👓 So, about this Googler’s manifesto. | Yonatan Zunger – Medium

Read So, about this Googler’s manifesto. by Yonatan Zunger (Medium)
You have probably heard about the manifesto a Googler (not someone senior) published internally about, essentially, how women and men are intrinsically different and we should stop trying to make it possible for women to be engineers, it’s just not worth it. Until about a week ago, you would have heard very little from me publicly about this, because (as a fairly senior Googler) my job would have been to deal with it internally, and confidentiality rules would have prevented me from saying much in public.

👓 Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral’ | Motherboard

Read Google Employee's Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes 'Internally Viral' (Motherboard)
"It's not worth thinking about this as an isolated incident and instead a manifestation of what ails all of Silicon Valley."

👓 Exclusive: Here’s The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google [Updated] | Gizmodo

Read Exclusive: Here's The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google [Updated] by Kate Conger (Gizmodo)
Update 7:25pm ET: Google’s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance Danielle Brown has issued her own memo to Google employees in response to the now-viral memo, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” Brown’s statement, obtained by Motherboard, can be found in full at the end of this article.

👓 How Rachel Carson Cost Millions of People Their Lives | The Daily Beast

Read How Rachel Carson Cost Millions of People Their Lives by Paul A. Offit (The Daily Beast)
Rachel Carson is, and should be, a revered environmental icon. But her crusade against one pesticide cost millions of people their lives.

🔖 Homotopy Type Theory: Univalent Foundations of Mathematics

Bookmarked Homotopy Type Theory: Univalent Foundations of Mathematics
Homotopy type theory is a new branch of mathematics that combines aspects of several different fields in a surprising way. It is based on a recently discovered connection between homotopy theory and type theory. It touches on topics as seemingly distant as the homotopy groups of spheres, the algorithms for type checking, and the definition of weak ∞-groupoids. Homotopy type theory offers a new “univalent” foundation of mathematics, in which a central role is played by Voevodsky’s univalence axiom and higher inductive types. The present book is intended as a first systematic exposition of the basics of univalent foundations, and a collection of examples of this new style of reasoning — but without requiring the reader to know or learn any formal logic, or to use any computer proof assistant. We believe that univalent foundations will eventually become a viable alternative to set theory as the “implicit foundation” for the unformalized mathematics done by most mathematicians.

Homotopy Type Theory

👓 A Field in Which the Old Devours the Young is a Field that is Dying: A Post about Graduate Student Empowerment by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Read A Field in Which the Old Devours the Young is a Field that is Dying: A Post about Graduate Student Empowerment by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
When I was in graduate school during course work, a fellow grad student told me this anecdote: Just as their seminar had finished up, and the 10 or so students were mulling around and packing their things, the professor, who was nearing retirement, turned to them and said: you have no idea how much the faculty is afraid of you graduate students.

👓 Why I Left Academia: Part III, The Aftermath by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Read Why I Left Academia: Part III, The Aftermath by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
The next few days following my defense, or to be honest, the next few weeks, still feel emotionally distant, almost as if it happened to someone else. I felt numb, the dumb shock of the loss of my career, was, and in many ways, still is too acute to bear. I was in mourning for the passion and love I had poured into my dissertation. I was mourning the reality that my ethics-driven account of how intersectional feminism can-and must- be applied to contemporary art history didn’t matter, that it had never really mattered.

The academy already has some horrific problems. Those shown here in gory detail really make me want to vomit. This feels to me like it should be the equivalent of Susan Fowler writing about Uber in her damaging article Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber, but she’s writing about the academy. Somehow it feels like this story is not going to be damning enough or get the traction it needs to make sweeping changes where they ought to happen either at her former institution or at institutions across the world.

I hope that trustees at universities and colleges everywhere read this and push hard for change since it appears that the issue isn’t being solved at the Dean level. This type of academic dishonesty is rotting away at the structure that underpins the enterprise–it’s not just a small blemish on the exterior of the facade.

If you’re not following Dr. Harbin, I recommend her blog.

👓 Why I left Academia: Part II by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Read Why I left Academia: Part II by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
The two weeks leading up to emailing my dissertation to the entire committee plus my outside reader (a professor from a different university who also need to approve your dissertation, a requirement for most humanities Ph.D.s) are a blur. Every waking moment was spent writing, editing, and emailing drafts that never received comments, or even acknowledgement that they had been read. This was followed by proof-reading and re-writing my dissertation entirely on my own. This was nothing new. I had to email my dissertation mostly un-read by my advisor to my entire committee (a scandal in and of itself), because, as my advisor wrote in a terse email to me, they did not have time to read it.

The harrowing plot thickens…

👓 Why I left Academia: Part I by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Read Why I Left Academia: Part I by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
This is my personal story of why I decided to leave Academia. While sad, I know I'm not the only one to have experienced this. This is why I am sharing the story of my Ph.D, my dissertation, my dissertation committee members, my experience with the dean, how my defense went, and why.

A gut-wrenching story with a brutal ending. I’m hoping that multiple outlets will pick up this entire story and give it greater exposure.

👓 Trump Defends McMaster Against Calls for His Firing | New York Times

Read Trump Defends McMaster Against Calls for His Firing by Peter Baker (New York Times)
Nationalist wing of the president’s political coalition unleashes a relentless attack on the national security adviser. “He is a good man,” Trump replies.

👓 Pirate Bay founder: We’ve lost the internet, it’s all about damage control now | The Next Web

Read Pirate Bay founder: We’ve lost the internet, it’s all about damage control now by Mar Masson Maack (The Next Web)
At its inception, the internet was a beautifully idealistic and equal place. But the world sucks and we’ve continuously made it more and more centralized, taking power away from users and handing it over to big companies. And the worst thing is that we can’t fix it — we can only make it slightly less awful. That was pretty much the core of Pirate Bay’s co-founder, Peter Sunde‘s talk at tech festival Brain Bar Budapest. TNW sat down with the pessimistic activist and controversial figure to discuss how screwed we actually are when it comes to decentralizing the internet.

👓 Kill Process or How I discovered the IndieWeb (finally) by Lars Peters

Read Kill Process or How I discovered the IndieWeb (finally) by Lars Peters (Lars Peters)
I'm currently reading the book Kill Process by William Hertling. It's about murder, privacy, hacking, high tech surveillance and data mining. The book is great and I can recommend it to everybody who likes tech thrillers. Hertling gets the technical background and hacker stuff of the story really good together. Angie, the heroine, works at Tomo, the largest and quasi-monopoly Facebook-like social network as a database programmer. Part of the story is her ambition to create an alternative to the centralized privacy nightmare the Tomo service became. So she decides to do something about it and plans to build a distributed, federated social network of networks. She also meets and joins with people familiar with the IndieWeb concept. That's when I was reminded of how good the idea really is.

Includes a recommendation for my article…

👓 If SoundCloud Disappears, What Happens to Its Music Culture? | New York Times

Read If SoundCloud Disappears, What Happens to Its Music Culture? by Jenna Wortham (New York Times)
The platform offered a public space with monetization as an afterthought. Now it could simply be deleted.
Jace Clayton, musician and the author of Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture
in If SoundCloud Disappears, What Happens to Its Music Culture? in the New York Times

 

🔖 Self-Organized Resonance during Search of a Diverse Chemical Space

Bookmarked Self-Organized Resonance during Search of a Diverse Chemical Space (Physical Review Letters)
ABSTRACT Recent studies of active matter have stimulated interest in the driven self-assembly of complex structures. Phenomenological modeling of particular examples has yielded insight, but general thermodynamic principles unifying the rich diversity of behaviors observed have been elusive. Here, we study the stochastic search of a toy chemical space by a collection of reacting Brownian particles subject to periodic forcing. We observe the emergence of an adaptive resonance in the system matched to the drive frequency, and show that the increased work absorption by these resonant structures is key to their stabilization. Our findings are consistent with a recently proposed thermodynamic mechanism for far-from-equilibrium self-organization.

Suggested by First Support for a Physics Theory of Life in Quanta Magazine.

🔖 Spontaneous fine-tuning to environment in many-species chemical reaction networks | PNAS

Bookmarked Spontaneous fine-tuning to environment in many-species chemical reaction networks (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
Significance A qualitatively more diverse range of possible behaviors emerge in many-particle systems once external drives are allowed to push the system far from equilibrium; nonetheless, general thermodynamic principles governing nonequilibrium pattern formation and self-assembly have remained elusive, despite intense interest from researchers across disciplines. Here, we use the example of a randomly wired driven chemical reaction network to identify a key thermodynamic feature of a complex, driven system that characterizes the “specialness” of its dynamical attractor behavior. We show that the network’s fixed points are biased toward the extremization of external forcing, causing them to become kinetically stabilized in rare corners of chemical space that are either atypically weakly or strongly coupled to external environmental drives. Abstract A chemical mixture that continually absorbs work from its environment may exhibit steady-state chemical concentrations that deviate from their equilibrium values. Such behavior is particularly interesting in a scenario where the environmental work sources are relatively difficult to access, so that only the proper orchestration of many distinct catalytic actors can power the dissipative flux required to maintain a stable, far-from-equilibrium steady state. In this article, we study the dynamics of an in silico chemical network with random connectivity in an environment that makes strong thermodynamic forcing available only to rare combinations of chemical concentrations. We find that the long-time dynamics of such systems are biased toward states that exhibit a fine-tuned extremization of environmental forcing.

Suggested by First Support for a Physics Theory of Life in Quanta Magazine.