Un registro no exhaustivo de algunas de las cosas que he hecho, películas y series que he visto, artículos que he leído y podcasts que he escuchado en 2019. La publicación de un enlace aquí no significa que esté de acuerdo con su contenido.
- Academic achievement across the day: Evidence from randomized class schedules. Early morning classes and not having breaks are Bad For Learning.
- The Man who Cracked the Lottery, an unbelievable story about an unclaimed lottery prize that unveiled a scheme to crack the lottery.
- I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. A collection of stories related to being a “cable guy” in the US. Content warning for sexual abuse.
- Prime and Punishment, on the dirty tricks Amazon Marketplace sellers use to remove competitors from the market.
- Perfectly Intelligent Mafia. A cute paper on the optimal strategy for playing Mafia (with some restrictions).
- Learning China’s Forbidden History, So They Can Censor It. China’s censorship is outsourced to companies that hire low-wage workers. Most of them have never heard about Tiananmen Square.
- The Unbelievable Story Of The Plot Against George Soros. A plausible story on the origin and popularization of the anti-Soros sentiment among far-right groups. Content warning for antisemitism.
- Literary Magazines for Socialists Funded by the CIA, Ranked. Turns out the CIA funded socialist anti-stalinist literary magazines during the Cold War.
- A Style-Based Generator Architecture for Generative Adversarial Networks. Geez, that is impressive.
- Art You Can’t Get To. On an artwork piece on Antarctica (almost) no one can get to.
- How Knot To Hang A Painting. How to solve a simple painting-hanging problem using knot theory.
- Meet the Blind YouTubers Making the Internet More Accessible. The article isn’t particularly good but the mentioned youtubers are pretty awesome.
TV shows and movies:
- Sex Education, season 1. I did not like the first episode very much but then it becomes quite good.
- Steven Universe, season 5. Loved it.
- The Good Place, season 3. A philosophical treaty on utilitarianism (only half-joking with this description).
- Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Okay-ish.
- Preguntas de elección múltiple, sobre cómo hacer exámenes tipo test para que tengan mejores propiedades psicométricas.
- Cómo recordar cualquier cosa (casi) para siempre. Un artículo interactivo sobre repetición espaciada. También disponible en inglés.
- “U Want Me 2 Kill Him?”. On the first British case on inciting murder where the victim and the inciter are one and the same. Content warning for violence, racism and mental ilness.
- 12 Things We Can Agree On about Global Poverty. Some stats on the evolution and current state of global poverty focusing on different metrics.
- Bedazzled by Energy Efficiency. On why the concept of energy efficiency as considered by European Union policies leads to nonsensical conclusions. The website is solar-powered so it might go offline.
- Cluelessness. An excellent paper by the previously featured Philosophy Prof. Hilary Greaves on the sources of moral cluelessness.
- Science funding is a mess. Could grant lotteries make it better?. Science funding does not work and random allocation might be a good (albeit partial) solution.
- Japan’s Working Mothers: Record Responsibilities, Little Help From Dads. The effects of Japan’s sexist culture coupled with its poor working conditions on women and the economy. Content warning for sexism.
- The Proverbial Murder Mystery. What if proverbs and sayings where literally true?
- Sexual Assault of Men Played for Laughs, a critical analysis of the representation of sexual assault of men on movies and TV shows.
- Crash Course Navigating Digital Information, an (unfinished) course on how to decide whether some piece of information online is trustworthy or not.
Movies and documentaries:
- Lady Bird, a lovely coming-of-age story.
- The Act of Killing, a documentary on the Indonesian genocide of communists. Excellent yet hard to watch. Content warning for genocide, racism and violence.
- #107 The Widow and the Winchester - Criminal, the history of a victorian-style haunted mansion built to confuse some spirits.
- How Google Tracks Hackers
- El artículo 324, sobre como el trámite de aprobación de una proposición de ley de once palabras ha sido prorrogado durante más de sesenta semanas.
- Risk factors for depression and anxiety in doing a Ph.D.. A summary on the evidence when it comes to depression and anxiety propensity in PhD students.
- How Much Energy Do We Need?, on how and why should we estimate the maximum amount of energy per person per year needed.
- Why You Procrastinate, a view of procrastination as an emotion regulation problem.
- The Trauma Floor, on the working conditions of Facebook’s censors (see the spanish section for more on this topic).
- ZIP is Broken, Except it’s Not, Except it Is. A reflection by an Internet Archive worker on how to preserve compressed files from the past.
- A Simple Model of Cults of Personality. A plausible and enlightening model of cults of personality.
- Applicative Archery, on a simplified view of Haskell’s
Applicativeclass laws à la Kleisli categories.
- Linear Haskell - Practical Linearity in a Higher-Order Polymorphic Language. Linear types on Haskell are (almost) here! (and by almost I mean maybe a couple of years, but you get the point).
- Meet the Anarchists Making Their Own Medicine, on a group of anarchists making cheap substitutes for expensive and hard to obtain medication.
- The Favourite, a marvelous reinterpretation of the reign of Queen Anne.
- #109 - Homewrecker, a tale on how to ruin a stranger’s life on the Internet.
- Pessimists Archive - Telegraph, on how people reacted to the popularization of the telegraph.
- Así es como las apuestas online han conquistado España: los ludópatas del futuro ya están aquí, sobre el auge de la ludopatía entre los jóvenes en España.
- Los centros secretos donde Facebook maneja la censura: “Aquí se permite el fascismo y el acoso machista”, un artículo (compañero a «The Trauma Floor») que relata las condiciones de trabajo de los censores de Facebook y sus implicaciones.
- Los coches nos están matando y hay que erradicarlos, sobre por qué hay que eliminar los coches.
Posts and webs:
- Who’s Cheating Whom?, on why do students cheat.
- A loaded technical names Tumblr (update: no longer available).
- Inside the Secret Facebook War For Mormon Hearts and Minds; did you know that if someone has the email associated to your Facebook account ads can be targeted specifically to you?
- The Bitter Lesson, on AI research.
- However improbable: The story of a processor bug, on how Cloudflare found a processor bug (related).
- How to reduce digital distractions: advice from medieval monks “Their tech was obviously different from ours. But their anxiety about distraction was not”
- Quantum Circuits with Mixed States. This is the ideal quantum computing model. You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.
- Theorems that impeded progress, on theoretical results that made people lose interest on useful areas of science.
- brittany, an idempotent Haskell formatter.
- Edward Snowden: Without Russian Asylum, ‘I Would Be in Guantanamo or Dead’, an interview with Snowden on Assange, his daily life and more.
- #112 - The Mail. Content warning for abuse and adult content.
- Personal y político: «el podcast en el que hablamos de cómo sobrevivir a los nazis y de cómo querernos hasta que el mundo implosione».
- Negra y criminal, un podcast de ficción con adaptaciones de novela negra y criminal.
- Di una charla introductoria sobre computación cuántica (pulsa ‘S’ para ver las notas).
- The APA Meeting: A Photo-Essay, it’s worse than I would have imagined.
- Messages and dreams. Content warning for mention of child abuse.
- Why is it wrong to implement myself a known, published, widely believed to be secure crypto algorithm?, an excellent summary of side channels.
- How Should We Critique Research?, on a criterion for study design and statistical analysis criticism.
- Why falsificationism is false, a simple explanation on why falsificationism, on the form it is usually presented, is false.
- When and why did journal article titles become descriptive, rather than creatively allusive?, on the evolution of article titles.
Videos and TV shows:
- Pewdiepie and The Rebranding of White Nationalism by Kate Blaque1, on the history of the rethoric and strategies of white nationalists.
- Chernobyl, a historical fiction HBO series on the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
- #115 - Cecilia, an interview with an Argentinian trans woman named Cecilia. Content warning for discussions of sexual assault and police violence.
- Gilded Rage, on why philantropy can be bad.
- Radiografía de los presupuestos participativos, un análisis infográfico de los presupuestos participativos del ayuntamiento de Madrid.
- Por qué es peligroso el artículo 13 de la Directiva de Copyright, una breve entrevista a David Bravo sobre los efectos perjudiciales del artículo 13.
- Build Systems à la Carte, a classification of build systems and their capabilities, with an associated Haskell library. It’s cute to see spreadsheet software as a build system.
- What Happens Next Will Amaze You, a transcript on a talk on how to fix the digital surveillance nightmare. See also The Website Obesity Crisis.
- One Man’s Modus Ponens, an explanation of the saying ‘One man’s modus ponens is another man’s modus tollens’.
- Why is printf better than echo?, on why
echois considered (mildly) harmful.
- The Making of Youtube Radical, an example of far-right radicalization boosted by Youtube’s recommendation algorithm.
- FBI agent accidentally reveals own 8chan posts; attempts to redirect white supremacist rage against Russia, on the strategies used by the FBI on white supremacist’s forums to steer their interests away from the FBI/CIA/Mossad and towards Russian intelligence agencies.
- Questions For Our Opponents, Answered, where Ozy answers questions from a TERF. I don’t usually like this kinds of posts (I think most of the time these kinds of questions are not intended to spark a fruitful conversation but rather they are wielded as a propagandistic ‘weapon’) but I think this is genuinely informative if you have nver understood trans issues.
- What The Hell Is Going On With UFOs And The Department Of Defense?, on how the United States’ DoD might be promoting the UFO myth to distract people from classified experiments with advanced hardware. Big caveat here about this being very speculative.
- Let It Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace, on the nightmare the US is for workers’ rights, and on how libertarians contradict themselves when speaking about coertion in the workplace.
Videos and TV shows:
- Twin Peaks seasons 1 & 2, a fascinating 90s classic.
Videogames and board games:
- Azul, 2018’s “Game of The Year”. A beautiful-looking competitive puzzle game.
- #144 Dark Pattern - Reply All, a podcast on TurboTax’s deceptive schemes for hiding its free version.
I finished my bachelor’s thesis, entitled “Quantum computational models”, on quantum complexity theory and concrete quantum algorithms. I am sure there is plenty of errata or omissions lying around, but overall I am quite satisfied with the result. I wish I had had time to rewrite some of it using a more categorical language, maybe I will do so at some point. Constructive criticism is welcome.
- Pulling JPEGs out of thin air, on how an agnostic fuzzer can create JPG files in a few hours by attempting to cover all branches of the execution of a program.
- Files are fraught with peril , a talk transcript on why filesystems fail, how do they do it and why Dropbox needs to know your filesystem.
- Details of the Cloudflare outage on July 2, 2019, a postmortem analysis of the Cloudflare outage, caused by (spoiler) catastrophic backtracking on a regular expression.
- How can Kazakhstan perform MITM attacks on all HTTPS traffic?, on the recent attempt of the Kazakh government for surveillance
- IPTC metadata automatically added to uploaded images on Facebook; Facebook adds some kind of metadata to images uploaded to the site, possibly for tracking purposes.
- Automatically and Efficiently Illustrating Polynomial Equalities in Agda, an bachelor thesis on, well, what the title says.
- A Tour of C++. I learned C++03 at university and although I had used C++11/14 features before, I had never stopped to actually learn about it systematically. This book made me think that C++11 is actually an acceptable language.
- Effective Modern C++. After reading the previous book I decided to keep on reading on some issues in this second book. This book then made me return to my original stance: C++ design is unbelievably complicated and it is close to impossible to have a mental model of its semantics or what a program will actually do in detail. I think some of the problems will be somewhat improved when concepts become an official thing, but nonetheless the list of exceptions and quirks surpasses by a lot those that I have found in other languages.
- Locke & Key, vol. 1. An adventure/fantasy/horror comic that I really enjoyed.
Videos & TV shows:
- Men. Abuse. Trauma. - Philosophy Tube, an excellent monologue on abuse. Content warning for discussions of (mostly psychological) abuse.
- Fleabag, seasons 1 & 2. Never had I fallen in love with a TV show so much as I have with this one. The use of the aside glance and private comments to the viewer is simply the best I had ever seen.
- Big Little Lies, season 2. I think I liked more the first season, but I was happy with it overall.
- Chernobyl, season 1. Although it seems it is historically inaccurate in some ways (apart from the plot devices), it is aesthetically superb.
- Composing traversals, an example-based introduction to
Traversableand higher kinded types composition in Haskell.
- Prohibido criticar al rey, sobre la reciente decisión del Tribunal Constitucional de dejar sin efectos una resolución republicana del Parlament catalán, su sinsentido jurídico y sus implicaciones en la libertad de expresión.
- Papers y más papers: las sombras en la industria de las publicaciones científicas, sobre la publicación masiva de papers de baja calidad por los malos incentivos en investigación y otros problemas del panorama investigador español.
- Decades-Old Computer Science Conjecture Solved in Two Pages, on the sensitivity conjecture. I think Quanta magazine articles are sometimes inaccurate or misleading, but I really liked this one.
- Why is Stack Overflow trying to start audio?, on the nightmarish world of online advertising we live in.
- Why can I log in to my Facebook account with a misspelled email/password?, a neat thing Facebook does with passwords.
- Can ads on a page read my password?, in hindsight this is obvious but I hadn’t thought about it.
- Diff Strategies, on how to implement
- How a ‘NULL’ License Plate Landed One Hacker in Ticket Hell
- Decoded: GNU coreutils, simple explainers on Coreutils (
ln…) source code.
Videos & TV Shows:
- Years and Years, season 1.
- The Waterfall - Welcome to Night Vale, “Josh Crayton finds that he has lost a very important ability.”.
- I created some backup scripts and hooks and posted them on Github. In particular:
- Una presentación sobre si Valerie Solanas bebió agua.
- ¿Qué son los CIE?, sobre los Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros.
- Meterlos en casa, sobre la crisis del Open Arms y el discurso público sobre este.
Brought to you by the glorious “Pocket to log” automation script.
- Android 10—The Ars Technica Review, Android 10 is called “Android 10” because we can’t have anything fun and it brings some big changes to security and apps permissions that seem like positive changes.
- It’s Not Wrong that “🤦🏼♂️”.length == 7, on what is the length of a string.
- Can You Indemnify Against Dick Pics?, on the booming market of insurance against celebrity scandals and how it works.
- Why Is Sojdlg123aljg a Common Password?, the second answer will surprise you.
- What’s new in CPUs since the 80s?, on the unbelievably complicated world of CPUs.
- The Perfect Milk Machine: How Big Data Transformed the Dairy Industry, on breeding selection through data analysis.
Videos & TV Shows:
- Protecting Privacy with Math, on the application of differential privacy to the upcoming 2020 US Census.
- The Race to Win Staten Island, fact-checking gone wild.
- The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, season 1. More puppet series, please.
- Cacao, a cute and fun worker placement board game.
- Google and Examine.com, on how Google demotes a research-based supplements website in their fight against promoting pseudoscience.
- Twitter “Unintentionally” Used Your Phone Number for Targeted Advertising, SMS-based 2FA, apart from being susceptible to SIM jacking, also leaves your personal data at risk of being “mistakenly” handed over to advertisers.
- Mastodon 3.0: you can now move your account between instances while preserving followers and other exciting features.
- Lawsuits against God, “ When God ‘failed to turn up in court’, Penrose won the case by default”.
- Secrets of the Little Blue Box, the original Esquire phone phreaking article that popularized the topic. See also this recent talk on the topic by the 8Bit Guy.
- Reproducible Builds — a set of software development practices that create an independently-verifiable path from source to binary code. Reproducible Builds are here and are great.
- How feasible is long-range forecasting?. Not much, it seems.
- Quantum supremacy: the gloves are off. Scott Aaronson’s piece on Google’s recent quantum supremacy experiment. While not the harshest critic, Scott is usually skeptical of claims of quantum supremacy, but seems to be onboard with this one.
Videos & TV Shows:
- HBO’s Chernobyl & Personal Responsibility, by Philosophy Tube.
- Criminal #125: The Less People Know About Us a continuation of #51: Money Tree (listen to that one first!!), on personal identity theft. I don’t want to spoil the episode and that description maybe seems a bit dry but trust me, it’s a fascinating story.
- The Bright Sessions, a science-fiction podcast in the form of psychologist sessions’ recordings.
- Why Adding Client-Side Scanning Breaks End-To-End Encryption, on the pitfalls of client-side scanning.
- Antitrust 101: Why everyone is probing Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, on the monopolistic strategies of Big Tech companies.
- My name causes an issue with any booking! (names end with MR and MRS), on why you can have trouble with airlines if your name is “Amr”.
- LLVM provides no side-channel resistance, a proposal on a new keyword for preventing side-channel attacks.
- How often do researchers not read the papers they cite?, less often that I would like.
- The Strange Case of the Woman Who Can’t Remember Her Past—Or Imagine Her Future, on having semantic memory but not episodic memory.
- When delivery is free, will ownership survive?, on the possible effects of automatic driving.
- ‘Nearly All’ Counter-Strike Microtransactions Are Being Used for Money Laundering, uh-oh.
- This Video Is Sponsored By ███ VPN, on misleading advertisements for VPNs
- Quining Qualia, a classic on eliminative materialism. I tried to read it a few years ago and I gave up, but rereading it now I think it is a must-read in philosophy of consciousness.
- Hard Problems in Cryptocurrency: Five Years Later. I’m not a big fan of cryptocurrencies although I think some of the technologies have some potential for being used to solve coordination problems. The underlying issues are very interesting though, and this article summarizes some of them.
- T E X T F I L E S, a collection of text files from the 90s.
- Donkey vote, a surprising phenomena of compulsory preferential voting systems.
Partition the HTTP Cache, major browsers are splitting the HTTP cache per origin. This apparently does not have a statistically significant hit on performance (maybe because most people use only a handful of websites most of the time?), and the kinds of attacks it prevents are very interesting.
Why you might be counting in the wrong language, the Sappir-Whorf hypothesis applied to numbers. It’s interesting, but I am skeptical about it and the results are probably overblown.
- The SQL Murder Mistery, a cute puzzle to learn SQL.
- The Creativity Delusion: Geniuses Steal, a video with awesome imagery on how geniuses literally steal and why that is good.
- The Trouble with the Video Game Industry, marxism and videogames.
- Politics and More: Samantha’s Journey into the Alt-Right, and Back, I was skeptical when I first saw the podcast and I thought it would be a different story, but it is more realistic than I thought.
- La sentencia de la Arandina, análisis legal de la sentencia de la Arandina.