merely

September 2021

Hi! First installment in my trying this newsletter thing. Here’s some things I’ve been enjoying or made me scratch my head this past month :-)

Meta: Milky is a monthly newsletter of things I’ve found interesting. Consider it a bouquet of links from a friend — pick & choose what strikes your fancy. I call it this because I’m particularly interested in topics that I’d describe as ‘milky’ — opaque and difficult to define, often with no clear answer. It also happens to be my nickname, handle on Slack, and how you pronounce my last name.


Computers


Humans

  • Letters to a Young Technologist (essays)
    A small group of exceptional humans that I feel very lucky to know wrote a collection of essays addressing young technologists. I’ve read each one at least five times and still find more wisdom waiting for me every time I return.

  • Is Good Taste Teachable? (article)
    Quite fascinating and not sure where I stand on this. An interesting perspective nonetheless.

  • Why education is so difficult and contentious (article)
    This article presents the incompatibilities between what it describes as the three prominent educational thinking philosophies. Very revealing regarding how hard they are to reconcile.

  • Nostalgia reimagined (article)
    As it turns out, nostalgia can be made of completely fake memories. Very haunted.

  • Cool Women (article)
    This one hits and hurts — particularly because I hold all of the women mentioned close to my heart. I consider this to be an explainer piece for films like Gone Girl.


Media

  • Ramy (TV show)
    Every element of this show is really, really good — from the cinematography to the tiny details of the art direction. For anyone who’s ever felt a little lost.

  • A Message to Young People from Andrei Tarkovsky (video)
    I love him and his hell-bent message on the importance of learning to be alone.

  • Goat on a Cow by RadioLab (podcast)
    All-time favorite episode. It’s absurd and that’s what makes it great.

  • Rare by Nas (song)
    Nas’s new album is exceptional. This song and music video in particular is some next-level noise.


Parting thought

There are no hard problems, only problems that are hard to a certain level of intelligence. Move the smallest bit upwards [in level of intelligence], and some problems will suddenly move from “impossible” to “obvious.” Move a substantial degree upwards, and all of them will become obvious.

The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence by Wait But Why