This note used to say that the links below appear in the order I read them and was meant imply that they were more or less random in their subject matter, other than being of interest to me. Recently I started a few new sections at the bottom of the links on subjects that are of particular interest to me. But I can see that as time passes I am moving to a greater degree of "curation", which the dictionary tell me is about organizing and maintaining a collection. Applied to this collection of links and books I guess this will mean selecting links less randomly and trying to make them relevant in the context of this blog and whatever is going on in the world during the month.
- Art Berman: Think Oil Is Getting Expensive? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet., Art Berman interviewed by Chris Martenson,
A global supply crunch approaches...
- How babies learn—and why robots can’t compete, by Alex Beard, The Guardian—The Long Read
"If we could understand how the infant mind develops, it might help every child reach their full potential. But seeing them as learning machines is not the answer."
This one could have gone under Intelligence or Artificial Intelligence, so I put it here instead.
- Rotten results: Sainsbury's drops project to halve food waste, by Rebecca Smithers, The Guardian
"However, the year-long experiment fell far short of its 50% target, with households believed to have cut food waste by only 9% – and telling Sainsbury’s the issue was not a priority for them."
- Do we need science and scientific discoveries to survive as a planet? Would we have been better off without science?
A Quora Question with some excellent answers. I do think all the answers are missing the distinction between science and technology, and the idea that much technology was developed before the existence of science as a formal discipline.
- Against metrics: how measuring performance by numbers backfires, by Jerry Z Muller, Aeon
- You don’t have a right to believe whatever you want to, by Daniel DeNicola, Aeon
"If some beliefs are false, or morally repugnant, or irresponsible, some beliefs are also dangerous. And to those, we have no right."
- 10 Best GMO Memes, by Stephan Neidenbach, Medium
- A Half Dozen Reasons to Reject the “Dirty Dozen”, by Kevin Folta, Medium
"An activist marketing campaign harms food choice."
- 100 million Americans have chronic pain. Very few use one of the best tools to treat it, by Brian Resnick, Vox
- Were you GMO fooled this year? Here are the biggest GMO jokes to watch out for, by Michael Stebbins, Medium—GMO Answer
- Beyond the Label: 3 Truths & No Lies About GMOs, by GMO answers, Medium
- The EmDrive, NASA’s ‘Impossible’ Space Engine, Really Is Impossible, by Ethan Siegel, Medium
- Bananas have died out once before—don’t let it happen again, by Jackie Turner, Aeon
- The unwelcome revival of "race science", by Gavin Evans, The Guardian
- Socioeconomic Status Modifies Heritability Of IQ In Young Children, by Eric Turkheimer et al, University of Virginia
"Results demonstrate that the proportions of IQ variance attributable to genes and environment vary nonlinearly with SES. The models suggest that in impoverished families, 60% of the variance in IQ is accounted for by the shared environment, and the contribution of genes is close to zero; in affluent families, the result is almost exactly the reverse."
Poverty, Homelessness, Minimum Wage
- Old and on the Street: The Graying of America’s Homeless, by Adam Nagourney, New York Times
The emergence of an older homeless population is creating daunting challenges for social service agencies and governments already struggling to fight poverty.
- We Don’t Always Have Electricity, But We Accept Bitcoin, by Anne Mueller, Medium
"The strange dynamics of survival and growth in a post-catastrophic Puerto Rico."
Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles
- Frontier AI: How far are we from artificial “general” intelligence, really? by Mark Turck, Medium—Hackernoon
- Did Google Duplex just pass the Turing Test? by Lance Ulanoff , Medium
The answer is no, getting closer, but only in very specific, narrow domains.
- No, Google Duplex Hasn’t Passed the Turing Test, by Junaid Mubeen, Medium
"We’ve just relaxed our human ambition."
- Tesla Model S With Autopilot Slams Into Fire Truck At 60mph As Another Key Exec Departs, by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge
To be fair, we don't yet know (as of this moment) whether the car was on autopilot or not.
- Witness recalls horror of Tesla crash that killed two teens, by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge
Again, we don't yet know if the car was on autopilot, but it is interesting to note that car caught fire, even without a tank of gasoline. Clearly an issue with the Tesla itself, not the autopilot.
- Tesla’s Autopilot engaged during Utah crash, by Julian Hattem, Associated Press, The Detroit News
- Tesla in autopilot mode crashes into parked Laguna Beach police cruiser, by Brittny Mejia, LA Times
- Step to the Stars, by Lester del Rey
I originally read this when I was about 10 years old. Re-read it purely for nostalgic reasons.
- Nemesis Games, by James S. A. Corey
Book five of the Expanse series.
- On a Red Station Drifting, by Aliette de Bodard
- Into the Fire, by Elizabeth Moon
Another episode in the "Vatta's Peace" series
- After the Last Day, by Don Hayward
The author is a fellow I actually know, who lives in Goderich, the next town south from Kincardine along Lake Huron. What mainly attracted me to the book, though, is that it is a story of life after the collapse of civilization in the area where I grew up. It starts in the town where I went to high school, and then the plot expands to include most of Southern Ontario and a small part of Northern Ontario. Don has done a pretty good job of sketching out the events following a major financial collapse.
I'm still wading slowly through The Bell Curve, in order to be able to criticize it with some degree of credibility. This has also lead to reading some scholarly articles about IQ on the web, further slowing down my other reading. So I didn't read any other non-fiction books this month, even those I have a growing pile that I'd like to get to. To make up for this lack, here is a short list of some gems from my bookshelf:
- Yes, We Have No Neurons, by A. K. Dewdney,
An Eye-Opening Tour through the Twists and Turns of Bad Science
- The Quark and the Jaguar, by Murray Gell-Mann,
Adventures in the simple and the complex
- Visions of Caliban, by Dale Peterson and Jane Goodall,
on chimpanzees and people.
- The Homebrew Industrial Revolution, by Kevin A. Carson
A Low-Overhead Manifesto
Also available as a free ebook or pdf
- A Matter of Scale, by Keith Farnish
A book, A Solution. A Future.