A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Category: Reading

Read — 2018-07-13

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Ghost particle sent from deep in space could change our understanding of the universe, scientists reveal“, by Andrew Griffin (Independent, 2018-07-12).
  2. High-energy ‘ghost particle’ traced to distant galaxy in astronomy breakthrough“, by Mike Wall (, 2018-07-12).
  3. Trump got from NATO everything Obama ever asked for“, by The Editorial Board (NY Times, 2018-07-12).
  4. The quantified heart“, by Polina Aronson & Judith Duportail (Aeon, 2018-07-12).
  5. ‘Find your passion’ is awful advice“, by Olga Khazan (The Atlantic, 2018-07-12). Passions aren’t found. They’re developed. (Incidentally, the same argument might be made for love…)

Read — 2018-07-12

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. How to have a better conversation about mental illness“, by Lisa Pryor (NY Times, 2018-07-11). An appeal for more, and more-targeted, mental health resources. Here are links to the World Population Review’s crude suicide rates by country (2018) and the World Health Organization’s pamphlet “Depression and other common mental disorders” (2017).
  2. A revolution is brewing to end homelessness“, by Brian Martucci (OZY, 2018-07-12). Developers and communities are beginning to realize they are not beholden to governments near or far to realize the changes they want to see, and not turning a blind eye to the issues in their backyards. Cool.
  3. Kylie Jenner will unseat Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest self-made billionaire in history“, by Lauren Valenti (Vogue, 2018-07-11).
  4. Disney and Comcast raise the stakes in the battle for Fox“, by Stephen Wilmot (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-11).
  5. How online hobbyists can reaffirm your faith in the Internet“, by Farhad Manjoo (NY Times, 2018-07-11). Great article — read it!

    It is a reminder that the internet’s most effective trick is connecting disparate individuals into a coherent whole.

    It’s easy to slip into a consumerist mindset and forget that the internet works best by collecting individuals’ experience and wisdom and making it easily accessible to everyone else.

    The beauty of the hobbyist internet is not that it is free of partisan fighting, but that the fighting rarely takes center stage, because everyone is there to get something else done.

    Yeah, we’re each complicated human beings, with convictions and confessions. That shouldn’t stop us from working together to get things done. (Yes, I’m looking at you, politicians!)

Read — 2018-07-11

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The worst cybersecurity breaches of 2018 so far“, by Lily Hay Newman (Wired, 2018-07-09). So far.

Read — 2018-07-10

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. World’s fish consumption unsustainable, U.N. warns“, by Thin Lei Win (Reuters, 2018-07-09).
  2. Judge Brett Kavanaugh: in his own words“, by Ashby Jones (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-09). “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee”, thou public servant (Luke 19:22).
  3. A liberal’s case for Brett Kavanaugh“, by Akhil Reed Amar (NY Times, 2018-07-09). A sincerely written endorsement. The following observation rings true:

    [T]he current confirmation process is badly broken, alternating between rubber stamps and witch hunts.

    Note: The author of this article was a professor of Mr. Kavanaugh’s at Yale Law School.

  4. A taste of Lime: Uber invests in an electric scooter company“, by Daisuke Wakabayashi (NY Times, 2018-07-09).
  5. Kraken cracked by New York“, by Howard Marks (Hacker Noon, 2018-04-29).
  6. Serena stays on course after brief scare“, by Kate Battersby (Wimbledon, 2018-07-10). Onto the semifinals after a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 match with Camila Giorgi. Woot woot!
  7. How (not) to memorise mathematics“, by Junaid Mubeen (Hacker Noon, 2017-08-06). When learning or teaching mathematics, tell a coherent story.
  8. Back to the future: Japanese youth flee cities for the countryside“, by Nithin Coca (OZY, 2018-07-10).

Three articles related to running:

  1. Secrets of success: how to turn a non-runner into a runner“, by Molly Hurford (Map My Run, 2018-06-20). Find specific motivation, take your time, make it social.
  2. Running in the heat“, by Jennifer van Allen (Runner’s World, 2013-04-24).
  3. 6 nutrition changes to make this summer“, by Natalie Rizzo (Women’s Running, 2018-06-28).

Read — 2018-07-09

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. What astronomers wish everyone knew about dark matter and dark energy“, by Ethan Siegel (Medium, 2018-04-17). A fantastic, accessible explanation of our current understanding of the universe.
  2. Trump administration freezes payments required by the Affordable Care Act“, by Maggie Penman (NPR, 2018-07-08).
  3. Inside China’s dystopian dreams: A.I., shame and lots of cameras“, by Paul Mozur (NY Times, 2018-07-08). The article cites that “China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the United States”. A Google search returns the following population figures: China (2016): 1.379 billion; U.S. (2017): 325.7 million. If these figures are reasonably accurate, then the U.S. has more surveillance cameras per capita than China. These figures don’t say who installed and operates the cameras; in particular, how many (known) surveillance cameras does each government operate? Is it strange (and ignorant at best, racist and willfully blind at worst) that the NY Times prints an article about China being a technological dystopia?
  4. Many still missing as record rainfall floods Japan“, by Barbara Marcolini (NY Times, 2018-07-08). 0:55 video.
  5. Mothers in tennis grow in influence“, by Karen Crouse (NY Times, 2018-07-09). We live in disturbing times. This development, at least, is super cool.

Read — 2018-07-08

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. What Nelson Mandela lost“, by Tayari Jones (NY Times, 2018-07-06). The dehumanizing power of prisons and the birth of hope through shared humanity.
  2. Countdown to retirement: a five-year plan“, by Peter Finch (NY Times, 2018-07-06).
  3. Seriously, juice is not healthy“, by Erika R. Cheng, Lauren G. Fiechtner, & Aaron E. Carroll (NY Times, 2018-07-07). “[F]ruit juices contain limited nutrients and tons of sugar…. Drinking fruit juice is not the same as eating whole fruit.”

And bonus footage from last year’s NYC Double Dutch Summer Classic:

  1. The Double Dutch Summer Classic at Lincoln Center” (Vogue, 2017-08-02).
  2. Sights and sounds from the Double Dutch Summer Classic” (The New Yorker, 2017-08-03).

Read — 2018-07-07

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Dead certainty: how ‘Making a murderer’ goes wrong“, by Kathryn Schulz (The New Yorker, 2016-01-25).
  2. Being rational all the time isn’t going to do you any favors“, by Zat Rana (Quartz, 2018-06-26). Thoughts on irrationality, à la Kahneman and Tversky.
  3. Top seed Halep stunned by Hsieh“, by Kate Battersby (Wimbledon, 2018-07-07).
  4. The shepherd of King Admetus“, by James Russell Lowell (Poetry Nook). This poem was set to music by the composer Dominick Argento as part of his work “Apollo in Cambridge”.

Read — 2018-07-05

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. How to protect your email inbox from snoopers“, by Douglas MacMillan (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-04).
  2. ‘Access to literacy’ is not a constitutional right, judge in Detroit rules“, by Jacey Fortin (NY Times, 2018-07-04). The north façade of the Boston Public Library at Boylston bears the following inscription: “The commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of order and liberty.” And, above its main entrance, the inscription “Free to all.” Americans would be wise to heed these warnings, and to ensure their impartial application to all citizens, on whom the future of this country depends.
  3. In this economy, quitters are winning“, by David Harrison & Eric Morath (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-04).
  4. Polish chief justice defies government’s Supreme Court overhaul“, by Natalia Ojewska (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-04).
  5. What Trump doesn’t get about conservatism“, by Roger Scruton (NY Times, 2018-07-04). A stinging condemnation of modern politics in general and Donald Trump in particular.
  6. Testosterone makes men want fancy stuff“, by Lacy Schley (Discover, 2018-07-03).

Read — 2018-07-03

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Who really stands to win from universal basic income?“, by Nathan Heller (The New Yorker, 2018-07-09).
  2. Doctor, your patient is waiting. It’s a red panda.“, by Karen Weintraub (NY Times, 2018-06-29).
  3. Tech’s dirty ‘secret’: the app developers sifting through your Gmail“, by Douglas MacMillan (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-02).
  4. Why hackers aren’t afraid of us“, by David E. Sanger (NY Times, 2018-06-16). Titular pun intended.
  5. Sufi West Africa braces amid rise of fundamentalism“, by Anna Pujol Mazzini (OZY, 2018-07-03).
  6. 6 areas of AI and machine learning to watch closely“, by Nathan Benaich (Medium, 2017-01-16).
  7. Women might save America yet“, by Michelle Goldberg (NY Times, 2018-07-02).

Three articles on investing (or speculating, as the case may be):

  1. Tether double-spending vulnerability confirmed; exchanges may be at risk“, by CryptoMedication (Medium, 2018-06-28). Better sub-title: Why it’s important to implement right.
  2. Cryptocurrency regulation update (June 2018)“, by Phil Glazer (Hacker Noon, 2018-06-12).
  3. Tesla stock slammed as analysts question whether production goal is sustainable“, by Ciara Linnane (Market Watch, 2018-07-03).

And a call-and-response from Harvard’s choral scene, on the theme of gender.

Read — 2018-07-02

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Bulwark against an abortion ban? Medical advances“, by Pam Belluck & Jan Hoffman (NY Times, 2018-07-01). The article argues that (1) even if government attempts to restrict access to abortion, vastly improved contraceptive technology gives women more power over the childbearing decision today than forty years ago; and (2) restricting abortions would disproportionately affect low-income women.
  2. Induced abortion in the United States” (Guttmacher Institute, 2018-01). As cited in the NY Times article above, almost half of the pregnancies in the US are unintended. According to a 2005 study,

    The three most common reasons—each cited by three-fourths of patients—were concern for or responsibility to other individuals; the inability to afford raising a child; and the belief that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents. Half said they did not want to be a single parent or were having problems with their husband or partner.

  3. South Korea’s enduring racism“, by Se-Woong Koo (NY Times, 2018-07-01). “For all of South Korea’s success as a democracy and as a thriving economy, compassion and humanitarian instincts are in short supply. And the government bears much of the blame for fostering this selfish mind-set.”
  4. Hard news. Angry administration. Teenage journalists know what it’s like.“, by Jaclyn Peiser (NY Times, 2018-07-01).
  5. Here’s some cryptocurrency. Now please use it.“, by Nathaniel Popper (NY Times, 2018-07-01). Ripple gets creative in self-promotion, if not use.
  6. No, machine learning is not just glorified statistics“, by Joe Davison (Towards Data Science, 2018-06-27).