Links from the past weeks

Links from the past weeks

Links from the past weeks

  • Hanif Kureishi writes an essay on friendship.
    I like this expression – “purposive idleness”.


  • China is now more Japanese than Japan
    That day I learned of the “Japanification index”, which is measured by the sum of the output gap, the inflation rate and short-term interest rates. The lower the score, the more Japanese you were.


  • The evil of banality
    Yes, sometimes it seems strange that our collective intelligence should have us end up the boring normies we are. Even our differences and the intolerance we sneak in between our political incorrectness, and all the stupid things we do, are any of them a surprise?


  • You can tell me spending time in nature is good for me, but when you tell me it needs to be 2 hours a week, I feel a mild demotivating force arising.


  • A neckband speaker seems like a good idea. The younger me would not have imagined the options we have for speakers and microphones these days. Perhaps I might even have expected we’d have jumped to ear implants by now. Somewhat relatedly, I came across an old page on the Oregon Trail generation. (In a way, we were lucky, to be able to grow up in that particular slice in time.)


  • Pluralistic explains the long con of social media platforms locking in users and businesses. I hope we are on our way to being free of the shit that these platforms have wrought; this piece is a good summary of what we had found ourselves enmeshed in.


  • Javelin
    Sufjan Stevens’ latest album is beautiful.


Links from the past weeks

Links from the past weeks

Links from the past weeks 

Links from the past weeks 

Links from the past weeks

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.)”


Links from the past weeks