Links: October 2023

  • Butterick’s Practical Typography

    Good writing is enhanced by good typography. It helps the reader’s eyes efficiently serve up the words to conscious attention. I enjoyed the writing here, as well as the advice.

  • Age of Invention: Does History have a Replication Crisis?

    A different take in a similar vein to last month’s link to a critique on the effectiveness of peer review.

    I’ve become increasingly worried that science’s replication crises might pale in comparison to what happens all the time in history, which is not just a replication crisis but a reproducibility crisis. Replication is when you can repeat an experiment with new data or new materials and get the same result. Reproducibility is when you use exactly the same evidence as another person and still get the same result — so it has a much, much lower bar for success, which is what makes the lack of it in history all the more worrying.

  • Designing a New Old Home

    I loved this series of articles on designing and building a new house that feels like it’s been part of the landscape for many years.

    We wanted to give attention to aesthetic and functional features that are absent in many newer homes, such as thoughtful use of light, space, ventilation, and some passive cooling. It seemed like it would be possible to design something more attractive and with fewer complications than most new homes. We did not have a large budget, certainly not a typical “custom house” budget, but we figured that with some careful tradeoffs, and by doing some of the finishing ourselves, we could build something modestly beautiful.

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