The Crucial Quality Missing From Google’s Translator

The practical utility of Google Translate and similar technologies is undeniable, and probably it’s a good thing overall, but there is still something deeply lacking in the approach, which is conveyed by a single word: understanding. Machine translation has never focused on understanding language. Instead, the field has always tried to “decode”—to get away without […]

Giant Building-Size Murals And Hipster Culture

Like other novelties of the post-hipster age, the source of the value is not just the finished work, but also the tedious and rarefied conditions of its production. The spectacle of painters hanging from a wall is as much Colossal’s product as the murals themselves. Colossal offers time-lapse footage and photos for clients to share […]

The “Best Person” Fallacy

The multidimensional or layered character of complex problems undermines the principle of meritocracy: the idea that the ‘best person’ should be hired. There is no best person. When putting together an oncological research team, a biotech company such as Gilead or Genentech would not construct a multiple-choice test and hire the top scorers, or hire […]