📺 “Equus Story of the Horse: Origins” | Nature | PBS

Watched "Equus: Story of the Horse" | Nature from PBS
Join anthropologist Dr. Niobe Thompson and equine experts on a two-part adventure around the world and throughout time to discover the origins of the horse.

Passively watching television this evening and this popped up. Very interesting. Might be worth watching the other episodes in this sub-series.

🎧 “The Daily”: The Ethics of Genetically Editing Babies | New York Times

Listened to "The Daily": The Ethics of Genetically Editing Babies from New York Times

A scientist in China claimed to have created the world’s first gene-edited human beings. How should the U.S. respond?

👓 Welcome to Indie Digital Media | Indie Digital Media

Read Welcome to Indie Digital Media by Richard MacManus (Indie Digital Media)
Indie Digital Media (IDM) is a new blog for digital media creators and their fans.  For creators: whatever form of digital media you produce - website, podcast, online video, music, ebooks, digital art, software, games, etc. - IDM will offer you a regular stream of resources and inspiration. For fans: you'll…

🔖 Creative Clarity by Jon Kolko

Bookmarked Creative Clarity by Jon Kolko (Brown Bear LLC)

This book is built on a simple premise: Most companies don't know what creativity really is, so they can't benefit from it. They lack creative clarity. 

Creative clarity requires you to do four things:
1. Choreograph a creative strategy, describing a clear future even among the blurry business landscape.
2. Grow teams that include those creative, unpredictable outcasts;  give them the space to produce amazing work; and build a unique form of trust in your company culture.
3. Institutionalize an iterative process of critique, conflict, and ideation.
4. Embrace chaos but manage creative spin and stagnation. 

This book is primarily for people in charge of driving strategic change through an organization. If you are a line manager responsible for exploring a horizon of opportunity, the book will help you establish a culture of creative product development in which your teams can predictably deliver creative results. You'll learn methods to drive trust among your team members to enable you to critique and improve their work. And as an organizational leader, you'll complement your traditional business strategies with the new language and understanding you need to implement creativity in a strategic manner across your company.

In a creative environment, chaos is the backdrop for hidden wonderment and success. In this book, you'll gain clarity in the face of that chaos, so you can build great products, great teams, and a high-performing creative organization.  

hat tip: Human Current

🎧 Episode 082 The Complexity & Chaos of Creativity | Human Current

Listened to Episode 082 The Complexity & Chaos of Creativity from HumanCurrent

How does chaos influence creativity? How can “flow states” help teams manage feedback and achieve creativity?In this episode, Haley interviews designer, educator and author, Jon Kolko. Kolko shares details from his new book Creative Clarity: A Practical Guide for Bringing Creative Thinking into Your Company, which he wrote to help leaders and creative thinkers manage the complexity and chaos of the creative process. During his interview, he explains how elements of complex systems science, including emergence, constraints, feedback and framing, influence the creative process. He also provides many helpful tips for how to foster a culture of creativity within an organization.

Cover art for The Complexity & Chaos Of Creativity featuring Jon Kolko

Quotes from this episode:

“A constraint emerges from the creative exploration itself….these constraints become a freeing way for creative people to start to explore without having rules mandated at them.” - Jon Kolko

“Framing is the way in which the problem is structured and presented and the way that those constraints start to manifest as an opportunity statement.” - Jon Kolko

“The rules around trust need to be articulated.” - Jon Kolko

“Chaos is the backdrop for hidden wonderment and success.” - Jon Kolko

Some interesting thoughts on creativity and management. Definitely worth a second listen.

I’ve seen the sentiment of “thought spaces” several times from bloggers, but this is one of the first times I’ve heard a book author use the idea:

Often when I write, it’s to help me make sense of the world around me.

—Jon Kolko

🎧 Episode 097 Applied Mathematics & the Evolution of Music: An Interview With Natalia Komarova | HumanCurrent

Listened to Episode 097 Applied Mathematics & the Evolution of Music: An Interview With Natalia Komarova by Haley Campbell-GrossHaley Campbell-Gross from HumanCurrent

In this episode, Haley interviews Natalia Komarova, Chancellor's Professor of the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Komarova talks with Haley at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems about her presentation, which explored using applied mathematics to study the spread of mutants, as well as the evolution of popular music.

There’s some interesting sounding research being described here. Be sure to circle back around to some of her papers.

Replied to a tweet by Michael LevinMichael Levin (Twitter)
I wish I had known that before I started working on slime molds...”

Kandel’s corollary to “People eventually start to look like their pets.”

Gives me hope in old age that I have a German Shepherd and not a Chihuahua (or slime mold)…

👓 James Watson Won’t Stop Talking About Race | New York Times

Read James Watson Won’t Stop Talking About Race (nytimes.com)
The Nobel-winning biologist has drawn global criticism with unfounded pronouncements on genetics, race and intelligence. He still thinks he’s right, a new documentary finds.

[1604.07422v1] Single-world interpretations of quantum theory cannot be self-consistent

Bookmarked Single-world interpretations of quantum theory cannot be self-consistent by Daniela Frauchiger & Renato Renner (arXiv.org)
According to quantum theory, a measurement may have multiple possible outcomes. Single-world interpretations assert that, nevertheless, only one of them "really" occurs. Here we propose a gedankenexperiment where quantum theory is applied to model an experimenter who herself uses quantum theory. We find that, in such a scenario, no single-world interpretation can be logically consistent. This conclusion extends to deterministic hidden-variable theories, such as Bohmian mechanics, for they impose a single-world interpretation.

Hat tip: https://boffosocko.com/2019/01/01/frauchiger-renner-paradox-clarifies-where-our-views-of-reality-go-wrong-quanta-magazine/

📖 Read pages 75-102 of In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel

📖 Read pages 75-102 of Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David in In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel (Thames & Hudson, 1st edition; July 24, 2018)

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David

Ancient cities of the biblical period did not include public areas comparable to the central forum in Roman cities, the piazza in medieval European cities, or the shopping malls of modern cities. Instead, the gate area was the heart of the city, as everyone who entered or left the city had to pass through it.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 75-76

The city gate was where elders of the town sat and passed judgment on disputes brought before them.

Importance of the city gates

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 77

Movement through this inner gate could have been controlled, so that possibly not everyone who was allowed into the piazza could then proceed further into the city.

I’m reminded of theater design in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in which lobbies are meant to physically hold everyone in a public space before they’re let into the actual theater space inside.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 77

Tabun is an Arabic term referring to round overns used for baking, measuring around 0.5-1m (1 1/2-3 1/4 ft) in diameter and generally constructed of earth, though occasionally from a circle of rounded stones.

Highlight (orange) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 78

…four large stone steps (a rare find in itself, as built stone steps are seldom uncovered in excavations) descended into the main room.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 79

To the best of our knowledge, drainage channels have not been reported in ordinary dwellings in biblical period cities–only in the city gates–so this came as a surprise.

“To the best of our knowledge” –I like the warning/caution they give here, though most may gloss over it. Small statements like this are small flags in the text that scholars should note for potential future research. Subtle flags like this pop up in math textbooks frequently, but often only the well-trained know to take advantage of them.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 79

This demonstrates how the understanding of archaeological remains can change as an excavation progresses.

Another archaeology 101 example here. Keep in mind that something that may look one way at a point in the research may change fundamentally as one “digs” further.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 80

A bench stood next to the entrance–a feature found only in cultic rooms.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 82

…which we interpreted as a stable.

again another cautionary flag that might possibly take other interpretations.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 82

One room (G) is unusual: it contained a bench…

G doesn’t seem to actually be labeled on diagram C3, but does appear on Fig. 28 of building C10

Highlight (gray) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 82

Pillared buildings are well known from the period of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel and were used as public storehouses for the produce collected as tax from farmers. The existence of such a building at Khirbet Qeiyafa clearly indicates central authority and administration.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 85

We know that in ancient times urgent messages were communicated over great distances by sending signals using fire or torches. Evidence of this practice in the Kingdom of Judah comes from an inscription on a pottery sherd from Lachish from the time when Nebuchadnezzar was besieging the city: “we are watching for the fire signals of Lachish according to all the signs which my lord has given. The palace at Khirbet Qeiyafa would ahve been an ideal place for sending and receiving such torch-signals.

Nice documentation in the archaeological record for early long distance communication

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 86, 88

…we can three phases of development in cities in Judah in the biblical period (Fig. 33).

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 89

Khirbet Qeiyafa was probably the first site constructed according to this plan. [urban planning in Israel involving a casemate wall with houses that incorporate the casemates as rooms. Several examples from the following centuries exist using a similar pattern.]

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 91

The excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa thus reveal another important aspect of the historical figure of David, and show that not only did he build cities, but also that a new concept of urban planning emerged during his reign.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 91

… the city was built in several major phases. In the first phase, the site was cleared of earlier settlement remains and bedrock was exposed around the future city. In the second phase, stones were quarried and brought up to the line of the city wall. […] In the third pahse, the builders began work on the gates and their chambers. […] Construction of the wall itself commenced in the fourth phase. […] In the fifth and final phase, the private houses whose walls incorporated the casemates were constructed.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 92

This was a good demonstration that the chronological dilemma cannot be resolved on the basis of pottery alone.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 93

In the 2008 season we had discovered carbonized olive pits in the city wall and in rooms of the destroyed buildings in Area B.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 93

The enormous tension that accompanied sending the samples via express mail resulted in the credit card with which we paid for the shipment being mistakenly packed inisde and sent to the laboratory at Oxford, along with the olive pits.

This could be a great plot point in a thriller version of this story!
One might think that with multiple samples, they might send them separately, that way if some are lost, then at least they’ve not lost everything!

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 94

A discovery made in our 2011 excavation season […] A jar containing some 20 olive pits was found in the destroyed city. […] which clearly indicate that the city had been destroyed no later than 980 to 970 BCE. […} Today, the dating […] is based on nearly 30 samples, probably the best radiometric dating we have so far for any level in a biblical city.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 95

…determining the dates of the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah is not a simple task, and the length of those of David and Solomon, exactly 40 years each, appears to be a literary device rather than reflecting historical reality. We therefore propose that the round number of 1000 BCE as the date of David’s accession to the through, though this is merely an approximation. […] But it is clear from the radiocarbon determinations that Khirbet Qeiyafa can be dated to the time of David or Saul, but no to Solomon’s reign, which is later than the results obtained. It will only be possible to decide conclusively if an inscription naming one king or another is found at Khirbet Qeiyafa. To be scientifically cautious, we accept the later date, to the reign of King David.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 95

The “excavation dump” is the term commonly used by archaeologists in referring to the piles of earth and stones that they remove from the ground during excavation.

Highlight (orange) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 97

In 2007 it was possible to claim that nothing was known archaeologically about King David; ten years later the situation is very different, and archaeology can present two sites from his period in the Judean Shephelah.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David > Page 101
Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

👓 The year ahead: genetics | Economist Espresso

Read The year ahead: genetics (Economist Espresso)
Soon two American biotechnology firms hope to offer couples undertaking in vitro fertilisation the chance to screen embryos before they are implanted. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is already widely used to test for chromosomal abnormalities or specific genetic disorders. But MyOme and Genomic Prediction plan to reconstruct the whole sequence of an embryo’s genome using just a few cells from a biopsy and genetic sequences of both parents. They can then, in theory, calculate the risk the embryo will develop a wide range of different diseases in later life—including ailments that are extraordinarily complicated, involving thousands of genetic variants. By selecting between different embryos, those undergoing IVF can optimise the health of their progeny in a way that those who conceive naturally cannot. That raises ethical concerns. Although both firms will screen embryos for disease risk only, there is no reason why traits such as height or intelligence might not be selected in the same way.

👓 Kardashian Index | The Informational Turn

Read Kardashian Index Calculator (The Informational Turn)

The Kardashian Index is a measure of the discrepancy between an academic's social media profile and publication record based on the direct comparison of numbers of citations and Twitter followers.

The Kardashian Index (K-index) can be calculated as follows:

K - index = F(a) / F(c)

F(a) is the actual number of Twitter followers of academic X. F(c) is the number academic X should have given their citations C; given a trend identified in the original paper, it is calculated as:

F = 43.3C0.32

The author of the index says that "a high K-index is a warning to the community that researcher X may have built their public profile on shaky foundations, while a very low K-index suggests that a scientist is being undervalued. ... those people whose K-index is greater than 5 can be considered 'Science Kardashians'.

👓 How different types of knowledge impact the growth of new firms | MIT News

Read How different types of knowledge impact the growth of new firms (MIT News)
Study explores the micromechanisms underlying regional economic diversification.

👓 The Rise of Knowledge Economics | Scientific American

Read The Rise of Knowledge Economics by César A. HidalgoCésar A. Hidalgo (Scientific American Blog Network)
What is knowledge? How does it disseminate? And what’s its value?

A great article outlining several related papers in Dr. Hidalgo’s opus. I like how he pulls together prior research as well as his own in an accessible way.

🔖 General Systems Theory: Beginning With Wholes by Barbara G. Hanson

Bookmarked General Systems Theory: Beginning With Wholes by Barbara G. Hanson (Taylor & Francis; 1 edition)

hat tip: Human Current episode 25