Resources

A collection of resources which I’ve found useful when learning and thinking about this site’s areas of obsession.

Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)

MOOCs are a really good way to learn from experts. These are the ones which I’ve both completed and found useful.

Stanford (Andrew Ng) Machine Learning at Coursera

This should probably be your first point of call (assuming you already have basic computer programming) when starting to learn about machine learning. My write up is here.

Deep Learning Speciality at Coursera

Andrew Ng’s follow up to the Machine Learning course. Follows on really nicely, and improves significantly over the assessment methodology. My write up is here.

Podcast Series

These are Podcasts whose every episode is relevant to the subject(s) of this site.

After On

A podcast which was created to serve as background education for the book of the same name. I’m actually not a fan of the book, but the podcast is great and has an almost one to one mapping of subject matter with this site. I’ve mentioned it before.

Future Thinkers

Another podcast which shares most of its obsessions with this site. Can get a little woo at times, but otherwise makes for fascinating listening.

Epicentre

A podcast about everything related to blockchain technology. Generally the non-cryptocurrency episodes are the more interesting ones, in my opinion. The hosts will often challenge their guests and ask difficult questions to a greater extent than a lot of other the podcasts I’ve encountered.

Machine Learning Guide

One which I’ve recommended before. A really solid1 high level catch all introduction to machine learning.

This Week in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (TWIML/AI)

Sounds like a news podcast. Is now actually an interview podcast. It’s a good one too. My only complaint is the volume of content they produce. It’s a significant portion of my podcast backlog.

Individual Podcast Episodes

These are individual episodes which are relevant to this site, from Podcasts which are usually not. The Podcasts themselves are otherwise excellent, regardless of subject matter.

Nick Szabo “The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency” on the Tim Ferriss Show

Szabo has a reasonable claim to being the inventor of smart contracts, and proposed Bit Gold, a likely precursor to Bitcoin.

“The Ceremony” on Radiolab

The fascinating story of the creation of the initial seed of the ZCash blockchain, and the massive amount of security which surrounded it.

Juan Benet of Protocol Labs on the Y Combinator Podcast

I found this podcast very instructional on the subject of blockchains which are not explicitly designed to support a cryptocurrency (per se), and also on the subject of Initial Coin Offerings.

Ex Machina’s Scientific Advisor – Murray Shanahan on the Y Combinator Podcast

There’s a huge amount of insight in this one. It’s full of highlights, but my favourite might be the host and guest taking a couple of hours’ break in the middle in order to watch Demis Hassabis interview Garry Kasparov. Also: the definition of the “Garland Test”.

“The Bitcoin Hunter” on Reply All

This is a pretty great journey down the rabbit hole of trying to recover your bitcoin back after loosing your keys.

Non-Fiction Books

Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot by Julian Dibbell (Amazon US, Amazon UK)

This might seem like a pretty strange inclusion here. It’s certainly very out of date2. But it’s ultimately about asking the question: “What is the value of virtual goods?”. It takes this all the way to the IRS, and the outcome is pretty fascinating. The look into the world of gold farming is also illuminating, and has some relevance into our current reality of fake news and troll farms.

Fiction Books

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (Amazon US, Amazon UK)

“Cyberculture’s first great historical novel”, I tend to recommend it as a matter of course. I’ve read it multiple times (as well as listened to the audiobook) and gifted it to several people. Superficially it’s not about any of the subjects of this blog, but at a deeper level it touches on just about all of them.

  1. And surprisingly dramatic.
  2. It would be out of date if it was built around World of Warcraft, but it’s actually about Ultima Online. A much older game.