[Link] The Last Interview, & Other Conversations

Jesse Kornbluth’s Headbutler book recommendations are usually pretty on the money. This one, “RBG: The Last Interview & Other Conversations” going on my reading list.

She was a professor at Columbia University — the first time Columbia has chosen a woman for a full-time post higher than lecturer. She immediately noticed the university was firing 25 women who were working as maids, but had fired no men. “I went to the university vice-president, and told him that the university was violating Title VII.” He replied: “Professor Ginsburg, Columbia has excellent Wall Street lawyers representing them and would you like a cup of tea?” So she took her own employers to court. Eventually, Columbia decided in the end to fire no one. RBG: “Faced with the necessity of having to drop about 10 men before they reached the first woman, they found a way to avoid laying off anyone.”

[Link] New Year, Same Boat

It’s natural to hope that things are going to be immediately better as the calendar turns from one year to the next but, of course, the trends that were already in play didn’t magically evaporate at midnight, December 31.  We’re all still dealing with what we were dealing with last year and will be for some undetermined amount of time going forward. – Scott Eblin

in a blog post titled “New Year, Same Boat

[Link] Doc Searls, How we save the world

Doc Searls is hopeful.

To put this in a perspective, start with Joy’s Law: “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.” Then take Todd Park‘s corollary: “Even if you get the best and the brightest to work for you, there will always be an infinite number of other, smarter people employed by others.” Then take off the corporate-context blinders, and note that smart people are actually far more plentiful among the world’s customers, readers, viewers, listeners, parishioners, freelancers and bystanders.

I’m counting on them.

If we didn’t have the Internet, I wouldn’t.

[Link] Import AI 231 Tech Tales

Eric Wei put me on to Import AI a while ago. I’ve loved reading Jack Clark’s imaginative Tech Tales at the end of every one of his missives.

In this one, Clark imagines:

what punishment and rehabilitation might mean for machines; how time is the ultimate resource for entities driven towards computation; time itself is a weapon and a double-edged sword able to bless us and curse us in equal measure; carceral realities in late capitalism.

Read the tale here

[Link] We are what we remember

..there is a physical connection between memory and imagination. “The process that gives us vivid memories is the same as the one that we use to imagine the future.” We use the same parts of the brain when we immerse ourselves in an event from our past as we do when we create a vision for our future. Thus, one of the conclusions of Adventures in Memory is that “as far as our brains are concerned, the past and future are almost the same.”

Fascinating reading from the book Adventures in Memory. Discovered on Farnam Street blog.