Discover more from The Major Arc
Things that matter to us in our work, technology, cities, or anything in our periphery. Let's revalidate our wardrobe.
Welcome to issue #5 TMA.
We cover AI and autonomous markets, data engineering, the best designers, frontend programming, manufacturing tech, bridal retail, and sports experience. Enjoy!
01. Tech Tech
The Long-Tail Problem in AI, and How Autonomous Markets Can Solve It
Some of the most notable AI innovation is happening in the minds and desks of the giants. The data sets and the mathematics-driven vision is beyond the reach of startups. However, a few projects around sustainability for life, city design, climate-friendly investments, and a market-based system that are built bottom-up, show light.
“After all of the low-hanging fruit is picked and the long tail is all that is left, the marginal cost of collecting new useful data points begins to increase.”
The way forward? Ali tweeted it last year.
Yesterday, Tomasz Tunguz touched on the five important data trends in the future. Tomasz shares his slides too from a recent conference, and great thoughts, as usual from Tomasz.
If you work with designers as a lead, manager, or in a C-chair, what makes the best designers with whom you work or you worked in the past?
Is it the design skill, the research, their working framework, or what else. Hit reply, or tweet to me. When John Cutler (of Amplitude) asked the same question a few days back, I thought about the best quality of a designer.
A couple of months ago, I saw a tweet on generative design in manufacturing technology.
Recently, CBInsights dig into 5 novel technologies that could improve supply chain resilience, boost production speed and flexibility, and more.
High-speed Sintering (HSS)
Nanotechnology (we have been hearing about it for a while now)
Check out this report by CBInsights to see the emerging trends in manufacturing technology. In some way, it might come back to us when we will shop for physical products.
When frontend means full stack
How do frontend engineers actually work? Gone are the days when they would convert PSD to HTML because the frontend interactions have changed so much for devices, and the way an interface fetches data from anywhere.
If the frontend engineers plan around the following, is it only frontend?
What are the components we need? A
Img—can we scaffold these out? Should we start with some kind of design framework on top of the base framework? Should we look at a third-party component library? What’s the client state we might need? How much of this state can be handled at the individual component level, and how much needs to be higher-level?
An Increment post by Stripe talks about this shift in the frontend development landscape. (Read the complete post here.)
02. Closer in Life
Manual competence makes us feel better
Unlike the previous generations who would build or even manufacture a few things for use at home or work, we as consumers purchase everything that we need. We rarely need to build that involves manual skill or craft. For the record, writing code to designing software is a brain skill, and moving fingers on a keyboard is not a manual competence at all.
American philosopher Matthew Crawford says that the key reason why so much modern work feels empty and unfulfilling is that we do not do manual work.
Some of the points in this The Guardian post might be debatable but this is an interesting take on our work and life as a whole that when our work involved manual effort and competence, it makes us feel better. For folks in tech, doing a bit of gardening, or bike repair, or painting our shop or house can be good options to add to our list (even if in Notion).
Sports bring us together.
The sports design experts are working to merge the in-stadium and virtual experience to take the match-day moments to another level for the fans.
“Yamaha has started developing a system that allows viewers to applaud or chant over the stadium speakers by pressing buttons on an app.” (source)
Fans sharing screens, fans cheering their teams from their rooftop, and fans actually playing games with those who are in the stadium, are some of the things we might see, very soon.
04. Open Tabs
A few select readings from around the world:
Culture: Passion is not zero-sum, encourage the culture of side-hustles (tweet by Amanda Goetz of The Knot)
Retail: Can technology save bridal retail? (by Retail Dive)
Reading: Amy Seimetz’s Mirror Worlds: In her new absurdist thriller, She Dies Tomorrow, the director-actress dares to think the unthinkable (by Vulture)
If you have heard about GPT-3, it is a bit premature to even form an opinion on how it might impact our work. This is why I did not talk about it in this issue. But if you have your foot in the door, here is a GPT-3 Tailwind CSS Code Generator.
I hope you enjoy this issue. Any feedback or comments, please write to me anytime.