What I'm reading 9/28-10/4

2015-10-04

Haunted By Data - Maciej Cegłowski

  1. These data pipelines take on an institutional life of their own, and it doesn't help that people speak of the 'data driven organization' with the same religious fervor as a 'Christ-centered life'."

'We Have Passed the Stage of Amateur Evil' - Scientists respond to the Atomic Bomb, August 6, 1945 - Andrew Lipsett

  1. "This morning I opened my eyes about 4 a.m. and found myself wide awake for no apparent reason. An odd feeling overcame me that something terrible had happened, and yet it seemed foolish to think so."
  2. "[Eugene Cotton] saw the events of that morning as the worst possible outcome of science: destruction in the place of progress, hubris over morality, technology as God."

Volkswagen’s Diesel Fraud Makes Critic of Secret Code a Prophet - Jim Dwyer

  1. "'If Volkswagen knew that every customer who buys a vehicle would have a right to read the source code of all the software in the vehicle, they would never even consider the cheat, because the certainty of getting caught would terrify them.'"

Sorry Ello, the Real Anti-Facebook Is Good Old Email - Klint Finley

  1. "Secondly, you don't have to convince people to install yet another app in order to build an audience. Anyone with an email address—which is pretty much everyone, despite many efforts to kill email—can subscribe to your newsletter."
  2. "For many users, social media has become impersonal. Facebook algorithmically curates what we see, while Twitter overwhelms us with a firehose of fast-moving content, and LinkedIn is, well, LinkedIn."
  3. "Mailchimp doesn't even get much, if any, data out of running TinyLetter—Lee says that TinyLetter's data doesn't feed into Mailchimp’s analytics at all. Nor is advertising in the cards, she says. 'It's important to all of us that people feel like TinyLetter is a safe place,' she says."

Adblockers: The Only Way Out - Frédéric Filloux

  1. "By the way, users do not feel guilty of using adblockers or anti-tracking systems. According to the aforementioned The Information survey, less than 9% of users who deploy blocking tools experience some kind of guilt feeling."

Learning to code is overrated: An accomplished programmer would rather his kids learn to read and reason - Jeff Atwood

  1. "I've known so many programmers who would have been much more successful in their careers if they had only been better writers, better critical thinkers, better back-of-the-envelope estimators, better communicators. And aside from success in careers, we have to ask the broader question: What kinds of people do we want children to grow up to be?"

Full Reddit Submission Corpus now available (2006 thru August 2015)

  1. http://reddit-data.s3.amazonaws.com/RS_full_corpus.bz2 (42,674,151,378 bytes compressed)
  2. sha256sum: 91a3547555288ab53649d2115a3850b956bcc99bf3ab2fefeda18c590cc8b276

The Measured Worker - Tyler Cowen

  1. "Insofar as workers type at a computer, everything they do is logged, recorded, and measured. Surveillance of workers continues to increase, and statistical analysis of large data sets makes it increasingly easy to evaluate individual productivity, even if the employer has a fairly noisy data set about what is going on in the workplace."

Whence function notation? - Stuart Shieber

Selling Out and the Death of Hacker Culture - Rodney Folz

  1. "There is a clear contractual transaction of goods and supply: your time, your résumés, and your intellectual labor in return for their dinner, their cheap sunglasses, and their shirts emblazoned with corporate logos."
  2. "Large corporations don't care about community. They look for ROI and large reserves of semi-skilled laborers. They're finding that in droves."

est, Werner Erhard, and the corporatization of self-help - Suzanne Snider

  1. "At least est-ies were reaching their arms out into the dark, truly lost, unlike those who are “found,” relatively speaking, but want to finesse their interpersonal skills for the purpose of increasing sales. est was absurd enough to take a stand and make strong friends and enemies. The Forum is practically mainstream; it points to our most cowardly moderate tendencies and our current priority—to be productive."
  2. "Anyone who learned the hard way knows it’s a non-punchline, and the non-joke proved that if people were determined to 'get it,' they would, even if there was nothing to get."