A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: December, 2018

Read : 2018-12-21

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. A theory of reality as more than the sum of its parts“, by Natalie Wolchover (Quanta Magazine, 2017-06-01).
  2. Mathematicians seal back door to breaking RSA encryption“, by Kevin Hartnett (Quanta Magazine, 2018-12-17).
  3. Facebook is developing a cryptocurrency for WhatsApp transfers, sources say“, by Sarah Frier & Julie Verhage (Bloomberg, 2018-12-20).
  4. ‘Mary Poppins returns’ is a faithful tribute to the original“, by N.B. (The Economist, 2018-12-21).

A recipe:

  1. Buche de Noël“, by TyraRachele (

Read : 2018-12-20

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. How autonomous cars will reshape our world“, by Samuel I. Schwartz (Wall Street Journal, 2018-10-27).
  2. Beware the big tech backlash“, by Greg Ip (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-19).
  3. The West at an impasse“, by Ross Douthat (NY Times, 2018-12-19). Citing Michael Young’s satire “The rise of the meritocracy“, Douthat implies and illustrates that real-life proponents of meritocracy develop excessive confidence in the system, believing it naturally absorbs the “best” minds, leaving rival movements not only intellectually inferior but practically incapable of achieving real change. Douthat concludes by referencing statesmanship as a way to port populist grievances into relevant politics within the existing political system, but seems to doubt that any real-life politician is able to resist the siren song of political power.
  4. Why can’t we read anymore?“, by Hugh McGuire (Medium, 2015-04-22). A book-lover (and book professional) explains how our attention is attenuated by dopamine-reinforced feedback cycle of micro-distractions, and offers concrete ideas for how to fight back.

OZY’s podcast, for future consideration:

  1. The Thread” (OZY). Season 3 traces ideas of nonviolent resistance through historical figures William Lloyd Garrison, Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Bayard Rustin, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Read : 2018-12-19

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to“, by Peter Bright (Ars Technica, 2018-12-17). An article highlighting Google’s increasing dominance in web and mobile browsing, its implications for Web development, and the company’s history of self-interest. As to the title: Should we hand the Web over to any company or organization? “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
  2. Designing personal curricula for lifelong learning“, by Kunal Shandilya (The Startup, 2018-06-30). Elementary ideas for planning efficient and effective self-learning, especially the big-picture planning. Interestingly, for day-to-day learning, the author advocates the Leitner system of spaced repetition using flashcards .
  3. The truth about aging in the tech industry“, by Angela DeLillio Galper (Medium, 2018-12-17). A frank if personal look at a woman’s career in tech, and the exclusionary feeling the majority can intentionally or implicitly convey.
  4. The strongest amongst us are not applauded for their growth, yet bloom in silence“, by Tony Fahkry (, 2018-08-01). The writing is often maudlin, but the core idea resonates with me: Work hard, don’t complain, grow, and bloom without demanding attention.
  5. ‘It’s been a rout’: Apple’s iPhones fall flat in world’s largest untapped market“, by Newley Purnell & Tripp Mickle (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-18).
  6. Top 5 plays from NCAA Volleyball Championship Weekend (2018)” (Twitter, 2018-12-18). OMG the featured liberos are so good!!!

For reference:

  1. ITL Opportunities” (, 2018-12-18). Job postings in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Information Technology Laboratory.
  2. CVB’s recommended English translations of Dante’s Divine Comedy: (1) Hollander (2) Singelton.

Read : 2018-12-18

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. China’s detention camps for Muslims turn to forced labor“, by Chris Buckley & Austin Ramzy (NY Times, 2018-12-16).
  2. People and relationships change. Let them.“, by Nina Singhapakdi (The Ascent, 2018-09-24). A warning about feelings of possessing, a proposal to be “intentional and unattached”.
  3. Yale’s most popular course in history — the science of well being“, by Kristi Andrus (Noteworthy, 2018-09-08).
  4. The Yoda of Silicon Valley“, by Siobhan Roberts (NY Times, 2018-12-17). A biography of Donald Knuth. The article includes a link to (the second comic in) a classic xkcd arc in which Knuth cameos.
  5. China: Emergence of a trade leviathan” (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12).
  6. Woody Allen’s secret teen lover speaks: Sex, power and a conflicted muse who inspired ‘Manhattan’“, by Gary Baum (The Hollywood Reporter, 2018-12-17).

Read : 2018-12-16

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. 7 takeaways from the 2018 NCAA volleyball championship“, by Jacob Myers (, 2018-12-16). Congratulations to all involved.
  2. The play that defines Kenzie Maloney’s career — and saved Nebraska’s season“, by Jeff Sheldon (Omaha World-Herald, 2018-11-22). Video of the point here. Maloney’s ‘mazing. Her post-game interview about the point is on-point, too (see 3:26).

Read : 2018-12-15

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The real roots of American rage“, by Charles Duhigg (The Atlantic, 2019-01/02).
  2. “The essence of [political] campaigns today is anger and fear. That’s how you win.”

  3. Exercise wins: Fit seniors can have hearts that look 30 years younger“, by Patti Neighmond (NPR, 2018-12-10).
  4. To curb ghost workers and coffee corruption, Africa turns to blockchain“, by Kizito Makoye (OZY, 2018-12-14).
  5. Airbnb and Slack are considering untraditional IPOs that box out bankers like Spotify did“, by Theodore Schleifer (Recode, 2018-12-10).

And an intriguing website:

  1. Moral machine“, by Scalable Cooperation at MIT Media Lab (MIT).

Read : 2018-12-13

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Gun deaths in US rise to highest level in 20 years, data shows“, by Ed Pilkington (New York, 2018-12-13). In 2017, 39,773 people were killed by guns in the US. As noted in the article, this translates to, for every 100,000 people, 12 deaths in the US, compared to 0.3 in the UK, 0.9 in Germany, and 2.1 in Canada. Suicide accounts for about 60% of gun deaths, and is on the rise. A gun in the home triples the risk of suicide.
  2. Tesla to 90,000: Delivery forecasts for the fourth quarter“, by Jonathan Cooper (Seeking Alpha, 2018-12-12). Note that the author is long TSLA.
  3. I’m an elite marathoner with sleep issues. Here’s how I manage them“, by Becky Wade (Runner’s World, 2018-11-30). Honest, constructive article about an athlete’s sleep issues and how she (and we) can address and overcome them.

Read : 2018-12-12

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Trump clashes with Democrats over spending bill, threatens government shutdown“, by Kristina Peterson & Vivian Salama (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-11). Well, Americans, this is your political reality: Key figures from opposing (!) parties goading each other to lose their cool so they can point fingers after they run the country aground. Is this the best way (or even a good way) to lead a country?
  2. Many U.S. financial officers think a recession will hit next year“, by Sharon Nunn (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-12).
  3. Marriott data breach is traced to Chinese hackers as U.S. readies crackdown on Beijing“, by David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth, Glenn Thrush, & Alan Rappeport (NY Times, 2018-12-11).
  4. Watch Android malware automatically steal 1,000 euros from a PayPal account in seconds“, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai (Motherboard, 2018-12-11).

Read : 2018-12-11

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Macron announces measures to placate protesters“, by Stacy Meichtry & Noemie Bisserbe (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-10).
  2. Calculating the risk of college“, by Douglas Belkin & Dylan Moriarty (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-10).
  3. Elon Musk is daring the SEC to come at him. Will it?“, by Annie Gaus (The Street, 2018-12-11).
  4. Layoffs become the latest thing in cryptocurrency“, by Paul Vigna (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-10).

Read : 2018-12-10

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. ‘I can’t breathe.’ Jamal Khashoggi’s last words disclosed in transcript, source says“, by Nic Robertson (CNN, 2018-12-10). This story must not go away.
  2. Uber-Lyft showdown shifts to public markets“, by Maureen Farrell & Greg Bensinger (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-09). Ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber confidentially file their respective IPO paperwork within one day of each other.
  3. Why you need better headhpones — and which ones you should buy“, by David Pierce (Wall Street Journal, 2018-12-09).
  4. Boasting about how many hours you work is a sign of failure“, by Olivia Goldhill (Quartz, 2018-12-08). The writer argues that one boasts about effort only when one cannot boast about results (because they don’t (yet) exist). For better or for worse, as a posterchild for this behavior she chooses to pick on Elon Musk, whom one could argue has been highly successful and revolutionary. The data cited focus on population averages, ignoring the reality that (perhaps sizable) intrapopulation variation exists; for example, some individuals may function well on significantly less than eight hours of sleep.