Five Things: AI's Political Biases, Tech Warfare. Ultracheap Stuff, Beirut, Heavy Metal
Let me say it like it is: you should read this mail now.
Welcome to the latest edition of Five Things! I’m Nico, I read a lot, may be a bit too much and I like to share the best articles I read this week with you.
This Friday afternoon, the rain finally stopped and summer came back after weeks of rain. We rejoiced. We made grand plans for the weekend. On Saturday it rained again for most of the day. I’m sure the weather will be amazing again when school starts again in the last week of August. We’ve saved so much money on sunscreen this summer!
Other than that, I can report that I still only drink one mug of coffee a day - after that it is decaf or tea for me. Specialty decaf coffee is pretty good actually, so I will stick with that. I still don’t get tea, but I’m sure it’s good for me to go to the bathroom all the time. After WWII lots of Germans could only afford Ersatzkaffee, which was based on grains. When I was a kid in the 70s we got to drink Caro-Coffee when the adults had real coffee. And now I’m back on Caro. And tea. Yes, I miss real coffee all the time. But I do feel a lot better now.
While it was raining, I sat down and read through half the available stuff on the interweb, at least it felt like that. So here are five picks for you to read - which article did you like best? I’m not sure, either, but the story about Beirut really grasped me.
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This is really interesting. First of all, different Large Language Models have different political biases. That surprised me, mostly because I never thought about it. Secondly, the models reinforce their political leanings by feeding more of the same political views into the system and then become more left-leaning or more right-leaning. (MIT Technology Review).
The Russian war on Ukraine is still going on and it is estimated that it cost more than a 100,000 lives on each side. Apart from the drones, most of the war looks like a war a 100 years ago: soldiers dug trenches and then try to fight the enemy. Why is that? Shouldn’t war be more advanced by now? (Foreign Affairs)
Turns out that young people with smartphones, Insta and TikTok have other ideas about what they want to do with their lives. Finding new destinations is becoming a difficult task for factory owners, as standards and wages rise while other jobs become more attractive. (WSJ)
Beirut is one of the cities I really want to pay a visit to. I have seen so many photos of the beauty of the city and the many scars. Three years ago a big explosion in the port destroyed many buildings and the city is still recovering from it. (The Delacorte Review)
It is well documented, that Scandinavians have the most Heavy Metal bands per capita, but there plenty of speculation why that is. Hint: it has something to do with the economic situation in these countries. Also, I think deep inside, lots of Nordi people just want to growl! (BigThink)
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That’s it. Have an amazing Sunday!