Aurimas Račas

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Aurimas Račas

3 days ago

With his new high-profile job in the Trump campaign, Manafort seemed to believe he had an opportunity to heal this old rift. As soon as Manafort installed himself in Trump Tower, he seems to have dispatched Kostya to revive his channel of communication with Deripaska. Kostya sent Derispaska newspaper clips about Manafort’s new gig. (“How do we use to get whole?,” Manafort asked.) Later that summer, Kostya wrote that he had made progress toward reconciliation: “I am more than sure that it will be resolved and we will get back to the original relationship.”  Kilimnik reported that he had spent five hours with “the guy who gave you your biggest black caviar jar several years ago”—which is almost certainly a veiled reference to Deripaska.

The Astonishing Tale of the Man Mueller Just Indicted

theatlantic.com

Aurimas Račas

22 days ago

If UBI is implemented at the expense of every other social program, it makes the presumption that people helped by those programs are competent and capable of shifting to a life of managing their own money, budgeting, and not being exploited by the thousands who will line up to do so.

After Universal Basic Income, The Flood

medium.com

Aurimas Račas

24 days ago

Investigating data sources is a necessary part of any data science project. Being a better data scientist won’t help you predict how your company collects data. If the data isn’t there then you can’t science it.

So your data science project isn’t working

medium.com

Aurimas Račas

25 days ago

“Sleep has always been foundational for my performance,” Cees ’t Hart, president and CEO of Carlsberg Group, shared with us. “And especially to perform in a way that is required by my current job, I need seven hours of sleep, every night. Of course, with intense travel and work commitments, sometimes this is compromised, and when that happens, it comes with a cost. When I sleep less, I perform less.”

Senior Executives Get More Sleep Than Everyone Else

hbr.org

Aurimas Račas

38 days ago

A 1997 essay by Eric S. Raymond titled “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” in some sense the founding document of the modern open-source movement, challenged the notion that complex software had to be built like a cathedral, “carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation.” Raymond’s experience as one of the stewards of the Linux kernel (a piece of open-source software that powers all of the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers, and the vast majority of mobile devices) taught him that the “great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches” that defined open-source projects was actually a strength. “The fact that this bazaar style seemed to work, and work well, came as a distinct shock,” he wrote. The essay was his attempt to reckon with why “the Linux world not only didn’t fly apart in confusion but seemed to go from strength to strength at a speed barely imaginable to cathedral builders.”

Mathematica was in development long before Raymond’s formative experience with Linux, and has been in development long after it. It is the quintessential cathedral, and its builders are still skeptical of the bazaar. “There’s always chaos,” Gray said about open-source systems. “The number of moving parts is so vast, and several of them are under the control of different groups. There’s no way you could ever pull it together into an integrated system in the same way as you can in a single commercial product with, you know, a single maniac in the middle.”

The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete

theatlantic.com

Aurimas Račas

38 days ago

The primary purpose of this position is to train the people you love most in this world to leave you. Forever.

Job Description for the Dumbest Job Ever

nytimes.com

Aurimas Račas

38 days ago

What is happiness? – Frank P. (Tokyo, Japan)

Reality minus expectations.

Mailbag #1

waitbutwhy.com

Aurimas Račas

38 days ago

Ordering fish in a restaurant is for people who don’t care about happiness.

Mailbag #1

waitbutwhy.com

Aurimas Račas

46 days ago

Perhaps it’s nostalgia for that old, weird, Wild West Web 1.0 or a longing for the faceless security of an anonymous, email-based communication system, but when I clicked on “men seeking men” recently — as I’d done so many times before — and landed on farewell message, my eyes welled up.

I Emailed All 1,342 of the Men I Encountered on Craigslist M4M

melmagazine.com

Aurimas Račas

46 days ago

We tend to grossly overestimate the pleasure brought forth by new experiences and underestimate the power of finding meaning in current ones. While travel is a fantastic way to gain insight into unfamiliar cultures and illuminating ways of life, it is not a cure for discontentment of the mind

Travel Is No Cure for the Mind

medium.com

Aurimas Račas

46 days ago

There are only two reasons to do anything in life: a) because it feels good, or b) because it’s something you believe to be good or right. Sometimes these two reasons align. Something feels good AND is the right thing to do and that’s just fucking fantastic. Let’s throw a party and eat cake.

But more often, these two things don’t align. Something feels shitty but is right/good (getting up at 5AM and going to the gym, hanging out with grandma Joanie for an afternoon and making sure she’s still breathing), or something feels fucking great but is the bad/wrong thing to do (pretty much anything involving penises).

Fuck Your Feelings

markmanson.net

Aurimas Račas

46 days ago

I’ll need to reread this multiple times in the future.

Self-awareness is wasted if it does not result in self-acceptance. The research bears this out, too: self-awareness doesn’t make everyone happier, it makes some people more miserable. Because if great self-awareness is coupled with self-judgment, then you’re merely becoming more aware of all the ways you deserve to be judged.4

Why You Suck at Self-Awareness

markmanson.net

Aurimas Račas

46 days ago

I think I have only participated in one crowdfunding campaign. I have been following the project ever since, and I’m excitedly waiting for first deployments!

“I think very often problems are so big, people approach problems from the bottom up: ‘If only I do this little bit, then hopefully there will be some sort of snowball effect that will be bigger and bigger,'” he says. “I’m much more in favor of the top-down approach to problem-solving. Really ask, if the problem is this big, how do you get to 100%? Then knowing what it takes to get to 100%, work your way back. Well, what do I have to do now?”

The Revolutionary Giant Ocean Cleanup Machine Is About To Set Sail

fastcompany.com

Aurimas Račas

51 days ago

If you’re on vacation and there are natural barriers and you’re unlikely to see them again, then that’s probably safe. But otherwise you’re risking falling in love, and that might complicate your life in ways you’re not prepared for.

This is what love does to your brain

vox.com

Aurimas Račas

56 days ago

What are some of the characteristics of a football team like FC Barcelona? At least three things:

A common objective
Different roles within the team, each with different responsibilities
Autonomy in reaching their objective
If you manage a team consisting only of Data Scientists, most likely none of those characteristics apply.

4 Years of Data Science at Schibsted Media Group

towardsdatascience.com

Aurimas Račas

57 days ago

Keynesians don't believe that balancing a budget is the immediate solution to economic malaise. Keynesian governments try to restore the thing that badly performing economies are generally lacking: confidence. They do this by borrowing money and spending it on public projects, which create jobs, which in turn increases consumption, which creates more jobs. This upwards spiral of investment, production and consumption is known as the Keynesian Multiplier. If the multiplier works, the government can actually get back more from the taxpayer than it originally spent, as the rest of the economy increases production and with it the tax it pays.

Because I'm worth it: the relationship economist

theguardian.com

Aurimas Račas

66 days ago

In Moscow, Ivan is tired but happy with the results, and his day is winding down with a couple of hours to go before the polls close. Not only were his hacks of online voter registrations a success, but the ensuing chaos — America is burning hot with indignation and accusations of disenfranchisement — has provided Alexei with the perfect cover for his work on the voting machines.

The Moscow Midterms

fivethirtyeight.com

Aurimas Račas

74 days ago

America loves helping the shoeless, iPhoneless, voteless, bug-infested Street Jesuses. These are the lost-cause poor; all they want is your pocket change. (Bless their hearts.) But the working poor? Those who claim to not have enough money for food because they also need clothes for work, water for bathing and laundry, rent for housing, heat in the winter, money for daycare, a smartphone for their job, car insurance and gas — those are some shifty motherfuckers.

Ketchup Sandwiches and Other Things Stupid Poor People Eat

medium.com

Aurimas Račas

82 days ago

American appear to be quite happy simply watching one another die, in all the ways above. They just don’t appear to be too disturbed, moved, or even affected by the four pathologies above: their kids killing each other, their social bonds collapsing, being powerless to live with dignity,or having to numb the pain of it all away.

If these pathologies happened in any other rich country — even in most poor ones — people would be aghast, shocked, and stunned, and certainly moved to make them not happen. But in America, they are, well, not even resigned. They are indifferent, mostly.

Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse

eand.co

Aurimas Račas

87 days ago

Our upper house has so much power compared to its counterparts in other nations—the House of Lords or the French Senate. It’s completely undemocratic and unjustifiable for each voter in Wyoming to have almost 70 times the voting power that a California voter does. Personally I’d favor switching to a parliamentary system. But that would require the current members of the Senate to, in effect, vote against themselves to amend the Constitution. But if we call ourselves a democracy, we have to have a democratic form of government that is democratically elected. And with the Senate, we don’t.

Are the Parties Dying?

democracyjournal.org

Aurimas Račas

88 days ago

Chemistry had its first reckoning with dynamite; horror at its consequences led its inventor, Alfred Nobel, to give his fortune to the prize that bears his name. Only a few years later, its second reckoning began when chemist Clara Immerwahr committed suicide the night before her husband and fellow chemist, Fritz Haber, went to stage the first poison gas attack on the Eastern Front. Physics had its reckoning when nuclear bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and so many physicists became political activists — some for arms control, some for weapons development. Human biology had eugenics. Medicine had Tuskegee and thalidomide. Civil engineering, a series of building, bridge, and dam collapses. (My thanks to many Twitter readers for these examples.)

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These events profoundly changed their respective fields, and the way people come up in them. Before these crises, each field was dominated by visions of how it could make the world a better place. New dyes, new materials, new sources of energy, new modes of transport — everyone could see the beauty. Afterward, everyone became painfully aware of how their work could be turned against their dreams.

Computer science faces an ethics crisis. The Cambridge Analytica scandal proves it.

bostonglobe.com

Aurimas Račas

90 days ago

Wylie meeting Bannon was the moment petrol was poured on a flickering flame. Wylie lives for ideas. He speaks 19 to the dozen for hours at a time. He had a theory to prove. And at the time, this was a purely intellectual problem. Politics was like fashion, he told Bannon.

“[Bannon] got it immediately. He believes in the whole Andrew Breitbart doctrine that politics is downstream from culture, so to change politics you need to change culture. And fashion trends are a useful proxy for that. Trump is like a pair of Uggs, or Crocs, basically. So how do you get from people thinking ‘Ugh. Totally ugly’ to the moment when everyone is wearing them? That was the inflection point he was looking for.”

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower

theguardian.com

Aurimas Račas

91 days ago

The point I make several times is that there are behaviors with respect to the physical environment that we have decided are impermissible. You are no longer permitted to burn whatever you want and throw it into the air, or dump whatever chemical you want into the water. Companies have accepted this and now parade their environmental bona fides.

Meanwhile, these companies are engaging in all kinds of things that are harming the human beings who work for them. These are things they should report on, and these are things that we should stop tolerating.

“The Workplace Is Killing People and Nobody Cares”

gsb.stanford.edu

Aurimas Račas

97 days ago

And so a tax naturally emerges. Every day, or month, or quarter, whatever makes sense, Uber and Lyft would need to make a tax payment to the city government, based on the number of hours its cars spent stuck in traffic. The tax could be quite simple: 10 cents per minute, say, for any time that any car spent traveling below 10 mph on surface streets or 40 mph on highways.

Traffic Is a Disease. An Uber Tax Is the Cure

wired.com

Aurimas Račas

100 days ago

Viewing the internet age through an economic lens means giving up on tidy stories like “Craigslist killed newspapers and democracy died.” Instead, we have to tell complicated stories like, “Reagan deregulated business and defanged anti-trust, and so newspapers were snapped up by private equity funds that slashed their newsrooms, centralized their ad sales, and weakened their product. When Craigslist came along, these businesses had been looted of all the cash they could have used to figure out their digital futures, and they started to die.”

Cory Doctorow: Let’s Get Better at Demanding Better from Tech

locusmag.com

Aurimas Račas

100 days ago

As we start wrapping up our discussion about AMP, Besbris repeats one of my questions back at me: “Have we just been idiots around communicating this stuff?”

”Yes,” he answers.

Inside Google’s plan to make the whole web as fast as AMP

theverge.com

Aurimas Račas

108 days ago

The risk that not all robotaxis will serve all destinations could open the door to segregation and discrimination. In authoritarian countries, robotaxis could restrict people’s movements. If all this sounds implausible, recall that Robert Moses notoriously designed the Southern State Parkway, linking New York City to Long Island’s beaches, with low bridges to favour access by rich whites in cars, while discriminating against poor blacks in buses. And China’s “social credit” system, which awards points based on people’s behaviour, already restricts train travel for those who step out of line.

Self-driving cars offer huge benefits—but have a dark side

economist.com

Aurimas Račas

108 days ago

Naturally, we make a stab at trying to understand them. We visit their families. We look at their photos, we meet their college friends. All this contributes to a sense that we’ve done our homework. We haven’t. Marriage ends up as a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully avoided investigating.

Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person

nytimes.com

Aurimas Račas

110 days ago

In 1935, when the Social Security act was passed, the age of retirement was set at 65. At the time, the average life expectancy was 61! Today, average life expectancy is just under 80 years. That one fact speaks volumes to how outdated our views and mechanisms for retirement are.

inc.com

Aurimas Račas

110 days ago

Airbnb isn’t just competing with hotels for travelers. It is often competing with locals for space. The company has shifted the burden of rising prices in crowded downtown areas from travelers to residents—pushing down prices for hotel rooms, while raising rents for city dwellers. Was that Airbnb’s intent? Almost certainly not. But that is the outcome, anyway, and it is a meaningful—even, yes, disruptive—one.

Airbnb and the Unintended Consequences of 'Disruption'

theatlantic.com

Aurimas Račas

110 days ago

Tsunamis. There may be an app for that.

The latest phones have equipment so sensitive that it could, in principle, detect a passing tsunami in the atmosphere. All this would require is for someone to write a suitable app, and for enough phone users to download it.

Finding more time to detect a tsunami

economist.com

Aurimas Račas

111 days ago

But is it really about lack of data-driven culture of simply lack of data skills and data mindset of the individuals who work in the companies? You cannot really build a culture around something that people do not understand!

Big Companies Are Embracing Analytics, But Most Still Don’t Have a Data-Driven Culture

hbr.org

Aurimas Račas

111 days ago

Is there anything investors can do to avoid testosterone-fuelled traders? One approach might be to seek out fund managers with long, thin faces. Or perhaps women and older men who are known to have less testosterone in their bodies. Another would be to bypass human managers altogether. If emotions inhibit traders’ ability to think rationally during market booms and busts, investors might be better off entrusting their money either to static index funds, or to trading algorithms without any emotions at all.

Are alpha males worse investors?

economist.com

Aurimas Račas

114 days ago

Data translator is probably the least sexy title one could come up with, but otherwise this article talks about a very real issue: shortage of people who are able to bridge the business world and the data science one.

More recently, however, companies have widened their aperture, recognizing that success with AI and analytics requires not just data scientists but entire cross-functional, agile teams that include data engineers, data architects, data-visualization experts, and—perhaps most important—translators.

You Don’t Have to Be a Data Scientist to Fill This Must-Have Analytics Role

hbr.org

Aurimas Račas

114 days ago

While we do not analyse these theories in detail, a simple empirical test can help distinguish the relative importance of these two categories of explanation – purely technology-based or not – for rising mean-median inequality and the falling labour share. More rapid technological progress should cause faster productivity growth – so, if some aspect of faster technological progress has caused inequality, we should see periods of faster productivity growth come alongside more rapid growth in inequality.

We find very little evidence for this. Our regressions find no significant relationship between productivity growth and changes in mean-median inequality, and very little relationship between productivity growth and changes in the labour share. In addition, as Table 1 shows, the two periods of slower productivity growth (1973-1996 and 2003-2014) were associated with faster growth in inequality (an increasing mean/median ratio and a falling labour share).

Technology Change Not the Culprit in Wages Falling Behind US Productivity Gains

nakedcapitalism.com

Aurimas Račas

123 days ago

Should the world follow the American model — extreme capitalism, no public investment, cruelty as a way of life, the perversion of everyday virtue — then these new social pathologies will follow, too. They are new diseases of the body social that have emerged from the diet of junk food — junk media, junk science, junk culture, junk punditry, junk economics, people treating one another and their society like junk — that America has fed upon for too long.

Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse

eand.co

Aurimas Račas

123 days ago

Don’t try to resolve fundamental conflicts with your spouse or roommates. The only people who win marital arguments about bedrock values are divorce lawyers.
I mean, you wouldn’t say “I have a free hour; I bet I could solve the Israel/Palestinian conflict and still have time for a spot of tennis!” So why do you try to use the same hour to convince your spouse that potato salad should have pickles in it?

After 45 Birthdays, Here Are '12 Rules for Life'

bloomberg.com

Aurimas Račas

123 days ago

Nobody wants to produce boring presentations that waste everybody’s time, but they do; nobody wants to train machine learning algorithms that produce misleading predictions, but they will.

Is “Murder by Machine Learning” the New “Death by PowerPoint”?

hbr.org

Aurimas Račas

123 days ago

Software doesn’t always end up being the productivity panacea that it promises to be. As its victims know all too well, “death by PowerPoint,” the poor use of the presentation software, sucks the life and energy out of far too many meetings. And audit after enterprise audit reveals spreadsheets rife with errors and macro miscalculations. Email and chat facilitate similar dysfunction; inbox overload demonstrably hurts managerial performance and morale. No surprises here — this is sadly a global reality that we’re all too familiar with.

Is “Murder by Machine Learning” the New “Death by PowerPoint”?

hbr.org

Aurimas Račas

123 days ago

The narrative was written by historians,” she says, “but I see it alive before me.”

Lithuania hopes the next century is quieter than the last

economist.com

Aurimas Račas

127 days ago

At a cloud computing event in D.C. several years ago, I sat at dinner with a French diplomat. Part of the EU parliament, he was in charge of data privacy. “Do you know why the French hate traffic cameras?” he asked me. “Because we can overlook a smudge of lipstick or a whiff of cologne on our partners’ shirts. But we can’t ignore a photograph of them in a car with a lover.”

Indeed, the French amended the laws regarding traffic camera evidence, only sending a photo when a dispute occurs. As he pointed out, “French society functions in the gray areas of legality. Data is too black and white.”

Different continents, different data science

oreilly.com

Aurimas Račas

128 days ago

Indeed, the DOJ’s case against Microsoft may have been one of the most market-oxygenating acts in business history, one that unleashed trillions of dollars in shareholder value. The concentration of power achieved by the Four has created a market desperate for oxygen. I’ve sat in dozens of VC pitches by small firms. The narrative has become universal and static: “We don’t compete directly with the Four but would be great acquisition candidates.” Companies thread this needle or are denied the requisite oxygen (capital) to survive infancy. IPOs and the number of VC-funded firms have been in steady decline over the past few years.

Silicon Valley’s Tax-Avoiding, Job-Killing, Soul-Sucking Machine

esquire.com

Aurimas Račas

128 days ago

A Dell computer may be powerful and fast, but it doesn’t indicate membership in the innovation class as a MacBook Air does. Likewise, the iPhone is something more than a phone, or even a smartphone. Consumers aren’t paying $1,000 for an iPhone X because they’re passionate about facial recognition. They’re signaling they make a good living, appreciate the arts, and have disposable income. It’s a sign to others: If you mate with me, your kids are more likely to survive than if you mate with someone carrying an Android phone. After all, iPhone users on average earn 40 percent more than Android users. Mating with someone who is on the iOS platform is a shorter path to a better life.

Silicon Valley’s Tax-Avoiding, Job-Killing, Soul-Sucking Machine

esquire.com

Aurimas Račas

128 days ago

Those of us who are not white have considerably more trouble not only finding representation of ourselves in mass media and other arenas of public life, but also finding representation that indicates that our humanity is multi­faceted. Relating to characters onscreen is necessary not merely for us to feel seen and understood, but also for others who need to see and understand us. When it doesn’t happen, we are all the poorer for it.

Behind the Revolutionary Power of Black Panther

time.com

Aurimas Račas

129 days ago

North Korea’s arsenal is thought to include smallpox, yellow fever, anthrax, hemorrhagic fever, and even plague

Here’s what war with North Korea would look like

vox.com

Aurimas Račas

129 days ago

Rather than deconstructing individual AI errors, Weinberger suggests focusing on what an algorithm is and is not optimized to do. This approach, he argues, takes the discussion out of a case-by-case realm—in reality, the system will never be perfect—and allows us to look at how an entire AI system works to produce the results we want. Is a self-driving car optimized for speed or safety? Should it save one life at the cost of two? These are problems that can be regulated and decided without expert knowledge of the internal workings of a deep neural network. Once societal expectations are set for a new technology, either through regulation or public influence, companies can optimize for those outcomes.

The case against understanding why AI makes decisions

qz.com

Aurimas Račas

136 days ago

Unpacking my life back in America has been difficult. Caught between multiple cultures, the culmination of working in Switzerland showed me first-hand that cultures tackle and optimise for various social and economic facets and that this active research on what the collective human effort can provide for its citizens benefits humanity as a whole. While I missed the Bay Area for its undying friendliness and creativity, some of its blemishes have become apparent only from gaining distance. Even while undergoing my reintegration to America, my mind still lingers in Switzerland.

Forging a Swiss Lens: 3 Ways Zurich Changed My View of Silicon Valley

nextrends.swissnexsanfrancisco.org

Aurimas Račas

136 days ago

A similar trend might be occurring for adults: My co-authors and I previously found that adults over age 30 were less happy than they were 15 years ago, and that adults were having sex less frequently. There may be many reasons for these trends, but adults are also spending more time with screens than they used to. That might mean less face-to-face time with other people, including with their sexual partners. The result: less sex and less happiness.

Most unhappy people are unhappy for the exact same reason

qz.com

Aurimas Račas

142 days ago

Solar and wind energy have developed steadily over the last forty years and are now poised for a global, exponential expansion propelled by a nearly unstoppable Moore’s-ish Law (increased production driving down prices, which expands markets and sparks innovation for the next round). Yet it turns out the workhorse that has delivered 31 times the impact of renewables for the last several decades is, in analyst-speak, “reduced energy intensity.” About two-thirds of that is due to efficiency, with the rest the result of compositional change, e.g. cuts in steel production mean less energy needed to make steel.

Less is More, More, More: The Cascading, Collective, Compounding, Sheer Utter Coolness of Efficiency

wtfeconomy.com

Aurimas Račas

142 days ago

It should be noted that no ethically-trained software engineer would ever consent to write a DestroyBaghdad procedure. Basic professional ethics would instead require him to write a DestroyCity procedure, to which Baghdad could be given as a parameter.

To Serve Man, with Software

blog.codinghorror.com

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