Sunday Morning 2018-07-15

Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

Algunes lectures d’aquests darrers dies.

African Multiregionalism: the New Story of Humanity’s Origins

Several new discoveries suggest that our species didn’t arise from a single point in space. Instead, the entire continent was our cradle.

Brutalist Web Design

A website’s materials aren’t HTML tags, CSS, or JavaScript code. Rather, they are its content and the context in which it’s consumed.

John Mullan: The origins of the Gothic

Gothic fiction began as a sophisticated joke. Horace Walpole first applied the word ‘Gothic’ in the subtitle of The Castle of Otranto (1764). It meant something like ‘barbarous’, as well as ‘deriving from the Middle Ages’.

Delivering WordPress in 7KB

…the Internet’s energy demands are growing exponentially. Every additional byte transferred means more energy, which in most countries means more CO₂.

Plan to Exhume Franco Renews Spain’s Wrestle With History

Paul Preston… said that Spain was an anomaly in Europe in keeping a “place of pilgrimage for its fascist dictator” — there are no monuments to Adolf Hitler in Germany or in Austria, nor to Benito Mussolini in Italy.

Sunday Morning 2018-07-08

Algunes coses que hem llegit aquests dies.

When Jean-Paul Sartre Had a Bad Mescaline Trip and Then Hallucinated, for Years, That He Was Being Followed by Crabs | Open Culture

This went on for a year before Sartre went to see his friend Jacques Lacan for psychoanalysis. “We concluded, “ he says, “that it was a fear of becoming alone.”

Independentismo no independentista, la complejidad del procés y sus estereotipos

Amador Fernández-Savater entrevista a Edgar Straehle. “Qué relación tiene esa indiferencia anestesiante con la victoria de los estereotipos, esas imágenes prefabricadas que eliminan toda la complicación del procés y nos lo presentan como una reacción puramente identitaria, etnicista, supremacista, elitista, intolerante?”


Itty bitty sites are contained entirely within their own link. This means they’re portable and easy to share. One link can hold about as much as a printed page.

Why I’m automatically deleting my old tweets

Tweets should be ephemeral. “By keeping my timeline restricted to only the most recent few days, I feel like I’m using Twitter more like it was meant to be used: a way to join the conversation and see what’s happening in the world right now.”

The Crab Migration That the Colombian Army Is Dispatched to Protect

This species, known as Gercarcinus ruricola, typically lives on land. But they head to the sea annually for breeding purposes.

Have We Reached the Limit of Human Longevity? New Study Says No

If you live to 105, your chances of dying in a given year are roughly 50/50, and it seems to stay that way […] “If there is a mortality plateau, then there is no limit to human longevity”.

Cory Doctorow: Zuck’s Empire of Oily Rags

For commercial surveillance to be cost effective, it has to socialize all the risks associated with mass surveillance and privatize all the gains. There’s an old-fashioned word for this: corruption […] Facebook doesn’t have a mind-control problem, it has a corruption problem. Cambridge Analytica didn’t convince decent people to become racists; they convinced racists to become voters.

When Audiences Come To See Authors Lecture, It Is Largely in the Hope That We’ll Be Funnier To Look at Than To Read

I can understand why lecture addicts go to look at British explorers, Russian princesses, and Balinese dancers, because they have pretty lantern slides or tiaras or legs. But it is incomprehensible why in fairly large numbers they flock out to view a novelist or a poet. Is it because they hope he will be even funnier to look at than to read?

—Sinclair Lewis

Sunday Morning 2018-07-01

Photo by SHTTEFAN on Unsplash

Lectures potser interessants d’aquests darrers dies.


The last time you used an ATM, chances are the transaction was powered by a nearly 60-year-old computer programming language.

We May Be All Alone in the Known Universe: Oxford Study

Our main result is to show that proper treatment of scientific uncertainties dissolves the Fermi paradox by showing that it is not at all unlikely ex ante for us to be alone in the Milky Way, or in the observable universe.

Our second result is to show that, taking account of observational bounds on the prevalence of other civilizations, our updated probabilities suggest that there is a substantial probability that we are alone.

Breaking Linear Classifiers on ImageNet

We can take any arbitrary image (e.g. “panda”) and classify it as whatever class we want (e.g. “ostrich”) by adding tiny, imperceptible noise patterns… But in fact the core flaw extends to many other domains (e.g. speech recognition systems) and, most importantly, also to Linear Classifiers. It is in fact this linear nature that is problematic. And because Deep Learning models use linear functions to build up the architecture, they inherit their flaw.

Ecosistema de l’institut… per massa raons

Una institució inspirada per les millors intencions i, tanmateix, estructuralment tòxica?

How many words do you need to speak a language?

You only need to learn 50 foreign words to be understood. Bump it up to 800 and you should get through about 75% of all daily conversations.

El primer portátil de la literatura fue español (y se burlaba del capitalismo)

Rafael Zamora y Pérez de Urría, marqués de Valero de Urría: electroprosadoras y versificadoras para aficionados y discursadoras para componer y pronunciar mítines.

Sunday Morning 2018-06-24

Photo by Gregory Morit on Unsplash

Algunes lectures potser interessants d’aquesta setmana.

Romain Gary: The greatest literary conman ever?

Hero of the French resistance, consul general in Los Angeles, Hollywood director and two-times winner of the Prix Goncourt (technically impossible according to the award’s rubric).

Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance

Maciej Cegłowski. The economic basis of the Internet is surveillance. Short term fixes (security, ephemerality and defunding) are feasible, but we need to make structural changes.

Los arquitectos de Internet se revelan contra el copyright de Bruselas: “Es una amenaza para las libertades”

“Si hubiera estado vigente cuando se desarrollaron los protocolos principales de Internet, es poco probable que hoy existiera tal y como lo conocemos.”

Looking for Life on a Flat Earth

The astronauts are Freemasons, sworn to secrecy. The other workers, the engineers and functionaries, have either been duped or don’t want to speak out, for fear of losing their jobs. [And they’re all Satanists and Luciferians on the top.]

Sunday Morning 2018-06-10

Photo by Yener Ozturk on Unsplash

Coses que he llegit aquests darrers dies.

Don’t call me a customer, treat me like a human: rethinking relationships in public services

We need to find ways for even big organisations to feel small.

Rich people are buying up dinosaurs because museums are too poor to get them

“Fossil specimens that are sold into private hands are lost to science.”

A debate over plant consciousness is forcing us to confront the limitations of the human mind

What if everything around us is intelligent in its own way, and we’re just not smart enough to see it?

Sunday Morning 2018-06-03

A woman wearing a skirt walking through the war-torn city of Gunkanjima

Photo by Jordy Meow on Unsplash

Algunes coses que hem llegit aquesta setmana.

Manuel Vázquez Montalbán: Manifiesto anti-corrupción

…un particular estado de socorros mutuos al que alguien llegó a llamar bloque constitucional, contribuyendo así a la sospecha antigua y moderna de que Dios los crea y ellos se juntan.

Alberto Manguel: Stevenson sota les palmeres

…que «el nostre destí és el fracàs» i que, per tant, l’èxit vertader resideix en l’esforç i en el camí triat.

No one’s ready for GDPR

“For many years it’s been, ‘How much data can we trick people into giving us?’ and ‘We’ll figure out how to use it later!’… There are some companies we’ve talked to, where they say, ‘Are you kidding? If we told them how we were using their data, they’d never give it to us in the first place.”

187 Things the Blockchain Is Supposed to Fix

From poverty to Skynet, including “people not taking their medicine”.

Every story in the world has one of these six basic plots

Using sentiment analysis —a statistical technique often applied to social media posts— the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab has mined over 1,700 English novels to reveal six basic story types: 1. Rags to riches — Rise 2. Riches to rags — Fall 3. Icarus – Rise, fall 4. Oedipus — Fall, rise, fall 5. Cinderella — Rise, fall, rise 6. Man in a hole — Fall, rise

Sunday Morning 2018-05-27

Lectures potser remarcables d’aquests darrers dies.

Beatriz Gimeno: “La lactancia está sirviendo para marcar el estándar de la buena y la mala madre”

…en las sociedades médicas y científicas internacionales se ha producido una lucha política, como la que se pudo producir para despatologizar la homosexualidad o la transexualidad… Esa lactancia está llena de significados, algunos pueden ser progresistas y unos son muy reaccionarios… Disponer de escuelas infantiles públicas y gratuitas o de una red de salud pediátrica de mucha calidad determina más la salud de los hijos que la lactancia o la no lactancia.

12 Deeper Tips for Great Public Speaking

Stephen Downes comments on Steve Wheeler’s 12 tips for great speaking.

Why blockchain isn’t magic and it won’t fix every problem you have

“You have to go through a use case rationalization exercise to see if blockchain makes sense for a business.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony with EU lawmakers was super awkward

Weber suggested that Facebook’s algorithms are “incomprehensible,” and that perhaps regulation should consider making algorithms public.

Hervé Falciani: «Les criptomonedes són l’evolució natural dels paradisos fiscals»

…ha advocat per un sistema que separe la gestió de la identitat privada de l’àmbit econòmic mitjançant un mecanisme de pseudoidentitat. «Separar i localitzar les dades és important per al nostre benestar i economia, no poden estar mesclats perquè trauen profit de la nostra informació. Cal aprofitar la tecnologia però no podem deixar que s’aprofite de nosaltres», ha apuntat.

Google’s Selfish Ledger is an unsettling vision of Silicon Valley social engineering

This internal video from 2016 shows a Google concept for how total data collection could reshape society.

Viruses, ET and the octopus from space: the return of panspermia

A major paper revives the oft-mocked theory that life on Earth began in a rain of cosmic microbes.

Pim Van Lommel: “Hay conciencia después de la muerte”

¿Sabe que el 70 por ciento de los regresados se divorciaron poco después?

Sunday Morning 2018-05-20

Lectures d’aquests darrers dies.

Chatbots are saints

Although chatbots have been presented as a means of humanizing machine language — of adapting computers to the human world — the real goal all along has been to mechanize human language in order to bring the human more fully into the machine world. Only then can Silicon Valley fulfill its mission of capturing the entirety of human experience as machine-readable, monetizable data.

Peter Diamandis on Overcoming Murphy’s Law | Quote Investigator

“If anything can go wrong, fix it! (To hell with Murphy!)”

These machines are not thinking beings who do our thinking for us

We have invented computers to save us the trouble of computing. These machines are not thinking beings who do our thinking for us, but rather devices that produce the results of calculations without anyone literally calculating or thinking […] We need not fear that our machines will out-think us — though we might well fear that they will lead us to cease to think for ourselves.

—Peter Hacker on Wittgenstein in Ray Monk and Frederic Raphael (eds.), The Great Philosophers (2000).

Cfr. Luciano Floridi: “AI is about decoupling successful problem solving from any need to be intelligent”.

Sunday Morning 2018-05-13

Photo by Liz Weddon on Unsplash

Lectures potser remarcables d’aquests darrers dies.

¿Quieres un préstamo? Dime qué móvil utilizas y sabré si vas a ser moroso

…una decena de aspectos diferentes… como el dispositivo desde el que se hizo la compra, el sistema operativo, el proveedor de correo electrónico del cliente o la hora a la que se llevó a cabo la adquisición.

Exercise Tiger: The Disastrous D-Day Rehearsal That Cost 800 Lives

General Dwight D. Eisenhower… insisted that live ammunition be used instead of blanks so that his soldiers could feel, see and even smell what a real battlefield looked like.

Jaime Miquel: La perestroika que necesita el Estado

…lo principal ya está escrito en los números de la sociedad: si no es perestroika ahora, será ruptura después.

De-Googling my phone

LineageOS, alternative app stores, free apps, file syncing, etc.

Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life

How Thousands of Companies Monitor, Analyze, and Influence the Lives of Billions. Report + Web Publication.