Dispatch #2

A thoughtful collection, updated every few weeks.

📰 Articles

Eight weeks to a better brain by Sue McGreevey — a Harvard study about the effects of meditation on the brain will be published in the next issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. Analysis of MR images found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus after participants practiced meditation for 8 weeks.

Lessons from 3,000 technical interviews by Aline Lerner — Aline aggregates a lot of anonymous data and compares that with success in interviews. The top indicators of success (in order) she found were: 1) taken a course on Coursera/Udacity, 2) worked at a top company, 3) attended a top computer science school. 

Reflecting on Haskell in 2016 by Stephen Diehl — a collection of some of the most influential articles about Haskell in 2016.

Swift: Challenges and Opportunity for Language and Compiler Research by Chris Lattner — a look ahead at the future of Swift. It's always exciting to see Chris Lattner's vision for the language.

📚 Books

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt — won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. Stephen describes the influence of the Roman philosopher Lucretius and Epicureanism on the modern world. He also tells the story of Renaissance-era humanist book-hunters, who combed through monasteries and private collections searching for the works of Romans and Greeks.

The Circle by Dave Eggers — I should have read this a long time ago, considering where I live and work. A novel about a mega-tech company that resembles a few today.

📺 Television

Westworld (HBO) — perhaps the best television show of 2016, next to Stranger Things. Based loosely on the 1973 film (written and directed by Michael Crichton). This new take raises the bar for A.I. in film.

🎞 Film

Rogue One (Disney) — the latest release in the Star Wars franchise, and the second film released after Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm. Rogue One excels more through its supporting cast than its leadings roles, and still lacks Jedi.