Links for July
Tue Aug 01 2023E.W.Ayers
github next is the github research org
The seven programming ur-languages claims there are only seven flavours of programming language
LERF is what's hot in computer-vision
OpenAI announced models with function calling
Alan Turing's Immitation Game paper is a good read.
I'm trying to find a good Python newsletter, Bitecode.dev looks ok, unfortunately the newsletters are interlaced with kinda-clickbaity articles.
Llama 2 is a good summary of the new open LLM release from fb.
I saw Oppenheimer in a non-imax cinema. I enjoyed it a lot, but ... felt like there's a better version of the film in the editing room. It's way too long. If you are going to make the film that long there should at least be an intermission in the middle so you can stretch your legs.
I found it frustrating that about 10 mins of screen time is dedicated to explaining the science but hours and hours on internal politics and courtroom details. I get that we shouldn't glorify the science because it's arguably the worst thing humanity has ever done, but still I felt the science and engineering was sidelined.
Also some of the namedroppy writing clanged.
But having said all that, my main way of procrastinating for the last week has been reading wikipedia articles on the subject so it has captured my imagination which is what it's supposed to do.
YMS review I agree with from a critical perspective. "It's a movie I found myself appreciating rather than enjoying"
2. Chunky fantasy
I've just finished a huge binge of fantasy / YA fiction reading:
Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. (and then Warbreaker, set in the same universe) (~2M words over 8 books)
Cradle series by Will Wight. (~750,000 words over 12 books)
My review for these is the same, which is that they remind me how much fun reading stories for pleasure can be when you find the right author. They are not particularly challenging and the last few books in both series dragged in places. But you are invested in the characters and story so you keep chugging. That's how they get you.
I would not recommend these books to anyone who hasn't already heard of Sanderson. Give Mistborn a go, but give up if it's too YA.
However, I do feel like I'm reading them to fill time until the next Neal Stephenson comes out. Chasing that high. They are YA, I am approaching 30 now so I should probably grow up and start reading Tolstoy or whatever.
3. How to write in the open?
I want to blog more frequently. I write a lot privately but I never share it. I want to write low-effort links posts like these to ease into the habit of writing in public.