Philip Ball has delivered up a new big picture book, Beautiful Experiments: An Illustrated History of Experimental Science. Buy a copy as a Christmas present for the historian of science in your life

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Today's the anniversary of the Ohio National Guard killing four students at Kent State university at the direction of the Republican governor James Rhodes. Thing's haven't changed much. [].

I quickly browse the bird site (yeah I should feel bad) but then I find a Max Kuhn review of good statistics book that he likes (is he here ?) #Rstats

This is his list:
I have so many statistics books that I love. I’ll just plug

Bayes Rules is super great. I would like to have time and read the one about forecasting ...

I'm fascinated by Eskimo-Aleut languages in Alaska, Canada and Greenland. There are many of these languages; they ring much of the Arctic Ocean. I just learned that they use a base 20 system for numbers, with a 'sub-base' of 5. That is, quantities are counted in 'scores' (twenties) with intermediate numerals for 5, 10, and 15. This makes a lot of sense if you look at your fingers and toes.

But the Inuit didn't have a written form of their number system until the early 1990s, when nine high school students in a small northern Alaskan school invented one!

They used 5 principles:

• Visual simplicity: The symbols should be easy to remember.
• Iconicity: There should be a clear relationship between the symbols and their meanings.
• Efficiency: It should be easy to write the symbols without lifting the pencil from the paper.
• Distinctiveness: There should be no confusion between this system and Arabic numerals.
• Aesthetics: They should be pleasing to look at.

They decided that the Kaktovik digit 0 should look like crossed arms, meaning that nothing was being counted.

This was the start of quite a tale!


From Andrew Ng's newsletter:

Here’s what life has been like for an AI innovator in recent years (h/t @ChrisJBakke):

2020: Let’s see you handle a pandemic!
2021: Deep learning has diminishing returns.
2022: Generative AI is here! Time for massive FOMO.
2023: Your bank shut down.

Unique discovery offers glimpse of provincial culture in Inka Empire

A new study co-authored by a George Washington University research professor examines the Inka Empire's instruments of culture and control through a well-preserved article of clothing discovered in a centuries-old Chilean cemetery.

"Heckerthoughts" — A manuscript going through the basic concepts central to AI and Machine Learning where the author claims that some concepts he included are missing from modern ML courses. Conversational style, anecdotal, and not too long at 54 pages. Worth reading …


#AI #NewPaper #DeepLearning #MachineLearning

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The “burst” of emails that prom…

#Microsoft switches #Bing search engine to #AI. Much hilarity ensues. (I just queried it for the population of the Planet Mars.)

I paid for SiriusXM in a new car for one year, probably in 2006 or 2007. Today in 2023, I still get regular phone calls (with a list of numbers I add to my blocklist) and monthly offers in the snail mail to re-sign up with them.

SiriusXM must have the most well-funded customer retention center and software stack in history because they refuse to stop bothering me even 15 years later

On the "wow do I empathize!" scale:

Interview w/Marc Andreessen (Dwarkesh Patel from The Lunar Society)

I think of this a lot. We look at this through the lens of — “What would I do if I were 23 again?” And I always have those ideas. But starting a company is a real commitment, it really changes your life. My favorite all time quote on being a startup founder is from Sean Parker, who says —“Starting a company is like chewing glass. Eventually, you start to like the taste of your own blood.” I always get this queasy look on the face of people I’m talking to when I roll that quote out. But it is really intense. Whenever anybody asks me if they should start a company, the answer is always no. Because it's such a gigantic, emotional, irrational thing to do. The implications of that decision are so profound in terms of how you live your life. Look, there are plenty of great ideas, and plenty of interesting things to do but the actual process is so difficult. It gets romanticized a lot and it's not romantic. It's a very difficult thing to do. And I did it multiple times before, so at least for now, I don't revisit that.

Instead of spinning this out into a thread, allow me to point you to Lynn Conway’s website where you can read her story in her own words:

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After a long trip, with almost every bathroom having a hard to figure out, metal tarnished, poorly design faucet, I've had it.

My next entrepreneurial life, I'm going to replace the bathroom faucet industry. Faucets are ridiculously expensive, hard to source and too difficult to use.

I am Urban Explorer since 2007 – when exploring wasn't mainstream at all. On Birdsite, I was „UrbExEu“, but I decided against creating a separate account for this on Mastodon.

In the future, I will present one or the other of my works on this account from time to time – because this is one of my facets as well. Sometimes commented, sometimes not. As my photos tell you what I'm not able to say.

#urbex #abandoned #lostplaces #photography #urbanexploration #art #history

the 4 types of national anthems:

- Gosh, This Sure is an Attractive Piece of Land We've Got Here

- That One War in Particular was a Doozy

- We Only Sing Parts of This Song Now Because the Other Verses are Racist

- We Speak French and We Will Fucking Kill You

The guy who wants to put neurolinks in our heads worries about people knowing where he is.

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