When Einstein Was Just Another Physicist 

AROUND 15 OR 20 years ago, in the early aughts of this century, it was faddish in certain corners of the history of science to write biographies of obscure figures. The idea was that understanding the life of run-of-the-mill researchers would tell us more about how science actually operates than would studies of rarefied individuals.… Continue reading When Einstein Was Just Another Physicist 

Special Forces of the Qing Dynasty

Introduction This is the story of the Jianruiying, a small elite unit of specially selected Manchu soldiers under the Qing dynasty. They were trained to overcome rough terrain, obstacles, and rivers in order to commence special attacks towards fortifications. In some ways, they are comparable to today's special forces. Background story: The Jinchuan situation In the eighteenth century,… Continue reading Special Forces of the Qing Dynasty

Comic Gold: The Easterner Goes West in Three Early American Comics

Comic Gold The Easterner Goes West in Three Early American Comics By Alex Andriesse The California Gold Rush transformed the landscape and population of the United States. It also introduced a new figure into American life and the American imagination — the effete Eastern urbanite who travels to the Wild West in quest of his fortune.… Continue reading Comic Gold: The Easterner Goes West in Three Early American Comics

What Does ‘Social Distancing’ Mean?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for “community mitigation strategies” to limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, which include recommendations for “social distancing”—a term that epidemiologists are using to refer to a conscious effort to reduce close contact between people and hopefully stymie community transmission of the virus.… Continue reading What Does ‘Social Distancing’ Mean?

MIT Technology Review on Twitter: “Scientists are creating a family tree of the coronavirus in nearly real time, which they say can help pinpoint how the infection is hopping between countries. https://t.co/e5SGt88woi https://t.co/s8i6f39rMb” / Twitter

MIT Technology Review on Twitter: "Scientists are creating a family tree of the coronavirus in nearly real time, which they say can help pinpoint how the infection is hopping between countries. https://t.co/e5SGt88woi https://t.co/s8i6f39rMb" / Twitter — Read on mobile.twitter.com/techreview/status/1238155126835163137

Viral Exploration Panel Notes

Notes from University of California, San Francisco BioHub Panel on COVID-19, March 10, 2020 Panelists: • Joe DeRisi: UCSF’s top infectious disease researcher. Co-president of ChanZuckerberg BioHub (a JV involving UCSF / Berkeley / Stanford). Co-inventor of the chip used in SARS epidemic. • Emily Crawford: COVID task force director. Focused on diagnostics • Cristina… Continue reading Viral Exploration Panel Notes

The wonderful world of tools made by small teams

Since starting development on the Electric Zine Maker I’ve been hoarding links to interesting, unusual, strange, small, or just cute tools. This has grown to be a strong area of interest as I’ve been diving into what even makes a tool approachable… How much experimental UI or humor is too much? Do people even want tools that… Continue reading The wonderful world of tools made by small teams

Karpman drama triangle

The drama triangle is a social model of human interaction – the triangle maps a type of destructive interaction that can occur between people in conflict.[1] The drama triangle model is a tool used in psychotherapy, specifically transactional analysis. The triangle of actors in the drama are oppressors, victims and rescuers. OriginEdit The drama triangle is a social model that was conceived by… Continue reading Karpman drama triangle

I’ll Take My Stand: The Relevance of the Agrarian Vision

In the winter of 1781–82, Thomas Jefferson wrote his Notes on the State of Virginia as a series of “Queries” examining in detail the quality of life in his region. One of the most famous of the queries is Number XIX, which contains the remark that “Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of… Continue reading I’ll Take My Stand: The Relevance of the Agrarian Vision

𝔊𝔴𝔢𝔯𝔫 on Twitter: “@theshawwn D.K. Simonton did a lot of work on this. There are field-specific age patterns but mostly, the ‘equal-odds rule’: probability of contribution is constant, and what matters is how many attempts you make. Quantity follows rough quadratic. Moving to adjacent fields helps replenish.” / Twitter

𝔊𝔴𝔢𝔯𝔫 on Twitter: "@theshawwn D.K. Simonton did a lot of work on this. There are field-specific age patterns but mostly, the 'equal-odds rule': probability of contribution is constant, and what matters is how many attempts you make. Quantity follows rough quadratic. Moving to adjacent fields helps replenish." / Twitter — Read on mobile.twitter.com/gwern/status/1225792577430884355

American Capitalism Is Brutal. You Can Trace That to the Plantation.

In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation. A couple of years before he was convicted of securities fraud, Martin Shkreli was the chief executive of a pharmaceutical company that acquired the rights to Daraprim, a lifesaving antiparasitic drug. Previously the drug cost $13.50 a pill, but in Shkreli’s… Continue reading American Capitalism Is Brutal. You Can Trace That to the Plantation.

The American Man at Age Ten

Via Lachlan. Some early conclusions on the future of mankind, which lies in the preadolescent minds of Colin Duffy and his contemporaries, who will be twenty-one in the year 2003. Hopefully, the women of the twenty-first century will be ready for them. — Read on classic.esquire.com/article/1992/12/1/the-american-man-at-age-ten

Make resilient Go servers using timeouts, deadlines and context cancellation

When it comes to timeouts, there are two types of people: those who know how tricky they can be, and those who are yet to find out. As tricky as they are, timeouts are a reality in the connected world we live in. As I am writing this, on the other side of the table,… Continue reading Make resilient Go servers using timeouts, deadlines and context cancellation

MarsEdit 4: What took Jalkut so long and how Gruber blogs

Links: Red Sweater SoftwareDaring FireballDaniel Jalkut on TwitterJohn Gruber on TwitterMarsEdit 4 first look on iMore Sponsors: Mint Mobile: Voice, data, and text for less. Get free first-class shipping with code VTFREESHIP.Thrifter.com: All the best deals from Amazon, Best Buy, and more, fussily curated and constantly updated.Interested in sponsoring VECTOR? Contact sponsor@mobilenations.com Transcript [background music] Rene Ritchie: I'm Rene… Continue reading MarsEdit 4: What took Jalkut so long and how Gruber blogs

Missouri farmer ran one of biggest frauds in US farm history

CHILLICOTHE, MISSOURI Like all the best con artists, Randy Constant was a charmer, hard not to like. Big hearted. Good listener. You’d never have guessed that the father of three, grandfather of five was a liar, cheat and serial philanderer who masterminded one of the biggest and longest-running frauds in the history of American agriculture. “He… Continue reading Missouri farmer ran one of biggest frauds in US farm history

Student Highlight: Justina Chua at Technica

Reflection written by Justina Chua, a Travel Grant recipient. Edited by Execute Big staff. Hey there! I’m Justina Chua, a high school senior from Vernon Hills, Illinois. I’m passionate about technology and computer science education. I lead Hack Club at school, run programs for younger students in my community, organize GirlCon (a Chicago-based technology conference),… Continue reading Student Highlight: Justina Chua at Technica

Better Language Models and Their Implications

language_models_are_unsupervised_multitask_learnersDownload Our model, called GPT-2 (a successor to GPT), was trained simply to predict the next word in 40GB of Internet text. Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model. As an experiment in responsible disclosure, we are instead releasing a much smaller model for researchers to experiment with,… Continue reading Better Language Models and Their Implications

My FOSS Story

Jan 19, 2020 I'd like to break from my normal tradition of focusing almost strictly on technical content and share a bit of my own personal relationship with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). While everyone is different, my hope is that sharing my perspective will help build understanding, empathy and trust. This is not… Continue reading My FOSS Story

Privacy Lost

A list of the books taken from Ola Bini during his unwarranted arrest earlier in the year. These books were offered up by authorities as evidence of some kind of sinister nature, so naturally they should be more widely read. Source: fogus: Privacy Lost

The underground skate scene of ‘90s Brooklyn

In his project We Skate Hardcore, photographer Vincent Cianni captures a forgotten community finding freedom in skating. In 1993, photographer Vincent Cianni moved to the south side of Williamsburg, as the next generation of Puerto Rican and Dominican teens were coming of age.  “Life was played out in so many different ways on the sidewalks, stoops, and… Continue reading The underground skate scene of ‘90s Brooklyn

I, Who Vowed to Never-Ever Short Stocks Again, Just Shorted the Entire Market

In my decades of looking at the stock market, there has never been a better setup. Exuberance is pandemic and sky-high. And even after today’s dip, the S&P 500 is up nearly 29% for the year, and the Nasdaq 35%, despite lackluster growth in the global economy, where many of the S&P 500 companies are… Continue reading I, Who Vowed to Never-Ever Short Stocks Again, Just Shorted the Entire Market

The Rise of the Architectural Cult

ARCHITECTURE SHAPES human society and drives much of its commercial and economic engine. The inhabited world is covered with giant glass skyscrapers, factories, museums of contemporary art, concert halls, university buildings, and houses. In Making Dystopia, James Stevens Curl argues that the preferred style in which many new buildings are created is ill adapted to the human… Continue reading The Rise of the Architectural Cult

Stripe Atlas: Writing copy for landing pages

In the beginning, there’s the landing page. It’s often a company’s first impression: a digital introduction to an organization, the problem it tackles, and the solutions it offers. The sophistication of landing pages can vary. Some companies use their homepage as a landing page. Others create specific pages that target discrete customer profiles and move them… Continue reading Stripe Atlas: Writing copy for landing pages

Pineapple Fund: $55,000,000 in Bitcoin Grants Donated to Nonprofits. Here’s What Happened:

On December 14, 2017 a post was made on Reddit that would forever change the landscape of charitable giving with cryptocurrency. An anonymous user who called themselves “Pine”, and thought to be a crypto “whale” (i.e., one of the 250 largest holders of bitcoin in the world), wrote: "My aims, goals, and motivations in life… Continue reading Pineapple Fund: $55,000,000 in Bitcoin Grants Donated to Nonprofits. Here’s What Happened:

Category Init Post

Some categories have public posts, some categories have protected posts, some categories have private posts! This post is a public post to force all categories - even those that only have protected or private posts - to show in the sidebar.