Boris Smus

interaction engineering

Avoiding local maximums

Easier said than done.

Don't focus on local maxima: easier said than done.

Book: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

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Book: Seeing Like a State by James Scott

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Book: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

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Book: The Story of Medieval England (audio)

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Book: The New Father

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Book: Tribe by Sebastian Junger

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Reading in 2018

I read and listened to a few books in 2018. My highlights include speculative fiction stories from Chinese authors: Ted Chiang, Liu Cixin, Ken Liu's translations of, Chen Qiufan, Xia Jia, Hao Jingfang. Also really enjoyed Player of Games and Darkness at Noon. On the non-fiction front, I listened to two excellent history lectures: one on modern China, another on the French Revolution. I also read a pair of books describing cyclical views of history: The Fourth Turning and a more scientific take, War and Peace and War. A standout non-fiction favorite was Impro, which I will definitely be returning to.

Most of my internet reading happens through Instapaper, which affords me a handy chronicle of articles that I enjoyed. Here are a few of them (excerpts are not endorsements):

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Book: Infinite Planets

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Book: Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam

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Book: The Fall and Rise of China (audio)

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Book: War and Peace and War by Peter Turchin

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Book: Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin (audio)

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Comparing classical music interpretations

I built an audio player to easily compare multiple interpretations of the same piece. Here's an interactive demo, and a video to give you a sense of how it works:

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