Out of Context: Links from this Week
Some things I’ve been reading and thinking about this week:
- Did you know Barnes and Noble is doing well now? Interesting article that breaks down how they did that (spoiler: by caring about books and the people who buy them).
- Formally comparing topic models and human-generated qualitative coding of physician mothers’ experiences of workplace discrimination
- Haven’t finished the entire paper yet, but I really like that they go into detail on the choices they made with respect to pre-processing. I’ve been idly interested in Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA, the unsupervised topic modeling algorithm used in this paper) since I read about Curriculum, an experiment in semantic listening from the old NYT Labs crew. If any of that sounds interesting to you I highly recommend clicking through and reading up on Curriculum. NYT Labs was doing some groundbreaking work back in the 2010s that I still haven’t seen anyone else pick up on. Shutting that lab down was a big mistake, IMO (though obviously not as bad as some of NYT’s worst offenses1).
- Manuel Teran, may his memory be a blessing, who went by Tortuguita, was murdered by the police on January 18th, 2023 in Atlanta. If you don’t know much about Cop City, the fascist training facility he was working to prevent construction on, this article is a great primer. Via Kelly Hayes’ patreon.
- Ologies with Alie Ward has been my go-to podcast lately. Interviews with scientists about their lives and their work. Engaging and funny, covering a wide range of topics including serious ones without taking itself too seriously. Highly recommended!
- I don’t love linking to the NYT (see footnote1), so I’m just going to link this thread from Zeynep Tufekci where she breaks down the dangers of an avian flu outbreak and what governments can do right now to reduce our risk.
- Bitter Spring, by Geoff Berner (via this article)
- Prisoners’ Round (after Gustave Doré), by Van Gogh (wikipedia)
Some criticism here and here about puff pieces for Nazis, though both posts include moderating statements that I don’t agree with. See also their participation in stoking anti-trans fear. ↩ ↩2