The Top 5: Migrant forensic anthropology, city serendipity, an ode to ice cream
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Welcome to the latest edition of the Top 5 articles we’ve read this week. Each week, we read dozens of articles in the hope we find essays and reporting that speak to big ideas, trends, future looks, and incredible human stories. We hope you enjoy our list, and do always let us know if you have a suggestion or a recommendation!
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The Top 5 articles for your week:
“A coder considers the waning days of his craft” (New Yorker)
Because as we continue to track the effects of AI development here at Wear We Are, James Somers looks at the effects AI and ChatGPT4 have on computer programming: “GPT-4 is impressive, but a layperson can’t wield it the way a programmer can. I still feel secure in my profession. In fact, I feel somewhat more secure than before…A friend of mine has called this A.I. moment ‘the revenge of the so-so programmer.’ As coding per se begins to matter less, maybe softer skills will shine…So maybe the thing to teach isn’t a skill but a spirit. I sometimes think of what I might have been doing had I been born in a different time…I was reading an oral history of neural networks recently, and it struck me how many of the people interviewed—people born in and around the nineteen-thirties—had played with radios when they were little. Maybe the next cohort will spend their late nights in the guts of the A.I.s their parents once regarded as black boxes.”
Because Emily Badger asks: how can you have progress and innovation when not as many people are meeting up in cities and instead working from home?
“Bringing up the Bodies” (The Baffler)
Because Caroline Tracey tracks the Texas State University’s “OpID” team, a group of forensic anthropologists, who help identify the buried remains of migrants at the Texas-Mexico border.
“Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids” (The Atlantic)
Because Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant look at how kindness and helpfulness are on the decline and that parents should concentrate more on teaching their kids kindness rather than aiming for success.
“Ice Cream, Alone and with Others” (Ruby Literary Press)
Because this is a lovely little reflection on ice cream, i.e. its innate delight and ability to draw in all kinds of taste-testers, and I knew it’d be a good essay as it starts with an Anne of Green Gables quote (a favorite).