Ian Mulvany

March 29, 2022

Recent reads from across the web - week 13

Here are some of the more interesting things I've looked at over the last few weeks. Posting and reading volume has dropped. Things are busy, there are many distractions. 

This is the most important link I have posted on this blog this year. It is a must read piece about the responsibilities of technologists. It deals with a recent plugin that was added to the WordPress ecosystem that allowed installers to show support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

2.  https://restofworld.org/2022/indus-translation-ai-code-script/ this is a long read, but quite nice. 
•  ML models can help translate ancient languages, if there are enough exampes of the language 
•  Even if there are not enough examples, you can look at the entropy in the symbol distribution to determine if an untranslated corpus is a language. 
•  Symbolic languages can’t be trnsted yet, eg the Indus Valley script, and may never be translated. 

This is a fun newsletter on topics closely related to one’s I track on this blog. 

This is a long interview and long takedown of crypto. Crypto is driving a lot of financing and attention, and I am mostly skeptical. This piece will make you skeptical too. The main takeaway is that crypto does not solve the problems that it purports to, and as a result you would not be able to recreate something like Wikipedia within such an ecosystem.