Oliver Schmid Owl Logo

Best I've Read Lately 3

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  1. Social media analyzed as Status as a Service software. It gave me some insights as to why my usage of these platforms has decreased as I’ve grown older and how my own decisions and interests have been influenced by unconscious status seeking.
  2. Birth of a new field of twistronics. Particularly interesting is the hint at dynamic material engineering. Sounds like programmable matter.
  3. An interesting take on the Re-fragmentation of American culture by Paul Graham. I’m making my way through his other essays and so far they’ve been quite good.
    • How to Get Startup Ideas is enlightening and contains lots of good information from his experience as a founder of venture capital firm YCombinator.
    • Cities and Ambition makes me wonder about whether Vancouver sends a signal. If it does, it seems something like “you should live better”. In a way that’s healthier, greener, and looks good on Instagram.
  4. A review of Secret Of Our Success by anthropologist Joseph Heinrich and some highlighted passages that have a lot of interesting arguments about our cultural evolution. Especially interesting is the part that centers around why, for much of history, logic would have gotten you killed. And some highlights from the comments pointing out weaknesses in some passages.
  5. A good explanation of why the gig economy sucks for workers. Coincidentally I read this on the same day that Kater became the first ride hailing company allowed to operate in BC. Provincial regulations for the treatment of drivers (and passengers) of ride hailing apps have so far kept out the other major players.
  6. Cellphone and tablet usage is now creating bone growths at the base of human skulls
  7. Some thoughts on the Libra master plan and the ineffectiveness of cryptocurrency KYC/AML regulations.
  8. Interesting thoughts on land art, collecting, and patronage.
  9. Power buys you distance from the crime
  10. An interesting hypothesis that psychopharmacology is so hard to get right because the human body has been primed by evolution to fight off parasitic manipulation.
  11. How market-based approaches to fighting climate change like carbon pricing are easily co-opted and what to do instead.
  12. It’s a bit of a contrived algorithm but Google did a quantum calculation in 200 secs that would have taken a classical computer 10,000 years.
  13. Geoengineering with mammoths, green sand, air fuel, and oysters.
  14. AREE an automaton (without any electronics!) for exploring the extreme heat of Venus.