Amazingly useful gadget, a book that's change how I think, and some interesting items to fascinate and ponder…
The Distilled Science Download
Avisha NessAiver here- aka DistilledScience. Thanks for being a part of the Distilled Science community! I’m happy to have you on board, and look forward to some rational discourse 🤓. If you like this week’s post, I’d love it if you could share with 3 of your science-minded friends! SIGN UP.
Here we go:
Book I’m Reading: The Scout Mindset by Julia Galef. I wish I could assign this as required reading to every human on the planet. It’s all about learning to see things as they are, not as you wish they were. Most of us constantly fall prey to “motivated reasoning,” where our brains search for excuses to reject evidence that isn’t in line with our beliefs while simultaneously adding justifications to bump up the quality of anything that supports them. This is not a new problem. I loved this quote from 2,000 years ago, from the ancient greek philosopher Thucydides:
“It is the habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not desire”
Gadget That’s Solving My Summer Heat Problems: Have you ever gotten in from the sweltering heat only to find that your home / apartment is also sweltering, because you keep the AC off to save power? This has been my life for the last 15 years. Until now. I recently tried to hook up my AC to a smart plug, only to find that the power draw is a bit too much for it. After a bunch of research, I stumbled across this gem: The BroadLink RM4 Mini IR Universal Remote Control. It can send signals to almost any device with an IR remote, and it’s controllable via an easy app, letting me turn the AC on as I’m headed home. I now even have it hooked into my temperature sensors which can trigger commands.
Video I’m Watching: Moloch: The Beauty Wars - the intersection between AI face filters, social media, and evolutionary psychology. A really engaging video and cool take on the dark-side of ubiquitous photo and video retouching technology.
To experience it first hand, I went and downloaded some of these AI tools. I used one to change my face into a female one, which I then retouched in a separate app, making me suddenly self-conscious about the first un-retouched female me 🥴
Here’s the final version. Video on this whole topic coming soon.
Quote I’m Pondering:
“You don’t learn, then start. You start, then learn.” ― Sahil Lavingia
Thanks for reading! Happy Birthday Day to all my fellow early August babies out there!. If you enjoyed any of these items, or have comments, let me know! You can respond here (I sometimes see those), or hit me up on twitter or my Discord!
P.S. - My new website is live! Hence this email coming from that new domain. Make sure to add it to your contact list so we don’t get lost in spam :)
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