Nerd Corner #73

MAD Symposium, What To Write About, Facebook antitrust, DNS,...

Hi Friends!

I've been struggling to write and keep up with my writing challenge. It's been great but I'm glad it's almost over. Here are my three latest atomic essays: Productivity Systems Miss The Point, My Morning Ritual, and What To Write About.

Cool Finds 🤯

  • Cloudflare and Apple have been working on a more private and secure DNS. Their work builds on the recent DNS-over-HTTPS improvements by encrypting and proxying your DNS request. This is promising but it also raises the concern around the ownership of this new proxy system. Can we trust its owners?

  • Cemetery of Soviet Computers. I'm always fascinated by stories from the USSR. This article shows the first-known images of Saratov-2 and a few other soviet-era computers!

  • My dad recommended this WIRED article about the ongoing antitrust case against Facebook. While I've been skeptical of the FCC's case and what unintended consequences such a case might bring, it seems evident that Facebook has knowingly engaged in anti-competitive practices.


What I am Reading 📚

As promised, here are my thoughts on The Future Of Text:

The number of articles is mind-blowing. From computer science experts like Alan Kay and Vincent Cerf to productivity gurus like Tiago Forte, the book provides a very complete picture of how text has evolved and what its digital future might look like.

I really enjoyed "Timeful Texts" (also available here) by Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen. In it, they argue that one way for readers to better engage, learn and remember what they read is to implement spaced-repetition systems that give us the content in byte-size chunks much like most meditation apps teach us how to meditate.

Another interesting article was "The Writings of Researchers, In Their Millions". Alex Holcombe argues how AI is already helping us augment text by making inferences and links between authors and their points of view. Related to this he mentions Scite.ai a neat app that helps to visualize the sources, citations, supporting and disputing points of academic articles.


Nerd Corner: The Future Of Food 🤓

I recently started reading "Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet" by Dina Rodgers and Robb Wolf.

The book seems to be a well-researched work but I'm reading it carefully because it may just end up confirming my biases around sustainable sourcing and eating meat.

Speaking of our relationship with food and how it impacts the world, I've been binge-watching past editions of the MAD Symposium an event that brings together experts from around the world to discuss the future of food.

I've particularly enjoyed the following:

  • Carne e Spirito in which a professional Tuscan butcher processes a pig and tells the story of his ancestors and his craft.

  • Fermentation Revival describes the importance of preparing and consuming fermented foods (it's time to make your own Kombucha, Kimchi, or Sauerkraut!).

  • Finally, Techniques of the Past for the Future will blow your mind as to the craftsmanship of chef Jacques Pépin.


Before you go 😎

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Have an awesome week!

Alberto