Interesting articles in 2014

Here are a bunch of links to a few nontechnical articles/essays I read and bookmarked this year. I discovered most of them on HN, Reddit and other similar timewasters news sources or via spam e-mail from friends. Not all texts were written this year, indeed, some might be decades (or centuries:) old. Enjoy! (Previously)

Random

The seven rules of nationalism and some more insight on nationalism in a book review.

An unusually bitter critique of Stefan Zweig.

Spelling reform in English and its pitfalls.

Layers of Rome.

Sartre and the Nobel prize.

Keynes on the economic prospects of our grandchildren. No, I don’t want your rewards card.

Math

William Thurston on mathematics, also in a longer essay. In a similar vein, Feynman’s letter on “what problems to solve“.

What is combinatorics? Computers and math. Zeilberger’s Opinion 44 on the same topic. Erdős. Unorthodox proof techniques. Interview with Preda Mihăilescu.

Tech / Science

The funniest person at Microsoft: To wash it all away. This world of ours. A similar sentiment expressed in this essay by a different author.

Bad scientific code is usually not so bad. On the other hand, some over-engineered systems are indistinguishable from parody.

20 questions for Knuth.

The internet in 2014.

Retro-computing.

Machine learning AMA with Michael Jordan.

The Tanenbaum-Torvalds debate.

Failure in complex systems.

Academic publishing.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Jim Demello on 12.10.17 at 7:37 am

I appreciated the letter by Feynman on “problems to solve”. I am not a scientist (well BS in Computer Science but that doesn’t really count) but I love to tinker and build contraptions – not from a mathematical perspective but just a common-sense mechanical aptitude. I liked Feynman’s reasoning but the things I build do not really benefit anyone except myself and my curiosity. But they make me happy.

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