April 2018 news

April 2018 gwern.net newsletter with links on genome synthesis, cloning, RL, causation, diet, and 1 movie review.
topics: newsletter
created: 2 Apr 2018; modified: 21 Apr 2019; 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 & /r/gwern/; 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.)