What’s Nextby Jordan GonenThis Newsletter May Contain Affiliate Links
by Jordan Gonen
This Newsletter May Contain Affiliate Links
Hey 👋 Thanks for all the discussion over last week’s edition.
The biggest challenge in writing this newsletter is filtering out the signal from the noise (and finding interesting + valuable links).
I find the same challenge is present in all of life — deciding what is important and how we should be spending our time.
I do not believe in a “prescriptive life recipe” that answers this balance, but rather I think about decision making in terms of systems and models of thinking that help us explore our ego and define a personal answer.
Anyways, hopefully this edition helps you with that (and presents perspectives that are both new and formative). If you enjoy, would be awesome if you could share the link with 5 friends.
Articles to Read.
[book] Sapiens (Will challenge your narrative and help you think clearer)
We are far more powerful than our ancestors, but are we much happier? It doesn’t seem so. Compared to what most people in history dreamt about, we may be living in paradise. But for some reason, we don’t feel the part.
One explanation is that happiness depends less on objective conditions and more on our own expectations. Expectations, however, tend to adapt to conditions. When things improve, expectations balloon, and consequently even dramatic improvements in conditions might leave us as dissatisfied as before.
A second explanation is that both our expectations and our happiness are determined by our internal biochemical system. And our biochemical system has no real interest in happiness. It was shaped by evolution to increase our chances of survival and reproduction, and evolution has made sure that no matter what we achieve, we remain dissatisfied, forever grasping for more.
A third explanation is that humans simply don’t understand what happiness is. We are like a driver in a car who pushes the fuel pedal for all he is worth, but the gear is still in neutral. No wonder that we are producing a lot of noise and energy, but we aren’t really getting anywhere.
The Value of Play as a Driver of Innovation (1 Min Read)
Play is the connection that links the inventions from ancient pictures of self-playing instruments to the relatively recent development of the internet.
Play can transport us out of the realm of “things we already know” (the route to work, the importance of saving money and of brushing our teeth) and into the realm of “things we haven’t yet figured out.” And it is here that innovation happens.
The greater the consequences the more important it is to understand how and why machine learning systems get things wrong.
As the saying goes: if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Machine learning is a hammer, but not everything is a nail.
New Nutrition Study Changes Nothing [long read]:
If you’ve ever been on the internet, you’ve noticed that some things are popular, and other things aren’t. The popular ones have something in common. It’s not quality, or importance, or accuracy, but novelty.
Readers are trained to expect and value newness in what they read.
The effect of all this, day after day, year after year, is a perception that all kinds of contradictory evidence is coming up every day — and that each bit is roughly equally valid.
This week, the world learned the results of an enormous study of food and health. The study included 135,335 people from 18 different countries across five continents who were followed for seven years. Nothing new was presented.
I assure you there are founders out raising money right now in the hopes of building a business so they can flip it, make millions, and fund their own comfortable “post financial” lifestyle. Of course, they would never frame it that way; so let’s be clear, if your pitch deck has an “exit strategy” slide you are pitching a lifestyle business.
[PODCAST] My Little $100 Million (Malcolm Gladwell):
In the early ’90s, Hank Rowan gave $100 million to a university in New Jersey, an act of extraordinary generosity that helped launch the greatest explosion in educational philanthropy since the days of Andrew Carnegie and the Rockefellers. But Rowan gave his money to Glassboro State University, a tiny, almost bankrupt school in South Jersey, while almost all of the philanthropists who followed his lead made their donations to elite schools such as Harvard and Yale. Why did no one follow Rowan’s example?
The 80/20 Rule is more prevalent now than ever before.
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Scientists have cataloged approximately 16,000 different tree species in the Amazon. But despite this remarkable level of diversity, researchers have discovered that there are approximately 227 “hyperdominant” tree species that make up nearly half of the rainforest. Just 1.4 percent of tree species account for 50 percent of the trees in the Amazon.
Scientists refer to this effect as “accumulative advantage.” What begins as a small advantage gets bigger over time. One plant only needs a slight edge in the beginning to crowd out the competition and take over the entire forest.
I wonder if economists overrate the easier-to-observe policy factors and under-theorize the idea that positive visions of the future drive long-term growth. To put it in a different way, I wish that they would consider definite optimism as human capital. In addition to education levels, human capital models should consider factors like optimism, imagination, and hope for the future.
When I say “positive” vision, I don’t mean that people must see the future as a cheerful one. Instead, I’m saying that people ought to have a vision at all: A clear sense of how the technological future will be different from today. To have a positive vision, people must first expand their imaginations. And I submit that an interest in science fiction, the material world, and proximity to industry all help to refine that optimism. I mean to promote imagination by direct injection.
This Twitter account “live tweets” what it would be like if WWII was happening today.
About 20% of kids stutter. Most outgrow it by age 5. About 1% still stutter by age 10. A lucky 0.1% stutter into adulthood, with some small fraction of that being chronic enough to affect their daily life.
I’ve stuttered for as long as I’ve been talking. Since words have been coming out of my mouth I’ve struggled to push through simple sounds and sputtered through basic words. Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t.
Current Book I’m Reading — Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of A Family and Culture in Crisis
Last Book I Read — Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
You made it to the end! Thanks for reading 👋
– Launching something new this week.
– Two weeks ago, I published a guide to cold emailing and getting what you want professionally — check it out!
Thanks for reading! Really hope you enjoyed! (If you did, would be really awesome if you could share this link with some friends)
Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.