’The Atlas of the Mysterious Places of Italy’ by Francesco Bongiorni & Massimo Polidoro.

Newsletter No.94 — Sep 15, 2019

Face Recognition, Bad People and Bad Data / Risks in Econ. Model of Climate Change / Quantum Algo May Be a Property of Nature / Hidden Cities

I’ve been wondering what to do for issue No.100 and I missed this last week: it’s been two years of Sentiers!! 🥳🎉😅

For the last too many weeks, I’ve been pondering a paying version of Sentiers, twisting and turning (and twisting and turning, and tw…) what it should entail, at what price, and when to launch it. One problem is that I keep thinking that people don’t need more stuff to read, they need better stuff. But at the same time, that goes counter to what everyone else is offering, changing minds is a big challenge, thus I’d like to go with a bit more things that matter. Also, considering the small share of readers who usually pay for subscriptions, it might take a while to be really worth the time to write more… but it’s the kind of thing I enjoy doing.

But paid newsletter are multiplying so I’m going ahead now. I’m keeping the free for everyone weekly in the same format. Paying subscribers will get two more “things” a month. Depending on inspiration and opportunities, it will be a mix of longform articles from me or collaborators, interviews, and special dispatches of Sentiers focused on one topic (exactly the same format as what you are reading today but on one thing at a time, like AI or soft cities, or design, …).

Two years ago, I launched Sentiers as my solo, minimum viable but scalable version of our old The Alpine Review print mag, and I view this new subscription model as a streaming publication. Paying subscribers finance longer form content and more research, the output will grow as paying membership does. The next stages will be sending an additional piece a week instead of twice a month, then a quarterly zine-ish compilation, and eventually a yearly, potentially printed year in review. Details will be hammered out with your input, and Founding members (see below) will be able to peek in and influence more readily. You can subscribe now, extra content starts going out in October.

(If you are already a Patron, you got a deal! You’ll be switched to the new model, no charge.)

This week: Face recognition, bad people and bad data / The deadly hidden risks within the most prominent economic model of climate change / An important quantum algorithm may actually be a property of nature / On “AI” replacing jobs and humans / Hidden cities

A year ago:For safety’s sake, we must slow innovation in internet-connected things (Bruce Schneier).