Note — May 09, 2021

No.172 Asides

  • “The total complexity of a system is a constant. If you make a user’s interaction with a system simpler, the complexity behind the scenes increases.” Of course someone has already coined a law about this.
  • 🚙 💥 Superb work by Bartosz Ciechanowski, with lots of animations, showing multiple aspects of the internal combustion engine. “The invention of the internal combustion engine in the 19th century has revolutionized transportation over land, water, and air. Despite their omnipresence in modern day, the operation of an engine may be cryptic. Over the course of this article I’d like to explain the functionality of all the basic engine parts shown in the demonstration below. You can drag it around to see it from other angles”
  • 🇮🇹 🤯 How Filippo Brunelleschi, untrained in architecture or engineering, built the world’s largest dome at the dawn of the renaissance. “[S]till the largest masonry dome in the world, has yet to quite yield all of its secrets: “There is still some mystery as to how all of the components of the dome connect with each other,” as Wildman puts it, thanks to Brunelleschi’s vigilance about concealing the nature of his techniques throughout the project.”
  • 🌱 ⏳ How One of the World’s Oldest Science Experiments Comes Up From the Dirt. “[A] multicentury attempt to figure out how long seeds can lie dormant in the soil without losing their ability to germinate. Every 20 years, the experiment’s caretakers creep out to a secret location under cover of night, dig up a bottle, scatter its seeds over a tray of sterile soil and see which ones grow. It’s one of the world’s longest-running experiments, having already gone on for 142 years. And the botanists in East Lansing hope that it will last for at least another 80.”
  • 🇩🇪 🌳 ‘Historic’ German ruling says climate goals not tough enough. “In a groundbreaking ruling, the judges of the Karlsruhe court, Germany’s highest, said the government now had until the end of next year to improve its Climate Protection Act, passed in 2019, and to ensure it met 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals more immediately.”
  • 🕵🏼 💩 Great expriment by Signal. The Instagram ads Facebook won't show you. “We created a multi-variant targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to. The ad would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses. Facebook was not into that idea.”
  • 📚 Short story by Tim Maughan at MIT Technology Review. Unpaired
  • 👽 🎥 Tesla updating software of a fleet in parking lot looks like the aliens are coming.