at times. They can certainly get territorial. But they seldom get political — nor should they.
Foreign Policy puts together a really good piece about how incoming administrations commonly make structural changes and how a raft of seemingly innocuous decisions can be massively important. It holds the view that the Trump/Bannon setup isn’t great but the real value here is to understand the underlying reasons and history of these kind of changes. As the headline suggests understanding these things helps us to answer the question of who is the power behind the throne.
This from the New Yorker is in similar territory
And its almost certainly true that an examination of who the most powerful people in Trump’s inner circle are would be incomplete without some kind of summary of Jared Kushner
Kushner imagines his role as managerial, not policymaking. “I’m not political,” he told the audience, not entirely credibly. In D.C., as Reagan’s adage goes, “People are policy,” and no person, other than Trump himself, has been as politically instrumental in advancing the new president’s ambitions.
When she was appointed to the board of directors at Trump Entertainment Resorts, at age twenty-five, the situation was “stacked all the way against me.”
This link is included almost entirely because it uses the phrase “Javanka”
There has been quite a lot of comment about whether we are seeing a slow structural dissoultion of democracy and a move through populism to autocracy. I’ve included this essay because it is laying down some markers, before the event, that we can monitor easily enough, that can help us worry, or hopefully help us to not worry.
10 ways to tell if your president is a dictator
Finally, because it’s important to be aware of the whole picture if possible, I include this from Politico. I imagine their readership to be fairly anti Trump, so it’s worth taking this on board.
Donald Trump might be more popular than you think
Posted: January 14, 2017 Filed under: 4 or 5 Things, links, Uncategorized
I’ve been using twitter to capture my linkdumps. But i’ve never really liked using twitter. I think it has use as a broadcast medium (if you have 10-100’s of thousands of followers), but is a terrible content firehose unless you follow maybe only 8 people and i’m not fussed about capturing running commentaries on, well, anything really.
Twitter is a great thing for certain types of real time information, so I won’t be deleting my account.It was the only relevant news source during the London riots, for example, that gave me the comfort to go back to bed safe in the knowledge that my street wasn’t going to get overrun. But I am going to try and revisit using this blog as my online home again, capturing mostly linkdumps admittedly, but hopefully getting some writing going again too.
To that end this 1st dump will be somewhat retrospective and will capture most of what I’ve dumped to twitter over the last year. Favourites marked.
The overton window and Brexit
Favourite: Love Bladerunner? Read this. Typeset loveliness
An old fashioned scandal. Light relief considering more recent controversies.
Working for the on demand economy
The worst men on the internet
Favourite: An AI wrote this short movie
The soviet internyet
$50 of wonderful crap from Shenzen
A bleak perspective of a Trump presidency
Technology in rural America
Guns and computers, mad things in US regulation
Killing things in the name of conservation
The most exclusive restaurant in America
Thiel and Gawker
Nassim Taleb – how to own a person (legally)
Great big lakes are like batteries
The twitter founding story
The end of Roger Ailes
Peter Thiel – contrarian or inconsistent self serving power grab
Trolling in Epic Mafia
Formalised Russian trolling?
The people Dylan Roof knew
Favourite: The old days and expense accounts
Favourite: The best war reporter of his generation
Its from 1964 but this will help you understand American politics
Favourite: Short fiction – One Star
The most British thing
Little green men
Favourite: Rent extraction – points of control
Ben Evans – thinking about cars
Hacking the Ukrainian power grid
Companies more powerful than some nation states
Favourite: Commoditsed container shipping
Favourite: Short fiction – the end of data
Stephen Wolfram and the box of a million souls
Favourite: Learning to speak Lingerie
Favourite: American boomtowns
Idlewords trip to Antartica
Would you do what a robot told you to
Your parents were spies
Favourite: The LIbertarian Police Department
Favourite: open source and proprietary software a precautionary tale
The MOVE bombing in Philadelphia