Weeknote 2024 W09

A rare face-to-face meeting with colleagues this week to talk product strategy.

Although I’m a big fan of not shuffling back and forth to an office each day (we’ve been fully-distributed since the pandemic), it was noticeable that conversation flowed better, and it was clearly easier for the meeting chair to push people to make decisions.

Other highlights:

  • a chunk of fiddling with the nuances of Power Automate controlling SharePoint access for external guest users

  • revisiting some critical data resilience plans

Things that caught my eye

  • The Theoretical Minimum - a series of lectures by Stanford professor Leonard Susskind that cover physics from classical mechanics to quantum field theory

    specifically aimed at people who know, or once knew, a bit of algebra and calculus, but are more or less beginners

    I used to know a fair bit of calculus (engineering degrees are like that), but I’ve forgotten a lot. I’ve watched two of the 10 lectures in the first module (Classical Mechanics), and so far although I’ve had to concentrate, nothing too hard. Let’s see how far it holds my interest!

    Update - I’ve stuck my raw notes for video 1 here

  • Losing the imitation game — an insightful post from Jennifer++ in which she expresses a clear view that the limits of LLMs in writing code are around the truly skilled parts of software engineering:

    The fundamental task of software development […] is to build a mental model of that complex system, make sense of it, and manage that over time

    and those are not things a Large Language Model is a fit for. Where she does agree LLMs can be useful is the concept of “LLM as code intern” that many have advocated.

Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change