Interpretability vs Neuroscience rough note (colah)

“Six major advantages which make artificial neural networks much easier to study than biological ones.”


The Invention of a New Pasta Shape (HN discussion)

Four week backlog to order, podcast series about it, inventor appeared on Planet Money. Also there’s a Pasta Design book.

macOS defaults

Commands for opinionated defaults. Lots of good tricks in here.

The Technium: Scenius, or Communal Genius (Kevin Kelly)

What Camp 4 illustrated is that the best you can do is NOT KILL IT. When it pops up, don’t crush it. When it starts rolling, don’t formalize it. When it sparks, fan it. But don’t move the scenius to better quarters. Try to keep accountants and architects and police and do-gooders away from it. Let it remain inefficient, wasteful, edgy, marginal, in the basement, downtown, in the ‘burbs, in the hotel ballroom, on the fringes, out back, in Camp 4. When it happens, honor and protect it.

Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich Recipe - NYT Cooking

The sandwiches appeared on lunch-counter menus during the Great Depression and in extension-service cookbooks in the 1930s and ’40s in recipes that generally called for a few spoonfuls of pickle relish.

Outgrowing software — Benedict Evans

80% of the world’s adult population has a smartphone now, so how many things can we do with that? That’s what ‘software is eating the world’ means. But part of that is also that Walmart wasn’t built by car people, from Detroit. It was built by retailers. Sam Walton was born a decade after the Model T, and this year’s MBA class was born the year Netscape launched. At a certain point, everyone has grown up with this stuff, everything is a software company, and the important questions are somewhere else.

Galbraith cont’d (Graydon Hoare)

In the advanced industrial countries, the creation of wants, and therewith the need to work, is a matter of considerable sophistication but the principles are the same. It is also a task of great importance. In 1939, the real income of employed workers in the United States was very nearly the highest on record, and it was then the highest of any country in the world. In the next quarter century it doubled. Had the 1939 income been a terminal objective, work effort would have been cut in half in the ensuing twenty-five years. In fact, there was a slight increase in weekly hours actually worked. This was a remarkable achievement.

Don’t End The Week With Nothing (patio11)

Donald Knuth’s “Algorithm D”, its implementation in “Hacker’s Delight”, and elsewhere

I love that something so trivial sounding as division of nonnegative integers is actually so tricky and everyone from Hacker’s Delight to Go and V8 get it wrong (according to the author).

Printing algebraic numbers

Transiting the Suez Canal in a sailboat

Interesting thread: Paul Lutus (the guy who wrote AppleWriter) sailed around the world in the late 8… | Hacker News

Paul Lutus (the guy who wrote AppleWriter) sailed around the world in the late 80’s, solo. He wrote about it in “Confessions of a Long-Distance Sailor”, which is freely available online at his own personal website: In chapter 7 he goes into his trip through the Suez Canal. Mind you, this was in the late 80’s, and it didn’t sound very pleasant.

Darwin’s /Voyage of the Beagle/[0] is also a great travel read. His style is much more scientific. But that eye for rationalism often leads to very good observations about the places he visited Dana’s /Two Years Before the Mast/[1] is another good voyage book. Dana is a recent Harvard grad that makes his way out round Cape Horn to California in last days of the Ranchero era. Any SV people will recognize the place names, but not the places, so to speak. His young, but refined, voice is very special on a long distance fur trading ship. [0][…]( Free here [1][…]( Also free here

He also worked on the Space Shuttle. Paul is a fairly prolific commenter on Reddit. Over the years there have been a few hilarious exchanges between him and some unfortunate know-it-alls on the platform.

Taleb distribution - Wikipedia

Knightian uncertainty - Wikipedia

Uncertainty must be taken in a sense radically distinct from the familiar notion of Risk, from which it has never been properly separated…. The essential fact is that ‘risk’ means in some cases a quantity susceptible of measurement, while at other times it is something distinctly not of this character; and there are far-reaching and crucial differences in the bearings of the phenomena depending on which of the two is really present and operating…. It will appear that a measurable uncertainty, or ‘risk’ proper, as we shall use the term, is so far different from an unmeasurable one that it is not in effect an uncertainty at all. Taleb asserts that Knightian risk does not exist in the real world, and instead finds gradations of computable risk.

Emoji under the hood @

To sum up, these are seven ways emoji can be encoded:
1 A single codepoint 🧛 U+1F9DB
2 Single codepoint + variation selector-16 ☹︎ U+2639 + U+FE0F = ☹️
3 Skin tone modifier 🤵 U+1F935 + U+1F3FD = 🤵🏽
4 Zero-width joiner sequence 👨 + ZWJ + 🏭 = 👨‍🏭
5 Flags 🇦 + 🇱 = 🇦🇱
6 Tag sequences 🏴 + gbsct + U+E007F = 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
7 Keycap sequences * + U+FE0F + U+20E3 = *️⃣
Techniques from 1-4 can be combined to construct a pretty complex message:
  U+1F6B5 🚵 Person Mountain Biking
+ U+1F3FB Light Skin Tone
+  U+200D ZWJ
+  U+2640 ♀️Female Sign
+  U+FE0F Variation selector-16
= 🚵🏻‍♀️ Woman Mountain Biking: Light Skin Tone