Weekend Reading: Children of Men, Google Earth at 15, and Slate Star Codex is Gone

June 27, 2020 • #

đź“˝ How Children of Men Became a Dystopian Masterpiece

I didn’t realize until reading this piece that this movie was a commercial flop. $70m gross on a $76m budget. I remember seeing this several times in theaters, and many times after. This retrospective (from 2016) brought the film back to mind and makes me want to rewatch.

🌍 15 Years of Google Earth and the Lessons That Went Unlearned

Brian Timoney:

Google Earth led us to vastly overestimate the average user’s willingness to figure out our map interfaces. The user experience was so novel and absorbing that people invested time into learning the interface: semi-complex navigation, toggling layers on and off, managing their own content, etc. Unfortunately, our stuff isn’t so novel and absorbing and we’ve learned the hard way that even those forced to use our interfaces for work seem very uninterested in even the most basic interactions.

It’s great to see Brian blogging again!

đź“„ Doxxing Scott Alexander is Profoundly Illiberal

What’s happening between the New York Times and psychiatrist-rationalist-blogger Scott Alexander is incredibly disappointing to see. In writing a story including him, they want to use his real name (which they found out somehow, S.A. is a pseudonym), which seems completely unnecessary and absurd to the point of disbelief — given the Times’ behavior and policies of late, there should be little benefit of the doubt given here. As a result of this, Scott has deleted his blog, one of the treasures of the internet.