In praise of solitude

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Published on: July 5, 2020

Many things have been written about in praise of boredom and idleness, how it fosters new ideas and how it simmers in the unconscious, just in time to emerge at the time of need. In these corona times another aspect has taken front stage – solitude. Here is an interesting book – In Praise of Solitude, by Stephen Bactchelor. Below is a link to an interesting review of this book. A quick excerpt from this review

“..As new as this situation feels, the frustrations it provokes are ancient. The question is how to be alone, and the answer, as Stephen Batchelor suggests in his new book, The Art of Solitude, ultimately has little to do with the place one inhabits or the other people in it. Batchelor considers solitude not as a state of mind, but “as a practice, a way of life — as understood by the Buddha and Montaigne alike.” It is not isolation or alienation, though these are its shadow side. Rather, it is a way of caring for one’s soul, of sheltering it from noise and agitation, of directing it toward its authentic purpose. Batchelor is less interested in defining an ideal form of solitude than in meditating on the ways it can be practiced and exercised, lost and regained.”

 

More of this review here: [The Link]

Pop-science writing is metaphysical self-help?

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Published on: June 28, 2020

Interesting article about popular science books. Are they becoming more like religious texts? here is an excerpt from the article..

“…….By writing about concepts like quantum entanglement and cosmic background radiation, physicists are trying to help us acclimate to a modern metaphysical reality that remains permanently new and challenging, even though its essence has been clear for centuries. That’s because we are all born with an instinct to find human meanings in the universe. The scientific revolution isn’t a historical event that happened a few centuries ago, but a process that takes place in the life of every person who learns scientific truth.

The final irony, however, is that this piety toward the truth is itself a legacy of the old, religious metaphysics that science rejects…..”

More of this here: [The Ontology of Pop Physics]

 

 

Few collection of videos on basics of music theory

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Published on: June 21, 2020

Music is a fascinating. Below are some are excellent videos that breakdown the concepts of (western) music into its barebones – notes, intervals, keys scales, chords, …etc. Gives you a vocabulary to talk about them.

 

Another site with some interactive learning: https://www.musictheory.net/lessons

Difference between cost and value

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Published on: June 14, 2020

A lot has been written about differences in cost and value.

Cost of an item is how much effort & resources has gone into creating it.

Value of an item is how much it is worth to a person buying it or owning it.

E.g. “Your customers don’t care what it took for you to make something. They care about what it does for them” [Seth's blog- Cost & Value]

 

 

Some interesting sources for documentaries

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Published on: June 9, 2020

Documentaries are a good visual articulation of a written article. Here are some links to documentaries that I have seen in the recent times.

 

What makes theories fail?

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Published on: June 1, 2020

An interesting review of work from Imre Lakatos on the idea of  how theories/science fail? A crucial aspect for science to be progressive. Also check works from Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn and others.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the article …

“…  Lakatos judged a programme to be ‘progressive’ if it is both theoretically progressive – the hard core plus auxiliary hypotheses predict novel empirical facts – and experimentally progressive: at least some of these novel facts can be tested. In contrast, a programme is ‘degenerating’ if it is theoretically degenerating – it doesn’t predict any novel facts – or it is theoretically progressive but experimentally degenerating: none of the novel facts can be tested.”

 

“….Lakatos merged the distinction between science and non-science, and between good and bad science. If a programme predicts nothing new or its predictions can’t be tested, then it is bad science, and might be degenerating to the point of pseudoscience. Empirical tests serve to refine the auxiliary hypotheses and a programme continues to be progressive for as long as new facts are predicted and new tests are possible. A scientific revolution occurs when a dominant programme has completely degenerated and is unable to respond to accumulating anomalies – creating precisely the crisis of confidence that Kuhn anticipated – until it can be replaced by an alternative, progressive programme. But, according to Lakatos, when the time comes, a revolution is driven by logic and method, not irrational mob psychology: ‘the Kuhnian “Gestalt-switch” can be performed without removing one’s Popperian spectacles’.”

 

More of this here: [The Link]1

Types of errors [xkcd]

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Published on: May 24, 2020
Types of errors

Deep literacy

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Published on: May 20, 2020

An interesting article from a conservative mag in the US, about habit of reading (and writing) and how it develops ones ability to articulate ideas and concepts. Such a skill is arguably important in a well functioning society and democracy. Long form reading is not so common anymore in the day and age of twitter and instagram..

More from this article: [The Link]

 

 

 

Testing in lab vs testing in field

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Published on: April 30, 2020

An interesting account of testing in lab conditions vs testing in field conditions. Seemingly honest account from the google team to document and release their experience to wider audience.

 

Overview of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)

 

Concise history of smartwatches

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Published on: December 23, 2017

A nice overview of history of smartwatches from Hodinkee.

 

“…. Smartwatches and their predecessors, wrist computers, have been the reluctant revolution. Over the years, they have come in waves, arriving with a big splash, then sinking out of sight. Even the 2003 entrance into the market by the then almighty Microsoft with its Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) for watches couldn’t make smartwatches mainstream.

Until 2015, what smartwatch had been a hit the way Seiko was in the 1970s, Swatch in the 1980s, or the Rolex Daytona in the 1990s? After a while, one wondered what the deal was with smartwatches: Were they a major development in watch history? A niche toy for tech-geeks? Or simply a long-running, highly entertaining freak-watch sideshow?

Apple has changed all that. The Apple effect on the watch market has been profound. The revolution now has its monster hit watch. Global sales of smartwatches totaled 4.2 million pieces in 2014, according to International Data Corp., the research firm. It rose to 19.4 million in 2015, the year Apple Series 0 (as some call it) went on sale. Apple accounted for 11.6 million of those, according to IDC estimates.

…”

 

more of this here: [The link]

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