Weekendlinks 2021-38


Question I’m pondering

I was listening to Lex Fridman’s podcast where he interviews Daniel Kahneman. You might have heard about Kahneman: he wrote the influential book “Thinking Fast and Slow”. It is about the two modes of thinking our brain: System 1 (fast, instinctive and emotional) and System 2 (slower, more deliberative, and more logical).

At one point in the interview Fridman and Kahneman discuss happiness. Kahneman tells he gave up on happiness research. And he explains this, hopefully hypothetical, scenario:

Suppose you go on a vacation. But at the end of the vacation you’ll get an amnesic drug and you won’t remember anything. And all your pictures will be destroyed. Would you choose the same vacation?

That is kind of interesting. I look fondly back on my recent vacation in France: the beautiful routes I’ve ridden, the wonderful meals I had, the cols I’ve climbed. And I’m still busy making video compilations of each day. And I’m looking proudly back on Strava on the rides I’ve done. Suppose all that was deleted? What would I change my holiday? That is such an interesting question.

I think I would do another cycling holiday, just because I feel great afterwards. Part of the fun though is reviewing the videos and photos I shot. Would I do an intensive cycling holiday in a less beautiful area, just because I would not remember anything about it anyway?


An asteroid hit Jupiter

This is something almost only amateur astronomers find: impacts of asteroids on Jupiter. Like Jose Luis Pereira from Brasil, who made this find, while imaging the largest planet in our solar system.

(You’d think spacecraft would pick that up first, but then you overestimate how many active spacecraft there are around our planets. Currently there’s only NASA’s Juno mission in orbit around Jupiter. Juno is in a very elongated orbit to stay out of Jupiter’s harmful radiation belt for most of the time. It was that, or make  spacecraft with expensive fully radiation hardened electronics. Also Juno does have a camera, but that was more or less added to the spacecraft for public outreach. It can’t view Jupiter any better than amateur astronomers can from the point in it’s orbit it is currently in. It will take until October 16th for Juno to get close again and by that time probably there will be no trace left of the impact.)



The Vinland map is (partly) fake

When I was young I remember about this possible map, drawn by Vikings, which would have Northern America on it. Well, it was analyzed by scientists at Yale University. The map is old, but if you do X-ray spectroscopy on it, it will show that the ink used to depict America has titanium in it. And those types of ink started being used only since the 1920s.



Wonderful picture from ISS

This is Eastern Europe, shot at night from the ISS. In front you see the Soyuz spaceship (used to bring cosmonauts to ISS and back home) and the new Nauka module

The Soyuz and Nauka above eastern Europe

About Marcel-Jan Krijgsman

In 2017 I made the leap to Big Data after 20 years of experience with Oracle databases. I followed courses on Hadoop, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning and Python, MongoDB and Elasticsearch.
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