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Technology

Apple’s new services strategy. Apple is commoditizing (some) of its complements: music, movies, TV.

Apple announced their music and movie services will be available on non-Apple hardware. Whoa! This is huge. Ben Thompson correctly highlighted the importance, saying this shift in strategy (link $) “is not just fascinating, it’s frankly a bit stunning.” And “I think these announcements are a much bigger deal than people realize: Apple is absolutely […]

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Sunday Links 23-Dec-2018: US-China cold war, moving to superstar cities, internet shaming

I accidentally published this post yesterday with no content. Just a blank post. Sorry about that. Below is the real thing. 1. US-China, begun the cold war has. The Cold War between the US and Soviet Union ran from 1945-1990. With the arrest of the chief financial officer of Huawei (maker of networking and mobile […]

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Sunday Links 16-Dec-2018: Bitcoin bubble or scam or platform, Waymo cars, population mountains

Here’s what I’ve read recently that’s worth linking and commenting on.  1. Is bitcoin a scam, a bubble, or a (nascent) platform?  I’d answer yes, partial yes, and a maybe. Let’s go one at a time. First up: scam. Kevin Drum argues Bitcoin Is a Long Con Aimed at Those Least Able to Afford It. […]

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Monday Links 26-Nov-2018: embryo selection is a bigger deal than CRISPR, China panopticon, Saudi relations, software eats photography

Here’s links and commentary on what I read this week. Chinese CRISPR babies tops the list. So let’s get started. 1. Embryo selection is a bigger deal than CRISPR. In a surprise announcement yesterday (Nov 25), Chinese researcher He Jiankui claimed to have created the first gene edited babies. He used CRISPR-Cas9 to disable a […]

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Saturday Links 17-Nov-2018: Stagnant science, Chinese fan economy, Qualtrics, best burgers no more

Pleasantly surprised to find a lot of good things to read this week. Here’s my commentary on what I read. 1. Science Is Getting Less Bang for Its Buck. Excellent piece by Patrick Collison and Michael Nielsen arguing science has reached diminishing returns. More people and more money are going into it. But less progress. Some […]

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Saturday Links 10-Nov-2018: Amazon HQ2 as farce, American aDNA, Head Start, do not summon the doxxing demon

Here’s links and commentary on what I found most interesting to read this week. 1. Amazon HQ2 enters the realm of farce. Since September 2017, Amazon has held an ongoing contest to decide which city would get their new second headquarters. Now it turns out there won’t be a second headquarters. Instead Amazon will open two […]

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Monday Links 5-Nov-2018: Printing and Populism, Psychologists and free speech, new Apple maps

Here’s my weekly list of links and commentary. 1. Printing, Populism and Social Media. Razib Khan has a scathing take down on the ahistorical belief that the populism unleashed by social media is sui generis. I often think of what’s happening now with US politics as a return to normalcy. The post World War 2 […]

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Science

Why the new hoax papers on cultural studies merely confirmed everyone’s priors

In 1996 Alan Sokal published a hoax paper in the cultural studies journal Social Text which was nonsense, asserting among other things gravity was a social construct. Sokal claimed: “The editors of Social Text liked my article because they liked its conclusion: that ‘the content and methodology of postmodern science provide powerful intellectual support for the […]

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Sunday Links 28-Oct-2018: Spotify playbook, Ben Thompson on tech regulation, exponential overdoses, Hilary Greaves on consequentialism

Here’s links with commentary on what I thought interesting this week. 1. Mark Mulligan on the Spotify playbook to become its own music label. I’ve slowly come around to the idea that Spotify is on the cusp of becoming its own music label, and thus will commodtize the existing labels. Here’s Mulligan: If Spotify is […]

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Monday Links 22-Oct-2018: Warren and genetic testing, Polygenic scores and racism, Wealth increases gender differences

The over arching theme of my blog is how technology trends drive social change. And since genomics is on a Moore’s law price curve, no surprise it’s mentioned several times below. Genomics is a technology lurking in the background, growing exponentially more powerful, which will leap into prominence. First slowly, then all at once. And with […]