Links from the past weeks 

  • Downs–Thomson paradox

    The equilibrium speed of car traffic on a road network is determined by the average door-to-door speed of equivalent journeys taken by public transport; improvements in the road network will not reduce congestion and improvements in the road network can make congestion worse if the improvements make public transport more inconvenient or if they cause disinvestment in the public transport system.

  • GPT models are actually reasoning engines not knowledge databases

    “Even though our AI models were trained by reading the whole internet, that training mostly enhances their reasoning abilities not how much they know. And so, the performance of today’s AI models is constrained by their lack of knowledge.”

  • Cang Lan Jue is a Visual Feast inspired by Hades & Persephone

    I was recommended to watch this, and did not expect the high level of CGI wizardry. It was a visual treat, and a break from the overly sexualised storylines you get from most other things one watches on Netflix. Reminds me of the shows we watched as children, but with much better computer graphics.

  • Why EY and its rivals may eventually break up, after all

    Because the audit business is in conflict with the consulting/ advice business. Amazing how the conflict of interests rules don’t apply to some professions.

  • To fend off creepy guys online, Chinese women gather around ‘baby solid food’

    The hashtag, associated with parenting, means the algorithm pushes the content mainly to women. I am guessing there will be various other hashtags one has to use to get away from creeps.

  • I was today years old when I learned about asparagus pee. (I can’t smell it.)

  • The Benner Cycle Predicts 100+ Years of Market Movement

    Someone once told me about 11-year cycle, but in recent years, the cycles are much harder to interpret.

  • The Dubious Wisdom of Smart Brevity

    “Personally, I cannot imagine sending a note with the brusque subject line “our chief of staff quit.” I suspect this is a gender thing: I spent much of my early professional years inserting exclamations into e-mails so as not to sound like a stone-hearted ice witch.”

    We can all learn to write more concisely, but the ideology behind Smart Brevity may not be so universal, as this writer eloquently explains: “Smart Brevity is essentially a book about how to write a good e-mail. (And honestly it probably could have been a long e-mail.)”

📖 Real Estate  

“There were some small improvements. I now owned not one electric bicycle but a fleet of electric bicycles. In this sense, as far as I was concerned, I resembled a rock star I knew who owned a fleet of aero-planes. Yes, I had one e-bike locked up under the tree and two more in the garage. Friends came to stay from all over the world and we cycled around London together. It was a gesture towards a life I wanted, that is to say, an extended family of friends and their children, an expanded family rather than a nuclear family, which in this phase of my life seemed a happier way to live. If I wanted a spare room for every friend, my flat could not support this idea. If I wanted a fireplace in every room, there were no fireplaces in my flat. So what was I going to do with all this wanting?”

Deborah Levy
Real Estate


A timeless question – What have I done with my life?, sometimes interposed with a more materialistic – What do I have to show for it?

I appreciate how Levy captures the questions and how we answer ourselves, never losing a sense of optimism. I have read and adored Levy’s previous two volumes of her living autobiography. In this volume, she goes into questions about patriarchy and a woman’s place in this world, and much as one yearns for a strong message or resolution, I understand why sometimes ambivalence holds sway. We may not get the outcome we want in this lifetime, but we have to keep on trying.

Living is striving. Living is keenly observing. You may or may not have real estate to show for it.


“Yet my encounter with this rented house was a taunt, a provocation; it made me feel more alive. If I was full of desire for its ambience and grace, the fact that I did not have the means to buy it only accelerated my desire. Perhaps it was not the house but desire itself that made me feel more alive.

Maybe it is a good thing for us to keep a few dreams of a house that we shall live in later, always later, so much later, in fact, that we shall not have time to achieve it.
Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space