1. Join Readup to read with jeff.

    jeff
    Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
    49 followers
    • All That's Interesting | Katie Serena | 10/9/20 | 14 min
      22 reads8 comments
      9.6
      All That's Interesting
      22 reads
      9.6
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      2 days ago

      Damn, I was expecting a relatively light read based on the headline. This was seriously disturbing! I'm glad it had a sort of happy ending for June at least.

    • WIRED | Shaun Raviv | 11/13/18 | 37 min
      8 reads8 comments
      9.5
      WIRED
      8 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      4 days ago

      Great read! Really well written profile. I hadn't heard of Friston or the free energy principle before. I found the potential application of the theory towards better understanding mental illness to be the most interesting/compelling but I've got some questions about how it explains life itself and relates to artificial intelligence.

      But a free energy agent always generates its own intrinsic reward: the minimization of surprise. And that reward, Pitt says, includes an imperative to go out and explore.

      This strikes me as paradoxical. If my ultimate goal is to minimize surprise why would I go out and explore? It makes sense to me that all living things would want to minimize surprise in order to conserve energy, but why do any living things want to live at all in the first place? If an AI program was modeled on the free energy principle why would it ever risk trying to allocate memory or polling inputs? Under all circumstances the shortest path to minimize surprise would simply be to self-terminate.

    • HuffPost Highline | Lee Moran | 10/17/20 | 1 min
      7 reads3 comments
      5.0
      HuffPost Highline
      7 reads
      5.0
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      4 days ago

      Politics aside, this is an awesome picture.

    • americanpurpose.com | Francis Fukuyama | 10/5/20 | 24 min
      7 reads5 comments
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      americanpurpose.com
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 week ago

      Really excellent article! Everyone should read this one, lest we risk taking liberalism for granted.

    • Words Without Borders | Franz Kafka | 20 min
      6 reads4 comments
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      Words Without Borders
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      2 weeks ago

      Wow. I had to immediately re-read this after the first pass to really absorb it. Incredibly sad but also one of the most interesting things I've read in a while. Not going to forget this one any time soon.

    • Rolling Stone | Ej Dickson | 9/23/20 | 8 min
      18 reads11 comments
      8.9
      Rolling Stone
      18 reads
      8.9
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      2 weeks ago

      It's trippy to imagine reading an article like this as a Q-believer. Knowing that others are plotting to try to deprogram you and fracture your faith would only confirm the existence of the conspiracy and strengthen your resolve. It's a difficult situation but it's always nice to hear the stories of those who managed to snap out of it.

    • dartmouth.edu | 34 min
      1 read1 comment
      9.0
      dartmouth.edu
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      Not exactly an easy read but a very worthwhile one. It never hurts to take some time to appreciate the baffling complexity of the universe.

      The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.

    • userweb.cs.txstate.edu | 2 min
      41 reads10 comments
      9.4
      userweb.cs.txstate.edu
      41 reads
      9.4
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      A classic! Reminds me of the quote:

      Any idiot can build a bridge that stands, but it takes an engineer to build a bridge that barely stands.

      Striking the balance between over or under-engineering is an art.

    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | 16 min
      1 read1 comment
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      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      News flash: Getting spammed by random Twitter messages from politicians and "opinion leaders" who hold viewpoints opposite to your own increases polarization.

      At this time, respondents in the treatment condition were offered $11 to follow a Twitter bot, or automated Twitter account, that they were told would retweet 24 messages each day for 1 mo.

      As Fig. 2 illustrates, we created a liberal Twitter bot and a conservative Twitter bot for each of our experiments. These bots retweeted messages randomly sampled from a list of 4,176 political Twitter accounts (e.g., elected officials, opinion leaders, media organizations, and nonprofit groups).

      Oh and then there's this gem:

      Similarly, increases in conservatism among Republicans may have resulted from increased exposure to women or racial and ethnic minorities whose messages were retweeted by our liberal bot.

      Yeah, no citation or footnote on that one. Guess it's a given that conservatives are just probably racist and sexist.

      Together, we believe these contributions represent an important advance for the nascent field of computational social science (46).

      This paper is embarrassing.

    • julian.digital | Julian Lehr | 9/25/20 | 8 min
      27 reads10 comments
      9.1
      julian.digital
      27 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      Loved this! I still think we can handle the post-truth. Articles like this are helping to make it possible.

    • Smithsonian | Dan Falk | 9/23/20 | 11 min
      4 reads2 comments
      8.7
      Smithsonian
      4 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      Fun read! It's sad that anyone would ridicule her for asking such a question but great that she got so many positive, thoughtful responses as well. I hope someone recommended the movie Pi to her.

    • thenewatlantis.com | 21 min
      2 reads3 comments
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      thenewatlantis.com
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      The best thing I've read in a while! This article explores some of the concepts from "A psychoanalytic reading of social media and the death drive" but takes them to an even deeper level and frames the discussion around popular portrayals of artificial intelligence. I find it pretty compelling that the dream of a super-human AI and the desire to feel numb or waste our time both stem from a "profound spiritual fatigue."

      To possess true consciousness is the biggest and indeed the only responsibility in the known universe. AI promises a break, as it were, from the colossal burden of being the only show in town.

      I'm also in complete agreement with the author's assessment of the intrinsic limitations of AI.

      A machine can be taught when to bend a rule only by supplying it with more rules, ad infinitum. This is not unpredictability, nor is it thought, nor, most importantly, does it result in compassion or love.

      Also Zed sounds amazing.

      On the contrary, it depicts the soul, with its fear, weakness, and love, as the very thing that reaches for a refuge from danger and uncertainty. Zed simply adds this question as a stinger: If man is saved from contingency, from danger, from struggle, why satisfy his needs at all? Is he not, in a sense, already dead?

    • The Dispatch | Scott Lincicome | 9/22/20 | 14 min
      5 reads4 comments
      9.5
      The Dispatch
      5 reads
      9.5
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      4 weeks ago

      Great read! Worth it alone just for all the graphs and data. I've heard lots of complaints from populists on both the left and the right recently about the "libertarians in DC" who are controlling the economy. This article does a great job of highlighting why that's such a laughable concept.

      One thing everyone can agree on is that the overall growing complexity is a problem, right? Irrespective of any specific political agenda it's just plain wrong to have so many laws that everyone is a criminal and a tax code that no one person can understand.

    • Medium | Jesse Hercules | 9/18/20 | 11 min
      21 reads18 comments
      9.5
      Medium
      21 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      4 weeks ago

      I think there's a lot more nuance to be had here. I pay for my email now (FastMail, huge fan) but it's pretty awesome that anyone can get an account for free. Same goes for Google, YouTube and many other ad-supported services that provide access to an incredible wealth of knowledge at no upfront cost.

      Would it be less evil to ban ads and require a credit card and monthly payments for such services, denying access to those who can't afford it or don't have access to credit? The whole idea of "free is evil" has a weird sort of extremely online, insular tech privilege vibe to it if you ask me.

    • newgeography.com | 18 min
      4 reads1 comment
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      newgeography.com
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      4 weeks ago

      Lots to think about here. Published in 2013 but at least as relevant today.

    • motherfuckingwebsite.com | 3 min
      3 reads2 comments
      10
      motherfuckingwebsite.com
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      A classic! I started doing web development a little over 10 years ago and reading this now makes me slightly nostalgic for the jQuery era.

      Even though I try to keep everything to a minimum I'm sure the author would be appalled at the number of scripts, stylesheets and fonts Readup injects into the page. I have to say though, this site does look much better in reader mode!

    • The Atlantic | Joe Pinsker | 3/7/19 | 9 min
      36 reads10 comments
      8.2
      The Atlantic
      36 reads
      8.2
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Thoroughly enjoyable read! I'll stick with meals for months or years, but like many in the article I make slight adjustments to keep things interesting while still reaping the benefits of the repetition. Switching up condiments and seasonings can really change the taste of a dish without having to learn a new recipe or significantly alter the regular shopping list. I've also found that just toggling between two different options every other day works great, too.

    • Slate | Joe Morgan | 12/6/18 | 6 min
      42 reads18 comments
      8.0
      Slate
      42 reads
      8.0
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I was ready to completely disagree with this article based on the headline but I think it's actually dead on. Syntax might be the least important aspect of programming but I've seen quite a few online courses that focus on it almost exclusively, probably because it's the easiest thing to test. It makes total sense that helping kids take things apart, learn how they work and put them back together is a better approach. Once they've got that down they can apply it to the more abstract and frustrating version that is programming!

    • POLITICO | Jennifer Oldham | 9/13/20 | 18 min
      1 read1 comment
      9.0
      POLITICO
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      The owner of a gun-themed restaurant called Shooters Grill in the town of Rifle...

      Can't make this stuff up! Seriously though, her turnout and fundraising seem pretty impressive. I can totally see the Covid backlash vote being a big thing.

    • Yahoo Finance | Tiffany Kary | 9/8/20 | 6 min
      10 reads4 comments
      7.5
      Yahoo Finance
      10 reads
      7.5
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      A bit of a silver lining!

      And a “psychology of abundance” doesn’t easily return after a trauma, according to Ian Bell, a consumer researcher with Euromonitor International.

      Makes me think of how the great depression left its mark on the generations that lived through it. I've also read though that there wasn't nearly as much of an effect after the 1918 pandemic. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

    • Collaborative Fund | Morgan Housel | 6/13/17 | 5 min
      15 reads4 comments
      9.7
      Collaborative Fund
      15 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      This is a really excellent reminder of just how prone we are to pessimism as a default perspective. There's the concept of a reality check but an optimism check might be just as important and in some cases might even be the same thing.

    • jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I really enjoyed reading this but in the same way that I can really enjoy reading the works of pessimist philosophers. The opening paragraphs certainly reinforce the idea that at least some of us on the outside are at least partially responsible for our hurtling into a dark future.

      Instagram, cut off from a steady supply of vacations and parties and other covetable experiences, had grown unsettlingly boring, its inhabitants increasingly unkempt and wild-eyed, each one like the sole surviving astronaut from a doomed space-colonization mission, broadcasting deranged missives about yoga and cooking projects into an uncaring void.

      Well that's one way to look at it. I prefer Kaitlyn Tiffany's take from her excellent article earlier this year:

      Without a steady stream of brunch photos, beach-vacation selfies, and horribly loud concert footage in which the singer is not even recognizable, platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have mutated into hyper-intimate scrapbooks of days spent cooped up inside.

      “What makes people heroic and what makes them feel members of a community?” One answer, even though it sounds silly, is posting. You have a moral responsibility to post. I want to see you, even if I didn’t really think so before.

      So to me the author of this piece comes off as a bit of a dour edgelord but I still think he makes some great observations. This might be my favorite:

      What the Twittering Machine offers is not death, precisely, but oblivion—an escape from consciousness into numb atemporality, a trance-like “dead zone” of indistinguishably urgent stimulus.

      This rings true to me and I feel like it goes hand-in-hand with the rise of benzodiazepines, both prescription and recreational. It's a weird thing to crave a drug that doesn't really get you high in the traditional sense but instead just numbs you to reality.

    • Medical Xpress | Science X staff | 6/29/20 | 6 min
      15 reads6 comments
      9.6
      Medical Xpress
      15 reads
      9.6
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Super interesting stuff! I'm now self-conscious about my micro-movements. Seven millimeters per second of head movement sounds like a lot. I hope the Norwegian Championships of Standstill catches on and goes international. I'd be curious to see how far some people can push it.

    • Eater | Kathryn Campo Bowen | 9/1/20 | 26 min
      3 reads2 comments
      9.5
      Eater
      3 reads
      9.5
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I'm a fan of tipping. I love dining out and the waiter has a huge impact on the overall experience. It's nice to be able to show a little extra gratitude for exceptional service. It's not a huge surprise to me that restaurants who did away with tipping had trouble retaining waitstaff. As far as alternatives go, the profit-sharing model at Zazie seemed pretty interesting.

    • palladium magazine | Ryan Khurana | 7/5/19 | 18 min
      7 reads3 comments
      10
      palladium magazine
      7 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Wish I could give this an 11! I like Yang and Musk but the general AI hype lunacy has to be called out for what it is. I love coming across an author that really gets it.

    • psyche.co | Nir Eyal | 9/2/20 | 22 min
      11 reads4 comments
      10
      psyche.co
      11 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I'm totally on board with the author's emphasis on the importance of looking inward first and foremost. Identifying and managing the internal triggers is key.

      I don't consider myself to be too easily distracted but I'll notice the impulse sometimes when programming. Really hard problems can of course be tough to get started on but a lot of times the novelty will provide the motivation. For me the worst is the medium difficulty ones. They're not terribly interesting but also not so easy that I can just write it out in one shot so I have to psyche myself up to type out a suboptimal solution that I know I'm just going to have to refactor 15 minutes later. It's about as fun as doing taxes but I've found that the timeboxing technique suggested by the author can definitely help break through it.

    • The New Yorker | Joan Acocella | 10/3/11 | 28 min
      9 reads3 comments
      8.0
      The New Yorker
      9 reads
      8.0
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Wow, I am nothing near a literature buff and had never even heard of Simenon before but this was a great read. What an interesting character!

    • NPR.org | Natalie Escobar | 8/27/20 | 13 min
      2 reads1 comment
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      NPR.org
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.

      I mean, she's got a point. The default state in nature is survival of the fittest but I've never heard anyone describe that as a particularly equitable arrangement.

      In all seriousness, the author of this book is trolling, right?

    • lesswrong.com | 10 min
      2 reads1 comment
      9.0
      lesswrong.com
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Interesting analysis and comparison between for-profit and non-profit organizations. At first glance the title seems pretty Ayn Randian but it seems to me that the author is sort of making a roundabout argument for government-provided services instead of privately-provided non-profit services. Or perhaps he would instead argue primarily for redistribution of wealth to ensure universal access to resources from for-profit companies. I'd be curious to see how governmental organizations would fit in to the comparison.

    • The New York Times Company | Margaret Renkl | 8/31/20 | 6 min
      23 reads13 comments
      9.8
      The New York Times Company
      23 reads
      9.8
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Excellent! This makes me wish I had a wider array of wildlife on my property. It's always fun watching the occasional critters that pass through or choose to stay for a while.

    • YaleNews | 8/26/20 | 3 min
      2 reads1 comment
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      YaleNews
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Very interesting stuff. I wonder what kinds of evolutionary pressures could explain different types of immune responses between men and women.

    • Percolately | Koh Mochizuki | 8/28/20 | 7 min
      3 reads4 comments
      8.5
      Percolately
      3 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      This kid is going to find his way on to 4chan one day if he hasn't already. I have no idea what kind of boundaries I'd be setting for my kids if I had any, but once they're teenagers effective moderation seems like it would fast become an unwinnable strategy. I agree with some of the comments that suggested that an open dialog about his behaviors and view of women was key. Obfuscation and punishment seem like a recipe for recidivism.

    • HuffPost Highline | Aswad Thomas | 8/24/20 | 5 min
      11 reads2 comments
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      HuffPost Highline
      11 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I can't imagine having this man's capacity for forgiveness and understanding. All the more reason to listen to what he has to say.

    • The New York Times Company | Leah Sottile | 8/19/20 | 39 min
      7 reads4 comments
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      The New York Times Company
      7 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Great article and a very worthwhile read especially if, like me, you're not totally up to speed with this particular branch of craziness. I've read a few short articles about the Boogaloo movement but hadn't even heard of many of the specific examples of recent domestic terrorism. The Steven Carrillo story is particularly disturbing.

    • fs.blog | 1/2/19 | 9 min
      34 reads9 comments
      9.6
      fs.blog
      34 reads
      9.6
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Excellent observations! The number of deaths due to hospital errors is staggering. I thought for sure that had to be an error but it checks out. The points about driving distractions were spot on, too. Turning off the radio when lost is a total reflex that you don't even have to think about.

    • Science of Us | Andrew Rice | 6/27/14 | 34 min
      1 read1 comment
      9.0
      Science of Us
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Really interesting look into how NYC real estate is used as a financial instrument by wealthy international buyers. Both as a store of value and to launder money. I feel like this has to have a huge effect on the city's ability to bounce back from the pandemic. Will prices ever come down if so many owners don't even care whether their property is vacant or not?

    • The New York Times Company | ELLEN BARRY | 11/22/19 | 39 min
      4 reads5 comments
      10
      The New York Times Company
      4 reads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Everything about this is more Wes Anderson than anything Wes Anderson has ever produced. Absolute 10. Amazing article.

    • Longreads | 8/13/20 | 19 min
      9 reads4 comments
      9.4
      Longreads
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Really insightful. An unfortunate ordeal for the author but an enjoyable read thanks to his wit and candor. Good for him for sticking with his name.

    • That Damn Optimist | Gil Kazimirov | 7/16/20 | 14 min
      17 reads8 comments
      9.9
      That Damn Optimist
      17 reads
      9.9
      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Total blast from the past! I remember ringtones but I had no idea the market was ever so big. I don't think I ever bought one but I do remember making my own from MP3 files and loading them on to my feature phone using some weird proprietary software and cable. Like the author describes, it was definitely a short-lived curiosity.

    • Smithsonian | Gilbert King | 8/16/11 | 10 min
      1 read1 comment
      9.0
      Smithsonian
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      jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      A bittersweet story. Steinmetz was the originator of the oft told parable of the value of knowledge that's used to explain costs that seem disproportionate to the effort required, e.g. "$1,000 to replace a bolt. $1 for the bolt and $999 to know where it goes." I'm glad he was able to achieve some personal happiness with his adopted family.