Friday threads


  • Ezra Klein on parenting. Three things I took from this podcast:
    • “I don’t know of any policy intervention that reliably increases fertility” <- a strong argument that culture more than policy is what is leading people to have less children
    • The dueling tension between being the ideal worker — giving 100% to your job, being available, etc. — and the ideal parent as someone who is actively spending time giving their child attention
    • A reminder that opting in to these cultural values is at least to some degree a choice.
  • War on the Rocks: “As I have seen in Ukraine and have observed in other theaters, the introduction of robotic and autonomous systems into the force is liable to increase both the number of people and the diversity of skills necessary within the force.”

How Cocomelon gets made


From Ezra Klein’s show with Maryanne Wolf about the children’s show Cocomelon

[They] have set up a room, the place that makes Cocomelon, where they will have a kid watching the show. And set up next to it is another screen that shows an adult just doing normal household tasks, just sort of wandering around doing whatever you do in the house. And if the child becomes distracted from Cocomelon by what the adult is doing, they go back to the edit and they amp up the interestingness, the cuts, the whatever makes a Cocomelon episode interesting.

As a product manager, I admire the understanding of the use case and the commitment to execution, but as a parent…