Weekly Newsletter

Linguistics #

How to Say (Almost) Everything in a Hundred-Word Language
Explores Toki Pona, the world’s smallest language. Describes the linguistic idiosyncrasies that arise from the severely limited vocabulary of the language.

Nature’s Algorithms #

Decoding the Remarkable Algorithms of Ants
Interviews a scientist studying the swarm behavior of ants in an attempt to translate ant colony behavior into computer algorithms.

Education #

A New Look at Apprenticeships as a Path to the Middle Class
Profiles the Apprenticeship School, an apprenticeship program that serves a Navy shipyard. Covers the broader potential for apprenticeships to satisfy the “hunger among young people for good, well-paying jobs that don’t require an expensive four-year degree.”

Other Contributions #

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway – With me in it (Scott Gladstone) Scott said, “The fact that Jeep/Chrysler could push a car through development and testing to full-scale production with such an outrageous hack is pretty ridiculous and terrifying.”

On my end, I especially enjoyed the discussion of the thought processes that went into these guys’ hack.

Charity Navigator 3.0: The Empirical Empire’s Death Star? (Will Baird)
Baird offered this article as a counter to last week’s article about Effective Altruism. Baird described the articles as follows, “I thought this was a very good counter-point to the idea that all charitable donations should be driven by empiricism.”

Self-Aware Robot Solves Riddle (Leslie Cofer)
Discusses a robot that managed to solve a riddle that only humans have solved previously. This is a fascinating testament to the continuous advancement of computational intelligence.

One Company’s New Wage: $70,000 a Year (Mark Malina)
Examines the CEO of Gravity Payment’s decision to set a minimum wage of $70,000 for the entire company. I’m incredibly impressed by this CEO’s boldness and willingness to challenge organizational assumptions. I can only hope that more executives will experiment with their organizations in the future, not only with their wages, but with all aspects of their organizations.