April 2018 news

April 2018 gwern.net newsletter with links on genome synthesis, cloning, RL, causation, diet, and 1 movie review. (newsletter)
created: 2 Apr 2018; modified: 13 Dec 2018; status: finished; confidence: log; importance: 0

This is the April 2018 edition of the gwern.net newsletter; previous, March 2018 (archives). This is a summary of the revision-history RSS feed, overlapping with my Changelog & Google+; brought to you by my donors on Patreon.

Writings

Media

Film/TV

Live-action:

  • A Quiet Place (when I heard it featured a hearing-impaired character, I had to see it. In style & approach, it’s near-identical to 10 Cloverfield Lane, which I liked, especially in its merciful freedom from hyper-active cuts and meditative filmography, akin to Blade Runner. Ironically given its theme, AQP still has an overbearing Hollywood soundtrack - apparently the director felt he had to make that concession to mainstream audiences. As a drama, it’s excellent. As a high-concept SF movie, it suffers from a lack of thought and occasional conveniently-incompetent characters: as Peter Watts points out, the alien monsters are simultaneously far too powerful and far too weak - they can hear a spoon drop from an acre away but can’t hear a human breathing or heart pounding in the same room? And I thought the twist was predictable, but interestingly, the reviews I read praised the twist, so perhaps my own hearing aids give me a (dis)advantage in that respect. Overall, AQP makes me think it was overrated and 10 Cloverfield Lane was underrated, although I will always have a soft spot for the rare movie featuring hearing aids and deafness.)