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Author Archives: E.L. Wisty

How To Make Reading Free

Dead Music, RTX 3090 demos, Brain Maps, & BitTorrent

Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 19 July 2021, What Will Happen to My Music Library When Spotify Dies? here. Find Brewster Kahle.

Assassin’s Creed, Unity, Feb. 2021,Ray Tracing Realistic Graphics MOD | GEFORCE RTX™ 3090, here. Unity ray tracing does not look to bad to me

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Unreal, Oct. 2020, 4K | RTX 3090 | i9 10900K 5.2GHz | Ultra High Settings, here.

Tom Etherington, NYT, 4 Jul 2021, The Maps Our Brains Create, here .

Whitson Gordon, PCMAG.COM, Sep. 2019, How to use BitTorrent, here.


ArLibrary Demo

In August, 2020 I showed friends a very primitive study for an augmented reality Library (arLibrary for short) in the form of a You Tube video, here. The demo shows a fully rigged avatar (modeled after Elizabeth Warren) walking through a library reading room (The Warren Library) with images of book spines placed in the reading room shelves. Although primitive, the demo does show that the book spines are recognizable, if not clearly readable, as the avatar movement pulls the virtual camera around the room. This is important if you are looking to establish spacial locality in a virtually rendered Library. This entire arLibrary project is a wager that the spacial locality available in real-time 3D rendering is fundamentally important to many people in making selections from a large number of objects.

One problem with the demo system was that it was only a front-end running in Unity. Then there was no back-end system to provide the digital content corresponding to a book spine image. Through the Corona Virus Lockdown of 2020-2021 I had time to work on a back-end of the prototype augmented reality Warren Library. I will display some more recent system demos (Shortcut: see the You Tube videos from my You Tube Channel). 

I am sorting out the library operations at the moment before putting in the speech recognition code.

Ex-Ptowners Cleaning Up Prizes, Isle of Dogs Food, Paperless X

How Did The Isle Of Dogs Get Its Name? | Londonist
Canary Wharf/Isle of Dogs

rjl and Ken Regan, GLL, 26 Mar 2021, Congrats Avi and Laci on the Abel Prize, here.

Today Ken and I wish to send our congratulations to Avi and Laci—László Lovász—on winning the 2021 Abel Prize.

Cade Metz, NYT, 31 Mar. 2021, Turing Award Goes to Creators of Computer Programming Building Blocks, here .

On Wednesday, the Association for Computing Machinery, the world’s largest society of computing professionals, said Dr. Aho and Dr. Ullman would receive this year’s Turing Award for their work on the fundamental concepts that underpin computer programming languages. Given since 1966 and often called the Nobel Prize of computing, the Turing Award comes with a $1 million prize, which the two academics and longtime friends will split.

Dr. Aho and Dr. Ullman helped refine one of the key components of a computer: the “compiler” that takes in software programs written by humans and turns them into something computers can understand.

Bill Blain, Blain’s Morning Porridge, 1 Apr. 2021, Things Can Only Get ? here. The best part is the start up to get better food delivery to Morgan Stanley at Canary Wharf, they don’t call it Isle of Dogs for nothing.

You really can’t compete with the madness we see all around and everyday. From SPACs of “tech” companies using Excel spread-sheets to make a dollar sale for every $5 they spend. Meme stocks that roller-coaster depending on the anger of RobinHoods. An unwearable digital sneaker that costs $10k as a Non-Fungible Token. ESG funds with oil majors as their top positions, or the sustainables fund highlighting an auto’s green bond dedicated to improving car safety as an ESG compliant investment – car safety? Who would have thought? Or a fund up to its’ oxters in tumbling EV paper sagely declaring the stock will quadruple despite rising competition.

Paperless X, here. Oddly highly detailed reviews of note taking software for pads.

References 2021

“La vida es una combinación de magia y pasta”
– Federico Fellini

Bill Blain, Blain’s Morning Porridge, 21 Jan 2021, 21st Jan 2020: Bruised but Whole, here. Top shelf macro analysis.

The first order business for Biden is China. It’s likely to be defining theme of the decade.

Matt Levine, Bloomberg Opinion – Money Stuff, 21 Jan 2021, Libor Doesn’t Have to Mean Libor, typically behind a paywall at Bloomberg but you can get his column in email. Best market color available as far as I know.

My basic theory of Libor, the London interbank offered rate, is that it is a function call. You want to have a contract that specifies a floating interest rate, one that changes (say) every quarter based on prevailing interest rates. One way to do that is specify in the contract that, each quarter, you will observe some market data and call some banks for quotes and do some calculations and produce a number, the number being the interest rate. The contract could spell out the entire methodology to take some facts about the world and convert them into an interest rate.

RJL and KWRegan, GLL, 21 Jan 2021, Science Advisor, here. rjl doesn’t play the market regularly but it would be foolish to ignore GLL. They start you off with Tao and Aaronson leads, exceptionally solid.

The one rule we’re setting out now is that in order to be advising the advisor, the blogs must stay current. There are tons of terrific blogs that have stopped publishing altogether, or whose last new post is many moons ago. As for those who try to be reasonably current, Ken and I know how hard it is to do. So we took a three-week horizon—that is, who has posted something this year, 2021. That said, here are some of our favorite blogs on math and CS theory—after the first they are alphabetical by writer(s).

{\bullet } What’s New Terence Tao 
The best math blog of all time. If you must read one, then this is the one. If you read two or more math blogs, then this is still the one. If you read two or more posts on this blog, then you qualify as a mathematician.

{\bullet } Shtetl Optimized Scott Aaronson 
Wonderful blog. A brilliant combination of results, comments, and opinions. We have “encoded” his name in the previous section—see if you can spot where and how.

Tyler Durden, Zerohedge, 4 Jan 2021, Byron Wien Releases 10 Surprises For 2021: MMT, Trump TV, & A “Return To Normal” By Memorial Day, here. We keep going through it because we need the Zerohedge data

“It reminds me of that old joke- you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, hey doc, my brother’s crazy! He thinks he’s a chicken. Then the doc says, why don’t you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. I guess that’s how I feel about relationships. They’re totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because we need the eggs.”

― Woody Allen, Annie Hall: Screenplay

Byron and Joe’s Ten Surprises of 2021 are as follows:

  1. Former President Trump starts his own television network and also plans his 2024 campaign. His lead program is The Chief, in which he weekly interviews heads of state and CEOs with management styles like his own. His virtual interview with Vladimir Putin draws more viewers than any television program in history.
  2. Despite the hostile rhetoric from both sides during the U.S. presidential campaign, President Biden begins to restore a constructive diplomatic and trade relationship with China. China A shares lead emerging markets higher.
  3. The success of between five and ten vaccines, together with an improvement in therapeutics, allows the U.S. to return to some form of “normal” by Memorial Day 2021. People are generally required to show proof of vaccination before boarding airplanes and attending theaters, movies, sporting events and other large gatherings. The Summer Olympics, postponed last year, are held in July with spectators allowed to physically attend.
  4. The Justice Department softens its case against Google and Facebook, persuaded by the argument that the consumer actually benefits from the services provided by these companies. Certain divestitures are proposed and surveillance restrictions are applied, but the broad effort to break them up loses support, except in Europe.
  5. The economy develops momentum on its own because of pent-up demand, and depressed hospitality and airline stocks become strong performers. Fiscal and monetary policy remain historically accommodative. Nominal economic growth for the full year exceeds 6% and the unemployment rate falls to 5%. We begin the longest economic cycle in history, surpassing the cycle that lasted from 2010 to 2020.
  6. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury openly embrace Modern Monetary Theory as their accommodative policies continue. As long as growth exceeds the rate of inflation, deficits don’t seem to matter. Because inflation increases modestly, gold rallies and cryptocurrencies gain more respect during the year.
  7. Even as energy company executives cut estimates for long-term growth, near-term opportunities are increasing. The return to “normal” increases both industrial activity and mobility, and the price of West Texas Intermediate oil rises to $65/bbl. Rig counts increase and energy high yield bonds rally soundly. Energy stocks are among the best performers in 2021.
  8. The equity market broadens out. Stocks beyond health care and technology participate in the rise in prices. “Risk on” is not without risk and the market corrects almost 20% in the first half, but the S&P 500 trades at 4,500 later in the year. Cyclicals lead defensives, small caps beat large caps and the “K” shaped equity market recovery unwinds. Big cap tech is the source of liquidity, and the stocks are laggards for the year.
  9. The surge in economic growth causes the 10-year Treasury yield to rise to 2%. The yield curve steepens, but a concomitant increase in inflation keeps real rates near zero. The Fed wants the strength in housing and autos to continue. As a result, it extends the duration of bond purchases in order to prevent higher rates at the long end of the curve from choking off credit to consumers and businesses.
  10. The slide in the dollar turns around. The post-vaccine strength of the U.S. economy and financial markets attracts investors disenchanted with the rising debt and slower growth of Europe and Japan. Treasurys maintain a positive yield and the carry trade continues.

Bookshelf Arrangement, Criterion, UPC, and Notebooks

Matt Blake, Penguin, 9 Jan 2020, What the way you arrange your bookshelves says about you, here.

Here are six of the biggest bookshelf tribes, and what each approach says about you.

Gareth Branwyn, Boing Boing, 23 Dec 2020, 13-minute mini-doc on the cult of the Criterion Collection, here.

You probably know a few Criterion cultists. They’re a curious breed of obsessive collector and media citizen who just can’t get enough of these video products, with their extensive special features and thoughtful booklets of deep-dive essays and lovely packaging. Or maybe it’s the cultured, urbane air that enthusiasts believe owning such a collection imparts. Whatever it is, the Criterion Collection and its rabid enthusiasts show no signs of slowing down. This video from such an enthusiast breaks it down.

Universal Product Code, Wikipedia, here.

UPC (technically refers to UPC-A) consists of 12 numeric digits that are uniquely assigned to each trade item. Along with the related EAN barcode, the UPC is the barcode mainly used for scanning of trade items at the point of sale, per GS1 specifications.[1] UPC data structures are a component of GTINs and follow the global GS1 specification, which is based on international standards. 

Cal Newport, Study Hacks Blog, 25 Nov 2015, The Feynman Notebook Method, here,

“[He] opened a fresh notebook. On the title page he wrote: NOTEBOOK OF THINGS I DON’T KNOW ABOUT. For the first but not last time he reorganized his knowledge. He worked for weeks at disassembling each branch of physics, oiling the parts, and putting them back together, looking all the while for the raw edges and inconsistencies. He tried to find the essential kernels of each subject.”


Evgeny Morozov, The New Republic, 22 Aug 2019, Jefferey Epstein’s Intellectual Enabler, here. Some of the best Science Fiction movies utilize the idea that really really smart people can do regular dumb stuff.

If you are an accomplished science or technology writer, your books are probably handled by the most powerful literary agency in the field: the famous Brockman Inc., started by John Brockman and now run by Max Brockman, his son. As it happens, Max is also my agent—and has been since my first book was sold in 2009. As agencies go, I only have positive things to report: The Brockmans fight for their authors and get us very handsome advances. That’s what agents are for.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller, Insider, 28 Oct 2019, Haunting photos of America’s abandoned movie palaces reveal how streaming has killed the glamour of going to the movies, here.

Netflix and chill has become part of the common lexicon. People watch million-dollar shows on their smartphones. Streaming services vie for our attention. No one leaves the house. 

Michael Kan, PCMag, 23 Jul 2020, Intel: Sorry, But Our 7nm Chips Will Be Delayed to 2022, 2023, here. How is this even possible?

Intel is pushing back the release of the company’s 7-nanometer chips, meaning they won’t arrive until late 2022, or early 2023. 

Too Long, Didn’t Read

Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Isabel Cachola, Kyle Lo, Arman Cohan, Daniel Weld are the authors of a recent paper on summarizing papers. They are all connected in various way to the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Today we take a moment to try out the webtool that comes with their paper. It is noted also in a news item last week in Nature.

They have created a program that reads a science article and outputs a single sentence that summarizes its content. Their goal is to help researchers search through the huge number of published papers faster than looking at abstracts. The software utilizes neural networks trained on many examples.

For example: Their own paper has for its abstract:

We introduce TLDR generation, a new form of extreme summarization, for scientific papers. TLDR generation involves high source compression and requires expert background knowledge and understanding of complex domain-specific language. To facilitate study on…

View original post 1,171 more words

Low Hanging Fruit

Image may contain: indoor

James Somers, The Atlantic, 20 Apr 2017, Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria, here.

You were going to get one-click access to the full text of nearly every book that’s ever been published. Books still in print you’d have to pay for, but everything else—a collection slated to grow larger than the holdings at the Library of Congress, Harvard, the University of Michigan, at any of the great national libraries of Europe—would have been available for free at terminals that were going to be placed in every local library that wanted one.


Edward Tufte is a statistician/visualizer/artist, taught data analyis and policy making at Princeton and Yale 32 years, and also taught his one-day course on Presenting Data and Information to 328,000 students 1994-2020. He wrote, designed, and self-published 5 books on data visualization. The New York Times described ET as the ‘Leonardo da Vinci of data,’ and Bloomberg as the ‘Galileo of graphics.’ He has designed and constructed a 234-acre sculpture park, studio, and tree farm in northwest Connecticut, which will show his artworks and remain open space in perpetuity, and founded Graphics Press, ET Modern Gallery/Studio, Hogpen Hill Farms.

Amy Radcliffe, Nerdist, 27 Oct. 2020, We Could Spend Hours in This Stunningly Surreal Bookstore, here.

When I need to escape from the world, I often turn to books. As an extension of that, I’ve spent some of my happiest hours browsing bookstores. It doesn’t matter what kind of books the shop sells; as long as there are shelves and aisles to wonder, it’s perfect. But a new bookstore in China may be the most perfect. Situated in Chengdu, Dujiangyan Zhongshuge (which we learned about from Architectural Digest) looks more like a sprawling library than a bookstore. The two-story space looks massive thanks to tile floors that reflect the stacks of books and a mirrored ceiling. So yes, some illusions are at work. But still, the bookstore has a collection of over 80,000 books. That’s no small amount.

Stacey Vander Pol, Cover Design Studio, 2014? Best Colors for Book Covers, here.

Color plays a big role in creating the look and feel of any book cover design. The dominant colors in an image influence mood and play a role in creating the contrast necessary to draw attention to the design. In addition to black and white, which work great for copy, most book covers look best with two or three colors. Complementary colors (those found opposite one another on the color wheel) create energy and punch, while analogous colors (those next to one another on the color wheel) provide tranquility and harmony.

Research Without Non-Techs

Jonathan Sandberg, The Binomial Coefficient Company (BCC), Sep. 2020 Inc. in PA here. Making reading free. Giving it a year before we bring in the patent attorneys. Backend looks OK probably a month away. There is an absurd amount of technology just freely available. Even if BCC cannot be easily monetized it is a wonderful tool for my family and crew. The project timing is running a little late in this RONA window, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Oh, I almost forgot … Wolfram was looking for job in like 87 after burning the Institute and he comes for lunch at the Ptown CS Department then outside the EQuad. A group gathers to make pleasantries and introductions to the department chairman and various Ptown luminaries, but most all the time this is happening Wolfram is looking at his shoes. Then at the end of the pleasantries and chit-chat Wolfram looks people in the eye and says “OK which one is Sedgewick? (then the CS department Chair)” + 2 points for the take down, but no job offer.

The Binomial Coefficient Corporation is a stealth mode Research and Development startup using real-time 3D rendering to help users make choices. 

Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, Slate Star Codex and Silicon Valley’s War Against the Media, 9 Jul. 2020, here. Blog suicide big time at Slate Star Codex. He is moving to Substack . Wonder how he handled The Wayback MachineLESSWRONG seems to have it covered as well..

On June 22nd, visitors to Slate Star Codex, a long-standing blog of considerable influence, discovered that the site’s cerulean banner and graying WordPress design scheme had been superseded by a barren white layout. In the place of its usual catalogue of several million words of fiction, book reviews, essays, and miscellanea, as well as at least as voluminous an archive of reader commentary, was a single post of atypical brevity. “So,” it began, “I kind of deleted the blog. Sorry. Here’s my explanation.” The farewell post was attributed, like virtually all of the blog’s entries since its inception, in 2013, to Scott Alexander, the pseudonym of a Bay Area psychiatrist—the title “Slate Star Codex” is an imperfect anagram of the alias—and it put forth a rationale for this online self-immolation.

Emily Flitter, New York Times, A Columnist Makes Sense of Wall Street Like None Other (See Footnote), 8 Oct. 2020, here. Levine is close to God status for lucid prose about the Street.

Matt Levine in Prospect Park in August. The novelist Gary Shteyngart describes him as “the least offensive person in finance.”Benjamin Norman for The New York Times.

Rebecca Rosman, NPR , Paris’ Iconic Shakespeare And Company Bookstore In Trouble Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, 20 Nov. 2020, here.

You’d typically struggle to see the floor inside Shakespeare & Company, with people packing every inch of the cozy shop facing Notre Dame. But with France under a second mandatory shutdown, bookstores have been forced to close, save for click-and-collect curbside pickup.