2022-01-03 Links

Grant Sanderson of 3Blue1Brown YT fame explains convolutions. I had watched part of this video a little while ago, & had put it out of my mind (I’m a nerd but not that much of a nerd, who am I kidding?). Yesterday I came across this paper that predicts micro-spatial economic growth using neural networks, using daytime satellite imagery (as opposed to the nighttime lights that have been used previously), and with better results. The technique they used involves convolutional neural networks, so a good time to go back down that rabbit hole again. I won’t claim to understand it well enough to explain it to someone (yet). Their Github repo is here

Jason Zweig’s 2017 post on “resolutions” was referred to again by Rob Walker (of the Art of Noticing fame). Making some of these my own through the course of this year. A favourite:

Eat more crow. It’s the most nutritious of all brain foods.

Albert Wenger’s “Philosophical Start to 2023“:

try to find middle paths between ignoring threats and despairing about them, between dismissing opportunities and glorifying them, and between asceticism and hedonism.

John Zimmer found a TikTok video of a year3 teacher that had plenty of lessons for public speakers everywhere on the power of a prop.  He also links to a previous post with some excellent examples of using props in corporate presentations.

I’m wrestling with the ideas & arguments that Brink Lindsey posits in his unmissable substack called “The Permanent Problem“. (The line is inspired by the economist John Maynard Keynes’ claim, “for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem — how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.”). In this essay “The Global Fertility Collapse“, he paints a rather grim outlook that has its roots in the successful improvement in living standards of a majority of the world’s population.