big ideas

The peppered moth

Contrary to popular belief, evolution doesn’t necessarily happen over millions of years. Evolution has two components: random mutation and natural selection. Speedy changes in environment can drive quick outcomes via natural selection. The story of the peppered moth is instructive. | learn […]

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The blood of an entrepreneur

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were only 2.5M people here in 1776… and many of those people (or their parents or grandparents) came here from somewhere else.” | learn more

big ideas

An open letter to Paul Graham

A few weeks ago I shared The Four Quadrants of Conformism where Graham writes about independent-minded people and the institutions they tend to inhabit being less hospitable over time. He ended with hope, for the “independent-minded are good at protecting themselves.” This […]

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Orthodox privilege

Another recent essay by Paul Graham. “I’m going to call it orthodox privilege: The more conventional-minded someone is, the more it seems to them that it’s safe for everyone to express their opinions.” | learn more

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 […]

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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 […]

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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