June 01, 2020

Interesting Things on the Internet: June 1st 2020

  • Solving the “The Miracle Sudoku”. As Kottke quotes: "You’re about to spend the next 25 minutes watching a guy solve a Sudoku. Not only that, but it’s going to be the highlight of your day.". It's true. I was not expecting to watch 25 minutes of someone solving a Sudoku, but I did, and it was great!
  • #DemandANewNormal. A campaign to find hopes and answers to how we build a better life after the Before.
  • Coronagrifting: A Design Phenomenon. Not just a problem during the Pandemic, but the triumph of glossy renders of may-or-may-not-be-actually-possible-to-make-but-who-cares over the harder to build, possibly compromised because it has to obey the laws of physics of real things. Falls squarely into what my mate Jo calls PRollocks
  • It’s Time to Build for Good. "Building means founding new companies and forging new industry, but it also means building state capacity and creating functional mediating institutions for labor. Reconstructing the better part of an industrial society will take decades; and with our present white-collar workforce left utterly directionless, inflated by elite overproduction, and medicated at world-historic levels, sending a million students to Harvard will not, as Andreessen suggests, help spur technological progress. Rather, it is the regeneration of practically grounded trade schools and state-backed coordination that is needed to retrain a productive workforce." In the UK (and I expect also the US, but my research was here) we have more industry than we think, but not as much as we need.
  • Facebook reportedly ignored its own research showing algorithms divided users. “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” one slide from the presentation read. The group found that if this core element of its recommendation engine were left unchecked, it would continue to serve Facebook users “more and more divisive content in an effort to gain user attention & increase time on the platform.” A separate internal report, crafted in 2016, said 64 percent of people who joined an extremist group on Facebook only did so because the company’s algorithm recommended it to them. Apparently although we couldn't trust them to do the right thing back in 2016, we can definitely trust them now they've been found out...
  • Ask Why: Sara Little Turnbull. Interesting bio on Sarah Little Turnbull, who was behind the design of the now-much-known N95 face masks.
  • You're seeing all the necessary tools, for us to shrug off this crisis, go unused while people argue over who should get the credit and profit. Even worse, you're seeing vital help withheld because recipients might not, "deserve it...". Short, depressing but excellent Facebook post about America's response to the crisis. It mostly applies to the UK too. Sigh.
Posted by Adrian at June 1, 2020 01:11 PM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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