Summer, Losing, Advice

5/27 - What's Next

Hey there, hope you are having a great start to summer!

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Articles to Read.

When Male Runners Lose to Women

Conventional wisdom has long asserted men outperform women in long-distance races. Ultramarathon results prove that assumption wrong.

Longer than the 42.16 kilometres of a marathon, ultramarathons mercilessly have no upper limit; some races can even last days, and sleep isn’t often measured in hours. The masochistic competitions push runners to their physical and emotional limits, as >they traverse desert expanses, vast stretches of highway, or single-track mountain trails. And, with their growing popularity, these long-distance races have led to a reexamination of gender limits in racing: female competitors have begun outrunning their male counterparts with greater frequency—and by large margins.

Dear Freshman Me - Advice I Wrote to Myself

Do not accept the status quo. Ironically, there are no absolutes in life or in school. Everything about school is optimized for the masses and conveniently packaged as an absolute. People will tell you, perhaps in good intent, “this is how you get x job” – this is especially true of people who work for big companies. People will tell you this is how you get good grades, this is how you learn, this is how you will have fun, this is how you should live…They are not bad people. They are just telling you what they know, and what they know is limited in scope. Imagine everything everyone knows is limited in scope – and recognize that – before you accept their beliefs. Think for yourself. Question everything. Question this essay. Question your current self, former self, and future self. You are not a pessimist – you just seek the truth. And the truth is rarely presented by talking to just one person or just by observing one opinion or strategy. The truth takes time and experience to uncover. It is worth digging for it.

What Changed My Mind About Climate Change?

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I spent the better part of my professional life (1991-2014) working at a libertarian think tank—the Cato Institute—arguing against climate action. I changed my mind about that, however, because (among other things) I changed my mind about risk management.

If we think about climate risks in the same fashion we think about risks in other contexts, we should most certainly hedge—and hedge aggressively—by removing fossil fuels from the economy as quickly as possible.

You don’t have to believe with all your heart that the worst-case scenario is sure to happen. You just have to understand that it is one possible outcome. And that we should not be making policy based on an assumption that we are certain of this or that outcome.

Smartphones Are Toys First, Tools Second

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If you time-traveled to the 1960s, or even the 1980s, and tried to describe smartphones to the people you met, they wouldn’t believe you.

They might assume that due to these devices alone, people of the 21st century will be achieving their most important goals at multiplied speed. It would be hard for them to believe that even one of those superpowers—the ability to find decent instructions for virtually any task, for example—wouldn’t make a person vastly more capable and fulfilled. Imagine what would they pay for those powers.

The smartphone should be, and perhaps still could be, the most personally empowering device ever invented, yet many people are now trying to reduce or eliminate their role in their lives.

How “The Big Bang Theory” Normalized Nerd Culture

The pilot that CBS picked up, co-created by Chuck Lorre, presented an unlikely scenario: four scientists, prone to esoteric talk of Schrödinger’s cat, string theory, and gravitational waves, would befriend an aspiring actress named Penny (Kaley Cuoco), who lives across the hall and, from her perspective as a “normal person,” would teach the geeks about ordinary human interaction. The breakout character was Sheldon, whose mixture of nerd arrogance (“They were threatened by my intelligence and too stupid to know that’s why they hated me,” he complains to his mother in one episode) and nerd incomprehension provided much of the show’s humor.

Simplifying Simplicity

Those of us living in the modern world are spoiled by convenience. Businesses are thriving on making things more and more convenient. Ordering food to your door, hailing a ride from your phone, same-day delivery, streaming music online, wearing a computer on your face, credit cards… the list of products goes on and spans every industry over hundreds of years.

The common thread between these advancements is that they save time and ease pain more than the incumbent solutions. This convenience almost always comes from simplification of the task at hand. Simplicity begets convenience. Convenience begets customers.

But, where does that simplicity come from? How is it achieved? How is it mastered?

A Road to Forgetting: Friendship and Memory in China’s Belt and Road Initiative

The relationship between China and Kazakhstan has always been dramatic. Before Kazakhstan became a part of the Soviet Union in 1936, there were numerous historical conflicts between the Chinese and Russian empires over the Kazakh border. The Soviet Union maintained interests in Xinjiang while it was allied with China throughout World War II. In the 1940s, Moscow cultivated Uyghur nationalism, aligned with Soviet interests, but eventually terminated its support in the wake of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (Brophy 2016, 166–247). In its early years, the PRC enjoyed a brief honeymoon with the Soviet government because of their alliance in the Korean War and the latter’s technical support for China’s industrialisation. However, Mao and Khrushchev’s divergent ideological views led to a split beginning in the early 1960s.

More to Check Out: 
Why Celebrities Are So Susceptible to Grifters
What Should We Do to Prevent Software From Failing?
- Morehouse commencement speaker to pay off Class of 2019’s student loans
- The Quiet Semi-Supervised Revolution
- Hago — Inside the new gaming app that is re-imagining social, voice & communities.


My Update.

  • Turned 22 last week. Flew to Portugal and drove across the country for 8 days. Now to SF! Let me know if you are around.

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