“Greatest chess interview of all time”

there are 48 regular polyhedra



Earth’s dominant ISP is constructed, maintained, administered, and governed by Martians, who operate it for free as a public-relations campaign. And Earth can’t do anything about it except try to jam the airwaves and confiscate end-user terminals, because to attack the actual satellites would begin a Kessler Syndrome that would deny space to Earth.

SpaceX’s Starlink has already won the global ISP war. You are forgiven if you didn’t know that and forgiven, too, if you didn’t even know there was such a war. But there is one, and Starlink has already won it at a net cost of ZERO dollars. In fact, SpaceX, which owns Starlink, has won at a negative cost, which means they are making a profit building what for any other company would have been a cost measured in billions of dollars — dollars that can now be diverted to projects like financing NASA’s Artemis lunar program.

Lab-grown meat

David Humbird, the UC Berkeley-trained chemical engineer who spent over two years researching the report, found that the cell-culture process will be plagued by extreme, intractable technical challenges at food scale. In an extensive series of interviews with The Counter, he said it was “hard to find an angle that wasn’t a ludicrous dead end.”

OpenPhil did an analysis too: https://engrxiv.org/795su

The analysis identifies a number of significant barriers to the scale-up of animal cell culture. Bioreactor design principles indicate a variety of issues associated with bulk cell growth in culture: Low growth rate, metabolic inefficiency, catabolite and CO2 inhibition, and bubble-induced cell damage will all limit practical bioreactor volume and attainable cell density. With existing bioreactor designs and animal cell lines, a significant engineering effort would be required to address even one of these issues. Economic challenges are further examined. Equipment and facilities with adequate microbial contamination safeguards are expected to have high capital costs. Suitable formulations of amino acids and protein growth factors are not currently produced at scales consistent with food production, and their projected costs at scale are likewise high. The replacement of amino-acid media with plant protein hydrolysates is discussed and requires further study. Capital- and operating-cost analyses of conceptual cell-mass production facilities indicate production economics that would likely preclude the affordability of their products as food.

Review of “The Contrarian” about Peter Thiel

Using the (inverse) FFT to sharpen a printed image

Good breakdown of supply chain stresses

“Bracket pair colorization 10,000x faster”

ACX review of The Scout Mindset

You tried Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset, but the replication crisis crushed your faith. You tried Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset, but your neighbors all took out restraining orders against you. And yet, without a mindset, what separates you from the beasts? Just in time, Julia Galef brings us The Scout Mindset (subtitle: “Why Some People See Things Clearly And Others Don’t).

One day, a young visiting scholar from the United States came to the department and gave a talk in which he presented new and compelling evidence that the Golgi apparatus was, in fact, real. Sitting in the audience of that talk was one of Oxford’s most respected zoologists, an elderly professor who was known for his position that the Golgi apparatus was illusory. So of course, throughout the talk, everyone was stealing glances at the professor, wondering: _How’s he taking this? What’s he going to say?

At the end of the talk, the elderly Oxford professor rose from his seat, walked up to the front of the lecture hall, and reached out to shake hands with the visiting scholar, saying, “My dear fellow, I wish to thank you. I have been wrong these fifteen years.” The lecture hall burst into applause.

We’re Going the Wrong Way. Why Venus is a Better Planet than Mars

It would be far easier to set up a colony in the upper atmosphere of Venus than it would be to colonize Mars.

Why Is Every Young Person in America Watching ‘The Sopranos’?

The show’s new audience is also seeing something different in it: a parable about a country in terminal decline.

The science of cycology: Failures to understand how everyday objects work

When their understanding of the basics of bicycle design was assessed objectively, people were found to make frequent and serious mistakes, such as believing that the chain went around the front wheel as well as the back wheel. Errors were reduced but not eliminated for bicycle experts, for men more than women, and for people who were shown a real bicycle as they were tested. The results demonstrate that most people’s conceptual understanding of this familiar, everyday object is sketchy and shallow, even for information that is frequently encountered and easily perceived. This evidence of a minimal and even inaccurate causal understanding is inconsistent with that of strong versions of explanation-based (or theory-based) theories of categorization.

Things unlearned

the only programmers in a position to see all the differences in power between the various languages are those who understand the most powerful one. You can’t trust the opinions of the others, because of the Blub paradox: they’re satisfied with whatever language they happen to use, because it dictates the way they think about programs.

[…] clearly revolutionizes software as most know it. It could lead to efficient, reliable applications. But that won’t happen. A mainstay of our economy is the employment of programmers. A winnowing by factor 100 is in no one’s interest. Not the programmers, the companies, the government. To keep those programmers busy requires clumsy languages and bugs to chase.

Instead of losing faith in the power of government to work miracles, people believed that government could and should be working miracles, but that the specific people in power at the time were too corrupt and stupid to press the “CAUSE MIRACLE” button which they definitely had and which definitely would have worked. And so the outrage, the protests - kick these losers out of power, and replace them with anybody who had the common decency to press the miracle button!

Take bicycles, for example. They seem simple and obvious, but it took two centuries to figure out all the details and most people today can’t actually locate the working idea amongst its neighbours.

Finding the idea that actually works amidst the sea of very similar ideas that don’t work requires staying curious long enough to encounter the fine-grained detail of reality and humble enough to recognize and learn from each failure.

I remember at one early point estimating that it would take me two weeks to put together a reasonable query planner and runtime. The first time I even came close to success on that front was 3 years later . Similarly for incremental maintenance, which I’m still figuring out 7 years later.

The Art of Linear Algebra

Stack size invisibility in C and the effects on “portability”

The practical problem with this view is that stack size is invisible in C, and especially it’s not part of the portable C API and generally not part of either the platform API or ABI. Unlike malloc(), which can at least officially fail, the stack is magic; your code can neither guard against hitting its size limit nor check its limits in any portable way. Nor can you portably measure how much stack size you’re using or determine how much stack size it may require to call library functions (this is part of how the C library API is under-specified ).

“stack” is a word that is not mentioned in the C standard

Why AI alignment could be hard with modern deep learning

GitHub - sharkdp/binocle: a graphical tool to visualize binary data

Bread and circuses - Wikipedia

/panem et circenses/

Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.

China’s Trillion-Dollar Tech War: When To Defend A Monopoly

2010 marks the date Google pulled out of China, conceding both the economic and moral high-grounds.

Most think Google could not have penetrated The Great Firewall .

I suggest that they could have, and in doing so forced a confrontation to defend both their Ideals /(Freedom of Information)/ and their Business /(the Chinese market)/. That they did not has shaped the last decade of Tech growth — and will shape more than just Tech over the next decade as China’s Tech sector goes Global.

Biohackers Encoded Malware in a Strand of DNA

/a group of researchers from the University of Washington has shown for the first time that it’s possible to encode malicious software into physical strands of DNA, so that when a gene sequencer analyzes it the resulting data becomes a program that corrupts gene-sequencing software and takes control of the underlying computer/

The robot that can make pasta and sauce — and save restaurants 60% on rent | Sifted

Most restaurants spend roughly 30% of their costs on food; 30% on labour and 30% on real estate (rent, maintenance, electricity, heating and cleaning.) In Cala’s restaurant, the kitchen is entirely removed and replaced by the robot, which measures 3m2 — significantly reducing the space needed. The restaurant also doesn’t have any seating. The robot also allows Cala to produce many more meals per hour per square metre than other restaurants. “With three metres squared, we can serve 1.2k meals an hour,” says Richard. “A traditional McDonald’s restaurant is 125m2, and usually they can serve 550 meals an hour.”

Carrington Event - Wikipedia

One of the largest recorded geomagnetic storms.

Auroras were seen around the world, those in the northern hemisphere as far south as the Caribbean; those over the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. were so bright that the glow woke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning.

20 - 40 million people could be without power for up to 2 years, and the total economic cost will be 0.6 - 2.6 trillion USD