Summary of “Coming to Grips with the Implications of Quantum Mechanics”

Over the years, we have written extensively about why QM seems to imply that the world is essentially mental.
We are often misinterpreted-and misrepresented-as espousing solipsism or some form of “Quantum mysticism,” so let us be clear: our argument for a mental world does not entail or imply that the world is merely one’s own personal hallucination or act of imagination.
According to QM, the world exists only as a cloud of simultaneous, overlapping possibilities-technically called a “Superposition”-until an observation brings one of these possibilities into focus in the form of definite objects and events.
The problem is that the partitioning of the world into discrete inanimate objects is merely nominal.
The inanimate world is a single physical system governed by QM. Indeed, as first argued by John von Neumann and rearticulated in the work of one of us, when two inanimate objects interact they simply become quantum mechanically “Entangled” with one another-that is, they become united in such a way that the behavior of one becomes inextricably linked to the behavior of the other-but no actual measurement is performed.
As a matter of fact, peculiar statistical characteristics of the behavior of entangled quantum systems seem to rule out everything but consciousness as the agency of measurement.
Some then claim that entanglement is observed only in microscopic systems and its peculiarities are allegedly irrelevant to the world of tables and chairs.
What preserves a superposition is merely how well the quantum system-whatever its size-is isolated from the world of tables and chairs known to us through direct conscious apprehension.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Zach Woods in the Woods”

On Silicon Valley Zach Woods plays a gentle, vest-wearing startup barnacle named Jared, whose dark past emerges in improvised quips.
The photographer, Woods recalls in a haunted voice, went to great lengths to relax him: “She was like, ‘You’re tense! You’re tense!’ She took a parrot out of the cage and said, ‘This is Faust, Faust will relax you.'” Even holding the comfort parrot, Woods remained tense, so the photographer pulled out the big guns: “She told me to say”-he’s barely comfortable saying it now, and the word breaks as it comes out-” ‘cuh-hunt.
Woods begins talking soothingly to the hawk, almost in a whisper.
Woods holds her gaze, then suddenly looks off into the distance.
We do some small talk, and it is immediately apparent that while his appearance suggests extreme awkwardness, Woods is a master of chit-chat.
Mastery of small talk notwithstanding, interviews are very hard for Woods.
To men Woods is an anti-hero, but to women he’s just a hero.
Woods will never be a Matt Damon-type sex symbol, but a lot of women don’t really want that kind of bulldozer confidence anymore.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Memes Are Becoming Harder to Monetize”

“People today are consuming more memes than ever. The expiration date for them has shortened more since even last year. Memes used to last for two to three weeks, but recently we’ve noticed they die after just a few days.”
“In the early days of meme culture late 2008 to early 2012, memes used to go on for months on end,” he says.
The 24-7 nature of today’s meme cycle has posed problems for businesses that design custom merchandise based on memes.
Today, memes come and go sometimes faster than T-shirts can be printed, and there’s nothing more mortifying than donning a T-shirt with a dated phrase.
It’s also almost impossible for sellers to monetize entire swaths of memes featuring trademarked characters like SpongeBob or Kermit the Frog.On top of everything, the nature of what constitutes a meme itself is shifting.
While early memes followed standardized formats, like white block font plastered on top of a funny photo, today’s memes are more esoteric.
Edward Stockwell who has managed meme-based social-media accounts for sites like theCHIVE and Rooster Teeth says that memes today relative to a few years ago are wildly different, and that makes them more difficult to commoditize.
While some meme retailers like DankMemeMerch.com have stayed true to their mission, most others have begun to pivot wholly away from memes and into broader novelty merchandise.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 7 Habits: Put First Things First”

Covey’s first two habits are big picture and abstract.
In Covey’s book First Things First, he fleshes out this habit even more and introduces the analogy of big rocks vs. small rocks.
Let’s say you instead first filled the jar with big rocks, and then put in the sand and small rocks; the sediment will settle in the cracks of the big rocks, allowing you to fit everything in from both piles.
So we know why it’s important to put first things first, but how do we do it? What are the best “Management” practices to help us properly order our priorities?
If you want to make sure you accomplish the most important things in your life, then you need to literally make them the first things you do each day.
Within my workday, I utilize the same principle of first things first: I tackle my most important tasks at the start of the day, knowing that if I do so, I’ll not only have ensured that the most value-creating things get done, but that I’ll be able to fit the “Urgent,” smaller rocks in later.
My morning routine sets me up for workday success, and the continued employment of the “First things first” principle ensures that the workday is productive.
So frontload what’s most important to you in the a.m. Put first things first.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘The Americans’ Series Finale Oral History”

Weisberg: We had no idea how we were going to get there, and we didn’t know the other pieces that you see in the finale.
Rhys: It’s six years of everyone going, “When’s Stan going to catch them?” You know? is an enormous decision that happens in an incredibly fleeting moment.
Taylor: The last scene I shot for the whole entire series was when we call Henry.
Fields: The truth is that departure of Paige, exactly how it was going to turn out, we didn’t know.
We certainly didn’t know it was going to be on a train.
Long: We didn’t know in advance what song was going to go there.
So we were really trying to explore what was going to be in her heart, and what’s going to be on her unconscious as she makes this final journey.
Fields: I’d say that there is no scene in the history of The Americans that we spent more time working on in the editing room than the final scene of the two of them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Price’s Law: Why Only A Few People Generate Half Of The Results”

Example of how Price’s Law works in a field/company with 100 people.
Only 4 of my co-workers brought in more than half of the total sales.
50% of the work is done by the square root of the total number of people participate in the work.
In every workplace, the relationship between value and people is asymmetric.
Only a handful of people are responsible for the majority of the value creation.
If you look at the number of books sold in a year, you’ll probably see the ratio described by Price’s law.
Theories like Price’s law are merely ideas – not facts.
Only a few people in every domain are responsible for half of the results.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stephen Malkmus and Tim Heidecker in Conversation”

“College, senior year of high school, Crooked Rain was really the record,” Heidecker said drolly to Malkmus earlier this month.
They are icons of their chosen fields, we figured, plus reciprocal fans-maybe we’d get Malkmus to dissect Heidecker’s work, or Heidecker to talk about how he found inspiration in Malkmus’s famously wry lyrical sensibility.
Heidecker: Wait, David Bowie is on “Life’s Been Good to Me”? Malkmus: Yeah, he sings on there, I’m almost positive, unless I’m totally tripping.
Heidecker: You do all the guitar stuff for U2 now, right? ‘Cause the Edge won’t play on the records?
Heidecker: No. Malkmus: That seems like it’s hard to do.
Heidecker: We were sitting around the other day and were like, let’s just randomly play some Frank Zappa songs, just go through his library.
Heidecker: Thanks, dad. Malkmus: Yeah, I’m 50, so I know what it’s like.
I’ve been through those low 40s. Heidecker: Well I’m glad you’re still out there making records.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Interview: Pusha-T”

You can hear the change in tracks like “Take One for the Team” and Cruel Summer’s “New God Flow.” You can feel West and his collective being pulled back to rap’s coarse, streetwise essence.
Seven’s very much enough, and I also like the fact that I feel like the trend in rap is like put a whole bunch of songs on your album, and get your streaming numbers up.
Does the flak feel different this year than it has before?It definitely feels different because sometimes it’s just music flak and music flak is just great.
You were talking about finding ways to brag differently, and I feel like that’s something you talk about a lot, in “More Famous Than Rich” and “Games We Play.” People posting up the image of wealth but not actually having it.
Do you feel like the division between fans who listen for bars and fans who listen to the party stuff is stupid?Yeah, man.
“I’m too rare in a world full of pink hair” means “I feel like there’s more of you guys than there are of us.”
Feels good to be able to just make music that I feel.
Yeah, people like that energy and it was cheapened, I feel like it was cheapened after we did it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Antony Beevor: the greatest war movie ever”

For a long time now, my wife has refused to watch a war movie with me.
In my view, the greatest war movie ever made is The 317th Platoon, a French film from 1965 set during the country’s first Indochina war.
My piece was spiked since it did not share the widespread adulation, and I still shake my head in disbelief when it is regularly voted the best war movie ever.
Spielberg said at the time that he sees the second world war as the “Defining moment” in history.
One also suspects that he wanted this film to be seen as the defining movie of the war.
He understood the national need, in the post-cold war chaos, to reach back to more certain times, seeking reassurance from that moment in history – the second world war – when the fight seemed unequivocally right.
Rew Marr rightly called The Patriot, set in the American war of independence, “a stinker”.
As he pointed out: “Black Americans, in fact destined to stay slaves thanks to the war, very many of whom enlisted with the British, are shown fighting shoulder to shoulder with their white rebel ‘brothers’. The British are portrayed as effete sadists and serial war criminals, just as in other American films. The huge support of the Bourbon French, who helped win the war, is airbrushed out. And the fact that most colonists actually sided with King George is airily forgotten.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ringing the chords of the Universe: how music influenced science”

Anyone who has ever played a musical instrument is aware of the presence of mathematics on every page of the score – from the time signature that sets a piece’s rhythm, to the metronome number that determines the speed at which the piece should be played; and, of course, the very act of playing music requires us to count 1, 2, 3 and arrange these numbers into groups, called bars or measures.
The Greek philosopher Pythagoras, active during the 6th century BCE, might have been the first to uncover a quantitative relation between music and mathematics.
Pythagoreans regarded the music component of the quadrivium as referring to music theory – the study of harmony – rather than the practice of playing music.
As my musical interests expanded, I gradually ventured beyond the Baroque-Classical-Romantic period, and turned to modern music.
In the 1960s there was still much talk about Arnold Schoenberg and his atonal or serial music.
At its heart it was a mathematical system, and Schoenberg was determined to impose it on music.
As a mathematician, I see a striking similarity between Schoenberg’s serial music and Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, as though a parallel dismantling of the canonical structures of music and physics were happening simultaneously.
Whether these developments had any effect on Einstein’s and Schoenberg’s work is difficult to say, but it is revealing that several of the actors in this new world were actively involved with music: Einstein’s violin immediately comes to mind; Planck was an accomplished pianist; and the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Werner Heisenberg seriously considered pursuing a career in music before turning to quantum mechanics.

The orginal article.