A small collection of good things to read, and hear (no watch) when time allows this week.
Read: This past Tuesday, March 14, was Pi day. 3/14 = 3.14, the approximation of this classic irrational number. From two years ago, a writer for the New Yorker goes beyond the trivia to briefly explain in relatively simple terms Why Pi Matters. A little math for all you non-mathematical types. (about 3 minutes)
Listen: If you’re not between the ages of 18 and 34, you’re not in the target demographic for SnapChat. You may not even know how the service works, or why so many young people check in and use it over, and over, and over every day. A recent episode of the Note to Self podcast tries to explain why this app is worth more than $10 billion, as well as “how far Silicon Valley will go to capture and control your eyeballs”. (18 minutes)
Read: Rolling Stone celebrates the 20th anniversary of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer with a nice essay that summarizes what made the series both fun and meaningful. I actually like the very flawed movie on which it was based and the series hooked me from episode 1. (about 6 minutes)
Listen: I’m late to Jenn Binis’ very informative podcast, Ed History 101, in which she discusses the background to our profession that you probably missed in college (or which they got wrong). A good starting point is the segment on summer vacation, a topic that generally falls into that got-it-wrong category. (23:11)
Read: Although I disagree with the central premise that Google is making us dumber, this interview with the author of a new book about how adults learn is still interesting. I do believe that many of the techniques we were taught in high school (and that are probably still taught) are not particularly effective. (about 6 minutes)