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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #321
my story 🚀
i’ve been thinking 💭
🌻 Sometimes the sunflowers just show up. There’s a patch of our front yard that we’ve allowed to grow ‘rewild’. The weeds have quickly taken over. Many of them have sprouted up to my height. In a really pleasant surprise this week, we learned that at least one of the plants was actually a sunflower. I think many aspects of life are about fighting the inevitable force of entropy. In this case, it’s nice to see that giving up that fight can lead to something beautiful.
💨 Despite my contrarian aversion to the global warming hype train, a recent conversation has me paying more attention to the economic forces that are behind decarbonization. Consider this an open call for your comments, emails, links and anything else that might help me understand the various aspects of decarbonization. Thanks in advance!
🤖 AI use case: I had no idea what emoji to use above, but ChatGPT did.
fun facts 🙌
What is disc golf in South Florida like? I’ve been playing with friends in Austin and our hazards are nothing like this. From the comments: “Those little ones are the worst. They got something to prove and are so much more confrontational.” ~ watch the video
New study suggests humans didn’t all come from one place. “By analyzing the genomes of 290 living people, researchers concluded that modern humans descended from at least two populations that coexisted in Africa for a million years before merging in several independent events across the continent. The findings were published on Wednesday in Nature.” ~ learn more
The brief Age of the Worker is over – employers have the upper hand again. Published by The Guardian. “According to Google Trends, keyword searches for “quiet quitting“ and “bare minimum mondays” have decreased by more than 90%.” ~ learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Here’s another “wow” AI image manipulation demo. Point, click and drag, and magic happens on the screen. ~ learn more
Why chatbots are not the future. “When I go up the mountain to ask the ChatGPT oracle a question, I am met with a blank face. What does this oracle know? How should I ask my question? And when it responds, it is endlessly confident. I can't tell whether or not it actually understand my question or where this information came from.” ~ learn more
Hugging Face releases Transformers Agents. “This removes the barrier of entry to machine learning. Control 100,000+ HF models by talking to Transformers and Diffusers. Fully multimodal agent: text, images, video, audio, docs...” ~ learn more
The acquihire market for early stage startups is ice cold. VC Hunter Walk suggests a wild strategy for those who face a dwindling cash pile and no prospects of a fundraise: announce publicly that you’re for sale. ~ learn more
better doing 🎯
Taxonomy of procrastination. Using an entertaining analogy, this author writes a useful note for those of us who procrastinate (all of us?). “My mental model is: Inside my head there’s a guy named Jim. When I decide I want to do something, Jim does a calculation: How much time and energy will this take, and how much reward will it bring?” ~ learn more
Do the weirdest thing that feels right. This lesson came to the author when he was trying to decide what to write about. But maybe it generalizes? ~ learn more
to your health ⚕
The connection between stress and disease. “Dr. Gabor Maté is the leading expert on the role the mind-body connection plays in illness and health.” A line that he repeats a few times during this talk stuck with me: “We are biopsychosocial creatures.” Biology, psychology and socio-environmental factors are inseparably responsible for human health, among other things. ~ learn more
The FDA still doesn’t trust women. From Alex Tabarrok in Marginal Revolution: “The FDA has a long history of antipathy towards personal testing. The FDA has opposed personal pregnancy tests, HIV tests, genetic tests, and COVID tests, as I discussed in my article Testing Freedom. Well, the FDA is at it again…” ~ learn more
AI’s in your doctor’s office, but not ready to see patients. There’s a clear use case in summarizing notes of patient visits for their medical records. “Results are solid after about 50 patients, he said: “It’s 90% of the way there.” Copilot produces serviceable summaries that Arzubi typically edits. … “If I have a full patient day, where I might see 15 patients, I would say this saves me a good hour at the end of the day,” he said. (If the technology is adopted widely, he hopes hospitals won’t take advantage of the saved time by simply scheduling more patients. “That’s not fair,” he said.)” ~ learn more
retail therapy 💸
The end of barcodes? This has the support of GS1, the nonprofit that runs the barcode world. “In a worldwide initiative called Sunrise 2027, the entire retail industry will sunset 12-digit barcodes and use a 2D web-enabled version going forward. The new 2D barcodes can store much more information than the lowly 1D version, which has the potential to benefit both consumers and store owners.” ~ learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Entire ant colonies play dead. “Researchers at the University of South Australia (UniSA) were investigating nesting boxes for wild animals on Kangaroo Island, when they came across a box full of dead ants. They didn’t think much of it, until one amateur flubbed its lines and moved, ruining the performance for all of them. Over the course of the project, the team repeatedly saw the same melodramatic scene.” ~ learn more
Protein size determines Alzheimer’s stage, may lead to earlier detection. “In a new study, researchers were able to stage the disease using atomic force microscopy to visualize the size and shape of these clumps, which may provide a way of detecting the debilitating disease earlier.” ~ learn more
big ideas 📚
Stripe CEO interviews OpenAI CEO. Patrick Collison fires question after question at Sam Altman, and gets pretty thoughtful answers in return. One interesting fact: ChatGPT is really the only AI product that Altman uses. And his most common use case is summarization. They also get into weightier topics, as expected of this duo. ~ learn more