Wisereads Vol. 43 — Apple's Private Cloud, Cal Newport on note-taking, and more

Happy Father's Day, everyone! Last week, we shared a preview of Fedor Shkliarau's guide to creating a standout portfolio, Product Design Portfolio Final Final. This week, we're sharing Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, a cornerstone of science fiction.

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Most highlighted Articles of the week


Managing My Motivation, as a Solo Dev

Marcus Buffett · mbuffett.com

As he develops better chess opening software, Marcus Buffett stays motivated by chasing quick wins, updating users, and dogfooding. "When someone submits a bug report about some jank, sometimes it’s easy to classify it as a small issue. Then I run into it myself, realize that it really affects the experience, and go fix it right away. Felt pain is way more salient than communicated pain."


The Science of Having a Great Conversation

David Robson · Wired

Author of The Intelligence Trap and The Laws of Connection, David Robson explains why good listening and self-disclosure are both essential for making connections. "We might conclude that we should always allow our acquaintance to take center stage. This advice can be found in many influential etiquette guides, but psychological research shows that it is misguided: We should feel free to take our fair share of the airtime. The creation of a shared reality between two people relies on us understanding each other."


Private Cloud Compute: A new frontier for AI privacy in the cloud

Apple Security Engineering and Architecture · Apple

At their annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced upgrades including their own password app and Apple Intelligence, which seeks to leverage server-based models while maintaining privacy through Private Cloud Compute. "Apple has long championed on-device processing as the cornerstone for the security and privacy of user data. Data that exists only on user devices is by definition disaggregated and not subject to any centralized point of attack. When Apple is responsible for user data in the cloud, we protect it with state-of-the-art security in our services — and for the most sensitive data, we believe end-to-end encryption is our most powerful defense."

Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week


My Planning System For Note Taking & Time Management

Cal Newport

Excerpted from his Deep Questions podcast, Slow Productivity author Cal Newport shares tips on becoming a better student and three types of note-taking all knowledge workers should adopt, including a working memory extender: "These are notes that exist outside of your own brain, allowing you to hold on and organize more information than you could do just strictly within the confines of your own neurons. Now, this is something that resets all the time. It is a durable form, but you reset it all the time."

Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week


Elon Musk fired 80% of Twitter

Sean Kelly

Despite the detrimental impacts of layoffs, Sean Kelly considers why Elon's decision to reduce team size at Twitter might have improved efficiency. "No matter how many people you allocate to a task, they will feel busy. Due to the excess of time, they'll start focusing on less important tasks. Small teams help you avoid that."

Most highlighted PDF of the week

Situational Awareness

Leopold Aschenbrenner

Formerly of the OpenAI Superalignment team, Leopold Aschenbrenner reflects on his "situational awareness" about the inevitability and dangers of AGI in the coming decade. "GPT-2 to GPT-4 took us from ~preschooler to ~smart high-schooler abilities in 4 years. Tracing trendlines in compute (~0.5 orders of magnitude or OOMs/year), algorithmic efficiencies (~0.5 OOMs/year), and 'unhobbling' gains (from chatbot to agent), we should expect another preschooler-to-high-schooler-sized qualitative jump by 2027."

Hand-picked book of the week



Mary Shelley

During a ghost story contest with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley penned a cornerstone of science fiction: Frankenstein. Shelley's short novel explores themes of belonging and the ethical responsibilities of creating life through the story of Victor Frankenstein and his forsaken creation.

"Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery? Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it. Remember, thou hast made me more powerful than thyself; my height is superior to thine; my joints more supple… I am thy creature, and I will be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king, if thou wilt also perform thy part, the which thou owest me."

This edition of Frankenstein is available through Standard Ebooks. You can explore their collection of high quality, carefully formatted, and free public domain ebooks here.

Handpicked RSS feed of the week


personal canon

Designer and writer Celine Nguyen publishes a newsletter on living an intellectual and meaningful life, covering everything from art history and Marcel Proust to contemporary essays and technology. From research as leisure activity: "Wildenhaus, who described [Are.na] as: 'Research as leisure activity.'... has stayed with me because it reflects how the best software products aren’t just assemblages of functionality, exposed by particular formal elements (links, buttons, icons, menus). Rather, they organize and shape how you think, and they create or sustain a particular lifestyle."