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about 17 hours ago
about 19 hours ago
  • "The specific closure date was set years ago as part of his long-term plan to make high-risk, high-impact donations by setting a hard deadline to give away all his money and close shop"
  • "buyouts of software firms, a sector with above-average multiples, rose from 6 to 17 percent of all deals over the past decade."
11 days ago Craft Capital
  • Lacking family, we've become children:
  • Politics is the incarnation of a toddler tantrum, complete w fingers in ears, ignoring adult conversation. Identity politics is prepolitics.
  • "Adults don't make babies, babies make adults."
  • "The consumerization of love has led to more discerning consumers in an area of life where heightened discernment appears inimical to long-term satisfaction."
  • "The disease occasionally sends people’s immune system into a frenzy, wreaking havoc on their internal organs"
  • "A March study found that 7 to 20 percent of sick patients showed heart damage associated with COVID-19."
  • "Research from Italy found that roughly nine in 10 hospitalized patients said they still had symptoms after two months"
  • "long-haulers” suffer from a diabolical grab bag of symptoms, including chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, unrelenting fevers, gastrointestinal problems, lost sense of smell, hallucinations, short-term-memory loss, bulging veins, bruising, gynecological problems, and an erratic heartbeat"
  • "For men in their 30s, like me, about 1.2 percent of COVID-19 infections result in hospitalization".
  • "a guy my age has one-in-100 chance of developing a long-term illness after contracting COVID-19"
  • "We know that hepatitis C leads to liver cancer, we know that human papillomavirus leads to cervical cancer, we know that HIV leads to certain cancers,"
  • " wouldn’t want my pandemic plan to be Let’s have hundreds of thousands of young people with lifelong illnesses"
  • "Herd immunity is an inoperable plan, teetering on a false assumption of elderly-cocooning, which encourages young people to play craps with the long-term health of their internal organs. The choice is yours. You can listen to the scientists. Or you can roll the dice with your guts"
16 days ago COVID-19
  • Quotes/points
    • "Build more than a personal brand"
    • "Sell products, not attention"
    • "Drive higher CLV through repeat purchases"
    • "Choose a better business model"
  • "For those who are just getting started, the most important thing to understand is that an audience is key. If you’re looking for step one on this massive journey it’s to get good at building an audience. "
  • Quotes/points
    • "In our own century, digital media is fracturing our collective experience of clock time."
    • "Everything from the evening news to the 9 – 5 workday has been freed from the cage of industrial era timekeeping" "With nearly all of recorded history at their fingertips, they can cherry-pick interesting scraps of information from the archives and construct new grand narratives"
  • Interesting take on long covid.
18 days ago COVID-19
  • Great review of the book "Where’s my Flying Car"
  • Points/quotes
    • Coupling between energy+power and technological paradigm shifts is surprisingly tight.
    • Machiavelli Effect - "There is nothing more difficult than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. To have for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders who may do well under the new."
    • R&D Funding may be anti-correlated with quality of life improvements.
    • Clarke's Law - "When a elder preeminent scientist says that something is impossible, he’s probably wrong. When a elder preeminent scientist says something might be possible, he’s probably right."
    • More phDs and more spending on education is probably not the solution.
    • "When people with dim views of the future have power bad things happen."
    • There's a potential correlation between decreasing process knowledge and risk aversion.
  • Good overview on how to group buy
  • Options
    • Everyone gets on the loan
    • One person on the loan
    • LLC with perosonal guarantor
    • Refinance later
    • Each person finances
  • A very good primer on the different ways of thinking about business models, business plans, and business valuations. Lots of gems. The meta-models he lists are:
    • ROI vs Cost of Capital
    • Loops
    • Comparisons (Uber for X)
    • Supply chains and alternating commodities
    • Tam x Share x Margins
    • Company as an options trade (call vs put)
    • Multiparty negotiation (labor, capital, management, shareholders, govt)
  • Good overview on using tasks/goals/needs based personas instead of fictional character representations with demographics.
20 days ago UX Personas
  • Could also be called "Against Facts" - makes a strong argument that the "metaphor of facts" in a social-psychological context is a force for harm, not good.
  • Doesn't directly reference Wittgenstein. Doesn't mention that facts are made up of words and words can symbolize material or non-material things. Also doesn't touch on scale. Would have been good to preface both but maybe beside the point of the article.
  • Quotes
    • All Facts require observation, context omission, and trust.
    • To establish a Fact, someone must decide what context is relevant to include, and what to exclude.
    • Problems with facts: 1. They don't actually persuade, 2. The idea is anti-science (all knowledge is tentative and uncertain), 3. They're incompatible with freedom of speech ("Ultimately we must decide what’s more important — freedom of speech, or the metaphor of Facts.").
  • 100% agree with the argument against the idea that blockchainification of facts will solve any meaningful problems. Balaji talks about this a lot and I think it's nonsense.
  • Very detailed. Allows you to finally be data-driven when considering whether or not to partake in activities. Gives you "This is a roughly 60-in-a-million (0.006%) chance of getting COVID from this activity with these people. Doing this activity once would use up 30% of your risk allocation for one week."
21 days ago COVID-19
  • Would need to read the study before taking the claims properly seriously. Some of the claims (disorders are not "something you're born with") align with my previous reading, but some (downplaying benefits of drugs) don't.
  • "Good reasons to think of depression or PTSD as responses to adversity rather than chemical imbalances."
  • "Medical science has never been able to prove that anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are inherited conditions." <- Interesting
  • "PTSD may occur when trauma triggers the freeze response which helps animals disconnect from pain before they die."
  • "By sitting down to make sense of their existing ideas instead of trying to invent new ones, writers at their computer mold the wet clay of experience into shape."
  • "The punch that defines good communication, and by extension, good art"
  • "To ship something excellent, you have to be willing to cut what may have taken weeks or months to produce."
  • "The supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience - Einstein"
  • "The process of gathering ideas and distilling them into a smaller, more compressed form is the essence of creative excellence. "
  • "People move towards compression progress not by following their rational mind, but by following their intuition for what’s interesting."
  • You can't skip steps. Compression requires going through each step to get to the final output, otherwise the final output won't be accurate.
  • "Compression can conjure the essence of an experience, but never the real thing."
    • "Whenever I’m nostalgic for that live show and long for something comforting, I’ll open my phone and re-watch the highlights. But no matter how many times I pray for a different outcome, that intense feeling is forever gone"
  • "A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness"
  • Good examples of compression:
    • Just do it - Nike
    • Antifragile - Taleb
    • E = mc²
  • Disortion can be useful. E.g NY subway map. (Felt this was off-them and a weak ending)
  • Ani is impressively well-read and polymathic.
  • Highlights

    • Money and code are isomorphic forms of free speech.
    • Black elephant - huge monstrous problem staring us in the face but no one acknowledges it.
    • What’s lacking in biotech is "What is our mission?"
    • Population is the biggest engine of growth of technology and progress.
    • Crypto is the fastest growing antithesis to the cultural apathy we have. People are seeing you either own your own methods of production or no one will even look at you.
    • Bones of contention: Rise of social impact courses in Stanford tells us people hate atheism?
  • Show Notes

    • Why people don’t crave scientific advancement.
    • What the postmodern solution to the desire to be part of religion might look like.
    • What “the iPhone moment for cities” might look like.
    • His thoughts on stagnation.
    • His analysis of Thiel’s idea that “every bubble is a commentary on capitalism.”
    • The state of biotech and the future of the FDA post-COVID.
    • Why COVID will be an accelerant for crypto.
    • His thoughts on the space industry.
    • Why he thinks that moreso than “it’s time to build,” it’s time to tinker.
  • Slow start & slow speakers. Listen at 1.7x
  • Didn't have notes out while listening, but from memory:
    • Covers the basics of how sleep works.
    • Affects of alcohol on sleep.
    • Authors thoughts on Covid-19 vaccine - when it'll come available and how it'll be rolled out.
    • Impact of sleep on vaccine uptake.
    • 5 tips for good sleep hygiene
    • Then covers issues with the book (Alexey Guzey wrote a long blog post on this)
    • 17 factual errors
    • Doubling of cancer risk claim is true of certain types of cancer (ovarian) but not true as a blanket statement.
    • Seemed to rescind the claim that there aren't any biological functions that do not benefit by a good night’s sleep, citing studies on depression.
    • 2nd edition coming out soon.

This was so good! The whole thing is worth reading.

  • Individual: A single person makes the decision with no input. This could be the “leader” or a self-appointed individual. We’ll talk about who this person is in the next section.
  • Individual with input: A single person hears other people out, but still makes the decision themselves.
  • Sub-group: A portion of the group makes the decision, e.g. “Fred and Suzie, you two decide”
  • Sub-group with input: Same as above except they also solicit input from rest of the group.
  • Majority: Here’s the ole democracy we know and sometimes love. Put it to a vote. Majority decides.
  • Consensus: Everyone votes. No one is opposed to the decision
  • Alignment: Everyone votes. Everyone is in complete affirmative agreement with the decision (note: stronger than simply not opposing)
  • There is a difference between solving problems for the world as it is and solving problems for the world as it will be.
  • If you’re solving a problem that doesn’t require you “to live in the future”, that’s an indication that you’re operating with less market risk.
  • Organic vs inorganic ideas
  • The challenge of pursuing an organic idea is that you have no control over how long it may take to find.
  • If you want to start a startup because you want to pursue the adventure of starting a company, start an inorganic idea
  • Inorganic strategies:
    • What are things you used to need
    • Broken companies.
    • Customer segments underappreciated by the big companies
    • Riding a wave
  • Your work doesn’t need to be sacred for it to matter. The sport of building something and beating competitors and working with great people is sufficient reward
  • "We’ve spent 40 years wandering in the desert, and we think that it’s an enchanted forest. If we’re to find a way out of this desert and into the future, the first step is to see that we’ve been in a desert."
  • We've had this narrow cone of progress around the world of bits—around software & IT — but not atoms.
  • Economic growth is the only thing sustaining the planet. Without it, we go into a malthusian war.
  • Since the 1970s, the rate of economic growth has declined. Thiel's arguement: too much horizontal progress, at the expense of true innovation, or vertical progress
  • Horizontal progress: Taking the typewriter and copying it all over the world. Vertical progress: turning the typewriter into a word processor (Zero to One).
  • Thiel thinks 1. Over Regulation in the world of atoms, and 2. Culture are to blame.
  • 3 Possible frontiers to innovate: Cyberspace, Outerspace, Seasteading.
  • Asides/Other Signals
    • Tech portrayed as dystopian in pretty much all movies.
    • People are making money betting against progress. For example, Warren Buffet’s single best investment is in the railroad industry
  • One of the best podcasts I listened to this week - good example of how to talk about important things without having the conversation devolve or get heated.
  • Vincent seems smart but overly cynical. One of those people who has important insights but whose disdain dampens the credibility of his claims. He can be irritatingly condescending.
  • Courtland and Vincent clearly have very different opinions on the Tech vs Media debate, and you can tell neither is holding back. But because there's trust between them, the conversation remains a conversation.
  • Strategy: The reason for the product, application or the site, why we create it, who are we doing this for, why people are willing to use it, why they need it
  • Scope: Functional and content requirements. What are the features, and content contained in the application or product.
  • Structure: How user interact with the product, how system behave when user interact, how it’s organized, prioritized, and how much of it. Two components:
    • Interaction Design
    • Information Architecture - arrangement of content elements, how they are organized.
  • Skeleton - The visual form on the screen, presentation and arrangement of all elements. 3 components:
    • Interface design
    • Navigation design
    • Information design
  • Surface - sum total of all the work and decisions we have made. Visual Design(Sensory Design) - concerned about the visual appearance of content, controls, which gives a clue of what user can do, and how to interact with them.
26 days ago UX Product
  • Multipolar Trap
    • Game theoretic scenario - see also Tragedy of the commons, race to the bottom etc.
    • If anyone defects on some type of agreement that would create a better global optimum for the whole, it creates an incentive for others to defect.
    • Simplified - The first person to gain near term advantage by violating the rules, creates a race to the bottom where the others have to do the same to not lose.
    • Examples: Arms races, nukes, cyber weaponry, autonomous weapons. Amazon rainforest - touches 9 countries - no country can prevent its destruction, all countries can benefit economically from its destruction.
  • Tragedy of the commons - not just environmental. Also epistemic & emotional. E.g news outlets hijacking reptile brains.
    • Kinds of AI that optimize newsfeeds are smarter than the AI that beat Kasparov at Chess.
  • Life isn't a sprint, or a marathon. It's a relay race
  • Loneliness doesn't go away by spending time with other people.
about 2 months ago Ndrew Loneliness
  • Relevant to earlier reports re: antibodies fading over time.
  • Posit: 1% of antibodies are neutralizing antibodies. These are more important than other antibodies
2 months ago COVID-19
  • Luxury goods much more attainable than before.
  • Elites use luxury beliefs to signal status.
  • Cycle: Elites adopt luxury belief, non-elites copy. Elites drop belief.
  • Sad because elites have better safety net to experiment with potentially harmful luxury beliefs. Non-elites don't, so disproportionate harm can be caused.
2 months ago Etorenberg Luxury Beliefs
  • Civilizations right & left arm - Achievment problems & Practice problems.
  • Left Arm - Achievment problems - things to be "checked off" e.g. paying taxes
  • Right Arm - Practice problems - things that we want to make into ongoing practices and parts of our lives. For instance, I want to practice playing music. I want to practice loving people in a way that really embraces our development together.
  • Left arm is over-developed, right arm is underdeveloped.

  • The 19ᵗʰ and 20ᵗʰ Centuries saw the rise of Science. But these developments ignored a kind of knowledge that’s more important to human beings: knowledge of how to live well.
    "There is technical knowledge, which is knowledge about achievement-problems. And there is wisdom, which is knowledge about practice-problems."

2 months ago Edelman Daniels Living Well

Trust is choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else

3 months ago

Really insightful tweet about x

Super insightful post. Loved the bit about ...

  • TLDR; Internet Explorer innovated a lot of browser improvements and used to have a lot of great features - two way bindings, data grids,

  • "Back in the days, Microsoft was single-handedly pushing the web forward, with around 1.000(!) people working on Internet Explorer and with a 100 million dollar budget to burn per year, with almost no-one left to compete"

  • "As a communication path to the underlying OS, they created a JavaScript library called "WinJS" and Internet Explorer 10 was meant to be the runtime environment for those apps"

  • "But to be able to model the Windows UI with web technologies, Microsoft had to add plenty of new capabilities to IE: CSS Grid, CSS Flexbox, CSS Scroll Snap Points"

  • "t feels like Internet Explorer already had many of the things that we came to reinvent later and that we now celebrate as innovations"

  • "Back since Internet Explorer 4.0 in 1997 you could embed data sources into your document. This could be done by referencing an external CSV file via <object> element:"

  • "Internet Explorer also shipped with a native data grid implementation that you hooked up to the above data sources and which is built on top of the <table> element"

  • " would say that Microsoft was lightyears ahead of everyone else in regards to providing tools and solutions for architecting complex and delightful websites"

  • "One part of why Microsoft's ideas didn't really catched on was that we developers just didn't get it. Most of us were amateurs and had no computer degree."

  • "The other reason could have been a lack of platforms to spread knowledge to the masses. The internet was still in its infancy, so there was no MDN, no Smashing Magazine, no Codepen, no Hackernoon, no Dev.to "

8 months ago Tech History
  • Previous take was: "Procrastination is Time management problem". New one is it's an emotional problem. "The task we’re putting off is making us feel bad – perhaps it’s boring, too difficult or we’re worried about failing – and to make ourselves feel better in the moment, we start doing something else, like watching videos."
  • Procrastination doubly bad because it creates guilt which leads to further procrastination.
  • Takeaway: Procrastination is bad for your health. - "All of this means that overcoming procrastination could have a major positive impact on your life. Sirois says her research suggests that “decreasing a tendency to chronically procrastinate by one point [on a five-point procrastination scale] would also potentially mean that your risk for having poor heart health would reduce by 63%”.

My take:
- From an ADHD perspective, procrastination is only one part of the problem - you're normally aware when you're procrastinating. Another problem is maintaining focus even once you've started something, and the effort it takes to block out both internal and environmental distractions to complete it.
- Also "Psychological Inflexibility" seems fascinating and is another rabbit hole I will now go down.

8 months ago ADHD

but the main argument is that productivity and collaboration have always been handled as two separate workflows:

We started with individual files that we sent back and forth via email
Then Dropbox came along and enabled collaboration within documents, but communication about these docs remained a separate channel
Slack wants to become the central communication channel for all productivity apps

  • The rarest of these specialists, he says, is an authentic genius
  • a highly intelligent citizen in good standing in his or her community, who understands and admires the fresh ideas of the genius, and who testifies that the genius is far from mad
  • A person who can explain everything, no matter how complicated, to the satisfaction of most people, no matter how stupid or pigheaded they may be.
8 months ago Sp Building Teams
  • "The New American Dream is to build a profitable, sustainable, remote software business that can be run from anywhere, scales nicely, and prints money"
  • 4 surges of technological development
    • Industrial Revolution: 1771 - 1829
    • Age of Steam and Railways: 1829 - 1873
    • Age of Steel and Heavy Engineering: 1975 - 1918
    • Age of Oil, Autos, and Mass Production: 1908 - 1974
    • The Information and Communications Technology Revolution: Started in 1971 and still happening
    • All characterized by
      • Some critical factor of production suddenly becoming very cheap.
      • Some new infrastructure being built.
      • A laissez-faire period of wrenching innovation followed by a bubble, a post-bubble recession, a re-assertion of institutional authority, and then a period of consolidation and wide spread of the gains in productivity from using the new technology.
      • We are moving into the “Deployment Age,” characterized by widespread acceptance and application of the new paradigm of information and communications technology.
  • Conclusion
    • "You no longer need to be an engineer to build a software-enabled business"
    • "We’re moving towards a more entrepreneurial economy, which will lead to an explosion of niche software-enabled companies"
    • People on the Internet are increasingly becoming companies.

The signatures of the best companies I’ve invested in are remarkably similar:
- Compelling founders
- A mission that attracts talented people into the startup’s orbit
- A product so good that people spontaneously tell their friends about it
- A rapidly growing market,
- A network effect
- Llow marginal costs
- The ability to grow fast
- A product that is either fundamentally new or 10x better than existing options.

  • Some input channels, like vision, are high-bandwidth; we get so much data about the real world that (optical illusions and PARIS IN THE THE SPRINGTIME signs aside) we usually see pretty much what is really there.
  • Other channels, like pain, are low bandwidth. This is why the placebo effect works – we get so little data about how much pain is coming from different parts of our bodies that even our strongest percepts are wild guesses, where we fill in the gaps with predictions and smooth away conflicting evidence. If our predictions change – ie we know we just got morphine and morphine lowers pain – then the brain will happily change its guesses. This would never happen with vision – I can’t use the placebo effect to make you think an orange crayon is blue – but pain is low-bandwidth enough that it works.
  • Reason is one of the lowest-bandwidth channels of all, which is why biases are so omnipresent and rational debate so rarely changes anyone’s mind. Most people revert to their priors – the beliefs of their tribe or the ones that fit their common sense – and you have to provide an overwhelming amount of rational evidence before the brain notices anything amiss at all.
9 months ago Ssc Belief

Smart demo video for Ultorg - lots of clever interface concepts (move to root)

10 months ago Eirik Bakke FOS

Part 1: Constrain the marketplace 🔬 (this post)

Part 2: Decide which side of the marketplace to concentrate on 🧐

Part 3: Drive initial supply 🐥

Part 4: Drive initial demand 👋

  • Build trust and be candid
    • Ensure that the team feels protected by your actions (that you have their back).
    • Have team members working on the interesting projects and not be overburdened
    • Be direct and transparent; take and receive feedback gracefully
  • Connect the work to the business
    • Anchor the team's work to organizational strategy
    • Fine tune questions that come from the business to maximize the impact of a potential answer
    • Embed members of the team to product and strategy meetings to ensure that they build business context
  • Design great teams
    • Be thoughful about your hiring process
    • Look for candidates that increase the knowledge pool of the team as a whole, also look for candidates that have empathy and communication in addition to technical skills
    • Junior hires are great because they have the luxury of ignorance
    • Complementary strengths:
      • Big picture thinking, data storytelling
      • Visualization expert
    • Peer review and fostering team activities centered around technical discussions increases the natural level of collaboration
  • When to specialize?
    • Only specialize when you already have well-defined and clear requirements

Aligning "Who you are", "What you believe", and "What you do" creates meaning

Super interesting article

"Blame is described in the research as: A way to discharge pain and discomfort"

11 months ago Brenebrown Vulnerability

First time I've come across the "Game B" term. Good synopsis. Scale by Geoffrey West also touches on the possibility that the current system collapses under its own weight.

11 months ago Etorenberg

"When I joined Stripe, one of my stated goals was to approach my work in a way where I was doing my best work three, five, ten years rather than peaking early. To work at a pace I could sustain, instead of a blitz followed by a slow fizzling out."

"your current coworkers also have an outsized influence on your career long after you’ve stopped working together."

"If you’re a company leader, you have effectiveness and moral obligations to reduce the role of prestige in your systems, and we do that by developing good process. However, many desirable things that you want over the course of your career will be gated by mechanisms that favor folks with prestige. You can be justly upset by that fact, but upset is an insufficient catalyst for change, and ultimately you’ll have to develop your own prestige to gain access to those scarce opportunities and resources.

The good news, though, is that prestige is imminently manufacturable!"

"The key here isn’t “getting rich”, but creating the flexibility for yourself and the folks who depend on you, because that flexibility allows you to be deliberate about creating opportunities to invest into yourself and your career.

Financial security is a prerequisite to own your pace and learning."

11 months ago Larson Career

Some great examples of how fire fighting in startups tends to work. Regularly find myself referencing this.

Great summary of
- Difference between top down & bottom up design
- The enormous downside of optimizing for a linear metric at the expense of the many emergent phenomena which are important to humans but nigh on impossible to quantify.

One of my favourite podcast episodes. A lot of gems about communication within teams, many of which are as applicable to interpersonal relationships outside the workplace.

Really interesting findings

11 months ago Coffee

"We need to find some way to look up and not around"

  • Lady who wasn't diagnosed til later in life.
  • First place I realised difference between ADD & ADHD

"My job charging me with lots of event planning and orchestration of details — I started feeling like I had half a brain. It was taking me way longer to do stuff than it seemed my co-workers would take to do the same stuff. I took a lot home. I worked more hours. I couldn’t help but feel wildly inefficient, even though I was paddling underwater twice as fast."

"First 75% of my life: SWELL. Next 8%: WENT TO CRAP. Most recent 17%: HARNESSING THAT SHIT."

12 months ago ADHD

A video I've probably watched 3 or 4 times now - incredibly insightful and applicable to all kinds of interpersonal communication.