2/19/21 Recommended Issues: Complaining Thoughtfully, Independent-minded Kids, Venezuela
Each week we handpick newsletter issues by independent writers you may have missed that provide new or unique perspectives.
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Here's what's worth reading this week...enjoy!
If you’re at all curious about the history of Venezuela and how it went from the fourth wealthiest country in the world in the 1950s to the condition it’s in today, this issue is worth reading. It also touches on relevant, current questions like whether this collapse could happen to the US and what the real political science definition of socialism is (spoiler: it’s NOT how the West tends to actually use it). The writing is excellent, you’ll enjoy the read, and you’ll walk away more knowledgeable about both the past and the present. (3642 words; 13.25 minutes) Read it...
HOW TO HELP KIDS BE MORE INDEPENDENT-MINDED
Ana’s message in this short issue is that school mainly teaches kids to be correct but that that’s not enough; in order to be successful and differentiate oneself in the real world when you’re grown up, you need ideas which are both correct AND unique. She then offers three concrete ways to help kids think more independently, more novel-ly. They make sense, they’re doable, and I’d go as far as to say they may even make your time around kids more enjoyable. If you have kids or spend any time with kids, it’s definitely worth a read to contemplate her suggestions and see if you want to work some of them into your kid-interactions. (675 words; 2.5 minutes) Read it…
PERMISSION TO COMPLAIN
With all that’s going on in the world right now, a lot of people feel like complaining...but many are also trapped in a cycle of not wanting to actually complain because they’re not actually as bad off in some ways as the people they might normally complain to. Katie’s point is that complaining is natural and arguably necessary-- and that there can be both unhealthy and healthy ways to complain. What stood out most was her concept of “complaining mindfully”-- being intentional and purposeful when you set out to complain. It seems like an interesting philosophy to consider...and perhaps it offers some respite or liberation if you’ve found yourself trapped in the same “I shouldn’t complain” boat. (1050 words; 4 minutes) Read it...
CLUBHOUSE AND BRITNEY SPEARS
I’d be remiss not to mention that Clubhouse was a HUGE topic in newsletters this week...if you’re interested in independent newsletter writers’ thoughts on it, here are some you could read through: Stratechery, Platformer, Insight, and Deez Links. Also, Britney Spears (I assume because of the trial and of Justin’s recent statement) surfaced in a surprising number of newsletters...some quite thoughtful and some just more gossipy (Culture Study, Going Downs, Friday Things).
Some random facts gleaned from newsletters this week:
- Researchers broke down the development of facial recognition technology into four eras: 1) Early research findings: 1964-1995 with 5 datasets, avg ~2k images/dataset. 2) Commercial viability: 1996-2006 with 37 datasets, avg ~11k images/dataset. 3) Mainstream development: 2007-2013 with 33 datasets, avg ~46k images/dataset. 4) Deep learning breakthrough: 2014 onwards with 45 datasets, avg ~2.6M images/dataset. It's fascinating that even if you combined ALL of the datasets' images from the first three eras they do not even reach the size of ONE dataset in the current era -- wow! (Import AI 2/8)
- Optical illusions never cease to amaze. There's a great one at the bottom of this issue of Bad Astronomy. (Bad Astronomy 2/15)
- Keep drinking your coffee! There's been a connection made between drinking more coffee and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease; apparently the phenylindanes (which are created during the roasting process) help stop the buildup of two toxic proteins in the brain, which have been linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. (Understandably 2/16)
- In 2012 Japanese researchers made a robot that always wins at the game Rock-Paper-Scissors... I'd love to see the grant proposal for that one. (Now I know 2/17)
- On January 22, 2021, a $20 bill with a Del Monte banana sticker on it (which had arrived on the bill during the printing process) sold for $396,000 -- a world record for a single bill of its type. That price point is a bit bananas! (Now I know 2/10)
- US wind power soared last year to provide 9% of the country’s electricity generation! (The Gregor Letter 2/8)
Hopefully you found some fun insights!
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