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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #315
Pigs, predictions and people who live past 100 (maybe)
my story 🚀
🐖 We learned this week that there’s a pig (named Piggy) who lives near our home. That’s in addition to the local peacocks and the neighborhood goat. What a place!
🎈 Happy Passover & Happy Easter to all those who are celebrating!
i’ve been thinking 💭
The results of last week’s poll show that 63% of y’all used LLM technology in March (n=54). I am in shock at the speed. I am also giddy with excitement for what’s coming next — multimodal models, text-to-action models, plugins, etc. I’ll spare you the myriad links this week.
Here’s just one link for iPhone users who want a super simple way to add ChatGPT shortcuts (not another app) to their devices for easy access. I installed it yesterday and it’s already changing my habits.
fun facts 🙌
Segal’s law. “A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.” ~ learn more
JFK’s speech to Congress in 1961. He came to ask them for $10 Billion in funding to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We know how that story ended! Well, at least those of us who haven’t subscribed to the fake moon landing conspiracy theory. (If that’s you, please write me — I love a good conspriacy theory and am open to being convinced) ~ learn more
The Forbes 30 under 30. They have collectively raised $5.3 Billion in funding. They have also been arrested for fraud and scams worth over $18.5 Billion. This is from a tweet — does anyone want to fact check this? ~ source
The complete guide to international packing symbols. We have a box in our living room from a recent purchase. My daughter wondered what the symbols on the box meant. It was a great chance to explain the international standards that help our supply chains run smoothly. Why symbols? Because workers across the supply chain do not all speak the same language. ~ learn more
oh, austin 🤠
Why do 75% of Texans live in the triangle? “The Texas Triangle , between Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, contains 75% of Texans. Why? What's special about that triangle?” ~ learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Not even wrong: predicting tech. Two inventions might start out looking like toys. One might become hugely impactful and change the world, while the other might not. Benedict Evans argues that the argument “well, lots of important things look like toys” is not technically wrong, but applied too liberally. One should be able to explain the roadmap from toy to transformational tool. ~ learn more
Another insane week in AI. I can’t even try to summarize this. Click through and scan for yourself — it’s in bullet points. If you are not completely floored, write me so we can chat. ~ learn more
Bill Gates: The age of AI has begun. He’s really into it. He equates it to the other breakthrough computing technology of his lifetime, the graphical user interface. ~ learn more
better doing 🎯
How you get good at something. McKinley Valentine writes The Whippet, one of my absolute favorite newsletters (legit, it’s better than mine. luckily she sends on Wednesdays biweekly so I don’t have to compete with her Sunday mornings). She was a guest on this podcast where the theme is that each guest reads 2 pages from a book of their choosing. “McKinley Valentine reading from David Robson’s The Expectation Effect, and discussing understanding and utilizing your mental resources.” It really captured my attention, driving the book to the top of my reading list. ~ learn more
Managing people. “I believe almost all first-time founders burn out their first employees as they learn how to manage groups of people. If this advice helps avoid a few cases, it's worth writing it down. I wrote this article for managers of small teams/startups.” ~ learn more
to your health ⚕
Bilateral stimulation. It sounds made up, yet is clinically validated. It’s using light, sound or touch, and alternating between the left and right side. This helps people recall fragmented traumatic memories. “Bilateral stimulation increases a client’s and therapist’s ability to access traumatic memories and makes focusing on such memories less unpleasant. It activates both hemispheres of the brain in a similar way that REM (rapid eye movement) sleep does; like bilateral stimulation, people in REM sleep move their eyes rapidly and process and integrate information.” ~ learn more
Reporter tries cold showers for 2 months. “These theories sounded plausible. Missing my usual caffeine bump and feeling especially lethargic one cloudy afternoon, I turned my shower handle to its coldest setting, took a deep breath, and stepped in. I gasped. Then I screamed and quickly stepped out.” ~ learn more
Circadian rhythms’ lesser know cousins may hold the key to a more fruitful day. I haven’t tried this yet. If you get to it first, let me know! “For productivity, we are concerned with the specific ultradian rhythm known as the Basic Rest-Activity Cycle (BRAC). This is a rhythm that plays out in 80–120 minute cycles non-stop, day and night. It is most detectable during sleep, when we move from non-REM sleep to REM sleep and back, over and over again throughout the night.” ~ learn more
retail therapy 💸
How badly DTC companies have performed in the stock market. They are down 85-90%, compared to 75% for the NASAQ during the dot-com bubble. “When a DTC brand is founded as a venture-backed business, profitability is rarely in the company’s DNA.” The author is himself a DTC founder (Hubble Contacts) and now an acquirer of ecom brands (Agora). ~ learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Maybe the supercentenarians are lying? This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review. “In the UK, Italy, Japan, and France remarkable longevity is instead predicted by regional poverty, old-age poverty, material deprivation, low incomes, high crime rates, a remote region of birth, worse health, and fewer 90+ year old people. In addition, supercentenarian birthdates are concentrated on the first of the month and days divisible by five: patterns indicative of widespread fraud and error.” ~ learn more
How stem cells make a human brain. Our brains have a variety of different cells. We often here of neurons. There are also astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Understanding how stem cells differentiate into the various cells can help us understand why development sometimes goes wrong and leads to diseases. The specificity with which they followed specific cells was groundbreaking. However, the human brain cells were transplanted into mice, so might not be representative of typical human development. ~ learn more