Biology, Basketball, and Brains

11/5 - What's Next

Hey there 👋 Rooting for you this week…please do let me know if there is anything I can do to be valuable.

Put together lots of interesting content below, enjoy!


Articles to Read.

Your Real Biological Clock Is You’re Going to Die

Are you ready to have a child? Take your age right now and add 18. And nine months, if you want to get particular about it, but call it 18. That’s how old you’ll be for high school graduation. Add 25 and picture yourself traveling to visit your grown-up child in a new city. Add 30. Add 40.

The clock is running, only it’s not a clock: It’s a sandglass. According to the Social Security Administration’s online calculator, an average man born the day I was born can expect to live 34.9 more years, for a total of 82.0 years. When I first checked it, when drafting this piece, it was 35.4. I thought it would be a lighthearted exercise, but I felt real dread as I was entering the birthdate, and, despite myself, shock when I saw how small the number was.

Genetics has learned a ton — mostly about white people. That’s a problem.

In the future, it’s possible that when you go in for a physical, your doctor will, along with the usual blood pressure test and bloodwork, analyze your genome for health risks lurking in the code of your DNA.

But the reason the test won’t work for most of the world’s population is simple: Most participants in the studies that yield predictive insights — genome-wide association studies (or GWAS for short) — are of white European ancestry. In all, white people of European ancestry make up 80 percent of the participants in all these studies, despite only representing a fraction of the world’s population.

What the Hell Happened to Darius Miles? (an unbelievable story)

When you pop out the womb in East St. Louis, it’s guns, drugs and danger, from start to finish. And I’m not saying that to brag or nothing. It’s just what it is. It’s the murder capital. And the thing about it is that it’s only 89 blocks.

So no matter who you are, or how much you try to keep your head down … there’s nowhere to hide. You’re in it. There’s no choice. Fact of the matter is, I had a lot of cousins who were street pharmacists. A lot of my people were Streets Disciples. It was what it was. You heard gunshots every night. Routine. You don’t know any different. But that’s the thing ― you might read about those kinds of places, or see them on TV. I don’t think the average person reading this in Montana or whatever understands what it’s like to be a kid in that environment.

You don’t have any dreams. You’re just thinking about survival.

The Wildly Unregulated Practice of Undercover Cops Friending People on Facebook

He spent a few years in prison, got out at age 33, and decided he needed to turn his life around. He got jobs that didn’t involve illegal activity—working as a bouncer at a club and as a supervisor at the Port of Wilmington in Delaware. But it all fell apart in 2016. Police threw a smoke bomb into his living room, detained his pregnant girlfriend, and sent him to prison for 15 years, all because of a photo posted to Facebook.

10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings

With dad, year 0

Fluid reflections on keeping a solid center.

Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.

All Hail the Condom King

Heroes in the Field: Mechai Viravaidya

I’ve never met anyone who knows how to have as much fun with condoms (in public, anyway) as Mechai Viravaidya.

The social activist from Thailand has fashioned the contraceptives into colorful hats, dresses, shirts, suits and other sartorial creations. (Mechai once gave my dad a baseball hat made from hundreds of condoms. He wore the cap at our foundation’s annual meeting, earning big laughs from the staff.) He’s started school contests to see who could inflate a condom into the biggest balloon, persuaded Buddhist monks to bless them with holy water, and convinced police to hand them out on the street (a program he dubbed “cops and rubbers”).

How To Be An Adult— Kegan’s Theory of Adult Development

Ever wondered what it means to be an adult?

I’m not talking about buying guest towels or renters insurance. I’m talking about how we ought to be developing in adulthood. How should we be perceiving and engaging with the world? Or handling conflict and interacting with the people around us?

However, most of us — about 65% of the general population — never become high functioning ‘adults’, i.e. we never make it past Stage 3 (out of 5 Stages!). We still lack an independent sense of self because so much of what we think, believe, and feel is dependent on how we think others experience us.

More to Check Out: 
Chinese Tech Companies Get Into Farming
- The Raising of Chicago
- AI Won’t Solve the Fake News Problem
- The History of Floatees
Pizza Kitchen Confidential


Kudos (to people in the community).


My Update.

  • Headed to Durham this Thursday to visit my friends and younger brother. Excited for that! Also planning a big trip for this winter break :)

  • The Atlantic wrote about our project - Remove Vanity Metrics (from last week).

  • I talked to NBC about productivity and procrastination.

  • Published The Signal a few weeks ago, a list of companies I think you will find interesting.

Thanks so much for reading! Find me on twitter : )