2023-01-31 Links

“it is possible to obtain dense human body poses from WiFi signals by utilizing deep learning architectures commonly used in computer vision.”🤯

Apple Macbook experience – offered here because I didn’t have a chance to read much today:
I bought a M2 Macbook Pro in late August, & it’s been working well with one annoying exception – it seemed to have an uneven base, and wobbled constantly on my desk. I put it down to an uneven table, & didn’t worry too much about it. Today, I was in the office, & was talking to a colleague about it. He too has a M2 Mac Pro, and he said that was unusual, & worth taking it to an Apple store.  I did (insert an hour and half of logistics) and walked out of the store with a new laptop. While battery swelling (or whatever it’s called) is a real thing, my machine didn’t have that, and yet was slightly out of shape. I’d noticed the wobble from day 0, and not the slight bend. In any case, I’m a happy customer of the Apple experience.

2023-01-30 Links

We have more than 5 senses. A 1964 article from the New York Times.

A bee in the bonnet of a New York Times columnist, and some lessons on communication power vs structural power from Dave Kampf, a professor at George Washington University

Rishad Tobaccowala’s substack is always full of actionable insights – read The Triangle of Engagement to see what I mean

From 2014: Future Islands on David Letterman, performing Seasons (Waiting on You)



2023-01-29 Links

This is such a powerful story: Does my son KNOW  you?

Arthur Brooks: The Science of Happiness

Adam Mastroianni proposes living with the radical idea that people aren’t stupid.




2023-01-27 Links

I loved both the clever title, & the subject of Revolutionary Types.

Kate O’Neill has some sensible, practical suggestions on how to use AI writing tools.

Happiness, compared. Why is rich East Asia unhappy?

An overview of OpenAI & ChatGPT, from a business lens

Culture Wars Look Different on Wikipedia – and are slowly shaping our worldview.

Are exams dead? ChatGPT ‘passed’ the US Medical Licensing Exam. It’s also passed the Evidence and Torts Section of the Bar Exam, and the MBA exam…

2023-01-26 Links

This David Epstein interview with Olympian Lauren Freshman is a fabulous read.

Name one (or more) people in your local community who you think is influential. Turns out (in America at least), fewer and fewer people can name anyone.

Job interview bureaucracy is getting worse.

Vibraphonist Gary Burton  on improvising a jazz solo, relates it back to storytelling

A helpful tutorial on git-ting started. Will need to refer back to this as we (my daughter & I, both novices), progress through the CS50 course.

Tyler Cowen in an absolutely fascinating conversation with Paul Salopek who’s doing a decade long Out of Eden Walk. Also discovered the story a young man in India walking the length of the Ganga river. And this tweet of Paul’s “pragmatic” walking partner in China


2023-01-25 Links

Novel early practical uses for quantum computing, using a technique called annealing. D-Wave is the company that offers a commercial solution.

20 podcasts to listen to over this year, thanks to Ryan Holiday’s compilation.

Hire – and manage – for passsion, says this HBR article.

A fantastic conversation: Carla Harris’ talking with Adam Grant on finding & being a great mentor.

on GPT

A view on the technical difficulty of censoring LLM‘s. I’m not sure I understand this perspective well enough, but if the training data is controlled/limited, wouldn’t the output be limited too?

Google pioneered much of the foundational research that has since led to the recent explosion in large language models.. After the clusterfuck response to its own researchers work, Google is now starting to talk about all the research it has been doing on LLMs.

Tyler Cowen’s latest Bloomberg column  on how quickly LLM’s are getting better.

They are not always reliable, but they are often useful for new ideas and inspirations, not fact-checking.

I’ve started dividing the people I know into three camps: those who are not yet aware of LLMs; those who complain about their current LLMs; and those who have some inkling of the startling future before us.


2023-01-24 Links


Oh Sh*t! Some use for it, after all?

Lying with visualization: the St Louis Fed Reserve chart on military $ spend

CHARIENTISM [karr-ee-EN-tizz-uhm] – softening bad news with humour; disguising an insult within friendly banter [From Greek rhetoric, kharientismós] Delivering sharp blows with velvet gloves is the epitome of charientism. (HT the wicked David Astle)

on GPT

2023-01-23 Links

Uncomfortable reading for marketing types, from the Economist: How to sell to the young

Just came across Sharon Shannon‘s music today, thanks to John Naughton.

VC Fred Wilson on AI Assist, while he gets back to writing code after years/decades:

The machines replacing humans narrative is powerful. But the narrative I prefer is that AI is making things available that have been expensive and unobtainable for so many. And that is not limited to programming. It is true of so many things.