What We’re Reading


“A lot of well-funded, large-scale gradient-descent projects get carried out as a way to generate bombastic press articles that misleadingly suggest that human-level AI is perhaps a few years away,” says Google scientist François Chollet. “Many people have staked a lot on this illusion. But it’s still an illusion.”


Any company that creates more than $10 billion in shareholder value does one of two things:extend time(more time, saving time) or enhance time.


The humiliation I went through in my first days of college seems to have had another effect: Looking back, I find the arrogance of my younger self as funny as it is alien and bizarre. That kid, preening over his imagined brilliance, seems so different from me, and so absurd. Yet he was me; in fact, much as I cringe at the thought, he is me. Laughing at him then frees me to laugh at myself now, whenever I act as if I know more than I do — which is, and probably always will be, all too often.


Fake news:

A woman who lied on her resume and faked “glowing” references to land a high-paying job with an Australian regional government has been sentenced to at least a year in prison.

Veronica Hilda Theriault, 46, was convicted Tuesday of deception, dishonesty, and abuse of public office, relating to her 2017 application for the chief information officer role, which came with an annual salary of 270,000 Australian dollars (US$185,000).

Never ends:

If the operating equipment of the 21st century is a portable device, this means the modern factory is not a place at all. It is the day itself. The computer age has liberated the tools of productivity from the office. Most knowledge workers, whose laptops and smartphones are portable all-purpose media-making machines, can theoretically be as productive at 2 p.m. in the main office as at 2 a.m. in a Tokyo WeWork or at midnight on the couch.

As Leamer and Fuentes write in the paper, “The innovations in personal computing and internet-based communications have allowed individual workers the freedom to choose weekly work hours well in excess of the usual 40.”

Have a good weekend.