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Meet Hao Jingfang, author of "Folding Beijing," the dystopian science-fiction writer who advises China’s government — Quartz
When do you usually write in a day?

Five to seven o’clock in the morning. I barely write after work. In the evening I play with my daughter, give her a bath, read to her and get her to sleep. Usually I sleep from 11pm to 4am or 5am.

My daughter is under three, and is now sent to kindergarten. My mother lives at my apartment to take care of her most of the time. But she still needs her mother’s company more. I don’t want to separate her from me. Whatever I’m doing at home, she is always allowed to interrupt me.

Let’s talk about the new book you are working on.

It’s a sci-fi novel about China’s ancient civilization. The story is set in the future. It’s about people traveling back to archaeological sites to unveil history.

Archaeology is not able to fill gaps between separate dynasties. There are many gaps I can fill with my imagination. For example, what gives birth to Chinese ritual bronzes? Archaeological materials only show the bronzes became mature during the Shang and Zhou dynasties (1600-256 BC). There is no accumulation and development before that. I can make up lots of reason for that.
interview  author  female  scifi  beijing  mother  sleep 
2 hours ago
Your AirPods Probably Have Terrible Battery Life - The Atlantic
The surprisingly short life of new electronic devices
16 hours ago
White Words – Popula
“Eskimos Have Fifty Words for Snow” is an amazing phrase, because every word in it is wrong.

For Boas, every language has its own unique features and complexity but nothing, in that account, would prevent Eskimo-speakers from learning English words for water or English-speakers from learning Eskimo words for snow. But Whorf takes that idea and emphasizes a mutual incomprehension flowing out of this difference: our singular term for snow “would be almost unthinkable” to an Eskimo, he suggests, and then hypothesizes an Eskimo who helpfully explains why he can’t think it, using phrases like “sensuously and operationally different.”
contrarian  language  theory  opinion  culture 
TECPLOT ASCII Files - (extension ".dat")
cylindrical.dat, uses the POINT format;
tecplot  explained  data  io 
5 days ago
如何全面地运用弹力带进行宿舍健身? - 知乎
如果你实在不知道该怎么练,好吧……那我只能做个广告了。Keep里有两套比较全面的弹力带塑形计划,分了男女生版,侧重部位会有区别,所用动作与答案里的 部分一致,不妨先试试。
workout  app 
6 days ago
DeepMind and Google: the battle to control artificial intelligence
Hassabis thought DeepMind would be a hybrid: it would have the drive of a startup, the brains of the greatest universities, and the deep pockets of one of the world’s most valuable companies. Every element was in place to hasten the arrival of AGI and solve the causes of human misery.

Demis Hassabis was born in north London in 1976 to a Greek-Cypriot father and a Chinese-Singaporean mother. He was the eldest of three siblings. His mother worked at John Lewis, a British department store, and his father ran a toy shop. He took up chess at the age of four, after watching his father and uncle play. Within weeks he was beating the grown-ups. By 13 he was the second-best chess player in the world for his age. At eight, he taught himself to code on a basic computer.

Hassabis officially founded DeepMind on November 15th 2010. The company’s mission statement was the same then as it is now: to “solve intelligence”, and then use it to solve everything else. As Hassabis told the Singularity Summit attendees, this means translating our understanding of how the brain accomplished tasks into software that could use the same methods to teach itself.

It’s an impressive demo. But Hassabis leaves a few things out. If the virtual paddle were moved even fractionally higher, the program would fail. The skill learned by DeepMind’s program is so restricted that it cannot react even to tiny changes to the environment that a person would take in their stride – at least not without thousands more rounds of reinforcement learning. But the world has jitter like this built into it. For diagnostic intelligence, no two bodily organs are ever the same. For mechanical intelligence, no two engines can be tuned in the same way. So releasing programs perfected in virtual space into the wild is fraught with difficulty.
google  ai  story  uk  game  startup 
7 days ago
GE Says It’s Leveraging Artificial Intelligence To Cut Product Design Times In Half

It’s a neural network that’s trained with the results of standard two-day computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses of variations in a particular design to estimate the conclusions that a CFD would come to. In one test case, in which the researchers trained the surrogate model with about 100 CFDs to figure out the optimum shape for the crown of a piston in a diesel engine, the model was able to evaluate roughly a million design variations in 15 minutes, an increase in speed of 5 billion times. More typically the researchers expect to achieve an improvement of 10 million to 100 million times. The best design of the piston crown produced a 7% improvement in fuel efficiency with a “significant” reduction in soot emissions, they say.

“We can, say, take all the knowledge that went into designing the GE9X or the LEAP [jet engines] and apply it to developing a hypersonic or apply it to a next-gen narrow-body,” says Tallman. “We’re confident that it will provide insights that we wouldn’t have otherwise.”
industry  design  ai 
7 days ago
What is turbulence—and how can you calm down about it?

Rough air happens everywhere, from ground level to far above cruising altitude. But the most common turbulence experienced by flyers has three common causes: mountains, jet streams, and storms.

At NCAR, Sharman has been working since 2005 to build much more precise “nowcasting” turbulence tools.

Here’s how it works: an algorithm currently installed on around 1,000 commercial airliners analyzes information from onboard sensors to characterize each plane’s movement at any given moment. Using data on forward velocity, wind speed, air pressure, roll angle, and other factors, the algorithm generates a local atmospheric turbulence level, which is fed back into a national system every minute. Used in conjunction with national weather forecasts and models, the tool annotates forecasts with real-time conditions, which in turn helps to strengthen weather prediction models.
turbulence  aviation  travel  plane  engineering  app 
7 days ago
Gentoo: 你™自己编译去吧
7 days ago
疾病王国:超越中与西|端傳媒 Initium Media

tradition  medicine  canton  chinese 
8 days ago
Aditi Shrivastava's answer to What's the difference between Gothic and Romanesque architectures? - Quora
Aditi Shrivastava , pursued B.E. (Hons.) Civil Engineering from BITS Pilani Updated Oct 10, 2015 1. Gothic architecture had pointed arches in roof while…
architecture  europe  church  west  primer 
8 days ago
Poirier de Chine — Wikipédia
Rue de Lamoricière Nantes mars 2019.
tree  nantes  flower  moi 
8 days ago
Huawei: The world's most controversial company - BBC News

Ren’s early days in business instilled in him a desire to protect his company from the whims and fancies of the stock market. Huawei is privately held and employee-owned. This gave Ren the power to plough more money back into research and development. Each year, Huawei spends US$20bn on R&D – one of the biggest such budgets in the world.

“Publicly listed companies have to pay a lot of attention to their balance sheets,” he says. “They can't invest too much, otherwise profits will drop and so will their share prices. At Huawei, we fight for our ideals. We know that if we fertilise our ‘soil’ it will become more bountiful. That's how we've managed to pull ahead and succeed.”

“Admittedly, what is missing from this debate is the smoking gun,” she says.

“For the average person who has a Huawei smartphone it’s not a big deal. But if you’re a Western government that has key national security to protect - why would you allow this access to a company that is in the political system that China is in?”
2019  china  corporation  world  reportage  interview 
10 days ago
Will John Bolton Bring on Armageddon—Or Stave It Off?

One thing liberals and neoconservatives share, Bolton suggested, is an irrational, “theological” attachment to principles—the principle that treaties and alliances are good (in the case of internationalist liberals) or that democracy must be spread at the expense of all else (in the case of neoconservatives). By contrast, he thought treaties and alliances needed unsentimental evaluation. One of the Russians on Putin’s team told him, “You strike me as a pragmatic diplomat.” “I said, ‘That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said about me for a long time.’ ” Bolton recalled, “Even in the Bush 43 administration, when we were most accused of unilateralism, I didn’t get up every morning thinking, What act of unilateralism can I accomplish today? I got up thinking, What interest of the United States are we going to advance today?”

It’s difficult to exaggerate how hard it is to earn a reputation as a dick in Washington. It’s like being known as a real nerd by fellow scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or as the resident prude by sisters at a nunnery. In Washington, boorishness can be a virtue, if the boor in question is on your side and gets things done. (Witness the admiration for Lyndon B. Johnson, who would sit on the toilet and summon aides to talk policy while smelling his fumes, and the contempt for the pious Jimmy Carter.) But Bolton is almost universally known for being off-putting and ill-tempered. “One of the world’s cheapest people,” says an ex-colleague. “An extremely unpleasant person,” says another.

At the UN, he exuded contempt. In his memoir he says the General Assembly hall’s architecture is “vaguely fascist.” He scoffs at the tendency to treat Kofi Annan, the secretary general, as “a secular pope,” and he calls General Assembly President Jan Eliasson “President of the World.” Neither title is meant as a compliment. Nor is the nickname “EUroids,” which he uses to describe Europeans he considers pains in the ass.

“Bolton is a sovereigntist,” John Yoo told me. “He thinks the U.S. should not be bound by international organizations, and we should not be ceding our authority to the United Nations or NAFTA.” After the Cold War, “the U.S. tied itself down with multilateral institutions, primarily run by Europeans, to constrain our freedom of action—to tie down Gulliver.” Every time the United States joins an alliance, or consents to arbitration on equal terms with, say, Latvia or Guinea, one more rope is lashed over Gulliver’s limbs.

Bolton may have mind-melded with Trump better than McMaster did, but inevitably the president and his national security adviser will disagree, both on style and on substance. One is an unreconstructed Cold Warrior; the other is an isolationist. One says nothing without precise calculation; the other speaks seemingly without consulting his own prefrontal cortex. As the differences between their personalities multiply, savvy enemies will simply cease to believe that Bolton carries Trump’s authority. Trump, flattered, will agree.
interview  portrait  trump  administration 
10 days ago
The Story of the Iberian Peninsula, Told in DNA - The New York Times

The team was able to identify pieces of North African DNA in people across Spain. The researchers estimated that the subjects’ North African ancestors lived about 800 years ago, during Muslim rule.

The researchers were also able to group Spaniards into five genetic clusters. On a map, these groups form five strips running north to south. Those strips line up neatly with history.

At the height of the Muslim rule, a few small Christian states survived on the northern coast of Spain. As Muslims lost power, those states expanded their southern borders, starting roughly 900 years ago.
Iberia  genetics  archaeology  origin  europe  human  migration 
11 days ago
11 days ago
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11 days ago
Bad Dreams Are Good

A 1958 study determined that compared with Japanese people, Americans dreamed more about being locked up, losing a loved one, finding money, being inappropriately dressed or nude, or encountering an insane person. Japanese people were more likely to dream about school, trying repeatedly to do something, being paralyzed with fear, or “wild, violent beasts.”
18 days ago
Pulse & Glide : le tutoriel de l'éco-conduite de voiture hybride épisode 2
Pour les lecteurs qui ont (ou auront) la joie de conduire une voiture hybride, vous constaterez qu’on est très vite pris au jeu de consommer le moins de…
tutorial  car  howo  tips 
18 days ago
. vs Make Cleaning Great Again! The Trump White House is a mess -- can the KonMari m…
18 days ago
The devil’s lottery: the perils of diving for ‘Baltic gold’

The rush for Baltic gold, which sometimes sells for more than the real thing, has been driven by consumers in China, where it is mainly used as jewellery for both men and women. From soyabean fields on the fringes of the Amazon to copper mines in the south of Congo, Kaliningrad is one of the many regions being reshaped by China’s voracious demand for commodities.

The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad is the epicentre for the world’s amber trade, with the region holding about 90 per cent of the global reserves of the fossilised tree resin. It also boasts some of the oldest amber in the world — the product of a coniferous pine forest that fell into the Baltic Sea between 40m and 50m years ago.

At the time when Mr Krupnyakov and his gang were offering their services to illegal miners, the market was booming. Amber dealers say prices increased as much as 10 times between 2012 and 2016 on the back of strong demand from China. Although used for little other than jewellery and ornaments these days, amber has been a prized commodity in China ever since the days of the Ming dynasty and is seen as carrying healing powers and good fortune.

In May last year, Hong Kong Customs seized about 50kg of suspected smuggled amber, which it said had an estimated market value of about $1.5m, making the amber worth about $30 a gramme. The white amber, dealers say, can be sold to China for as much as $40 a gramme, and if the piece is really special, up to $50 or even $100 a gramme. That is more than the current market price of gold: about $41 a gramme.

Amber jewellery for adults has gone out of fashion in the west over the past decade, but necklaces for babies have become popular, having been lauded for their ability to relieve teething pain. But after a one-year-old was strangled, the US Food and Drug Administration put out a warning in December about the safety risks of such necklaces.

The authenticity of amber can be tested by burning, drilling into or even rubbing it. If genuine, it should give off a pinelike smell. It can also be tested to see if it floats in salt water (it should), while a UV lamp shone at it should show up as blue or green. Amber divers who go out to sea at night take UV torches with them.
russia  history  today  china  consumer  death  sea  diving 
19 days ago
Melvyn Bragg: “I’m not letting my past go”
Melvyn Bragg’s new novel features a 28-line castration scene. The procedure is performed on the book’s hero, the 12th-century philosopher Pierre Abélard, as a…
19 days ago
19 days ago
Anxiety About Immigration is a Global Issue - Quillette
Much has been written about anti-immigrant sentiments in the West in recent years. Brexit, Trump’s election, and the moderate success of political movements…
23 days ago
刘柠 : 中江丑吉:祖国的陌生人 _ 腾讯 ・ 大家
从任何意义上说,明治期的日本,都称得上是一个大时代,浪淘英雄,豪杰辈出,风骚独领。在日本近现代思想史上,有一对父子的名字,未必显赫一时,却有着长久的存在感,至今不衰:父中江兆民(Chomin Nakae),原名笃介,启蒙思想家、政治家、法文学者,自由民权运动的标志性人物;中江丑吉(Ushikichi…
27 days ago
Letter of Recommendation Offgrid’s ‘What If
A prepper magazine that will make you appreciate what you have.
disaster  survive  nuclear  daily  magazine  imagination  hijack 
28 days ago
Barry Lyndon - Soundtrack (1975) - YouTube
1. Sarabande Main Title (Georg Friedrich Handel) (0:00)
2. Women of Ireland (Sean O'Riada) (2:40)
3. Piper's Maggot Jig (Traditional) (6:53)
4. The Sea Maidens (Traditional) (8:37)
5. Tin Whistles (Sean O'Riada) (10:44)
6. British Grenadiers, Fife and Drums (Traditional) (14:28)
7. Hohenfriederberger March (Frederick the Great) (16:43)
8. Liliburlero, Fife and Drums (Traditional) (18:00)
9. Women of Ireland, Harp (Traditional) (19:08)
10. March from Idomeno (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) (20:04)
11. Sarabande Duel (Georg Friedrich Handel) (21:37)
12. Lilliburlero (Traditional) (24:52)
13. German Dance No.1 In C-Major (Franz Schubert) (25:47)
14. Sarabande Duel (Georg Friedrich Handel) (28:05)
15. The Cavatina from Il Barbiere Di Saviglia, Film Adaptation (Giovanni Paisiello) (28:56)
16. Cello Concerto E-Minor, Third Movement (Antonio Vivaldi) (33:28)
17. Adagio from Concerto for Two Harpsichords And Orchestra in C-Minor (Johann Sebastian Bach) (37:21)
18. Piano Trio in E-Flat, Film Adaptation of the Opus 100 2nd Movement (Franz Schubert) (42:38)
19. Sarabande End Titles (Goerg Friedrich Handel) (46:56)
music  movie  18C 
28 days ago
Don't Strip ISIS Fighters of Citizenship
In October 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald presented himself to the U.S. consul in Moscow and attempted, without success, to rid himself of his U.S. citizenship. The…
29 days ago
China’s Ambitious Plan to Build the World’s Biggest Supergrid

But even as China celebrates the completion of more than 30,000 km of UHV lines, power engineers are struggling to master the resulting hybrid AC-DC transmission system. They must ensure that the new long-haul DC lines don’t destabilize China’s regional AC grids. For example, if the 8-gigawatt DC line from Gansu were to unexpectedly go off line, the power shock could cause widespread blackouts in Hunan and beyond.

To minimize the threat, the State Grid Corp. of China, a state-owned company that runs most of China’s transmission and distribution grids, intentionally limits the line’s throughput to no more than 4.5 GW. In practice, the line has carried less than one-quarter of its design capacity on average. That’s one reason why over one-third of Gansu province’s theoretical wind output and one-fifth of its solar potential went unused in 2017. Other UHV lines in neighboring regions have similarly operated below capacity. And eastern provinces don’t have sufficient incentive to import the cleaner power that the UHV lines offer.

State Grid’s long-term goal to interconnect its regional grids should also reduce curtailment, experts say. Zhang Ning, an authority on renewables integration at Tsinghua University, points out that the Southwest grid’s hydropower can balance the fluctuations in the Northwest’s wind and solar output. If we interconnect the West, curtailment of wind power there can be reduced from more than 20 percent to 5 percent, he estimates, and both regions’ use of coal can also be cut.
numbers  china  today  energy  eolien  technology  engineering  corporation 
29 days ago
taiping  1860s  qing  jiangsu 
29 days ago
Opinion | Netflix Is the Most Intoxicating Portal to Planet Earth - The New York Times

This simple difference flips all of its incentives. It means that Netflix has a reason to satisfy every new customer, not just the ones in the most prosperous markets. Each new title carries subtitles in 26 languages, and the company is creating high-quality, properly lip-synced audio dubbing in 10 languages. For years, Netflix has roiled the film and TV business in Hollywood with its billions. Now it’s taking its money — the company spent $12 billion on content in 2018 and is projected to spend $15 billion this year — to film and TV producers in France, Spain, Brazil, India, South Korea and the Middle East, among other places.

It’s legitimate to ask how long Netflix will be able to keep up this cross-border conversation — whether, as it keeps growing, it will have to make legal or moral compromises with local censors or other would-be cultural arbiters. But I’m optimistic about its chances. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the internet did turn out to bring the world together after all?
netflix  culture  world  from:rss 
4 weeks ago
撰文:吴介民 本文选自《东方历史评论》第1期,回复“购买”了解如何购买…
taiwan  essay  china  beijing  society  quartier  inequality  civ  question 
4 weeks ago
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