Weekend Reading: Ted Chiang, Renewable Energy, and ColorBox

September 21, 2019 • #

✍🏼 Ted Chiang Uses Science to Illuminate the Human Condition

I enjoyed this interview with author Ted Chiang. It covers his recent short story collection Exhalation: Stories with nice context and background on the ideas behind each one. I just finished the book last week, and would have to say that The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling was my favorite. A story about the fallibility of memory and what it would be like if our memories were recorded with perfect accuracy.

💡 Can Renewable Energy Power the World?

Renewables map US

Analysis from Bloomberg on the state of renewables versus fossil fuels, with nice map graphics demonstrating the distribution of energy facilities by type in the US. The trends look positive in the United States, but the outlook in developing markets is still challenging, as one would expect:

In developing parts of the world, coal still dominates. China is home to the largest capacity of hydro, wind and solar power—and it remains the world’s biggest consumer of coal. Pakistan’s dream of generating 60% of its power from clean energy sources is still decades away. In Indonesia, coal plants are so cheap to run that the Southeast Asian nation is projected to nearly double its coal generation in the next 25 years.

The growing divide underscores a global dilemma: Wealthy nations can afford to turn their backs on coal, but it remains an easy fallback in countries where electricity is scarce, unreliable, or unaffordable.

🎨 ColorBox

A tool from the Lyft design team for creating color ramps and gradients. Check out the blog post.