Welcome to Issue 20 of 🔥TheFireside!
The most difficult thing in the COVID-era isn't the quarantine or the lack of loo roll...
It's working out how to start an email without using the words "in these uncertain times". Trust me, it's really hard.
So let's skip the intro and dive into the good stuff instead, starting with a photo of me and my (future) mother-in-law feeding our four lambs…
New post: “Covid-19 predictions for suckers“. Nowadays, it looks like everyone and their dog has an opinion about what the world post-COVID-19 will look like... and that includes me.
Hope you enjoy this issue of TheFireside and in the meantime stay safe and for God’s sake don’t inject bleach into your body.
On to the Fireside…
➤ The links
“If you want to summarize the changes in family structure over the past century, the truest thing to say is this: We’ve made life freer for individuals and more unstable for families. We’ve moved from big, interconnected, and extended families, which helped protect the most vulnerable people in society from the shocks of life, to smaller, detached nuclear families, which give the most privileged people in society room to maximize their talents and expand their options.”
When we set out to understand a complex system, our intuition tells us to break it down into its component pieces. But that’s linear thinking, and it explains why so much of our thinking about complexity falls short.
The best breakdown about the science of health and longevity I’ve ever seen, explained in super simple words by MD Peter Attia.
How do you learn very complex topics? Simple: you pretend you are teaching it to a student in grade 6.
If you couldn’t change your investment portfolio for 100 years, how would you allocate it? Written before the COVID craze started, it’s 10x more revelant now.
Every sufficiently interesting game has a metagame above it. This is the game about the game. To play the metagame you need to first master the underlying game. A fascinating and compelling view of learning, knowledge and mastering skills.
Why do students pay tens of thousands of dollars for Ivy League schools when all of the learning material is effectively available online for free? Because Ivy League are not in the business of selling knowledge but status. Almost everything has a signaling component – we are just not aware of it. This one’s for people in tech: how to build tech products for status-seeking monkeys.
★ Other things from the internet
(That may or may not make you look smart at dinner parties)
I’m probably very late to the party on this, but I found David Foster Wallace‘s 2005 commencement speech to be a timeless trove of wisdom.
No excerpts for this one, just read it.
Though China is almost as wide as the continental United States, the whole country is officially in just one time zone. This has some… interesting consequences.