Ben Crowder / Blog

Links #68

Cat Valente on AI replacing jobs. “Because you know, at least here in the good old US of Garbage, they’d rather eat their own eyeballs than even consider something like UBI any time before the actual apocalypse. Even then, it would be $5 in CompanyBux and half an infected hot dog.” Ha. This point felt spot on to me and has stuck with me ever since: “We are not an idle species. We like to feel useful. We like to make things. We like to do things. We aren’t going to stop.”

Chloe Xiang on researchers using AI to generate images based on people’s brain activity. A bit freaky, thinking about how this could be abused.

Herbert Lui on blogging every day for a year. Something I want to get back into the habit of doing.

Carly Ayres interiews Marcin Wichary about Shift Happens.

Marcin Wichary’s typewriter simulation. Fun.

Richard Rutter on text-wrap: balance. Inching closer to getting better typesetting controls on the web. (And how far we’ve already come!)

Prashant Palikhe with some tips on using Chrome DevTools. I somehow hadn’t heard of console.table() until now.

Justus Romijn on removing “should” from unit test descriptions. This seems reasonable to me.

Charles Q. Choi on electronic bandages. Intriguing.

Antonio Scandurra on rendering UIs at 120 fps for Zed, a new text editor from the folks who made Atom and Tree-sitter.

Max Mudie’s fungi photos. Fascinating.

Jim Nielsen on deadlines as technology. I like this a lot and plan to start using it more consciously.

Hannah Devlin on scientists who have created mice with two fathers after making eggs from male cells. Lots of interesting developments in biology (and other branches of research) lately.

B. David Zarley on scientists who have successfully done pre-emptive heart attack therapy on mice.

Ink & Switch’s Upwelling, real-time collaboration + version control for writers. Some interesting ideas here. Agreed on not wanting changes to be visible until I’m done making them.

Prathyush Pramod’s catalog of programming languages for enthusiasts. So cool. Catala especially caught my eye, though Dark and IRCIS (which reminds me of Orca) and Wasp and Battlestar are also interesting.

Prathyush Pramod’s catalog of open typefaces. Stumbled upon this after looking through the programming language catalog and ooh, lots of goodies here.

Charles Q. Choi on super-high-res ultrathin metasurface displays. Looks promising.

Simon Kuestenmacher on the seven countries bordering Türkiye. I had no idea!

Jason Godesky on JavaScript failing more often than you might think. Yep.

Ben Parr on Google Workspace’s new AI tools. And Microsoft Office is doing the same thing. It’s a weird/interesting world we’re quickly moving into. (The rate of change here is exciting and alarming.)

Dan Klammer’s modern font stacks site. Every once in a while I think about moving my site to a system font stack. Maybe someday.

Carl Bugeja on making a PCB motor. Very cool.

Nat Friedman’s Vesuvius challenge, to read some old scrolls from Herculaneum using computer vision and machine learning. Interesting.

Matt Webb on the singularity. “GPT-4 is capable of inventing and purchasing synthesised versions of new molecules, potentially dangerous ones, by conducting lit review, using chemistry tools, and contacting suppliers.”

Ethan Marcotte on AI tools. “These utilities are being created in a country that has minimal regulatory oversight, few privacy safeguards, and even fewer labor protections.” Which isn’t great.

Maggie Appleton on the expanding dark forest and generative AI. “After the forest expands, we will become deeply sceptical of one another’s realness. Every time you find a new favourite blog or Twitter account or Tiktok personality online, you’ll have to ask: Is this really a whole human with a rich and complex life like mine? Is there a being on the other end of this web interface I can form a relationship with?” Very relevant. I promise I’m human.

Elizabeth Weil’s profile of Emily Bender about AI chatbots. Worth reading.

Daniel Rosenwasser on the TypeScript 5.0 release.

DreamWorks has open sourced MoonRay.

James Bridle on the stupidity of AI. “The belief in this kind of AI as actually knowledgeable or meaningful is actively dangerous.” Also worth reading.