Discover more from P.S. You Should Know...
P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #305
The links just keep coming.
my story 🚀
A reader reminded me that I never shared the poll results from a couple weeks ago.
Please enjoy this week’s newsletter!
fun facts 🙌
Wonders of street view. Make sure you press the random button plenty of times. ~ learn more
How do things glow in the dark? A new book arrived this week for Petra with glow in the dark stickers included. We guessed at how it might work (magic?) and then she suggested we look up a video to teach us. ~ learn more
The untold story of Warren Buffet standing up for his consumer rights. “Here is an unknown story that Warren Buffett told me when I was 21. It has to do with the first ever lawsuit he was involved in. It is not previously reported anywhere and inspired me to change the direction of DoNotPay…” ~ learn more
A Lakh. I hadn’t bothered to look up this term before now. In the Indian numbering system, a Lakh is a unit of 100,000. Ok, cool, but why am I sharing this? This part struck me as much more interesting: “In the Indian 2,2,3 convention of digit grouping, it is written as 1,00,000.” ~ learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Chicago's cannabis industry needs seed money. “After a long court battle over marijuana licensing was resolved last year, Chicago dispensaries and craft growers have finally found footing to start their businesses. One problem: Seed money is drying up.” For those interested in the tech side to cannabis, make sure you follow the Cannabis Innovation Lab at 1871 run by the esteemed Brad Spirrison! ~ learn more
oh, austin 🤠
A family tale about Austin. There’s an historic connection between Andrew Zilker, the locally famous Joseph family, and the music promoter behind Austin City Limits Music Festival. ~ learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
The forces driving the economics of generative media. Rob May made the point a few weeks ago that generative ai startups are mostly a bad vc bet. Don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s not betting — “I believe that making bets in markets like this, while many people sit out and wait, can lead to great outcomes if you are correct, and that thus it is worth the risk.” ~ learn more
There’s an AI for that. A dossier of AI applications, updated daily. ~ learn more
better doing 🎯
Making decisions. There’s something both surprising and pleasant about a 20-something year old sharing her wisdom about life. “I’ve written about how there are things you can only learn over time, and not by any brute force. This realization continues to unlock a lot for me.” ~ learn more
Crowds can beat smart people, but crowds of smart people do best of all. “Last January, Scott Alexander — along with amateur statisticians Sam Marks and Eric Neyman — solicited predictions from 508 people…” ~ learn more
to your health ⚕
Anti-aging techniques taken to extreme by Bryan Johnson. I shared a bit about this endeavor late last year. Now Ashlee Vance writes more about him for Bloomberg: “How to Be 18 Years Old Again for Only $2 Million a Year. Middle-aged tech centimillionaire Bryan Johnson and his team of 30 doctors say they have a plan to reboot his body.” ~ learn more
Measuring performance in psychiatry: a call to action. This article is from 2015: “The absence of a comprehensive set of well-accepted measures capable of demonstrating the value of behavioral health treatment makes building a case for devoting resources to treatment more difficult.” ~ learn more
The problem with mental health bots. In October 2022, Wired took a look at the most popular mental health chatbots on the market and the research backing them. “[A] 2020 review that pooled all the data on mental health chatbots available at the time concluded that, while the bots “have the potential to improve mental health,” there wasn’t enough evidence to definitively conclude this, and studies so far had a high risk of bias and conflicting results.” My bet is that the chatbots of 2020 (and 2022) will differ greatly in ability from those of 2024. Let’s hope we can better measure performance by then! ~ learn more
retail therapy 💸
WSJ says tech bros have moved on from Allbirds. Showing just how out of touch I am with tech bro culture, I recently bought another pair. “Renowned as ‘the world’s most comfortable sneakers,’ Allbirds once dominated Silicon Valley style. So why are their original fans shunning them and turning to other kicks?” ~ learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Scientists create shapeshifting humanoid robot that can liquefy and reform. See above… ~ learn more
‘Disruptive’ science has declined. “The authors reasoned that if a study was highly disruptive, subsequent research would be less likely to cite the study’s references, and instead would cite the study itself. Using the citation data from 45 million manuscripts and 3.9 million patents, the researchers calculated a measure of disruptiveness, called the CD index, in which values ranged from –1 for the least disruptive work to 1 for the most disruptive.” ~ learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
Are farm antibiotics destroying our health? “After calling multiple experts for corroboration of the reasons for Dr. Thompson’s treatment protocol, he put out job postings for a farm manager everywhere he could. He used it as a pretense to hold candid interviews with farmers across the country. He asked them a series of ordinary questions to get them comfortable, and then hit them with what he really wanted to know…” ~ learn more
Freshly shut down meal deliveries. For years, this company was “ahead” of Factor in the healthy prepared food subscription business. Nestle acquired them for $950 million in 2020. Now they have shut down the business. Meanwhile, Factor is still delivering healthy eats weekly! ~ learn more
big ideas 📚
Nuclear fusion and the future of energy. This interview catches you up on almost everything you want to know about the state of fusion research. Dennis Whyte is a nuclear scientist at MIT and the director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He’s interviewed by Lex Fridman. ~ learn more
Invisibility cloaks are not just possible, but are becoming reality. “By bending light of all wavelengths around an object, irrespective of its shape, both metalenses and metamaterials offer the potential to effectively "cloak" any object. Recent research has demonstrated that combining the two nanotechnology devices may in fact pave the way to the first working, universal invisibility cloak.” ~ learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Bitcoin everywhere. “I wanted to see if I could add bitcoin into a Super Mario running on my original NES, every time you get a coin it sends you some sats!” ~ learn more
profiles of people 🚶
The entrepreneur dreaming of a factory of unlimited organs. Here’s a badass entrepreneurial story if I’ve ever heard one. Her daughter was dying and she started doing research. “Eventually she read about a drug that could lower arterial pressure but had been mothballed by the drug giant Glaxo. She badgered the company until they sold it to her for $25,000 and a promise of a 10% royalty, she recalls. According to Rothblatt, she received in return one bag of the chemical, a patent, and declarations that the drug would never work.” Today it generates $1.5 billion in revenue for her company, and she’s using that to fund R&D for animal-to-human prosthetics and bioprinting organs. Oh, and her daughter is alive and now works for the company. ~ learn more
How an unknown author wrote a blockbuster for Matt Damon. An interview with sci-fi author Andy Weir, of The Martian fame. ~ learn more
thanks for reading!
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