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Friday threads

2024-02-23

  1. The surprising historical accuracy of ancient flood stories in Australia. At this point, I feel like stories passed down are underrated as a way of understanding the past. The bias should be towards assuming there is some truth in it, but that you’re not yet sure what it is.
  2. “Part of this instinct, part of why this is hard to control (at least I think!) is that we sometimes expect a degree of understanding from our kids which they just do not have.” Emily Oster on children and discipline. Guilty as charged here.
  3. How to be more agentic. One for me to practice: Court rejection.
  4. New to me at least: a Deep Fake of London Mayor Sadiq Kahn leads to protests and violence. Several clips of deep fake audio are played over the course of this podcast, including some by the host and I couldn’t tell which were real and which weren’t.
  5. How the wrong side at Boeing won. Makes me think of this quote from Bill Russell:

    Let’s talk about statistics. The important statistics in basketball are supposed to be points scored, rebounds and assists. But nobody keeps statistics on other important things – the good fake you make that helps your teammate score; the bad pass you force the other team to make; the good long pass you make that sets up another pass that sets up another pass that leads to a score; the way you recognize when one of your teammates has a hot hand that night and you give up your own shot so he can take it. All of those things. Those were some of the things we excelled in that you won’t find in the statistics.

  6. You can’t tell people anything.

Friday threads

2024-02-09

  1. What makes a superfood? . “As a marketer, if your product happens to come out first in something, you might want to look into it.”
  2. How to do things if you're not that smart and don't have any talent. Some favorites:
    • Be bold
    • Bring a sense of urgency & move fast.
    • Ask your naive questions.
    • Simplify things.
    • Follow up.
    • Show up during the hard times.
  3. Nat Bullard’s Decarbonization 2023
  4. Math Team. Such a waste of young life. I hope I never do this to my children.
  5. How Pixar does listening. My favorite tip: free writing thoughts before responding as a way of avoiding group think. I’d imagine that Amazon’s memo culture produces similar benefits.
  6. I’ve been asking ChatGPT a lot recently to help write “Stripe quality documentation” and getting great results. A new milestone for brands is having a style distinctive enough that LLMs recognize it.