#5 post

shakespeare's memory and the science of forgetting

the internet is a funny place 🔗

people can share information, create new friendships, learn from each other, and otherwise solve problems that would be impossible without the internet

beyond this, however, the internet challenges us to think about what is even real anyway? a few years ago, a redditor offered a theory about how the country of Finland doesn’t exist and a bunch of people believe(d) him.

this demonstrates an extremely important point about the internet that you probably have heard at least once before: don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

the science of science 🔬

the concept of “fake news” has taken the internet by storm in recent years. looking backwards, we can actually measure how fake news spreads by looking at the links that people share on twitter, identifying where the links came from, and seeing which parts of this network of link are more or less likely to produce news that is considered fake.

Each node is a political news, blog, or fact-checking website. Edges (lines between nodes) link pairs of sites where an unusually high number of (nonoutlier) panel members were exposed to content from both sites, controlling for the popularity of each site. Filled nodes represent fake news sources. Node colors indicate groups (1, green; 2, orange; 3, purple; 4, gray) identified via an ensemble of clustering algorithms. Sites with the highest exposures are sized slightly larger. source: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6425/374

this same sort of analysis has really important considerations not just for understanding fake news, but also in the context of understanding the features of projects that get funding, which papers get cited the most, which cases to argue in court to win a case, and which skillsets to work on for new jobs in new places.

the science of forgetting 💭

the science of forgetting adds another dimension to this discussion. where the science of science, to this point, has been discussed as an examination of some phenomena at some specific point in time, the science of forgetting looks at how these dynamics change over time.

for example, this has been explored in the concept of applied physics to show that our collective memory is getting shorter and shorter, relying on the most recent incites as the foundations for moving forward.

to some degree, i think this makes sense. as evidenced in the Borges short story, Shakespeare’s Memory, when the main character came into possession of Shakespeare’s memory he slowly lost his own.

there is, however, something else about this that makes me a little uncomfortable. i think part of that anxiety is about the possibility of leaving some good ideas behind. part of learning is making mistakes and if we are unable to remember our mistakes, we are surely bound to make them again.

i’m not sure there’s exactly a destination or end goal of this post other than to get you thinking about these concepts. to end with a more galvanizing call to action, i’d maybe hope to challenge you to think about the limitations of memory and the ways we can all work to avoid mistakes together and learn better.

updates 🆙

the MIT Computational Law Report 📰

i’m really personally excited to report that we released our latest batch of content (9 articles). i’m really grateful for our team that worked on this, the authors that contributed their works, and the readers who make it all worthwhile. below are listed the titles and authors. i encourage you to check it all out!

MIT Global Ventures Course 🌎

a little bit bummed that this Thursday is the last meeting for the Global Ventures course. it’s been really fun to be a part of and has exposed me to a lot of really exciting ideas from people all around the world.

music 🪕

i’ve been in the habit of creating more playlists lately, so i am hoping that means they’re of a better quality. i shared this one ahead of times with a couple friends and got good feedback. this one is more inspired by country and folk music than some of the others.

running 🏃‍♂️

i’ve decided to run a marathon sometime in the next 16-18 weeks and started a training program this week. the optimistic, former competitive long distance runner in me wants to think i could break 3 hours for the marathon. the cautious part of me that is worried about breaking my legs and meeting consulting deadlines will be really happy to complete a training program and run a marathon.

if you’re on strava, i’ll be posting long runs and some other runs at this link.