Programming Note: Vacation Hiatus
I’ll be on vacation and traveling the next few weeks. “Securities” the newsletter, “Securities” the podcast, “Securities” the flamethrower, and everything else will return on May 27.
A Miami Tech Week Wrapup
The whole Lux partnership was in Miami this past week for Miami Tech Week as well as a strategic offsite. There’s nothing quite like escaping the tedium of 280/101 traffic for the West Coasters and the L train for the New Yorkers to triangulate on a bunch of new themes and initiatives for the coming year.
We’ll have more to share in time, but for now, some glorious shots from Florida, all taken by Josh Wolfe:
Our scientist-in-residence has a new book coming
Sam Arbesman has been toying with new technologies and historical artifacts of the computing world for years now, building up such libraries as the Overedge Catalog on new scientific organizations as well as Enlightenment 2.0 on new platforms and institutions dedicated to expanding ideas and thought in the digital age.
Now, he’s turning all of those learnings and vignettes into a manuscript and ultimately a book for all of us to enjoy, tentatively titled, “The Magic of Code: How Digital Language Built Our Modern World—and Shapes Our Future.” Per Sam:
The book is an attempt to convey how strange and wonderful computation—and all of its implications—truly is. I like to think of code as a sort of reverse centrifuge, spinning huge numbers of topics together and intimately connecting them. These topics range from our attempts to model the world, the nature of history, how we think and use language (both natural and computational), to even biology, philosophy, and serendipity. But too many of us take computing’s omnipresence for granted. It’s time we defamiliarize the nature of code and all that it touches.
The book will be published by John Mahaney at Public Affairs.
- Pete recommends Tivadar Danka’s tweet thread of Midjourney images to explain and envision famous mathematical theories.
- Shaq Vayda recommends a reflection from Open Targets director Ian Dunham on “Code breaking and the Human Genome Project”, which combines the 20th anniversary of the HGP with a trip to the wartime codebreaking center Bletchley Park (one of my favorite visits when I am in the UK). “… there are notable parallels both in the way the science was conducted and, at least for the genome project in the UK, the particular physical settings and sensibilities.”
- I recommend John Mulaney’s latest comedy standup special Baby J on Netflix. Mulaney takes the news that has swirled around him including his period in rehab and places it into a hilarious, human portrait of development.
- Grace recommends a new working paper on Arxiv from a trio of researchers at the Percy Liang lab at Stanford on “Evaluating Verifiability in Generative Search Engines”. "We find that responses from existing generative search engines are fluent and appear informative, but frequently contain unsupported statements and inaccurate citations: on average, a mere 51.5% of generated sentences are fully supported by citations and only 74.5% of citations support their associated sentence.”
- Pete enjoyed the Financial Times’ look at the fictional Roy family fortune in “Everything you don’t actually need to know about the economics of Succession.” Sure you don't need to know, but you kind of want to anyway, no?
- Finally, I found Brookings senior fellow Richard V. Reeves’s book “Of Boys and Men” to be a sobering and enervating read. Compact and lucid, it's full of wild statistics about how far males are falling behind women and even more ominously, falling out of the American economy entirely. Reeves's desire is to change the conversation around sex differences in economics from a binary, zero-sum competition to a positive-sum progressivism. Godspeed to him.
That’s it, folks. Have questions, comments, or ideas? This newsletter is sent from my email, so you can just click reply.