This is a list of articles and links from around the internet that I couldn’t (yet) find a natural place for elsewhere on the site.

Australia #

  • This Saturday Paper editorial condemning the Australian Liberal government’s ridiculous “tax relief” program.
  • About this new meat-free meat pie.
  • This piece in The Monthly, an Australian essays magazine, about the climate wars in Australia and the outsized part they have played in the political instability of the past decade and a half.

Health #

  • Astral Codex Ten on how sensory evidence is underweighted in depressed people compared to their negative “priors” about their environment.
  • This beautiful article by neurosurgeon Henry Marsh about the anxiety involved in being a brain surgeon.

History #

  • I was reminded during a conversation with a colleague this week about this article about the handful of people still living in iron lungs.
  • This interview with the “loneliest man in the world”, Apollo astronaut Michael Collins.
  • This real-time recap of the Apollo moon landings. Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon 50 years ago, at 2:51am on July 21, 1969.
  • About Atlantropa, a proposed massive-scale geoengineering project in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • About the time Stephen Hawking threw a party for time travelers and no one came.

Interviews #

  • Extremely funny and interesting interview with John Swartzwelder, reclusive Simpsons writer who very rarely gives interviews.
  • A great New York Times Magazine interview with Thom Yorke, Radiohead frontman, who seems to have changed recently.

Israel #

  • An interesting start to public transport on Saturday in Israel.
  • Secular Israelis are moving to the West Bank because of low property prices.
  • Peter Beinart, perhaps the most influential progressive American Jewish intellectual, advocating for a one-state solution in Israel-Palestine.
  • Very nicely written piece on the al-Aqsa compound and its cultural significance to Palestinians.
  • An interesting article on the politics behind the Israeli wine industry and the subtle ways maps can be political tools.
  • My wife and I telling our story in a campaign for civil marriage in Israel.

Maths and logic #

  • This introduction to the properties of a good system of notation.

Nature #

  • This National Geographic video of a single cell becoming a salamander.

Politics #

  • David Marr on George Pell.
  • This interesting excerpt from a new book about the politics surrounding Palestinian soccer.
  • A summary in the LRB of the challenges facing French president Emmanuel Macron.
  • The ever-eloquent Frank Bruni on the Trump impeachment, which came out of nowhere after two years of Democrats’ refusal to consider the idea.
  • Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair who I found myself agreeing with more than I expected about the problems today’s left and their agenda. Not really any solutions suggested here though besides “everyone to the left of the Tories needs to get together”. But how Tony, how?!
  • A nice simulation in the New York Times of an imaginary six-party American political system (includes a questionnaire which places you on their compass).

Society #

  • This honest and confronting account of the reality facing women working in tech.
  • This (also from the NYT) fascinating glimpse into the lives of ordinary people all around the world.
  • A genius quiz from the New York Times which asks you to try to identify the political leanings of people based on photographs of the contents of their refridgerators.
  • Paul Graham on the “four quadrants of conformism”, his calculated foray into the culture wars engulfing the U.S. around “cancel culture”.
  • An interesting article from Nature which uses a huge mobile phone location dataset to demonstrate a universal law for human mobility.
  • This very astute and well-written article by George Packer in the Atlantic describing the fractures in modern American society.
  • This interesting piece on “the Lindy Effect”, which posits that the older things are the more likely they are a priori to be effective.
  • This very interesting article from Eater about Pakistani mangoes and global fruit supply chains.
  • A nice post about how true distributed systems are pretty much impossible and that regulation is not as evil as people make it out to be.
  • A fantastic article by American author and social critic Freddie deBoer about the darker side of AI- and social-media driven capitalism and how we can get out of its death spiral.
  • A great newsletter from Craig Mod about, among other things, loneliness in society.
  • A nice list of “things you are allowed to do” that we may not often think about.

Sport #

  • A nice look at how the rule changes for the 2023 baseball season brought the sport closer to how it was in the past.

Technology #

  • Can’t tell if the Cybertruck is a success or not.
  • Paul Graham on early work and how hard it can be to judge the quality of something you’ve only just started to do.
  • An extremely in-depth explanation of how a hacker found former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s passport number and more through an Instagram post.
  • About the AN-255, a Russian plane larger than the Airbus A380 of which only one was ever manufactured. It’s being used today on various coronavirus missions around the world.
  • This contest to create the smallest lossless compression of a 1GB Wikipedia dataset.
  • This clever implementation of FizzBuzz using number theory.
  • The ridiculous S1 filing for the We Company’s upcoming IPO
  • Scott Aaronson on quantum supremacy, which was apparently achieved by Google this week.

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