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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Interestingly Boz tweeted that it was all a stunt, and didn't actually happen?
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!
Every Sunday I send out a newsletter. My aim is to inspire you, make you smile and leave you having learned something.