7) Vaccines Work: Here are the Facts. (a comic)
making horror movie sound effects is a true art in itself. pic.twitter.com/RU7c1zKl2t
— Physics Fun (@PhysicsVideo) January 22, 2018
1. Interesting etymology of holiday terms. Video.
4a. Holiday beers.
6. I judge adaptations of A Christmas Carol by the way they depict the ghosts, and this right here is the perennial winner:
7. Last (and you knew this was coming), if you need a last-minute gift, ebooks like my new Twenty Palaces novella, The Twisted Path, are cheap and easy to deliver.
This short (>8min) Vox video on machine learning is terrific. It’s a fascinating look at the way work is being automated.
It also reminds me of last month’s post about the academics who created an algorithm to analyze books to see if they’ll become bestsellers or not. Brief summary: they subjected thousands of books to several kinds of analysis in order to identify traits that the bestsellers had that the non-bestsellers did not. They found nearly 2800 distinct differences.
The algorithm couldn’t create a bestseller, and in their book the academics were clear the technology was a long way off, if it was possible at all.
The video above explains why that is, and why the software’s ability to teach itself is so interesting. Recommended.
Since that last post, the academics who developed the algorithm and wrote the book have opened a consulting service. Of course, right? It’s the natural next step. As an author, I guess I’m supposed to find this threatening/a sham/the end of literature, but I don’t. It’s just information. The only real question is whether it’s good information.
I won’t be worried until the day editors stop reading manuscripts my agent sends them unless they’re accompanied by an Archer-Jockers Score(tm). And I don’t see that happening in my lifetime.
But no, seriously, that’s an interesting video up there.
As I write this, The Twisted Path has eighteen reviews on Amazon. My short fiction collection, which includes a 20P novelette, has eleven. It would be extremely useful if those numbers could be boosted to twenty-five. Fifty would be even better. Amazon has algorithms of its own, and works with a number of reviews that pass a certain threshold get more prominent placing in search results.
It’s all pretty opaque, but what it boils down to is more reviews=more visibility. If you read and enjoyed either of those works, please consider dropping a review for it.
— Xtreme trash, (@hippieswordfish) August 23, 2017
3. A domino run in kaleidoscope: Beautiful. Video.
— INSIDER (@thisisinsider) September 6, 2017
1. Cracked makes an honest ad about the ways casual games are like crack for our brains. Video.
2. Chatbots built by Facebook engineers to negotiate with each other begin to develop their own non-human language. Time to re-watch Person of Interest.
4. M.C. Esher: Adventures in Perception: a 20 minute Dutch documentary about the way he created his work. Video.
7. The same song played on a $100 bass, a $700 bass, and a $10,000 bass. Which sounds best? Video.
3) An episode of 80’s Dungeons and Dragons cartoon with voiceover to make it seem like a real D&D session. Video.
4) A bucket of water with a camera in the bottom captures thirsty desert animals. Video.
5) My Family’s Slave. This is heartbreaking and awful.
6) How to remove unwanted shows from your Netflix algorithms. Maybe your ex cruelly favorited an Adam Sandler movie before dumping you. Maybe you didn’t think to create a separate account for yourself after a few drinks. Maybe you just have regrets.
7) Four people who were buried alive and how they got out. Spoiler: “knocking” plays a big role.
1) Gameification gone mad: China has made obedience to the State a game.
3) New superhero idea: the paper airplane gun. Video. Shoots 120 planes/minute. Warning: terrible music.
4) Episode one of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (1972). Video.
6) To follow up on the last entry: How to Book the Safest Room in a Hotel.
1) Fear of a Feminist Future. Includes He-Man dystopia/post-apocalyptic mockery.
5) From the same site: How to make people like you, from an FBI behavioral analyst. I’m going to keep this on hand for that mystery novel I’ve been meaning to write.
6) The Complex Psychology of Why People Like Things. An excellent discussion of all sorts of topics, covering genre, originality, hate-watching, and more.
2) This cat is way into Hitchcock. Video.