What could possibly go wrong?

Also, the World Capital of Endangered Languages (#481)

1. Large language models can do jaw-dropping things. But nobody knows exactly why.

What could possibly go wrong?

Large language models can do jaw-dropping things. But nobody knows exactly why.
And that’s a problem. Figuring it out is one of the biggest scientific puzzles of our time and a crucial step towards controlling more powerful future models.

2. The World Capital of Endangered Languages

What places to you picture when you hear of endangered languages? Probably not New York City. And yet, there are more endangered languages in and around New York City than have ever existed anywhere else. «And because most of the world’s languages are on a path to disappear within the next century, there will likely never be this many in any single place again.» Spectacularly beautiful and touching piece, for your ears and eyes.

The World Capital of Endangered Languages
New York City is home to more threatened languages than anywhere else. One project set out to document them.

3. ​​Make better documents.

Your CV, a project pitch, a presentation for your team...documents are an important channel through which we try to achieve things. And yet, «even very smart, capable communicators routinely send important documents that distract from, or even undermine, their goals.» Anil Dash shares some actionable advice on creating better documents that help you achieve your goals.

Make better documents. - Anil Dash
A blog about making culture. Since 1999.

If you want to take things one step further, and beyond documents: «The Art of Explanation» by Ros Atkins is one of the most impactful books you can read to become a better communicator, in all situations, private and professional.

4. What I missed when I went to North Korea

I wished we saw this type of reflection more often. Eleven years ago, the author wrote about her experiences from a trip to Pyongyang. Millions of people read it back then. Now, she revisits how she (mis-)interpreted the country, its people, and their culture.

What I missed when I went to North Korea
Eleven years after her Pyongyang trip, Rest of World’s founder revisits how she interpreted the country, its people, and their culture.

5. Climate change can't overcome capitalism, and that's OK

«It is now cheaper to save the world than destroy it. But is capitalism up to the challenge of preventing the climate crisis?» Akshat Rathi thinks so. The Bloomberg climate reporter has recently published the book «Climate Capitalism», which lays out examples of how capitalism can work in favour of the climate. If you don't have time for the book, this conversation is worth your time.

Climate change can’t overcome capitalism, and that’s OK - Zero: The Climate Race | iHeart
<p>It is now cheaper to save the world than destroy it. But is capitalism up to the challenge of preventing the climate crisis? </p> <p>In his new book <em><a href=‘https://akshatrathi.com/book/‘>Climate Capitalism</a>, Zero</em> host Akshat Rathi introduces a dozen people who are already steering capitalism to solve the climate crisis: from the engineer who shaped China’s electric car policies and the politician who helped make net-zero a UK law to the CEO who fought off a takeover attempt so he could stick with a sustainability strategy. Akshat argues that not only is capitalism capable of taking on the climate crisis, but harnessing it is the only way to solve the climate crisis in the time we have available. </p> <p>And yet while some improvements have been made over the past few years, the world is off track to meet its 2050 climate targets. So today on Zero, Bloomberg’s Greener Living editor Kira Bindrim sits down with Akshat to discuss his new book, and asks him: If climate capitalism is so doable, why does it seem so difficult? </p> <p><strong>Read more: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Order Akshat’s new book,<em> </em><a href=‘https://akshatrathi.com/book’><em>Climate Capitalism</em></a></li> <li>Listen to the<a href=‘https://pod.link/1621556928/episode/5824c44e063e8b4d5984810c618eecdc’> interview with Fatih Birol </a>that Akshat mentions </li> <li>Hear <a href=‘https://pod.link/1621556928/episode/801f461c3ace67f2d3f1e7d8c3de054c’>Akshat and Kira</a> talk about the reality of carbon footprints</li> <li>Read <a href=‘https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-10-12/climate-change-can-t-overcome-capitalism-and-that-s-ok?srnd=undefined’>a transcript</a> of this episode</li> </ul> <hr> <p>Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Oscar Boyd and our senior producer is Christine Driscoll. Special thanks to Anna Mazarakis, Gilda di Carli and Kira Bindrim. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit <a href=‘https://www.bloomberg.com/green’>bloomberg.com/green</a>. </p><p>See <a href=‘https://omnystudio.com/listener’>omnystudio.com/listener</a> for privacy information.</p>

What else?

Instant-gratification links that make you go wow! or aha! the moment you click.

  • Quite the chart by The European Correspondent: Gender pay gap across Europe. Don't start from the top if you want to find Switzerland.
  • Oh no, the NYT has launched yet another word puzzle. Finding it surprisingly difficult.
  • 4-day weather forecasts are now as accurate as 1-day forecasts were 30 years ago. But also: a 7-day forecast in a rich country can be more accurate than a 1-day forecast in some low-income ones. (via)
  • I'm probably the second-to-last person to discover Ted Lasso. If you happen to be the last one, please enjoy.
  • Fascinating: Finding stories and patterns in public data, fully automated with the help of AI: Realtime.
  • «Dystopian fiction is when you take things that happen in real life to marginalized populations and apply them to people with privilege.» (via)

Books for curious minds: Lost & Found

Lost & Found by Kathryn Schultz (2022)

Centered around the death of her father and meeting her future wife, the author explores the universal themes of losing and finding. Profound and beautifully written, making me pause and admire a sentence every few pages.

In every issue, I recommend one book. Some new ones as I read them, some older ones that continue to inform how I look at the world and myself.

A gem from the archive

What people look like when they are scared. Really scared.

Fear Pics - October 2012
www.NightmaresFearFactory.com www.Facebook.com/NightmaresFearFactory www.YouTube.com/NightmaresFear www.NightmaresFearFactory.tumblr.com Fun things to do in Niagara Falls for family, kids, couples, anyone! Visit DoNiagara.com for Niagara Falls Hotels and Attractions Discounts, Deals, and Vacation Packages.

This is a randomly picked gem from the archive of the Weekly Filet, going back to 2011. For manually curated time-tested treasures, have a look at my other newsletter This Aged Well.

Thanks for reading. I wish you a nice weekend and hope to see you again next Friday!

— David 👋