Weekly Newsletter

July 26, 2015

Linguistics

How to Say (Almost) Everything in a Hundred-Word Language
Explores Toki Pona, the world’s smallest language. Describes the linguistic idiosyncrasies that arise from the severely limited vocabulary of the language.

Nature’s Algorithms

Decoding the Remarkable Algorithms of Ants
Interviews a scientist studying the swarm behavior of ants in an attempt to translate ant colony behavior into computer algorithms.

Education

A New Look at Apprenticeships as a Path to the Middle Class
Profiles the Apprenticeship School, an apprenticeship program that serves a Navy shipyard. Covers the broader potential for apprenticeships to satisfy the “hunger among young people for good, well-paying jobs that don’t require an expensive four-year degree.”

Other Contributions

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway – With me in it (Scott Gladstone) Scott said, “The fact that Jeep/Chrysler could push a car through development and testing to full-scale production with such an outrageous hack is pretty ridiculous and terrifying.”

On my end, I especially enjoyed the discussion of the thought processes that went into these guys’ hack.

Charity Navigator 3.0: The Empirical Empire’s Death Star? (Will Baird)
Baird offered this article as a counter to last week’s article about Effective Altruism. Baird described the articles as follows, “I thought this was a very good counter-point to the idea that all charitable donations should be driven by empiricism.”

Self-Aware Robot Solves Riddle (Leslie Cofer)
Discusses a robot that managed to solve a riddle that only humans have solved previously. This is a fascinating testament to the continuous advancement of computational intelligence.

One Company’s New Wage: $70,000 a Year (Mark Malina)
Examines the CEO of Gravity Payment’s decision to set a minimum wage of $70,000 for the entire company. I’m incredibly impressed by this CEO’s boldness and willingness to challenge organizational assumptions. I can only hope that more executives will experiment with their organizations in the future, not only with their wages, but with all aspects of their organizations.

Discussion, links, and tweets

I'm a software developer currently working at UberEats. I keep a low social media presence, but, if you enjoy what I have to say or want to rant at me, you should email me at stephenmalina@gmail.com. If you're interested in what I'm currently programming, check out my Github. I occasionally rant on Twitter as well.