Sunday Morning 2017-12-10

Photo by Paul Volkmer on Unsplash

Lectures potser interessants d’aquesta setmana.

The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility

Lenin’s antarctic solitude.

Friction and silo dead-ends

Make it easier to post to your blog… But don’t make thoughtless re-sharing completely frictionless. That’s what leads to fake news spreading, why hateful tweets are exposed in algorithmic trends, and why safe communities must have some amount of curation.

The Dark Legacy of Gruinard Island

Operation Vegetarian. A team of military scientists demonstrated to Winston Churchill the lethality of anthrax and the feasibility of using it in infected linseed cakes.

Black Holes Are Simpler Than Forests and Science Has Its Limits

The very small and the very large can be quite basic. It’s everything in between that gets tricky. Astronomy is far simpler than the biological and human sciences. Reductionism is true in a sense. But it’s seldom true in a useful sense. More is different. Any process is computable, in principle. However, being able to compute something is not the same as having an insightful comprehension of it.

Un big data contra el cerdismo dominguero

La única forma es decirlo en plata. Hablando de mierda.

Leiden’s Love Affair With Poems And Equations

Over one hundred poems carefully hand-painted on the exterior walls of buildings. And now some mathematical and physical formulas too.

The Wikipedia Competitor That’s Harnessing Blockchain For Epistemological Supremacy

Everipedia: a neoliberal knowledge marketplace built on Wikipedia database and a token-based currency.

10 artículos de la Constitución que se incumplen sin que casi nadie se alarme

…se ha vigilado más el cumplimiento de lo que dice de las instituciones que de lo que dispone para los ciudadanos.

Bitcoin: Seven questions you were too embarrassed to ask

1. What’s a bitcoin? 2. How did it get so valuable? 3. Why would I want to use Bitcoin? 4. How can it be worth $150 billion? 5. How do I get some? 6. How do I cash out? 7. Is it true that it wastes a ton of energy?

Calvin & Hobbes Search Engine

Full text search.

L’heroïna rebrota a Barcelona… i ja mata

Un problema global. Addicció als opiacis als EUA, competència de l’heroïna americana, baixada de preus i noves vies de distribució.

Sunday Morning 2017-12-03

Lectures d’aquesta setmana.

Study Finds ‘Dark Matter’ and ‘Dark Energy’ May Not Exist

If we treat empty space as being scale invariant, there may be no need for dark matter or dark energy at all.

Here Are 4 Significant Things We Can Do to Combat Climate Change Now

  1. Pass government legislation that incentivizes carbon abatement.
  2. Drive mass adoption of solar energy and battery technology.
  3. Adapt ourselves and our civilization to the changing climate.
  4. Invest in geo-scale engineering projects.

One of the net’s most important freedom canaries died the day the W3C greenlit web-wide DRM

People who want DRM say that they’re just trying to protect their copyrights, but it’s obvious to anyone who knows even a little about computer science that DRM is effectively useless for this purpose. But DRM laws allow companies to shut down (and even jail) anyone who breaks DRM for any reason […]

Hallan en Burgos un mensaje del siglo XVIII oculto en las nalgas de una talla de un Cristo

La Corte está en Madrid. Hay Correo y Gaceta para las noticias. Hay Inquisición, por lo cual no se experimentan errores contra la iglesia de Dios. Se contratan en funciones grandes toreros famosos de Salamanca.

Modern Potemkin Villages

Fake cities around the world.

En los prostíbulos es donde los hombres son hermanos y gozan de su masculinidad

Acostarse con quince hombres en una noche no es un trabajo. La vulnerabilidad invalida el consentimiento.

Sunday Morning 2017-11-26

Photo by Paco S on Unsplash

Algunes lectures d’aquests darrers dies.

La universidad está en peligro y Europa es un naufragio.
From an anonymous online survey:
  • Red wine appeared to make people more lethargic than white wine
  • Respondents were most likely to report feeling relaxed when drinking red wine or beer
  • More than 40% said drinking spirits made them feel sexy
  • Over half said drinking spirits also gave them energy and confidence
  • But around a third said they felt aggressive when drinking spirits
  • Drinking spirits was more likely than all other drink types to be associated with feelings of aggression, illness, restlessness and tearfulness
  • Men were significantly more likely than women to associate feelings of aggression with all types of alcohol, particularly heavier drinkers
Sites log your keystrokes and mouse movements in real time, before you click submit.
Bots, perfiles falsos, cyborgs y granjas de trolls.

La Contrarreforma es a España lo que la Ilustración es a Francia, la revolución industrial al Reino Unido, el romanticismo a Alemania o el liberalismo a Estados Unidos.

Sunday Morning 2017-11-19

Algunes coses que he llegit aquesta setmana.

El ambicioso plan para convertir el CO2 en energía por el que apuesta Bill Gates

Carbon Engineering elimina 1–1,5 toneladas de CO2 al día.

3 Dangerous Ideas From Ray Kurzweil

  1. The nation-state will soon be irrelevant.
  2. We’ll hit longevity escape velocity before we realize we’ve hit it.
  3. Technology will help us define and actualize human freedoms.

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

Shadow profiles, contacts info and the creepy PYMK algorithm.

The end of the cloud is coming

Peer-to-peer is where we’re inevitably going.

André Staltz: The Web began dying in 2014, here’s how

In the Trinet [GOOG+FB+AMZN], we will have even more vivid exchange of information between people, but we will sacrifice freedom. Many of us will wake up to the tragedy of this tradeoff only once it is reality.

The Future Of Distributed Ledger Technology Is Not Blockchain. It’s Hashgraph. A Conversation with Leemon Baird

Not only does Leemon appear to have solved the problem of scalability with significantly improved throughput, security, and fairness, but he has done so while eliminating the need for the type of massive computation and unsustainable energy consumption characteristic of industry leaders like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Sunday Morning 2017-11-12

Photo by Martin Wessely on Unsplash

Algunes lectures potser remarcables d’aquesta setmana.

No hay mal que por bien no venga: lecciones de la crisis catalana

La encuesta de Sigma Dos y la asunción —¿involuntaria?— de un marco democrático.

How To Lie To Yourself And Others With Statistics

Misusing statistics is one of the most powerful ways to lie.

Samuel Earle: Capitalismo vs. Privacidad

El capitalismo informacional ha convertido Internet en un medio de control social […] Los datos, si se deben recopilar, deben democratizarse, no filtrarse a través de algoritmos secretos para obtener beneficios privados. Hasta que se rompa el control tiránico de Internet, en el capitalismo informacional los peligros solo se profundizarán. Como con todas las tiranías, las vidas de los ciudadanos serán cada vez más transparentes, mientras que las actividades de los poderosos serán cada vez más opacas.

How Twitter Secretly Benefits From Bots and Fake Accounts

Fake accounts are not deleted in order to preserve user numbers for investors.

Why people get religious about Bitcoin

Internet’s original sin, blockchain heresies and Bitcoin’s power to transform society as an article of faith.

Sunday Morning 2017-11-05

Photo by Karl Smith on Unsplash

Algunes coses que hem llegit aquesta setmana.

“I Forgot My PIN”: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin

Blockchain Futures Lab director tried everything, from hypnosis to hacking.

House Taken Over, by Julio Cortázar (1944), illustrated by Juan Fresán (1969)

Casa tomada. English translation and commentary.

These drawings are particularly interesting in that they are not limited to the mere translation of the narrated space into one of the possible floor-plans of the house, but they really use the floor-plan as the scenario of the narration, turning it into one of the characters of the story. In this way these illustrations represent a literary and graphic antecedent of that family of works where “theatrical staging” is itself part of the narration […]

Sunday Morning 2017-10-29

Les lectures d’aquesta setmana.

Mariano Fernández Enguita: “S’ha de pacificar l’educació”

En març de 2017 va presentar a la Subcomissió d’Educació del Congrés dels Diputats el document Un compromiso razonable para un pacto educativo útil, en el qual aborda alguns dels problemes més conflictius de la història de l’educació espanyola, com ara la presència de la religió en l’escola, la comprehensivitat de l’educació o el paper del professorat, sempre tractant els conflictes sense complaure ningú i acompanyant cada diagnòstic amb una proposta de solució.

Los planes más delirantes de Amazon para su flota de drones repartidores

Colmenas, espionaje, lanzamiento de paquetes…

How Money Became the Measure of Everything

Two centuries ago, America pioneered a way of thinking that puts human well-being in economic terms.

Catalonia plots digital government in exile in bid for independence

Estonia – already the world’s most digitally advanced society – plans eight data embassies that will each store copies of the government’s critical data to reboot in the case of physical or cyber attack. The first embassy, based in a cage in a high-security data centre in Betzdorf, Luxembourg, comes online at the start of 2018.

The Original ‘Nightmare’ Was a Demon That Sat on Your Chest and Suffocated You

Maere, mara, mahr, mahrt, mårt—by any name, it was and still is a terrifying visitor […] something known to sneak into people’s rooms at night, plop down on their bodies, and give them bad dreams […] the victim would feel a heavy weight […] and lose the ability to move.

13 things I learned from six years at the Guardian – Mary Hamilton

About data, people, platforms, quality journalism, transparency and complexity…

How Social Media Endangers Knowledge

…the web created an alternative space that threatened television’s grip on society. Social networks, though, have since colonized the web for television’s values.

Una aplicación inconstitucional del artículo 155

Joaquín Urías, profesor de Derecho Constitucional y ex-letrado del Tribunal Constitucional. ¿Una carta blanca para usurpar las competencias de cualquier comunidad autónoma con la que discrepe?

Gilliam’s Dick: A Fictional Review of Ubik

So now, at long last, we finally get to see that lost classic of SF cinema: Terry Gilliam’s hitherto unreleased 1979 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s classic ’60s science fiction novel UBIK.

Sunday Morning 2017-10-22

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Coses que hem llegit aquesta setmana.

Xavier Diez: D’escoles i adoctrinaments

Catalunya ha fet la seva pròpia evolució com a democràcia occidental (i capitalista) d’acord amb paràmetres continentals […] El sistema educatiu, contràriament al que molts pensen o somien, no té la capacitat de modelar els marcs mentals dels nostres alumnes.

Pañuelos valencianos o cerrojos turcos

El Nou d’Octubre como spoiler del futuro turco que nos espera si no reaccionamos. La Transición valenciana fue de las más violentas de España. Pero puede que todo no sean motivos para el duelo. No estamos solos y somos más.

Mobile ad technique allows stalkers to follow you around a city for less than $1000

By placing ads that only get served if a target is on a given block, the attacker can trace the target’s movements in space and time. Ad networks also allow attackers to enumerate the apps installed on the target’s device and retrieve sensitive demographic data.

Why the World Is (Still) Better Than You Think—New Evidence For Abundance

We pay 10x more attention to negative news than positive news.

Does Our Survival Depend on Relentless Exponential Growth?

If we decide that limitless exponential growth on a finite planet is unsustainable, we need to plan for the transition to a new way of living before our ability to accelerate runs out. If we require new technologies or fields of study to enable this growth to continue, we must focus our efforts on these before anything else. If we want to survive the 21st century without major catastrophe, we don’t have a choice but to understand it. Almost by default, we’re all accelerationists now.

Fernando López Agudín: Rajoy, el timo de la estampita constitucional

Toda constitución es el reflejo jurídico de una correlación de fuerzas sociales y territoriales.

Jordi Muñoz: “El independentismo se ha convertido en un elemento estructural de la sociedad catalana”

La cerrazón del Estado es lo que ha hecho posible todo esto. Es lo que ha empujado al centroderecha catalanista de orden hacia el independentismo. Y a defender la desobediencia, con el mundo de la antigua Convergència moviéndose hacia postulados históricamente defendidos por la izquierda independentista. No significa que no haya contradicciones entre ambos actores. Pero esta coincidencia de sectores ideológicos tan diferentes también debería hacer reflexionar a la gente del resto del Estado que contempla el independentismo desde prismas oxidados.

L’evolució del gènere Homo

Canvis de paradigma i irrupció de la paleogenòmica.

Joe Reginella’s Memorials to Disasters That Never Happened

Brooklyn Bridge Elephant Stampede and Giant Octopus Staten Island Ferry Disaster.

La loteria sagrada

La Sortes Biblicae, també Sortes Sacrae o Sortes Sanctorum (loteria bíblica, sagrada o dels sants) era un mètode d’endevinació i guiatge espiritual propi de l’antigor i de l’edat mitjana. Consistia a obrir la Bíblia a l’atzar, llegir el primer versicle que hom trobés i interpretar-lo com a voluntat de Déu i predicció dels esdeveniments futurs. També valia entrar en una església i escoltar les primeres paraules de les escriptures que fossin dites o cantades. Aquesta pràctica es derivava de les anteriors Sortes Virgilianae i Sortes Homericae: consultar el fat en els poemes de Virgili (Roma) o en els d’Homer (Grècia).

Ahir ho vaig provar amb el Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus de Ludwig Wittgenstein (traducció de Josep Maria Terricabras). El dit se’m va aturar en la pàgina 69 i els ulls en la proposició 2.0212:

Llavors seria impossible de projectar una imatge del món (vertadera o falsa).

El missatge que el filòsof vienès m’enviava —sens dubte de forma involuntària— em pareixia vagament dissuasori. Vaig estar una estona pegant-li voltes i al final me’n vaig anar a comprar el pà. Pel camí, pensava en altres llibres que em poguessin ajudar a orientar la meva vida segons d’on bufa el vent, sense arribar per ara a cap conclusió definitiva.

  • Els Aforismes de Lichtenberg.
  • Les Historias de cronopios y de famas de Julio Cortázar.
  • Tots els contes de Pere Calders.
  • Una bona antologia o edició completa de pàgines dominicals dels Peanuts.
  • El Necronomicon (triaria la traducció d’Olaus Wormius o la de John Dee?).
  • El darrer anuari de la Cambra Agrària o del Sindicat de Regants.
  • La Constitució Espanyola de 1978.