Skip to content

Weekly Bookmarks - Issue No 9 & 10

Published: (5 min read)
Share this post on:

I missed sending this out last week so I decided to combine last weeks and this weeks links together in one post because I didn't really get enough time to read enough last time out.

So, here goes.

As always, all links on this newsletter can be found here.

History, Culture, and Religion

The Nazino Tragedy

The deportation of 6000 enemies of the Soviet state to Nazino Island which lead to brutal effects and even cannibalism. The horrific events that happened during the Soviet rule aren't talked about enough I think.

Archaeology at El Perú-Waka’

Fascinating account of miniature Mayan sculptures from nearly 2000 years ago found in great condition. One even with a helmet!

Speaks about the possibles uses these artefacts might have been meant for, mostly ritualistic.

At This Banana Farm, the Bunches Grow in 430 Shapes and Sizes

Fun story about a man in where else but Kerala who grows 430 different varieties of Banana on his farm.

The internet didn’t kill counterculture—you just won’t find it on Instagram

A slightly snarky post on something I agree with. The internet used to be about the rebellion against culture, its where everyone who didn't fit in used to hang out, now, it's the opposite or atleast that's true for Social Media. I know I probably look like:


But, that’s where we are really. Social Media seems almost academic and too templatized at this point where there’s no real counter-culture on it. We’re now all part of the culture hegemon.

Tech, Science, and Math

Neural interface translates thoughts into type

Brain-Computer Interfacing is one of the most interesting advances in tech out there. This is a paper on attempts to translate thoughts from people with paralysis directly into text by implementing a RNN on the inputs from the interface. Amazing work!

How Silicon Valley, in a Show of Monopolistic Force, Destroyed Parler

Parler was one of the social media sites that catered to the alt-right in the USA, was an echo-chamber for Trump supporters to participate it. This post by the Glenn Greenwald is an excellent deep dive into how when Silicon Valley doesn't like something, it gets taken down. Anti-competitive behavior that was applauded. I don't agree with any of the ideas that the people who were posting on Parler stood for, but, it is pretty scary the level of monopolistic power the big tech giants have.

An Open Letter To The Most Disappointing Algorithms In My Life

A friend shared this a couple of days ago on Twitter and I found it super interesting. I think it's something all of us feel similarly about, some algorithms just don't work for us anymore, they're working for themselves.

Why does every advert look the same? Blame Corporate Memphis

I think we've all noticed this, everyone uses the same templates, the same illustrations, similar copy. It's super weird. For the design you can blame the Canva's of the world who solved a major problem but, unleashed this templatized hell on us, now there are startups that use AI to write copy for you and I can only imagine how templatized that's going to get.

My rant aside, this is an interesting article on the difference between what tech companies are vs how they present themselves and why.

Mitochondria May Hold Keys to Anxiety and Mental Health

"Mitochondria is the power house of the cell" is what I read in school, this article says "They’re the chief executive organelle of the cell."

Turns out its other things as well, based on this team's research it might be pivotal to combating mental health issues, especially relevant in the times we live in.

NFT's and old school memes

Turns out the people featured in decade old memes are raking in the cash by auctioning their memes off as NFTs. I'm still not sure of the utility of NFT's yet, but, it is getting broader.

The Google Squeeze

An article from 2019 on how Google pays over the top in order to be the default wherever it goes and yet avoids the monopoly tag.

Slightly relevant today given how Amazon and Apple are throwing money at their Ads businesses now, might see them replicating this behavior soon.

The Instagram ads Facebook won't show you

You probably saw this on instagram or twitter, if you didn't: Signal, the messaging app, ran a series of ads to show people how invasive ads have become and how little privacy we all really have on social media.

Everything else

Why I Write - George Orwell

Orwell despite being more famous for his novels is in my view one of the greatest essayists ever. This is a retrospective and critical essay where he examines his own motivations on why he writes, found it interesting.

Why Alexei Navalny keeps fighting

There's a lot of war and conflict going on around the world right now and amidst that chaos we mustn't forget the only credible opposition in Russia in the recent past who is now suffering for his actions. Incredible story.

Origin of Covid — Following the Clues

An inquisition in how Covid started, whether it came from a lab or through an accident. Slightly technical but, worth reading if interested.

Changes at Basecamp

Basecamp is a company that I have a lot of respect for, their founders are outspoken, critique and come under criticism quite often. So it was a surprise when they announced that they were going to change the culture at Basecamp significantly due to internal issues, this obviously led to backlash on social media.

Thank you for reading

That's all I have for this week and last week.

Do subscribe if interested and do reply with interesting stuff