Category: Science

  • It’s Monday. Let’s Save Ourselves from the Business of Tech

    A series of proposals that will make Marc Andreesen furious and ensure I am never promoted by Substack. But the technology industry is massively broken, socializing the costs of its work while privatizing the benefits in fewer and fewer hands. Technology is only beneficial to the extent that it improves the lives of the people…

  • Meatballs, Worms, NASA, Joy and the Public Sphere

    I unabashedly love this story about designers celebrating the return of the “worm” logo at NASA. It is a silly little story about a meaningless design change but the people in it are just so happy their favorite logo is making a comeback. They are so deep into their design nerdery and I just love…

  • Health Care AI Bias Shows AI Privileges Data over Expertise

    A new study in Nature shows that LLM (Large Language Models, what most of think of when we think of AI — ChatGPT is the canonical example) in medical areas perpetuate racist myths about patients and treatments. This is another example of how imitative AI is going to lesson our ability to access expertise. In…

  • The Sexism of AI and STEM Expectations

    In an oddly telling article, the BBC reports that significantly fewer woman than men report using AI tools like ChatGPT. I say the article is oddly telling because it seems to be reinforcing sexist stereotypes while trying to report on how cultural expectations might cause women to be more reluctant to be caught using AI.…

  • Humanities vs. STEM. Again. Enough.

    You cannot make me appreciate poetry. I realize to many that makes me an uncouth philistine, and of course such a sweeping statement is only honored in the breach. I am sure if pressed I would find poems I enjoyed (W.H. Auden’s “Stop the Clocks” actually comes to mind as I write this, for example.…

  • As I have mentioned before, I am writing a historical fiction novel set in 1520s Nuremberg about a woman trying to keep her father’s clockmaking shop in her hands while also advancing the state of early modern prosthetics. Think Hangman’s Daughter crossed with Radium Girls. I chose Nuremberg at that time because it is a…

  • On the Quasi-Problems with Data, AI, Publishing and The Way Forward

    This is likely to ramble a bit, so grab some snacks. I have been mulling over this excellent episode of the Publishing Rodeo for a couple of days now, trying to put my finger on why it rattled around my head so. https://open.spotify.com/embed/episode/1lMUiKqG7PSlJjx7LoOHkU If you do not listen to the Publishing Rodeo and you have…

  • AI Job Losses Are About Whole System, Not Just Individual Industries. Or Follow the Money and the Power

    Timothy Lee at Understanding AI has a generally positive take on how translators have dealt with AI intrusion into their workplace that I think largely misses the mark. Lee does not think that AI is going to be disruptive enough fast enough to significantly damage working people as compared to the benefits AI will bring…

  • Titan Sub Disaster Highlights Everything Wrong with America

    The New Yorker has an in-depth article about what caused the Titan submersible disaster. I was initially going to leave it for the Sunday Good Reads this weekend, but the longer I thought about the piece, the angrier I got. The death of these people is a microcosm of how this country is fundamentally broken.…

  • Elizabeth Holmes, Whiny Right-Wing Academics, the NY Times, and Our Broken Elite Culture

    The NY Times, over the weekend, published an article that is essentially a re-branding exercise by Elizabeth Holmes. It also published an op-ed by some right-wing agitators whining that their frankly juvenile paper (seriously, at no point in my academic career, down to about fifth grade, would I have not been ashamed to hand in…