A Great Sorting

“…we are witnessing a Great Sorting within the library, a matching of different kinds of scholarly uses with the right media, formats, and locations. Books that are in high demand; or that benefit from physical manifestations, such as art books and musical scores; or that are rare or require careful, full engagement, might be better off in centralized places on campus. But multiple copies of common books, those that can be consulted quickly online or are needed only once a decade, or that are now largely replaced by digital forms, can be stored off site and made available quickly on demand, which reduces costs for libraries and also allows them to more easily share books among institutions in a network. Importantly, this also closes the gap between elite institutions such as Yale and the much larger number of colleges with more modest collections.”

-Dan Cohen, “The Books of College Libraries Are Turning Into Wallpaper.” The Atlantic. May 26, 2019.

Quantumcomputing For The Very Curious

“This essay explains how quantum computers work. It’s not a survey essay, or a popularization based on hand-wavy analogies. We’re going to dig down deep so you understand the details of quantum computing. Along the way, we’ll also learn the basic principles of quantum mechanics, since those are required to understand quantum computation.

Learning this material is challenging. Quantum computing and quantum mechanics are famously ‘hard’ subjects, often presented as mysterious and forbidding. If this were a conventional essay, chances are that you’d rapidly forget the material. But the essay is also an experiment in the essay form. As I’ll explain in detail below the essay incorporates new user interface ideas to help you remember what you read. That may sound surprising, but uses a well-validated idea from cognitive science known as spaced-repetition testing. More detail on how it works below. The upshot is that anyone who is curious and determined can understand quantum computing deeply and for the long term.”

Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen. “Quantumcomputing For The Very Curious.” Quantam.country. March 18, 2019.

Looks like I’m going to have to brush up on my math.

Trump’s Tuxedo: ‘It’s wrong in every way!’

“And Patrick Murphy, the head cutter at tailors Davies and Son, who are based in Savile Row, London, told MailOnline that ‘everything you can imagine’ was wrong with Trump’s tuxedo.

‘Its totally disproportionate to his height and girth,’ he said.

‘The waistcoat is far too long, it should not show underneath his jacket.”

—Conner Boyd and Harry Howard, “Trump’s look is not my fault, says White House tailor as he insists he doesn’t know where President got his poorly fitted state banquet attire from – while Savile Row expert reveals: ‘It’s wrong in every way!’The Daily Mail. June 8, 2019.

My apologies for pointing toward the cancer that is The Daily Mail website, but I think ‘wrong in every way’ pretty much sums up the suit and the man. Keep Making America Great Again, buddy!

Just Follow My Example

The number of days since I left the world and
Entrusted myself to Heaven is long forgotten.
Yesterday, sitting peacefully in the green mountains;
This morning, playing with the village children.
My robe is full of patches and
I cannot remember how long I have had the same bowl for begging.
On clear nights I walk with my staff and chant poems;
During the day I spread out a straw mat and nap.
Who says many cannot lead such a life?
Just follow my example.

-John Stevens, trans. "One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan." New York: Weatherhill, 1977. Pg. 55.