You Become Your Network. Build It Wisely.


If you look at the people someone is connected to on Facebook or Twitter, you can tell a lot about them.

You can tell if they’re a social butterfly or a hermit. You can tell if they’re depressed, or anxious. Researchers have even used people’s connections to predict, accurately, whether someone is likely to become overweight or obese in the future.

The connections that we make, and the networks we build, come to define us. That’s true whether it’s your Twitter followers, or your work network — your mentors, your advisors, your colleagues.

Continue reading “You Become Your Network. Build It Wisely.”

Real People Eat Quiche


Silken custard, flaky crust: quiche Lorraine with Gruyère and pancetta.

I was writing the menu for our lunch service at Prune a few weeks ago and kept crossing out then penciling back in a classic: quiche Lorraine. I just wasn’t quite sure where we stood, as a nation, on the subject these days.

In the ’80s, “quiche eater” was a casual slur to describe feminists and liberals, effeminates and intellectuals alike, prompting T-shirt sloganism and tote-bag activism in response. Grown men wore T-shirts emblazoned with “Real Men Eat Anything” the way they now wear ones that say “The Future Is Female.” You don’t want to go through the considerable work of putting together a warm, trembling, fragrant quiche Lorraine — with a perfect flaky crust and a silken custard streaked with Gruyère and salt pork — to discover that while you were downstairs in the prep kitchen, quiche had been conscripted into some new culture war.

Continue reading “Real People Eat Quiche”

De Beers is fighting ‘fake’ diamonds from China, but who’s the real fake?

Source :

Yonden Lhatoo rubbishes the ‘natural’ diamond market as a rip-off, built on lies about the worth of stones that are now being mass-produced in laboratories to offer much cheaper and better alternatives

So the mighty diamond market manipulator and monopolist De Beers is worried about its bottom line being eroded by manufactured stones being mass-produced in China.

After spending decades trying to suppress and ostracise the synthetic diamond industry, it did a complete U-turn and jumped on the bandwagon this year, although marketing its own lab-grown stones as a more “casual” alternative for “birthdays and fun”, rather than for weightier occasions.

Continue reading “De Beers is fighting ‘fake’ diamonds from China, but who’s the real fake?”

Tsinghua University may soon top the world league in science research


In China, its rapid rise is not unique

TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY was born out of national humiliation. It was founded in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion—an anti-foreign uprising in 1900—and paid for with the reparations exacted from China by America. Now Tsinghua is a major source of Chinese pride as it contends for accolades for research in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). In 2013-16 it produced more of the top 1% most highly cited papers in maths and computing, and more of the 10% most highly cited papers in STEM, than any other university in the world, reckons Simon Marginson of Oxford University (see chart). The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) still leads in the top 1% of STEM papers, but Mr Marginson says Tsinghua is on track to be “number one in five years or less”.

Continue reading “Tsinghua University may soon top the world league in science research”

Why Software is the Ultimate Business Model (and the data to prove it)

I often say that if Warren Buffett were 30 years old, he’d only invest in software. Here’s why…

1. The Demand for Software is very strong and stable — Spend on software has grown at ~9% for about a decade. Looking forward Gartner estimates show that the Software category is expected to grow 8–11% versus the U.S. economy at 2–3% and broader technology spending at 3–4%. Software is a GOOD neighborhood to live in.

Continue reading “Why Software is the Ultimate Business Model (and the data to prove it)”

Why the French don’t show excitement


Not only is ‘Je suis excité’ not the appropriate way to convey excitement in French, but there seems to be no real way to express it at all.

When I was 19 years old, after five years of back-and-forth trips that grew longer each time, I finally relocated officially from the United States to France. Already armed with a fairly good grasp of the language, I was convinced that I would soon assimilate into French culture.

Of course, I was wrong. There’s nothing like cultural nuance to remind you who you are at your core: my Americanness became all the more perceptible the longer I remained in France, and perhaps no more so than the day a French teacher told me his theory on the key distinction between those from my native and adopted lands.

“You Americans,” he said, “live in the faire [to do]. The avoir [to have]. In France, we live in the être [to be].”

Continue reading “Why the French don’t show excitement”

Dynamic programming and memorization: bottom-up vs top-down approaches


rev4: A very eloquent comment by user Sammaron has noted that, perhaps, this answer previously confused top-down and bottom-up. While originally this answer (rev3) and other answers said that “bottom-up is memoization” (“assume the subproblems”), it may be the inverse (that is, “top-down” may be “assume the subproblems” and “bottom-up” may be “compose the subproblems”). Previously, I have read on memoization being a different kind of dynamic programming as opposed to a subtype of dynamic programming. I was quoting that viewpoint despite not subscribing to it. I have rewritten this answer to be agnostic of the terminology until proper references can be found in the literature. I have also converted this answer to a community wiki. Please prefer academic sources. List of references: {Web: 1,2} {Literature: 5}

Continue reading “Dynamic programming and memorization: bottom-up vs top-down approaches”