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In the News 15.08.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 15.08.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 15.08.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 15.08.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Tim Cook, the interview: Running Apple ‘is sort of a lonely job’


On a sleek white coffee table in Apple CEO Tim Cook’s fourth-floor office in late July, beneath framed posters of Robert F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson, a rose gold iPhone 6s sits in its original box. Earlier that morning, Cook had stood in front of employees at Apple headquarters and held up the phone, which a staffer had hand-delivered from a store in Beijing to commemorate a notable occasion: Apple had sold its billionth iPhone.

That celebratory milestone — Cook laughs when asked by a reporter if he’ll stop counting, as McDonald’s did with its hamburgers — aptly coincides with another big moment for the technology giant’s chief executive. A few weeks later, Cook would mark the fifth anniversary of what has been the most closely watched transition of power in corporate history: On Aug. 24, 2011, just six weeks before his death, Apple’s iconic founder, Steve Jobs, permanently handed his chief operating officer the reins. “It’s been a blur in a lot of ways,” says Cook, who had filled in for Jobs during medical leaves. “It feels like it was yesterday in some respects.”

Read the rest of this article at The Washington Post

The Man Who Created Bigfoot


For weeks in the fall of 1967 the cowboys rode from sunrise to sunset in search of the creature no one had ever captured on film. Two rodeo men from Washington’s apple country, they’d traveled to Northern California’s thick forest. They’d read headlines of unidentifiable footprints. The smaller cowboy was driven by a long obsession with the mythic beast known as Bigfoot; the other liked to see things for himself.

One late October afternoon near Bluff Creek, the men trundled on horseback, half a day’s ride from the nearest signs of civilization. The sun shone bright, lighting the leaves all around them in a grand finale of orange and red and yellow. Roger Patterson rode in front, pausing his quarter horse to point his lens toward the leaves, the film chattering inside his rented 16mm Cine Kodak camera. When he finished, he tucked the camera into his saddlebag, leaving the leather flap open.

Bob Gimlin brought up the rear. He rode a quarter horse, leading a pony loaded with supplies behind him.* Patterson navigated around a bend where a large tree had fallen and jammed up the nearby creek—its root system upturned and exposed, like blind fingers reaching for an anchor.

Read the rest of this article at Outside


At the Shops | New at Belgrave Crescent: The Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Pink Suede

The Hunger Mood


I decided to take a try at the great problem of our time: how to lose weight without any effort. So I did an experiment on myself. I was ripe for it, if truth be told. Here I am eight months later and 50 pounds lighter, so something must have worked. My approach to the problem was different from the usual perspective. I’m a psychologist, not a doctor. From the start I suspected that weight regulation was a matter of psychology, not physiology.

If weight were a matter of calories in and calories out, we’d all be the weight we choose. Everyone’s gotten the memo. We all know the ‘eat less’ principle. Losing weight should be as easy as choosing a shirt colour. And yet, somehow it isn’t, and the United States grows heavier. It’s time to consider the problem through an alternative lens.

Read the rest of this article at aeon

Inside The Race To Become The Chipotle Of Pizza


Carl Chang smiles widely as he approaches me in the sprawling parking lot of the Irvine Spectrum, a giant outdoor shopping complex in Southern California. We head toward the busy restaurant he opened a few yards down, which, depending on whom you believe, may very well represent the future of pizza in the US.

“We want to celebrate creativity,” says Chang, CEO of Pieology, a budding chain based in Rancho Santa Margarita that specializes in casually upscale build-your-own pizzas. He leads me to a long counter where a sign suggests, “Discover the Possibilities.” Here, customers choose from three kinds of crusts, seven sauces, six cheese options, seven meats, and sixteen veggie toppings, which can be finished with an option of five drizzles, like pesto or “fiery buffalo sauce,” at the end. This adds up to “78 billion flavor combinations,” the menu points out — more than even the most committed pizza lover could tackle in a lifetime, and enough to lure plenty of regulars back to Pieology.

Read the rest of this article at BuzzFeed

What is it like to understand advanced mathematics?

I’m interested to hear what very talented mathematicians and physicists have to say about “what it’s like” to have an internalized sense of very advanced mathematical concepts. As someone who only completed college calculus and physics, and has some basic CS background, but who is very intrigued by mathematics, I’ve always been curious about this. Does it feel analogous to having mastery of another language like in programming or linguistics? Any honest, candid insights will be appreciated!.

  • You can answer many seemingly difficult questions quickly. But you are not very impressed by what can look like magic, because you know the trick. The trick is that your brain can quickly decide if a question is answerable by one of a few powerful general purpose “machines”  (e.g., continuity arguments, the correspondences between geometric and algebraic objects, linear algebra, ways to reduce the infinite to the finite through various forms of compactness) combined with specific facts you have learned about your area. The number of fundamental ideas and techniques that people use to solve problems is, perhaps surprisingly, pretty small — see for a partial list, maintained by Timothy Gowers.
  • You are often confident that something is true long before you have an airtight proof for it (this happens especially often in geometry). The main reason is that you have a large catalogue of connections between concepts, and you can quickly intuit that if X were to be false, that would create tensions with other things you know to be true, so you are inclined to believe X is probably true to maintain the harmony of the conceptual space. It’s not so much that you can imagine the situation perfectly, but you can quickly imagine many other things that are logically connected to it.
  • You are comfortable with feeling like you have no deep understanding of the problem you are studying. Indeed, when you do have a deep understanding, you have solved the problem and it is time to do something else. This makes the total time you spend in life reveling in your mastery of something quite brief. One of the main skills of research scientists of any type is knowing how to work comfortably and productively in a state of confusion. More on this in the next few bullets.
  • Your intuitive thinking about a problem is productive and usefully structured, wasting little time on being aimlessly puzzled. For example, when answering a question about a high-dimensional space (e.g., whether a certain kind of rotation of a five-dimensional object has a “fixed point” which does not move during the rotation), you do not spend much time straining to visualize those things that do not have obvious analogues in two and three dimensions. (Violating this principle is a huge source of frustration for beginning maths students who don’t know that they shouldn’t be straining to visualize things for which they don’t seem to have the visualizing machinery.) Instead…
  • When trying to understand a new thing, you automatically focus on very simple examples that are easy to think about, and then you leverage intuition about the examples into more impressive insights. For example, you might imagine two- and three-dimensional rotations that are analogous to the one you really care about, and think about whether they clearly do or don’t have the desired property. Then you think about what was important to the examples and try to distill those ideas into symbols. Often, you see that the key idea in the symbolic manipulations doesn’t depend on anything about two or three dimensions, and you know how to answer your hard question.

Read the rest of this article at Quora

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @jasminetartine, @lornaluxe, @squarehare