Mid-Week – Reads

  • What termites can teach us. Termite mounds are among the largest structures built by any nonhuman animal. They reach as high as thirty feet, which, proportional to the insects’ tiny size, is the equivalent of our building something twice as tall as the 2,722-foot Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. The mounds are also fantastically beautiful, Gaudíesque structures, with rippling, soaring towers, in browns and oranges and reds. The interior of a termite mound is an intricate structure of interweaving tunnels and passageways, radiating chambers, galleries, archways, and spiral staircases. NewYorker.
  • How Much Can Your Brain Actually Process? Don’t Ask. Since their development, digital computers have become a standard metaphor for the mind and brain. The comparison makes sense, in that brains and computers both transform input into output. Most human brains, like computers, can also manipulate abstract symbols. (Think arithmetic or language processing.) But like any metaphor, this one has limitations. Slate
  • Inside Twitter’s Decision to Cut Off Trump. Mr. Dorsey was concerned about the move, said two people with knowledge of the call. For four years, he had resisted demands by liberals and others that Twitter terminate Mr. Trump’s account, arguing that the platform was a place where world leaders could speak, even if their views were heinous. But he had delegated moderation decisions to Ms. Gadde, and he did so again. NYT
  • Social-Media algorithms rule how we see the world. What you see in your feeds isn’t up to you. What’s at stake is no longer just missing a birthday. It’s your sanity—and world peace. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when we lost control of what we see, read—and even think—to the biggest social-media companies. WSJ
  • The joys of being an absolute beginner – for life. The phrase ‘adult beginner’ can sound patronizing. It implies you are learning something you should have mastered as a child. But learning is not just for the young. Guardian


Last Updated on January 20, 2021 by SK

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