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Best of Twitter - Week of July 15, 2019 (2/2) - having something no one else in the world had

Second part of last week's tweets - enjoy!
Best of Twitter - Week of July 15, 2019 (2/2) - having something no one else in the world had
By Alexey Guzey • Issue #27 • View online
Second part of last week’s tweets - enjoy!

Mason 🏃🏻✂️
On solving one's first unsolved problem:

"For the first time in my life, I had in my possession something that no one else in the world had. I was able to say something new about the universe."

"If you experience this feeling once, you will want to go back and do it again."
11:19 AM - 12 Jul 2019
^ an underappreciated feeling - I think this is what Steve Jobs meant by “Everything in life was made up by people no smarter than you.” It’s a tragedy that many extremely smart people convince themselves that there’s no way they can make an impact on something they truly care about (a concrete action you can take right now if you are in such a situation is to block a couple of hours of your time today or tomorrow and literally just think about this backwards from the goal, as described by Aaron Schwartz here).
A thread on tacit knowledge in science - the fact that you can’t replicate a study doesn’t mean it’s false (xscienceasaprocess):
Another good example: measurements of the quality factor of sapphire (basically, how good a lasing substance is it) differed by _orders of magnitude(!)_ between Russia and the West during the cold war.
4:46 AM - 6 May 2018
It took more than 20 years to sort this out! Turns out it was due to tacit knowledge available in the Russian lab that wasn't known in the West. Story is told here:
4:46 AM - 6 May 2018
An addition to oral history tweet in part 1:
Florent Crivello
At @kevinakwok ‘s suggestion, just recorded a 3 hours long oral history with my grandmother. Highly recommend it. So many things I ignored, many quite messed up; the kind that makes you grateful to live in more modern times. Wish we could have talked longer.
9:29 AM - 27 Dec 2018
^ concrete action: call your parents or grandparents, ask them if you can record their story and schedule a visit
Patrick McKenzie
@webdevMason Speaking on the general topic rather than any specific example, I think tech folks should remember that e.g. passive asset management only overtook active management after more than a generation, despite objectively clocking it for basically the entire interval.
8:32 AM - 14 Jul 2019
Rolf Degen
Contrary to popular belief, the poor do not eat more fast food than the rich.
8:24 PM - 18 Apr 2017
Matthew Hankins
The effect of Y on X is real.

Questionable proxies for Y and X.

Fancy stuff involving tables, covariates.

Limitations: this study cannot in principle prove that Y affects X.

Totally does tho.
1:03 PM - 20 Jul 2019
^ tweet above is a joke but the fact that abstracts frequently leave out critical information and misrepresent the study’s findings is unfortunately true
Will Robbins
Favorite new genre: chapter-by-chapter refutations of pop (pseudo) science books.

E.g. "Flash Boys: Not So Fast" is a great anecdote to the embarrassingly-wrong HFT classic
3:53 PM - 18 Jul 2019
Andrej Karpathy
Autocompletion with deep learning very cool! I tried related ideas a long while ago in days of char-rnn but it wasn't very useful at the time. With new toys (GPT-2) and more focus this may start to work quite well.
6:14 AM - 18 Jul 2019
Curl Of Gradient
In order to rest, you would have to stop doing half of the things you're doing, then half of the remaining half, and so on. Only activity is possible.
8:23 AM - 18 Jul 2019
Jonathan Zittrain
This is a compelling account of data leakage through dodgy but popular browser extensions. To do a small useful task -- like letting you easily zoom in a picture on a web page -- an extension will ask for full permissions to read and modify everything you see as you surf. ...
5:05 AM - 18 Jul 2019
Jonathan Zittrain
... Thousands of extensions ask for and get that access from users who have no reason to know that, say, the URLs they click on will be shared for "marketing" purposes, eventually finding their way to brokers like Nacho Analytics, who then sell the data to anyone who pays ...
5:08 AM - 18 Jul 2019
Jonathan Zittrain
It turns out a lot of private data ends up in a URL. Long, un-guessable URLs are ways of referring to private Google Drive or OneDrive docs. They contain record locators and passenger names for airline flights. And those extensions read it all and pass it along.
5:15 AM - 18 Jul 2019
If you enjoyed this issue, I would really appreciate if you tweet about it or forward it to a friend who you think would like it!
Have a great week!
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Alexey Guzey

85% of my newsletter is trying to help my subscribers to learn something useful, to change how they think, and to motivate them to do something differently. 15% is fun. (just check the last issue to confirm!)

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