1 A 3 O R N

2020 July Updates

Created: 2020-08-01
Wordcount: 0.5k

Fiction

  • Read and reviewed Stormlight Archive 1 & 2, "Way of Kings" and "Words of Radiance"

  • After Life is a fun future history of uploading. It was easily worth one read; it's only about novella length. But I shall have to read again.

Non-Fiction

  • This is a remarkable study on whether cognitive biases decrease with strong incentives. The study checked whether people did better on tests of bias when incentivized by nothing, by the local equivalent of 20$, or by the local equivalent of $2,000. They found that time spent on questions increased by 40%, suggestive of stronger effort. But they also found that accuracy almost never increased by a statistically significant amount. People are just stupid, i.e., "A plausible interpretation of these patterns is that increased incentives reduce relianceon intuitions, yet some problems are sufficiently complex for people that the bindingconstraint is not low effort and reliance on intuitions but instead a lack of conceptualproblem solving skills."

  • Meditation and Longevity, old but interesting.

  • Meta-Learning Symmetries by Reparameterization

  • Decentralized Reinforcement Learning: Global Decision-Making via Local Economic Transactions

  • Do Not Remain Nameless to Yourself Excellent letter from Feynman to a scientist depressed he cannot contribute to the sum total of human knowledge. "You met me at the peak of my career when I seemed to you to be concerned with problems close to the gods. But at the same time I had another Ph.D. Student (Albert Hibbs) whose thesis was on how it is that the winds build up waves blowing over water in the sea. I accepted him as a student because he came to me with the problem he wanted to solve. With you I made a mistake, I gave you the problem instead of letting you find your own; and left you with a wrong idea of what is interesting or pleasant or important to work on (namely those problems you see you may do something about). I am sorry, excuse me. I hope by this letter to correct it a little." Worth reading in its entirety.

  • Why Mere Noticing Solves So Much. I need to go back and read the Agenty Duck archives some time.

  • Kung Fu Nuns Honestly a pretty pointless article, because the Kung-Fu tradition of these nuns is in no way old. But the closing paragraph was fun, and thought-provoking: "The nuns believe that keeping busy is the key to a fulfilling life, but once a week they take some free time for themselves. Every Sunday they pause their daily chores and activities to indulge in an unlikely past time — watching horror movies. Why horror? "The afterlife is scary. We have to prepare," says Lhamo, who explains that the deities who guide humans in the afterlife — as well as in life — can appear terrifying. If you run away from them, you miss out on great blessings."

Music

-- Techno Mix

-- All Out of Tears by Z Berg

-- My Addiction by Thomas Bergerson

-- Emerald Princess by Two Steps from Hell

-- Open Door, Make It Up As I Go, by Mike Shinoda