Look, Curling Is The King Of All Sports, Don't @ Me.
Good morning, gentle souls! I hope you had a restful and productive weekend. San Francisco had a couple breaks in the rain, and you should have seen the translucent-skinned locals peaking their sun-wary selves out of their apartments, then scrambling to get somewhere “outside” for the hour or so of merciful light.
And btw, I didn’t watch Game of Thrones last night, because I was too busy being entertained by my parents’ text updates as they cheered on two teams from our hometown sports club to win the Super Bowl of curling. GOOOOOOO SPORTSROCK!
And the internet is still happening, so let’s. get. to. it!
We’ve discussed algorithmic bias before, but to illustrate how we must address it in our brave new automated world, Vox gives us this headline: A new study finds a potential risk with self-driving cars: failure to detect dark-skinned pedestrians. Basically in one study, object-detection software was 5 percent less accurate when analyzing darker skin tones. A reminder that algorithms are built by humans, with biases—yes, even the algorithms that teach artificial intelligence to think for itself—and that decisions made in code bases at the very start of the building process can reflect those biases, and have potentially dire consequences. So yea, diversity matters, mmmmkay?
Y’all know I’m into some hippie stuff out here on the left coast; I NO JOKE did I three hour restorative yoga workshop with sound bath yesterday, and it was gosh darned glorious. This piece from Bon Appetit on a wellness-centered co-working space asks the very real and important question: Does your office have a gong room? And look, I’m all into bringing healthy habits into workspaces, but this co-opting of wellness language into work spaces you’re never intended to leave begs the question: if we’re busy treating the symptoms of stress and unhappiness at work, what are we doing to address the root disease? You know what does a lot for a worker’s mental stability? Fair wages, good health care, reasonable hours, and job security. Oops, I’ve slipped into a rant cycle… Although I would so very much like to be able to take a 45-minute sound bath break every day…
Over at History Today, Erik Linstrum, a classmate of mine (we had the same senior thesis advisor Anthony Grafton, but unlike me, Erik went on to be an actual historian) reviews a recently-released book on the British Empire which purports that “the idea of Empire-as-adventure-story is a misleading one.” It’s beautifully written.
And finally, back in 2010, McSweeney’s captured everything I’m not seeing because of my SXSW filter on my twitter account: Chaucer Tweets The South By Southwest Festival.
Forsooth, mine poppets, be kind to thineselves!