Weekly interesting reads on science, self-development and maintaining a non-commercial open-source project

Today I share with you the list of non-development articles which I collected during the last few weeks. There's a very interesting narration by Remy Sharp about his experience in creating and maintaining JSBin, useful articles on time perception and human psycology, some intriguing physics discoveries and wonders of the nature and finally a link to the NYC pictures pinned to the map.

Very special MUST-read article

The toxic side of free: how I lost the love for my side project. An article in 5 parts which describes Remy Sharp's experience on creating a very popular yet not easy and fun to maintain side project — JSBin. Started with finding a solution for the problem that Remy had experienced himself, he moved from a small pet project to a resource occupied with thousands of anonymous users who created as more as 15 million pages after a few years of JSBin operation. Remy has dealt with a lot of DDoS attacks, spammers, tons of garbage SEO links, had issues with police of two countries — and all of this just to make a thing which really solves many people's problem. Eventually, he made users possible to pay for the service, but surprisingly that decision didn't led to a huge cash-flow which was enough to finance project's costs. A very interesting and definitely must read for anyone who is related (or wants to be) to open-source and entrepreneurship in a modern internet world.

Self-development and life improvement

  • You're OK, by Mark Manson. Mark claims the obvious thing to be true again (to have a problem is just OK), and again he is just in time to uncover my self-destructing thoughts about imperfection and having problems that should be immediately solved. Yes they should, although it shouldn't make me anxious about actually solving them, right now. The interesting thing, as always in any personal related stuff, is that you're not alone with all these kinds of serious problems. Millions of people tend to think a lot about not being in any trouble at all, but this is just impossible. Everybody sometimes gets in trouble - physical, imaginary, of internal or external kind, but this just doesn't mean anything special. There's nothing wrong with you or me, we're just ordinary people who sometimes have ordinary problems. And that's OK.

  • Why perceptual time accelerates as we get older?. A few hypotheses about our perception of time which seems to run quicker and quicker as we get older. Actually, I don't like this hypothesis and I think it lacks proofs, but the precedent is still out there.

  • The Virtue of Doubt. Mark talks again about very important thing of being in doubt and uncertainty in our decisions which lead to anxiety. He proves his point of view with a few different so-called Super Beliefs — beliefs that are so large and abstract that they cannot be proven or contradicted. He claims that doubt has more of virtue than of flaw, that doubt leads us to more wise and safe decisions.

  • Lake Nyos, the Most Deadly Lake in the World. A strange and a bit frightening story about the lake in Africa which one day killed as more as roughly 1,500 people and a few thousands of livestock all around it. The reason is CO2 emitted by the earth and held by the water of the lake. Once the critical amount of deadly gas was accumulated under the water and something happened, the lake literally exploded creating a huge fountain and, even worse, spreading the deadly CO2 in a critical concentration all around. The iron floated from the bottom painted the water almost blood-red. What a scaring mother nature, isn't it!

  • Mysterious Star continues to Baffle Astronomers. Recently astronomers found an unusual star which light emission was blocked for some unknown reason with inconsistent periods. This behavior is so abnormal that even a hypothesis emerged about some kind of alien-made Dyson sphere is revolving around the star. Later the even more strange thing took place: observing the star for 4 years in a row astronomers were hit with a very unusual dimming of lightness for about 3 per cent in just 4 years! This is an incredibly bizarre behavior for a star! I also found an interesting resource maintained by Cornell University, arXiv.org which contains a lot scientific publications on different topics from all over the world.

  • Physicists claim possible discover of the fifth fundamental force. Besides the already known four (gravitation, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces), physicists possibly discovered the fifth one. Some additional investigations are needed to clarify details, but this is a possible revolution. The article itself should be read if you're interested in details because my knowledge of physics is way beyond the level needed to explain the matter properly.

  • The first 5-atom quantum computer is built at MIT. An interesting introduction to the topic of quantum computations including a reference to the cryptography cracking performance problems.

  • What is Juno. A short story about Juno, the satellite which is sent to Jupiter to discover its properties, polar auras, gravity and magnetism in particular.

  • The function of human appendix explained.

What's next?

If you like any of the links please write your opinion below using comments form. Hope we can have an interesting discussion.