w.168 | Thoughtful Content, VC DPI, Interest on the US Gov't Debt
I hope you’ve been enjoying the lovely beginning of fall. It feels real now that I’ve arrived in NYC for NYCTechWeek. The air is crisp, and you can wear leather again (joy!).
I’ve become a frequent attendee of unconferences that bring diverse groups of people together for thoughtful conversations. I always meet great new friends and have a delightful time. It’s best practice pedagogy when the facilitation works. The only downside is that attending poorly designed conferences with panels and speakers is now almost intolerable.
One of the upsides of this class of events is the blur between professional and personal. Is this leisure? Is it work? It seems like it’s solidly both for a certain type of personality (e.g., mine).
Tweets I Liked
Song of the Week: Moth’s Wings
At the unconference this week, people recommended the following resources. I am passing them on to you as I work my way through them!
Opinion | Debates Are Dangerous. Time to Legislate Them. As a former high school and college debater, I’m sympathetic to this view:
Debate is dangerous precisely because it can torpedo well-financed, image-heavy, selective-messaging campaigns. It can have an invaluable leveling effect on a race while also raising the discourse by creating live, face-to-face accountability for ideas and messages that are otherwise reduced to attack ads. This accountability of saying what you believe to someone directly is why the power of debate has allowed some of our greatest and least likely leaders to emerge from underfunded campaigns with unorthodox ideas.
Joe Biden’s Big Squeeze: Progressive donors to the left of him, cynical centrists to the right — a theory of why his popular agenda is so unpopular. This was suggested as a great explainer of what is happening with the Democratic party.
Education Savings Accounts and the Funding Following the Pupil. Arizona has passed the most expansive Universal ESA program in the nation and signed it into law last week. More details are here.
How to Land Your Kid in Therapy: Why the obsession with our kids’ happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthoods. A therapist and mother reports.
'Tear the Paper Ceiling': A new campaign wants companies to ditch 4-year degree requirements.
The Mind Made Matter: Analog tools are collaborators in cognition, not mere mechanical servants.
Head Hand Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century.
Kara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Who Cooked the Last Supper: The Women's History of the World, by Rosalind Miles.
Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West.
The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter, by Joseph Henrich.
What Is Health?: Allostasis and the Evolution of Human Design by Peter Sterling.
The Rest Is Politics, Rory Stewart, Alastair Campbell.
It Could Happen Here, by Robert Evans. A jaunty walk through the burning ruins of the old world, the one we all live in now, and a guide to avoiding the worst pitfalls along the road to a better world. It Could Happen Here season 1 ended with the possibility of a second civil war.
Floating Point Math: Your language isn’t broken, it’s doing floating point math.
The Tail End. About measuring your life and thinking about how many instances you have left.
Eunoia. Words that have no translation.
Interview with Zenna Tavares, a research scientist at Columbia University, about his new organization that's modeling human reasoning to inform science and public policy.
Videos and movies
Sam’s Mushroom Trip: Sam Harris's 20-minute description of his recent trip on mushrooms, which apparently is now heavily used by experts/guides who want to explain a psychedelic experience to newcomers.
Clip w/Alex Karp (CEO of Palantir) speaking about Ukraine, Russia, etc. in a very raw 15-mins CNBC interview.
Key take-aways: Ukraine has massively outperformed against expectations. It will change the way wars are fought. Putin needs a way out: he's backed into a terrible corner now. Every country in the world that is big is saying "Holy sh-t, we thought we could win these conflicts simply because we're big."
Tweets I Liked
Interesting data and a good question.
Bad, if true.
A great reminder of just how difficult it is to have a high-performing venture capital fund. Almost every fund I see is marketing 5x returns. I will follow this chart over the next five years.
Song of the Week: Moth’s Wings
I just like the song. The lyrics are great and paired perfectly with the music. I’m not going to the song for you, though. Some of the lines are just great.
“Moth’s Wings” by Passion Pit
You're just like your father
Buried deep under the water
You're resting on your laurels
And stepping on my toes
Whose side are you on?
What side is this anyway?
Put down your sword and crown
Come lay with me on the ground
Thanks for reading, friends. Please always be in touch.