This is the weekly reading post.
These are links to things that I was reading when I answered a tagtime ping with nonfiction.
- Wait vs Interrupt Culture – another piece on last week’s subject of interrupt vs wait. I can’t say I particularly recommend this one.
- Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This is a good piece on trans rights and a great piece on political framing. I would have selected it if it hadn’t come up random.
- Experimenting with _Generic() for parametric constness in C11. What it says on the tin. This is not a problem I particularly care about solving, but the solution is mildly intersting.
- IQ can predict your risk of death, and 8 other smart facts about intelligence. A moderately interesting book review. Basically, IQ is actually quite predictive and most of the attempts to dismiss it are wrong. If you know this then nothing in the article is likely to surprise you.
- Complexity of Automaton Identification from Given Data – finding a minimal deterministic finite automaton compatible with a set of positive and negative examples is NP-hard. This paper explains why. I have not yet successfully understood it.
- The Theory of Narrative Selection – as with most ribbonfarm pieces this is interesting and it made me think, but I’m not entirely sure why it’s intersting or what it made me think about.
- You flow downhill – a piece form the creator of Complice about shaping your environment to shape your behaviour. I quite liked it.
- Boltzmann Samplers for the Random Generation of Combinatorial Structures. Boltzmann generators are a nice combinatorial model for generating of random objects (e.g. from a grammar such that all objects of the same “size” have equal probability. I have been considering using them in some upcoming work for Hypothesis but have probably decided against.
- The Strange World of Directory Scope. Directory Scope is apparently when you have to explicitly refer to enclosing scopes. I am not a fan.
- A guaranteed income for every American – this is an interesting example of a much more right wing attiutde to Universal Basic Income than one I personally hold. I think the implementation suggested has a number of weaknesses that stem from that, but it’s still worth reading as an example of the other side’s view, if that’s something you want.
- A Second Year of Spaced Repetition Software in the Classroom – a teacher’s experience report of using spaced repetition software in the classroom. Honestly I have no idea how I ended up on this page, but it’s actually quite a good read.
- The GRIM test — a method for evaluating published research – a really simple and surprisingly effective tool for identifying discrepancies in data. It’s both obvious in retrospect and very unlikely I’d ever have spotted it.
- We R Cute Shoplifters. This is an instance of so many genres I disapprove of (“Look at these people! Aren’t they weird!” meets “Well established phenomenon + internet = WOW”), but I somehow found it a really interesting read anyway.
- s/automation/programming/. A nice reality check from a tester on automation. Obviously I think testing with programs is a great idea, but it’s worth bearing in mind. The linked It’s a “tester” who finds a bug, even with the robust Google Search is also worth reading
I’ve not done a huge amount of actual book reading this week but spent a little bit of time on Combinatorial Optimization, How To Read A Book and Switch: How to change when change is hard this week. See last week for opinions on the first two.
Switch is interesting. There’s a lot I’m unconvinced by / disagree with in it, but I’m definitely thinking about the material on organisational change in the context of Making Work Better, and it will probably influence my suggested approach for the better. More on it when I’ve devoted a bit more time to it.
No wishlist arrivals this week.