A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Tag: World War II

Read : 2020-01-27

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. A survivor’s diary emerges from Auschwitz” by Bojan Pancevski (Wall Street Journal, 2020-01-24).
  2. Auschwitz survivors warn of rising anti-Semitism 75 years on” by Vanessa Gera (Associated Press News, 2020-01-27).
  3. What if competition isn’t as ‘natural’ as we think?” by John Favini (Slate, 2020-01-23).
  4. Kobe Bryant’s brilliant and complicated legacy” by Marc Stein (NY Times, 2020-01-26).
  5. Switch from your internet provider’s email to something better” by Whitson Gordon (NY Times, 2020-01-24). A how-to guide with recommendations.
  6. These people really care about fonts” by Fabrice Robinet (NY Times, 2020-01-24). And so can you!
  7. What if it were Obama on trial?” by Nicholas Kristof (NY Times, 2020-01-25).
  8. Your inability to do pullups is all in your head” by Christie Aschwanden (Medium, 2020-01-22). OK, actually, it isn’t, until it is. This article includes links to Marine Lt. Col. Misty Posey’s pull-up manifesto and pull-up training guide.

    Technique is important, Posey says. Grip the bar tightly with your pinkie knuckle over the top of the bar. Tuck in your pelvis, and keep your abs tight. Pull your arms down into your shoulder sockets, and keep your shoulders down (the opposite of shrugging). Hang your legs straight, and keep your head neutral. As you begin the exercise, keep your abs and glutes tight, and concentrate on pulling your elbows to your ribs and your chin over the bar (don’t lift your chin up).

Two references related to investing (always do your own research!):

  1. Blue Origin: Time for liftoff?” by Michael Wenner (EquityZen, 2020-01-24). Light on content.
  2. Renewables to lead world energy usage by 2050: 3 stocks to buy” by Aparajita Dutta (Yahoo!Finance, 2020-01-14). Bloom Energy Corp (BE), JinkoSolar Holding (JKS), and Sunrun (RUN).

Read : 2020-01-09

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The economy is expanding. Why are economists so glum?” by Jim Tankersley & Jeanna Smialek (NY Times, 2020-01-08). Economics is called “the dismal science” for a reason…
  2. Major TikTok security flaws found” by Ronen Bergman, Sheera Frenkel, & Raymond Zhong (NY Times, 2020-01-08). Israel-based cybersecurity firm Check Point uncovered vulnerabilities “core to TikTok’s systems” that could allow hackers to “take control of their accounts” and “retrieve personal information from TikTok user accounts”. TikTok claims to have fixed these vulnerabilities as of 2019-12-15. The article does not make clear to what extent similar vulnerabilities are found in other apps.
  3. PBS’s sexy ‘Sanditon’ finishes what Jane Austen started” by Roslyn Sulcas (NY Times, 2020-01-08).
  4. Before the ‘final solution’ there was a ‘test killing’” by Kenny Fries (NY Times, 2020-01-08). A reminder of the Nazi’s mass killing of 70,000 disabled people in Aktion T4, and of 230,000 disabled people after. The “test killing” was followed by the systematic extermination of millions of “undesirables” in the Holocaust. Beware dehumanizing language and behavior.
  5. The World War II ‘wonder drug’ that never left Japan” by Peter Andreas (Zocalo, 2020-01-08). On the origins and outbreak of amphetamines.
  6. I tried ‘kakeibo’ — the Japanese art of saving money — and it completely changed how I spend my money” by Sarah Harvey (CNBC, 2020-01-08). Mindfulness in money and life.
  7. The danger of absolute thinking is absolutely clear” by Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi (Aeon, 2018-05-02).

Read : 2019-11-03

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Gaggle knows everything about teens and kids in school“, by Caroline Haskins (BuzzFeed, 2019-11-01). This is modern life, as we have allowed it to become.
  2. ‘Defend China’s honour’: Beijing releases new morality guidelines for citizens“, by Lily Kuo (The Guardian, 2019-10-29). To some extent, could this serve as a warning to our personal lives, about what happens when we want to tell others how to behave?
  3. Sara Hall just wants to have fun (and 8 other pieces of running advice)“, by Erin Strout (Women’s Running, 2019-10-30).

    [My races] don’t define me, and my self-worth isn’t on the line… As a result, every year I’m freer to take big risks.

  4. Code girls: The women cryptographers of WWII“, by Maria Popova (Brain Pickings, 2017-12-11). A discursive survey highlighting the role women played in US code-breaking efforts, especially during World War II.

Read — 2018-08-06

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Hiroshima remembers atomic bombing on 73rd anniversary“, by Mari Yamaguchi (Associated Press, 2018-08-06).
  2. Japan’s habits of overwork are hard to change” (The Economist, 2018-08-02). Japan’s labor habits are perhaps most strikingly revealed by the fact that Japan has the world’s most generous paternity leave laws, but only 5% of men avail themselves of the benefits, and those that do typically use only a few days.
  3. Old-money billionaires are chasing new tech riches“, by Anupreeta Das & Juliet Chung (Wall Street Journal, 2018-08-03).
  4. Traders are talking up cryptocurrencies, then dumping them, costing others millions“, by Shane Shifflett & Paul Vigna (Wall Street Journal, 2018-08-05). The authors should be more up front that this is old, old news. What the article does contribute, perhaps, are methodical and documented methods of measuring such “pump-and-dumps”, and (thanks to the WSJ’s readership) a raised awareness of such scams, both in crypto and in other markets.
  5. Roth IRA” (Investopedia). Roth IRAs explained, especially vis-à-vis regular IRAs.
  6. Disney’s streaming service starts to come into focus“, by Brooks Barnes (New York Times, 2018-08-05).
  7. Why a trade truce could add almost $2 trillion to the stock market“, by Peter Eavis (NY Times, 2018-08-03).
  8. The blockchain begins finding its way in the enterprise“, by Ron Miller (Tech Crunch, 2018-07-22).
  9. ‘The beginning of a wave’: A.I. tiptoes into the workplace“, by Steve Lohr (NY Times, 2018-08-05).
  10. The way we read now“, by Adam Kirsch (Wall Street Journal, 2018-08-03). In general, Americans care about the story and the world it creates — not how the story is conveyed. Which is how books like Crime and punishment come to share top accolades with books like Harry Potter.
  11. What are capitalists thinking?“, by Michael Tomasky (NY Times, 2018-08-05). The author, Michael Tomasky, is a special correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. The article alleges that the widening wealth gap promoted by recent American capitalism is in turn promoting a rise in socialist sympathies, especially among younger Americans.

Read — 2018-07-15

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The new intelligence“, by Nan Li (World Positive, 2018-06-26). This article argues that regression-based artificial intelligence is a fundamentally different model of artificial intelligence than that envisaged by researchers and developers in the mid-1900s, one less tethered to limitations imposed by human methods and logic.
  2. How Google’s AI viewed the move no human could understand“, by Cade Metz (Wired, 2016-03-14). A retrospective (in more ways than one) on AlphaGo’s now-famous Move 37.
  3. Lessons learned from my journey as a self-taught developer“, by Victor Cassone (freeCodeCamp, 2018-07-09). This article seems a sincere and insightful encouragement to others seeking to develop themselves. Thanks, Victor.
  4. Free cash, no strings attached“, by Alieza Durana (Slate, 2018-07-10). An interview with Annie Lowrey on universal basic income. I found the interview jejune. Doing our own inquiries into the issues the interview tries to discuss might be interesting.
  5. If the universe is 13.8 billion years old, how can we see 46 billion light years away?“, by Ethan Siegel (Medium, 2018-03-02). Or, how to think like a cosmologist.
  6. These cookware companies are making it easy to shop for high-quality pots and pans“, by Leah Bhabha (Vogue, 2018-07-11).
  7. These terrifying stories are more evidence ‘nice guys’ are full of shit“, by Miles Klee (Mel Magazine, 2018-07-09). It’s always enlightening, if sometimes painful, to know how we come across to others. It might reveal something about us to ourselves. In reference to the focus of this article, permit me to posit the following: There are people in this world who are awkward in their interactions with others, who are trying, more or less successfully, more or less constructively, to navigate the turbulent waters of social life. As members of society, and its smaller communities, instead of publicly mocking and shaming awkward expressions (especially easy to do in the age of the internet), we could try to help our fellow human. Permit me to posit also: Sometimes people might be too far gone — too angry, too abusive — for us to help, let alone safely help. Don’t put yourself in danger. At the same time, let’s remember that these situations are almost always the result of many years of unattended issues. And perhaps we, as members of society, share in the blame of allowing the situation to go so long unattended.
  8. I know what incarceration does to families. It happened to mine.“, by Michiko Kakutani (NY Times, 2018-07-13).
  9. Balanced funds don’t inspire fear or greed. That’s why they are so useful.“, by Tim Gray (NY Times, 2018-07-13).
  10. Have the tech giants grown too powerful? That’s an easy one“, by John Herrman (NY Times, 2018-07-11).
  11. A fight for men’s rights, in California courts“, by Katherine Rosman (NY Times, 2018-07-13).
  12. What Elon Musk should learn from the Thailand cave rescue“, by Zeynep Tufekci (NY Times, 2018-07-14). Sincere thoughts on hubris and humility. “[W]hen thu doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right doeth”.

A few random things I learned this weekend:

  • “Hard” soaps like dish soap can damage the finish of cars (bikes, etc.). To protect the finish, use milder soaps of dedicated auto cleaners. Consumer Reports includes this among other tips, in “How to was your car” (2017-05-09).
  • The position of your elbows during arm curls affects which part of your bicep you work out. Elbows apart works the inner biceps; elbows in works the outer biceps.
  • If you want other people to learn something, get them to ask the questions needed to learn it. For one, if they ask the question, it probably means they’re motivated to learn (and listening to your response). For another, while forcing “learning” down someone else’s throat might get your point across, it’ll also almost surely lead to resentment (and possibly rejection of your point, for emotional reasons).

Read — 2017/06/22

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The 500-page proof that only one mathematician can understand“, by Michael Byrne (Motherboard). An article on the state of the abc conjecture. Naturally slips down the slope of the “proof — for whom?” question.
  2. Why a top mathematician has joined Emmanuel Macron’s revolution“, by Elisabeth Pain (Science). Fields medalist Cédric Villani leaves his post as director of the Institut Henri Poincaré to represent En Marche! in France’s National Assembly.
  3. What is a generalised mean-curvature flow?“, by Hui Yu (AMS). In case you’re ever stopped on the street and asked such a question.
  4. What causes a fever?“, by Peter Nalin (Scientific American). Answer: Often, the hypothalamus responding to pyrogens. That is, your immune system fighting off intruders.
  5. French sign Reich truce, Rome Pact next“, by Guido Enderis (NY Times, 22 June 1940).

Read — 2016/08/09

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. GOP senator Susan Collins: Why I cannot support Trump“, by Susan Collins (Washington Post). Senator Collins explains why she will not support Trump’s presidential bid, citing his “lack of self-restraint” and his refusal to “sa[y] he was wrong” as dangerous traits that would escalate conflict.
  2. The poop scientist of Japan — and his dream toilet“, by Sanjena Sathian (OZY). The John and the microbiome.

Today (9 August 2016) marks the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. In light of nationalistic bravado, sabre-rattling, and bigotry, then as now, the stern message of forgiveness spoken by delegate J.R. Jayewardene of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) at the conference for the Treaty of San Francisco (signed 8 September 1951) lingers hauntingly in the air. (Here is the full text of J.R. Jayewardene’s speech.)

Read — 2015/05/08

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Two retail veterans take aim at Amazon’s e-commerce reign“, by Farhad Manjoo (NY Times). Ron Johnson (Enjoy) and Marc Lore ( hope to take a slice of the e-commerce pie, via two different methods.

And on this day in history:

  1. The war in Europe is ended!“, by Edward Kennedy (NY Times, 8 May 1945). The rest of the title reads “Surrender is unconditional; V-E will be proclaimed today; our troops in Okinawa gain”. The last clause, and the remark midway through the article that “Germany’s formal capitulation…did not silence all the guns, for battles went on in Czechoslovakia”, serve as a grim reminder that more carnage was to come. Never forget.

Read — 2014/12/31

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Start-ups rise to close a gap for farmers“, by Stephanie Strom (NY Times). Marketing, transportation, and logistic services close the gap between farm and fork.
  2. What made College Football more like the pros? $7.3 billion, for a start“, by Marc Tracy & Tim Rohan (NY Times). College sports, and more specifically, college football: a function of the educational enterprise, or a professional-like money-making program?
  3. Insect-eating bats may be origin of Ebola outbreak, new study suggests“, by David Quammen (National Geographic). Recent evidence suggests that the 2014 Ebola outbreak may have originated with the Angolan free-tailed bat, Mops condylurus, a synanthropic species that lives under the roofs of village houses.
  4. Is Ebola here to stay?“, by Dina Fine Maron (Scientific American). Has Ebola moved from externally originating epidemics to human-sourced endemics? The consistency of results from genetic sequencing of Ebola patients in Sierra Leone suggests a continuous chain of transmission.
  5. Xiaomi, suddenly the world’s most valuable startup, raises $1.1B“, by Roger Cheng (CNET). Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi now has a valuation of $45B, according to its president Bin Lin. While its business model of low-profit-margin hardware followed by more-lucrative sales of software and services has been successful in China, concern over intellectual property violations hamper Xiaomi’s expansion into the global market.
  6. Not just a man’s drink: ladies lead the whiskey renaissance“, by Allison Aubrey (NPR). Women (re)claim their place among the crafters and drinkers of whiskey. Interesting to note that while women imbibing of whiskey in the home has long been socially acceptable in America, women drinking whiskey in bars has historically harbored a connection with prostitution.
  7. Politician’s fingerprint ‘cloned from photos’ by hacker“, by Zoe Kleinman (BBC). Thus claims Chaos Computer Club (CCC) member Jan Krissler. Responses include Glenn Gould-inspired “all glove everything” fashion and living biometrics like vein recognition and gait analysis.

On this day (31 December) 1946 (yes, 1946), President Harry S. Truman signed Presidential Proclamation 2714, “to officially declare the cessation of all hostilities in World War II” (Wikipedia). But didn’t fighting end in 1945? Wikipedia explains:

Even though the actual combat of the war ended May 8, 1945 in Europe and September 2, 1945 in the Pacific, the state of war was not lifted off of Japan and Germany in order to give a reason for the necessity of occupation troops in those countries.

Read — 2013/02/19

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Bucking a Trend, Supreme Court Justices Reject Video Coverage“, by Adam Liptak (NY Times).
  2. The Trouble with Online Colleges“, by the Editorial Staff (NY Times).
  3. Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking against U.S.“, by David E. Sanger, David Barboza, and Nicole Perlroth (NY Times).
  4. Russians Wade into the Snow to Seek Treasure from the Sky“, by Andrew E. Kramer (NY Times).
  5. Gym Class Isn’t Just Fun and Games Anymore“, by Motoko Rich (NY Times).
  6. Looking Back at a Domestic Cri de Coeur“, by Janet Maslin (NY Times).
  7. Finding out Who Pays Your Doctor“, by the Editorial Staff (NY Times).
  8. U.S. Marines Storm Ashore on Iwo Island“, by The Associated Press (NY Times, 19 February 1945). Harrowing and humbling to be reminded of the profound sacrifice and valor of those who came before us; see also the Wikipedia articles on the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.