I feel like it’s been a good year. Over the course of the year, I read all kinds of things. Some of them insightful and note-worthy, some were relevant and necessary, others were pure and utter trash (that I might have enjoyed reading). The following is a top selection of articles I read on Medium, which I feel were informative and fun.
5. The Real 10 Algorithms that Dominate Our World
I found this to be a casual read that was well worth the minutes invested. Marcos Otero writes an article on what, he feels, are the top 10 algorithms that control most of our virtual lives. If you have any additions or disagreements, please share them in the comment section.
4. The Meat Seeker’s Mission
I’m a meat lover. I absolutely have to have some sort of meat protein at least twice a week. Regardless, I’m not ignorant of the many complications associated with millions of people demanding a product, and the strains on quality that demand might induce. With beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, etc, there are numerous reports on how a majority of these products are of really poor quality. So if you love meat and care about how you get your meat, this article’s for you.
Sarah Agudo, early this year, wrote a very informative piece on her investigation into where her neighborhood gets its meat. You can find the article here. She documents the culture of secrecy and manipulation behind urban meat supply in a part of America, and the steps one can take to find honestly raised and transparently sold meat (eg. find a ranch).
3. Cash Rules Everything Around Me
Quinn Norton, ladies and gentlemen. Everyone who knows me, knows her, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Quinn dropped this bombshell sometime in March, and I’ve read it thrice since then, stirring up my paranoia and confirming my biases about America the good, America the bad, and America the ugly. She skims over the socioeconomic burdens in America in that not-so-flippant way that only Quinn does right.
2. Does the Scientific Method Need Revision?
Anybody making a career out of the applied sciences should be concerned about the state of affairs in pure science circles right now. I remember a dear professor who, when deriving some proof, would skim over something that seemingly defied logic and would go, “I know this plot makes no bloody sense, but hey, it’s empirical.”
As someone who has trouble just accepting things as they are, I only just recently came to understand that assumptions can be made, as long as they can be tested. What we have now in scientific circles, is a trend to not just deviate from the observable – the empirical, but to, in some cases, disregard it altogether, for theories that rely on more axioms than many deem necessary. Many scientists worry that this is moving science dangerously close to an exercise in pure speculation which is unable to bear the rigors of tests on which the scientific method is based; others argue that the “low hanging fruit” has been picked, and some modification must be made to the scientific method to grasp the more elusive concepts of our physical (and ‘non-physical’ world). Sabine Hossenfelder delivers a compact assessment of our current situation with just the right amount of snark, but ends on a note I disagree with. I intend to do more reading on the subject, and if you have any suggestions, please share.
1. Everything Is Broken
I saved the best for last. And what’s better? It’s longform! (Yay! In some parallel universe, I live and breathe for Quinn Norton). I’m not even sure what to write as a synopsis for this article besides: if you use a computer, you should read it. Following the NSA leaks, and the in light of the ebay, target, and Visa leaks that followed, I think it is absolutely imperative that everyone read this article.
Bonus: Something I read recently and also found interesting.
Sex … the Silent Casualty of War
This article, written by Sam Kille, covers an often overlooked consequence of war, which is veterans and their spouses who have to deal not just with physical wounds and scars, but also with deeply intimate and emotional ones too, like a destroyed sex life. I previously knew very little about this and honestly, barely cared. After reading the article, I feel like I still don’t know much at all about the services made available to our veterans. By extension, this article brought to mind the state of the Nigerian army, specifically the services made available to them, and how those services can be improved.
So, that’s it. If you read any articles on Medium (or elsewhere) this year, that left an impression, please share them. I’d love to read them before the year’s done.