big ideas

The four quadrants of conformism

A new essay from Paul Graham sorts people into four quadrants to discuss social conformity: “Starting in the upper left and going counter-clockwise: aggressively conventional-minded, passively conventional-minded, passively independent-minded, and aggressively independent-minded.” I really like this, except the implication that […]

big ideas

Moneyness: dictionary money

A short article with a high concentration of new-to-me knowledge. “Nick Rowe points out that if a central bank wants to control the economy’s price level, it needn’t issue any actual money—it can just edit the dictionary every morning, announcing […]

big ideas

Illusion and agreement in the debate over intolerance

Much has been written recently about “cancel culture” and its growing prevalence. The author, philosophy professor Justin Weinberg, takes aim at the underlying premise that, “the free exchange of information and ideas… is daily becoming more constricted.” The debate continues […]

big ideas

Ending aging, the other pandemic

Peter Diamandis highlights some of the technologies he’s tracking. “For the first time ever, scientists and entrepreneurs think there’s a way to slow aging in its tracks, and perhaps even reverse it.” | learn more

big ideas

Vladimir Putin’s essay on World War II

Putin probably didn’t write this, but he did put his name on it. It’s surely published for self-serving reasons, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. In particular, he directly contradicts the history I learned in school about the Nazi-Soviet […]

big ideas

The American soviet mentality

Some timely writing about the Soviet Union that’s applicable to the US culture today. “It was during that campaign [against Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago] that the Soviet catchphrase “ne chital, no osuzhdayu”—“didn’t read, but disapprove”—was born: Pasternak’s accusers had coined it to […]

big ideas

Nuclear power for the moon

“Because resupply missions are challenging and sunlight doesn’t reach some parts of the Moon, NASA is betting that simple, lightweight nuclear reactors are the way to go.” I especially love this because when I was a kid, I thought it’d […]

big ideas

Naval Ravikant philosophizes on happiness in rare podcast

The entrepreneur-turned-angel-turned-philosopher had avoided all podcast appearances for a while until a relatively new and niche New Zealand podcaster (Samantha Ryan) lured him onto her show. He’s an interesting interviewee because he’s quick to disagree with the premise of questions […]