What I've been reading #1

May 17, 2020

In the vein of Tyler Cowen’s or Arnold King’s, I’m starting this series of posts that will go over my best reads from the last two weeks, with short commentary to give you the highlights. You can also find these articles, and some others, if you follow me on Twitter, where I publish the best I read every day.

Studies on Slack, a great example of how abstract principles apply to seemingly unconnected phenomena: from competitive markets to natural selection, players require some slack to thrive. It starts slow but it ramps up quickly.

You Will Not Live To See Your Next Birthday, short and thrilling throughout, it makes most personal hardships feel like minor inconveniences.

Complex Is Not The Same As Complicated, recovered from my archive. Not your typical comparison of complex vs complicated but rather a recipe on how to deal with each type of system. In short, complicated stuff can be completely understood, complex phenomena cannot. Aspire to understand the former, only to manage the latter.

Dithering And Open Versus Free, the podcast announcement can be glossed over, the interesting part is about how platforms are monopolizing content distribution and production, slowly killing off open distribution platforms and independent creators. See also how Netflix went from distribution channel to one of the biggest content producers in the world, or how Amazon trades the value of AMC every second and is bidding to buy it.

When Tailwinds Banish, the early age of internet companies is coming to an end and most low-hanging fruit has been taken. How will the next batch of tech companies make it to grow at past rates VCs have come to expect? I mostly agree with the author’s take.

AlphaGo - The Movie, great documentary, more for how it’s told than for what it tells. After further reading, I’ve come to think the claims about AI are overblown, but whatever you think you know about AlphaGo, this 1-hour film is well worth your time.

The Climate Club, past agreements to tackle climate change have failed. The author proposes another approach to implement an international agreement that will ensure countries comply with emission targets. Good if you enjoy game theory.

Behind the Mask of Corruption Jeffrey Epstein drama through the lenses of cinema and Kubrick’s Wide Eyes Shut. It made me re-watch the movie. As leftish an approach as you can find, but you’ll enjoy it if you are remotely interested in cinema.

50 Ideas That Changed My Life, a case of an article that’s worth more for what it summarizes rather than for what it brings of new to the table. You’ll know most of these, but it’s nevertheless a good piece to keep in your back pocket and re-read every once in a while.

Hi there 👋, I’m Gerard, Software Engineer and aspirant polymath. I write this blog, build Factorial, and publish the best I read on Twitter.