Linked List: June 2024

Goodbye, Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson

Great pilot and person. Died in his sleep at 102 years old. If you like stories with airplanes in them, you’ll love To Fly and Fight.

IL-2 Korea

Last time I flew over a digital Korea was in Rowan Software’s Mig Alley which featured glints from silvery planes and glassy cockpits in the distance.


Introduction to Chapter 4 of The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants:

The regular arrangement of lateral organs (leaves on a stem, scales on a cone axis, florets in a composite flower head) is an important aspect of plant form, known as phyllotaxis.

The area of phyllotaxis is dominated by intriguing mathematical relationships. One of them is the “remarkable fact that the numbers of spirals which can be traced through a phyllotactic pattern are predominantly integers of the Fibonacci sequence”. For example, Coxeter notes that the pineapple displays eight rows of scales sloping to the left and thirteen rows sloping to the right. Furthermore, it is known that the ratios of consecutive Fibonacci numbers Fk+1/Fk converge towards the golden mean τ = (√5 + 1)/2. The Fibonacci angle 360°τ −2, approximately equal to 137.5°, is the key to the first model discussed in this chapter.

The Cornfield Bomber

After entering a flat spin the pilot ejects and the empty Convair F-106 Delta Dart recovers and lands on a corn field.

The Method of Awakening the Mind to a Variety of Inventions

I will not omit to introduce among these precepts a new kind of speculative invention, which though apparently trifling, and almost laughable, is nevertheless of great utility in assisting the genius to find variety for composition.

⁠By looking attentively at old and smeared walls, or stones and veined marble of various colours, you may fancy that you see in them several compositions, landscapes, battles, figures in quick motion, strange countenances, and dresses, with an infinity of other objects. By these confused lines the inventive genius is excited to new exertions.

Leonardo da Vinci, aka Leo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Restauravia Breguet XIV

The airplane that Wind, Sand, Stars and Le Petit Prince author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry flew as an postal pilot is available as freeware for MSFS and will be used for at least one leg of our around the world trip!


Book by Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux, via RPS’s What’s on your bookshelf series:

They argue video games aren’t games, instead we all play multiple games inside the video game. Some of us story mode, some of us speedrun, some of us hack or mod or shitpost or read wikis… and these are all different games.

Let Readers Read

I signed this open letter to the Publishers in Hachette v. Internet Archive.

Everyday life on different income levels

Anna Rosling Rönnlund:

People in other cultures are often portrayed as scary or exotic. This has to change. We want to show how people really live. It seemed natural to use photos as data so people can see for themselves what life looks like on different income levels. Dollar Street lets you visit many, many homes all over the world. Without travelling.

Has an AI figured out how to make a basic income for all humans work yet?

♫ Nature Boy

Nat King Cole’s performance of Eden Ahbez’s song.

Deterministic Lockstep

This is all way above my understanding, but:

Recently I’ve been playing Arma Reforger with friends online on a dedicated server, and when driving vehicles the collision physics are off, especially when driving fast, making the whole scene “teleport” forward, with frames lost and the vehicle reappearing in unexpected positions.

I wonder if this is related to this type of code. The game is technically out of early access, but there’s lots to be added still on the roadmap.

Hollow Knight Hyper Streams List

Many sequels to games you liked are coming out this year. You’re combing through the list and publishing articles with links to past episodes.

Also, getting ready for flight again, starting tomorrow.

Car Jump Distance Calculator

Via Antti Suanto’s amazing detective work to find two missing persons using a home-made remotely operated vehicle equipped with sonar. Potentially useful for Grand Theft Auto.

KitHack Model Club Scenario Editor Overview

Just what the amateur aeronautical event organizer and video game player ordered. Via TrimBarktree.

War Thunder Mouse and Keyboard Controls in DCS

Someone appears to have made a War Thunder-style mouse and keyboard controls mod for Digital Combat Simulator.

Many people have mice and keyboards. Few people have joysticks, HOTAS, and other flight sim controls.

If mouse and keyboard control was an option in DCS it would make it far more accessible and many more people would play.

Valheim on Mac

One of my favorite coop video games can now be played on Macs.

MS Flight Simulator 2024

Another sim for my upcoming digital around the world trip out on November 19th!

I hope missions will be available anywhere you choose to fly, like Neofly but with better local grass, rock, and fauna graphics.

Here’s the trailer.

Heretical thoughts about science and society

Essay by Freeman Dyson from 2007.
There’s also a video lecture.

I will not attempt to summarize the lessons that my readers should learn from these heresies. The main lesson that I would like them to take home is that the long-range future is not predetermined. The future is in their hands. The rules of the world-historical game change from decade to decade in unpredictable ways. All our fashionable worries and all our prevailing dogmas will probably be obsolete in fifty years. My heresies will probably also be obsolete. It is up to them to find new heresies to guide our way to a more hopeful future.

Situational Awareness

What may happen with AI in the next 5–10 years.

The AGI race has begun.

Via Scott Aaronson.

The fresh work of those outside their fields

From the abstract of a paper by Feng Shi and James Evans that suggests the most impactful work is produced by people working outside their disciplines, “a physicist doing biology, to give one example”:

Drawing on tens of millions of research papers and patents across the life sciences, physical sciences and patented inventions, and using a hypergraph model that predicts realized combinations of research contents (article keywords) and contexts (cited journals), here we show that surprise in terms of unexpected combinations of contents and contexts predicts outsized impact (within the top 10% of citations). These surprising advances emerge across, rather than within researchers or teams—most commonly when scientists from one field publish problem-solving results to an audience from a distant field.

Via Rivka Galchen in The New Yorker.


User smeej in a good discussion about learning at home:

Eventually you come out of it and start wanting to do stuff again. It might be the same kinds of projects. It might not. It might change pretty frequently, because you’re still testing your new ideas against this new self narrative, and iterating on both.

Personally I went to a schools I hated, loved, and in between, because of many things, like number of students, distance from home as commuting in traffic is terrible, and, especially, the quality of the teachers.

And I walked straight out of the first school I was meant to go to.