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This week's worthwhile reads

Scott Taylor
Scott Taylor
- 5 min read
This week's worthwhile reads

Hey 👋 quite a few new members joined the community this week. I think due to my post on my recent Meebit purchase. Maybe I should buy some more! 😅

This is a new weekly series where I send out some long reads that I've enjoyed over the past few days. You can see previous posts here.

Let's get into it...

Chain Reactions: How Creators, Web3, and the Metaverse Intersect
Putting the Pieces Together

A well researched and thought provoking piece on a number of topics might seem disparate, but are all actually interrelated. Rex writes about how (together) they’re forging the next generation of technology and culture.

Why Ambitious Predictions About A.I. Are Always Wrong
Getting good at chess is one thing. Surpassing the human brain is quite another.

I've been on the frontline of AI for the past few years – this piece, as you can probably tell from the title, explores why AI moonshots have missed throughout the decades. In summary, they overpromise and underdeliver. The catalyst for the past two AI 'winters'... but this time I think it's a little different. An AI winter like we had before isn't plausible now. In the past, it was the failure of AI research to deliver business impact. The current ML boom is fundamentally different in that it already has become a standard part of the stack at major companies: recommendation engines, fraud detection, prediction, speech-to-text, sequence-to-sequence transalation, etc. That isn't to say there's a lot of vapourware out there, but that ML (and by extension, AI research) is generating billions of dollars in revenue for businesses today. As a result, I don't think there's going to be a slow down in ML research.

The Ultimate Guide to Inflation
This article explains how inflation is defined, what causes price inflation, how CPI is calculated, and how to protect yourself from inflation.

Tune into Bloomberg and all they seem to talking about is 'inflation worry', this is a great primer to make sure you understand the basics of macroeconomics. It might also help shape your investment strategy.

Trapped Aboard an Abandoned Cargo Ship: One Sailor’s Four-Year Ordeal
The MV Aman was seized near the Suez Canal in 2017. Years later, its chief mate was still on board, all alone.

One slightly crazy long read this week. Oh, by the way, here is a free version – WSJ paywalled the link above. Through the article you learn about the crazy beaucracy and dark world of shipping and maritime laws. Thankfully, the story ends well.

Installing solar panels over California’s canals could yield water, land, air and climate payoffs
Climate change and water scarcity are front and center in the western U.S. The region’s climate is warming, a severe multi-year drought is underway and groundwater supplies are being overpumped in many locations.

California is prone to drought, and water is a constant concern. Now, the changing climate is bringing hotter, drier weather.  Severe droughts over the past 10 to 30 years dried up wells, caused officials to implement water restrictions and fueled massive wildfires. As of mid-April 2021, the entire state was officially experiencing drought conditions.

In a recent study, we showed that covering all 4,000 miles of California's canals with solar panels would save more than 65 billion gallons of water annually by reducing evaporation. That's enough to irrigate 50,000 acres of farmland or meet the residential water needs of more than 2 million people. By concentrating solar installations on land that is already being used, instead of building them on undeveloped land, this approach would help California meet its sustainable management goals for both water and land resources.

The Instagram ads Facebook won’t show you
Companies like Facebook aren’t building technology for you, they’re building technology for your data. They collect everything they can from FB, Instagram, and WhatsApp in order to sell visibility into people and their lives.This isn’t exactly a secret, but the full picture is hazy to most – diml...

Interestingly Boz tweeted that it was all a stunt, and didn't actually happen?

Fermat’s Library | Self-Control and Grit: Related but Separable Determinants of Success annotated/explained version.
Fermat’s Library is a platform for illuminating academic papers.

Two things on this post. First, it's an interesting paper. Second, I really like Fermat's Library - it's basically a social network around academic papers, with the ability to comment / highlight and talk with others on specific parts of the papers. But back to the subject matter of the paper at hand... "Other than talent and opportunity, what makes some people more successful than others? One important determinant of success is self-control—the capacity to regulate attention, emotion, and behavior in the presence of temptation."

Tweets that got me thinking

That's it for this week, tweet me if you enjoyed or if you have any recommendations for next week!

weekly reads

Scott Taylor

Started and sold a few companies. My aim is to make sense of the world, constantly improve and become increasingly empathetic. Sharing what I learn along the way.