One month of learning in public

Experimenting by lowering the barrier to publish online content

Almost exactly one month ago I started an experiment that some people call a digital garden. I made it public on aquiles.me and you are very welcome to take a look. So far, it has been great. I’ve also summarized the experience here.

To Think

I have been reading and thinking about mental models. Most of the material I find is very misguiding. They grab scientific models and push them to people as ways of thinking. I believe there is a lot of value in identifying bias and mental patterns, but a lot of the people around are just charlatans. I am still trying to find good resources to learn more.

To Reflect

There were some activities regarding equality (also specifically about gender) in academic environments. One of the conclusions to which many people arrive is that some role models should get more visibility. I wonder, however, if it is fair to load with even more tasks the group of people who is already struggling. I haven’t seen a single proposal to lower their workload so they can engage in other, more relevant activities.

To read

  • NASA Risk Management Guidelines. Great resource to understand how project managers think and evaluate risk. NASA developed a matrix approach taking into account likelihood and consequence to quantify risk.

To Watch

I have finished Dark, and re-watched seasons 1 and 2. It is not my all-time favorite, but I like how they tackled the problems of time and recursion. Watching seasons 1 and 2 for a second time and after season 3 made things much clearer. To keep the German productions, I have also watched one called Der Pass, a police show based on the core ideas of The Bridge, but with a different plot.

To Listen

I have listened to plenty of podcasts in these past few weeks. Some recommendations:

  • reCAPTCHA and Duolingo on How I Built This. Luis von Ahn is very open about a lot of things involved in creating the company that is now making $200.000 a day.

  • Return of Oñate Foot on 99% Invisible. I liked the approach the podcast took regarding re evaluating historical figures and how much they mean for the oppression of minorities.

  • The Liberation of RNA on Radiolab. It is the story of a black biology researcher and his struggle both with the academic establishment (in the likes of Watson), and the structural discrimination in the US.

    If you have any recommendations of shows or episodes, I am always in the lookout.