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Greetings All

Lots of Style, Punctuation, and Design links this week. Strunk & White may be proud:

A couple of weeks ago Elon Musk publicized a reading list, one book by Nick Bostrom called Superintelligence piqued my interest. Great book, and some good thought analysis around the ideas and dangers of AI. Interesting reading to say the least.

Have a great weekend.


1. Sleepy Behind the Wheel? Some Cars Can Tell
“It’s something that many of us have experienced while driving, though we may not like to admit it. It’s called a microsleep, a brief state of drowsy unconsciousness that can happen even if your eyes remain open. Drowsy driving kills. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving caused 824 deaths in 2015, the last year for which figures are available.”

2. Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute
“A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers hinged entirely on a debate that has bitterly divided friends, families and foes: The dreaded — or totally necessary — Oxford comma, perhaps the most polarizing of punctuation marks…. A quick punctuation lesson before we proceed: In a list of three or more items — like “beans, potatoes and rice” — some people would put a comma after potatoes, and some would leave it out. A lot of people feel very, very strongly about it.”

3. Mary Norris Muses on a Lifetime of Literary Vigilance in ‘Between You & Me’
“No one else — not the author, not the editor, not the fact checker — caught it, but to Mary Norris, the offending word might as well have been wearing leather hot pants and doing the cancan right there on the page. And so she rescued a colleague from the special circle of mortification reserved for writers for The New Yorker who confuse “flour” with “flower.””

4. Bad typography has ruined more than just the Oscars
From Tony: “An informative and concise video of the consequences of bad design.”

5. How to Create a Moodboard And Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
“A mood board (or inspiration board) is a physical or digital collage of ideas that’s commonly used in fields like interior design, fashion, and graphic design. It can include just about anything — photography, designs or illustrations, color palettes, textures, descriptive words — anything that helps you define the direction of your project.”

6. Think We’re Living in a Computer Simulation? Prove It
“Science doesn’t have all the answers. There are plenty of things it may never prove, like whether there’s a God. Or whether we’re living in a computer simulation, something proposed by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom and others, and maybe your stoned friend Chad last week. This kind of thinking made at least one person angry, theoretical physicist and science writer Sabine Hossenfelder from the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany.”

7. Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware
“To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America’s heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that’s cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums. Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.”

8. California Today: A 1960s License Plate Revival
“Most of the plates that come out nowadays are graphic intensive and you actually lose the alphanumeric characters in the background,” said Mr. Lacey, 67. “This plate is kind of just in your face with, ‘I’m just a license plate.’”

9. Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
The Case for Sign In / Sign Out: “In “Homepage Usability”, Jakob Nielsen (together with Marie Tahir, 2002, p. 53) recommends the use of “sign in” / “sign out” over “log in” / “log out”. This is empirically based on a survey of several large-scale websites and thus supports OP’s “more common” argument.”

10. Nick Bostrom: “Superintelligence” | Talks at Google
“Sep 22, 2014: Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.”