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Interesting Stuffs – 9

Exciting things I learned and read during the week (11 Jan – 17 Jan) beside my current hard workload of reading papers for PhD:

1/ Dan Wang’s 2020 Letter

Interesting read on China’s government, Chinese Party of Communism, China and US in technology and science and others.

2/ Notes on 2020’s technology

“It all depends on execution. The underlying science is there. The engineers are willing. Even the funding is available in most cases. But, as a society, how much urgency do we feel? Our culture does not prioritize progress—it fights, destructively, for status. And our politics reflects our culture.”

3/ Flowers can hear buzzing bees – and it makes their nectar sweeter

“They are living entities, and they, too, need to survive in the world. It’s important for them to be able to sense their environment—especially if they cannot go anywhere”

The conclusion of the research is like the title of the post. The researchers did an experiment and found that if flowers are put in a silent environment with no sounds, there is no change in their sugar level, but if flowers are put in an environment where they hear bee sounds, there is an increase in their sugar level.

4/ Conversations with Tyler: Vitalik Butarin on Cryptoeconomics and Markets in everything

Vitalik Butarin is a Russian who works on the decentralization of internet, and starts successfully the company Ethereum.

Some of what they discussed that I remember:

– Different kinds of decentralization

+ Architectual decentralization: difference between a system being based on a computer, and a system based on lots of computers. Ex: Amazon AWS

+ Political decentralization: not run by one single person or small group of people at the same time.

+ Logical centralization vs decentralization: Ex: English language. Which is architecturally decentralized as there’s no single dictionary. It’s poltiically decentralized because there’s no one who has the ability to regulate new words in and out of system, and it’s logically centralized because there is only one English language.

Blockchain is logical centralization.

– Social science fiction

If he can be back to the past, he would want to be back to WWII to see how people can interact and how political systems can work, how economic systems can work, how they can fail.

– The geography of tech innovation

It may change towards where more geographically distributed

– About quantum computing where he is not sure it would be possible.


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