Sunday Morning 2018-09-23

brown and white conch on seashore

Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Lectures potser interessants d’aquesta setmana.

Amador Fernández-Savater: la necesidad de que la gente piense

La verdadera catástrofe es que nos relacionemos con el mundo como espectadores, engañados y manipulados, incapaces de pensar y actuar para cambiarlo (Guy Debord), atrapados en falsas y diabólicas dicotomías de las que necesitamos escapar (Stengers y Pignarre). “Pensar es el único contra-embrujo posible”. Y la lucha, la ocasión para no vivir y morir idiotas.

The Landlocked Navy of Mongolia

“I would like to see the real sea someday,” muses a sailor of the Mongolian Navy. “I imagine it’d be gentle and peaceful. Here on Lake Khövsgöl, the water is very rough and cold.”

Jaron Lanier: “Los monopolios han arruinado Internet”

A lo que me opongo es a ese control por parte de monopolios gigantes en el que cualquier conexión entre personas solo se puede financiar si hay una tercera persona que quiere manipular a esas dos personas […] Internet en sí mismo sigue siendo genial.

César Rendueles: Herejes de la religión digital

Es indiscutible que los mitos tecnológicos tienen capacidad consensual y están muy presentes en los discursos políticos públicos. Otra cosa muy distinta es el papel efectivo que desempeñan, por ejemplo, la economía del conocimiento o la inteligencia artificial en nuestro sistema económico y político.

Pedro Vallín: Gramática parda en la galaxia Podemos

La historia del siglo XX ilustra lo determinante que es la organización jerárquica de los enemigos, lo trascendente que es el escalafón del mal.

Sunday Morning 2018-09-16

Lectures potser remarcables d’aquesta setmana.

The world’s most prolific writer is a Chinese algorithm

Alibaba claims that its program can produce 20,000 lines of ad copy a second, and that it is being used nearly a million times a day by companies.

Beer inspired ancient farmers to grow cereals

…a research team of archaeologists… stumbled across evidence of a massive brewery from many millennia before the dawn of agriculture. “This accounts for the oldest record of man-made alcohol in the world.”

Article 13 makes it official. It’s time to embrace decentralization

Upload filters are orwellian and perform poorly. But this doesn’t target small communities or people independently hosting their content. “Ultimately, this directive targets an era of the web that is already beginning to wane.”

Sperm donor #2757 sired at least 45 kids—now they’re connecting online

The modern family ties and genetic sleuthing are making it easier for donor-conceived children to learn about their backgrounds—and harder for anonymous donors to maintain anonymity.

Automation has totally eliminated just one job since 1950

Automation often replaces human labor, but very rarely in the last sixty years has it eliminated an entire occupation. Only one of the 270 detailed occupations listed in the 1950 US Census has since been eliminated by automation […]: elevator operator.

The best note-taking apps to use in 2018

“…we looked for the simplest, easiest-to-use note-taking app that’s relatively affordable.” Best one: Google Keep. Good alternative: iA Writer.

Sunday Morning 2018-09-09

empty brown steel chair

Photo by Nathan Wright on Unsplash

Lectures d’aquests dies.

Why Czechs don’t speak German

In the 17th Century, when the kingdom of Bohemia was under Habsburg rule, the Czech language may have disappeared if it wasn’t for puppets, and a legal loophole… as puppets were the only remaining entities that had the right to speak Czech in public places.

Google Purchased Bulk Transaction Data from Mastercard to Link Online Ads and Offline Purchases

Through this test program, Google can anonymously match these existing user profiles to purchases made in physical stores. The result is powerful: Google knows that people clicked on ads and can now tell advertisers that this activity led to actual store sales.

César Rendueles: “Este capitalismo es incompatible con la vida humana”

Probablemente vaya a ser un experimento fallido y breve, de apenas unos pocos siglos, frente a sociedades y modos de vida que han durado milenios porque se enfrenta a límites materiales infranqueables. El capitalismo tal y como lo conocemos es imposible que subsista porque es medioambientalmente incompatible con la vida humana.

Sunday Morning 2018-09-02

brown and white conch on seashore

Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Coses que hem llegit aquests dies.

Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca: La posverdad suprema

En estos momentos, la posverdad corporativa e ideológica se encarna de forma sobresaliente en nuestro Tribunal Supremo y su empeño en mantener la acusación de rebelión contra los líderes políticos del movimiento independentista catalán. Tratar de encajar las conductas del “otoño caliente” del 2017 en el tipo penal de rebelión es contrario a la lógica, el sentido común y el propio derecho español […] Se han propuesto dar un escarmiento ejemplar a los líderes del independentismo, un castigo que deje claro a las próximas generaciones el riesgo al que se exponen si alguien intenta de nuevo una estrategia unilateral rupturista […] Para frenar el disparate y la injusticia que se está cometiendo con las acusaciones de rebelión, haría falta una sociedad civil que se tomara en serio que en una democracia resulta inadmisible juzgar a unos políticos por hechos que no han cometido. No estamos ahí todavía.

Advertising is obsolete – here’s why it’s time to end it

Advertising is manipulation and should be illegal.

Online Bettors Know If Psychology Studies Will Replicate

While the SSRP team was doing their experimental re-runs, they also ran a “prediction market”—a stock exchange in which volunteers could buy or sell “shares” in the 21 studies, based on how reproducible they seemed. They recruited 206 volunteers—a mix of psychologists and economists, students and professors, none of whom were involved in the SSRP itself. Each started with $100 and could earn more by correctly betting on studies that eventually panned out.

Sunday Morning 2018-08-12

Photo by Yener Ozturk on Unsplash

Algunes lectures d’aquesta setmana.

What does QAnon have to do with leftist Italian authors Wu Ming

…the conspiracy theory behind the conspiracy theory is that leftist pranksters inspired by Wu Ming’s novel Q created a fake internet person named “Q.” Under this guise, they share fake news in alt-right forums, getting users worked up over implausible revelations…

How the menstrual cycle changes women’s brains – for better

It turns out that women are more adept at certain skills, such as spatial awareness, after their period. Three weeks after, they are significantly better communicators – and, oddly, particularly good at telling when others are feeling fearful. Finally, for part of their cycles their brains are actually bigger.

Women Die More From Heart Attacks Than Men — Unless the ER Doc Is Female

There could be a systematic bias where male physicians are not listening to female patients’ complaints as readily as [those of] a man, or there could be a bias that favors men in the medical literature, leading to misdiagnoses in women. It may also be that female doctors do a better job than their male counterparts.

The Underground Rivers of London

The Walbrook, which once flowed openly through the center of Roman London and was used for transport, was paved over in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Romans had a temple and port in its banks […] A total of twenty one rivers were forced underground by the burgeoning city, but their impact on London’s landscape remains.

La supervivencia de los más ricos y cómo traman abandonar el barco

Para los multimillonarios, el futuro de la tecnología consiste en su capacidad de huida. El objetivo es trascender la condición humana y protegerse del cambio climático, los grandes flujos migratorios, las pandemias globales…

Sunday Morning 2018-08-05

Photo by SHTTEFAN on Unsplash

Algunes lectures potser interessants d’aquests darrers dies.

London’s Secret Nuclear Reactor

In the early 1960s, the Royal Naval College acquired a low-power nuclear reactor… Compared to those in nuclear power stations, JASON was a small reactor measuring 12 feet high and was surrounded by more than 300 tons of steel and concrete cladding to prevent stray neutrons from escaping. Despite its small size, Jason was potent… It was like a ticking time bomb. Surely, the Navy wasn’t going to tell Londoners they have a nuclear bomb for a neighbor. So JASON was kept a secret.

This new blockchain-based betting platform could cause Napster-size legal headaches

But despite fears that the rise of “assassination markets” could inspire real killings, the more urgent problem Augur presents is something else entirely… “If you do not have a very concrete intermediary—i.e., a company or group of people that are running the marketplace—how do you apply laws and prevent that activity from occurring?”

A Spectre is Haunting Unicode

JIS X 0208 ghost characters: 幽霊文字. Nobody knows what they mean, where they came from or how they should be pronounced.

Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason

Facebook really is evil. Not on purpose. In the banal kind of way […] To Facebook, the world is not made up of individuals, but of connections between them. The billions of Facebook accounts belong not to “people” but to “users,” collections of data points connected to other collections of data points on a vast Social Network, to be targeted and monetized by computer programs. There are certain things you do not in good conscience do to humans. To data, you can do whatever you like.

Doing well in school is nothing to be proud of

In 1958, sociologist Michael Young created the term “meritocracy” in a dystopian novel that warned of the horrors of categorizing humans by intelligence.

Sunday Morning 2018-07-29

Coses que hem llegit aquests darrers dies.

El hombre que enterró a Franco nos explica cómo exhumarlo hoy

”En caso de que así fuera, de que Franco no estuviera allí, seguiría en el interior del Valle de los Caídos.”

El imperio del extremo centro

Crítica de Imperiofobia y leyenda negra. “Con numerosos retazos de verdad, Roca Barea teje una monumental falacia, intelectualmente insostenible y peligrosa desde el punto de vista ético y político.”

Lying in a foreign language is easier

The scientists [Universität Würzburg] believe that these findings reflect the “antagonistic effects of emotional distance and cognitive load”. “Based on the cognitive load hypothesis, one would have expected increased effort for truth telling and lying in a foreign language, with the increased effort being more pronounced for lying,” Kristina Suchotzki says. The data suggest that the increased cognitive effort is responsible for the prolongation of the truth response in the foreign language.

Welcome to the Meghalayan Age – a new phase in history

The middle phase of the Holocene will be referred to as the Northgrippian, and runs from 8,300 years ago up to the start of the Meghalayan… The oldest phase of the Holocene – the exit from the ice age – will be known as the Greenlandian.

Tower of The Winds: The World’s First Weather Station

…the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes is an elegant octagonal marble tower in the Roman Agora in Athens. More than 2,000 years old, the tower has eight sides corresponding to the eight principle winds, a sundial to tell time, a wind vane to show the direction of wind and an interior water clock that in antiquity could be read even in darkness.

Sunday Morning 2018-07-22

Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash

Lectures potser interessants d’aquesta setmana.

Storytelling And The Technological Nothing

90% of what you are being told about AI, Blockchain, and automation right now isn’t truthful. It is only meant allocate space in your imagination, so that at the right time you can be sold something, and distracted while your data, privacy, and security can be exploited, or straight up swindled out from under you.

How American Racism Influenced Hitler

In 1928, Hitler remarked, approvingly, that white settlers in America had “gunned down the millions of redskins to a few hundred thousand.” When he spoke of Lebensraum, the German drive for “living space” in Eastern Europe, he often had America in mind.

Vicenç Navarro: Por favor, no insulten a la clase trabajadora

Me parece correcta la expresión de persona de renta alta, mediana y baja. Pero me parece insultante que se hable de clase alta, media y baja. En realidad los términos burguesía, pequeña burguesía, clase media y clase trabajadora (a la cual pertenece la mayoría de españoles) son términos científicos y por lo tanto válidos tanto en el siglo XIX como en el XX y XXI. La ley de gravedad es muy antigua pero no es anticuada.

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.