An Artificial Universe, Cosmic Rays, and a Rainbow Unicorn: Lux Recommends #20

By Sam Arbesman

Welcome to Lux Recommends #20, the newest edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (and want to receive this by email? Sign up here).


Inside the Artificial Universe That Creates Itself: On the procedurally generated game No Man’s Sky. — Sam

How To Kill A Supercomputer: Dirty Power, Cosmic Rays, and Bad Solder: Cosmic rays and other small details that add up to become very big problems for supercomputers. — Sam

As a God Might Be: Review of three books and “Three Visions of Technological Progress.” — Sam

A Rainbow Unicorn Wants to Transform Biology Publishing: Interesting questions on what should peer-review look like in a web-connected scientific community with access to self-publishing tools. Why must peer review only be left to 2–5 reviewers instead of a wider community. — Bilal

A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets: “But with the help of a robot made by British programmer Joshua Browder, 19, it costs nothing. Browder’s bot handles questions about parking-ticket appeals in the UK. Since launching in late 2015, it has successfully appealed $3 million worth of tickets.” — Sam

The Most Powerful Lesson I’ve Ever Learned In Business: Important decisions at the founder/CEO and Board level shouldn’t be an argument over personal opinions. They can and should be analyzed from first principles: what are the core objectives and what best helps achieve those objectives. — Bilal

5 Steps To Re-create Xerox PARC’s Design Magic (From The Guy Who Helped Make It): Some ingredients for building a successful tech research lab. — Sam


Dear Zachary: An emotional roller coaster. Highly recommend, but be prepared to cry. If you watch, DO NOT READ SPOILERS OR REVIEWS BEFOREHAND. — Jeff W

Somm: It is awesome and insane the level of knowledge these guys have to learn in order to be a Master Sommelier. — Adam G

Bridge of Spies: Includes some worthy negotiation scenes one can learn from. — Josh


Inventology, by Pagan Kennedy: A phenomenal look at the factors behind invention. Wonderful. — Sam

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic, by Emily Croy Barker: I don’t often read fantasy, but when I do, I try my best to make sure it’s really good. This book was great fun. — Sam

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