Deep-Fried Data (Maciej Ceglowski) — I find it helpful to think of algorithms as a dim-witted but extremely industrious graduate student, whom you don’t fully trust. You want a concordance made? An index? You want them to go through 10 million photos and find every picture of a horse? Perfect. You want them to draw conclusions on gender based on word use patterns? Or infer social relationships from census data? Now you need some adult supervision in the room.
Phylogenetic Myths — By and large, structures of mythical stories, which sometimes remain unchanged for thousands of years, closely parallel the history of large-scale human migratory movements. Ironically, phylogenetic analysis reveals that one of the most enchanting mythical stories of sudden transformation—the Pygmalion story—is a prime example of this stable pattern of evolution.
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Shadow Regulation — EFF article on the codes, standard, principles, and guidelines that Internet companies have agreed to, but which aren’t laws passed by legislative bodies: invisible and unaccountable arrangements. (via Cory Doctorow)
Bonsai’s Founding — This system wouldn’t require highly specialized computer scientists to train neural nets, but would allow programmers to teach systems how to produce the desired effect.