💠 Sunday Scaries (11/01/20)

Nanotechnology, tobacco industry documents, Slate Star Codex

Hi everyone,

Writing to you from Los Angeles, California. I’ve been reading Nassim Taleb over the past few weeks — I can’t recommend him enough. The ideas in his Incerto series are clearly articulated and have a timelessness that is missing from much of modern discourse. If you’re looking for your next book you can’t go wrong with anything by Taleb, although Antifragile is my personal favorite.


What’s New From Me:

  1. Common Sense and Science: I wrote this essay months ago but have been waiting for the right time to publish it. With the way that our online conversations are trending these days, I felt like I needed to add my voice to the mix. Common Sense and Science is my way of encouraging people to ask the tough questions.


In This Week’s Edition:

[🔬 Physics]

There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom

Feynman has a wonderful way of making very difficult ideas seem fun. His collected works are among my favorite writings of anyone, ever. In this essay, he writes about the possibility of nanotechnology with a level of detail that shows off his incredible breadth of knowledge. Although this essay was written over 60 years ago, it’s still full of relevant concepts.

Lindy score: ~2080


[⚙️ Business]

Truth Tobacco Industry Documents

This treasure trove of documents was collected by the University of Califonia San Francisco Library in 2002. It contains over 14 million documents that provide a window into the internal corporate documents of the largest tobacco companies. Unlike the propaganda that tobacco companies publish in the media, these documents offer a unique chance to understand how a complex organization makes decisions.

Start with Marketing to Youth.

Lindy score: ~2100


[💎 Philosophy]

Slate Star Codex

This is one of the most quietly influential blogs on the internet. Readers include prominent business executives and senior academics, but that doesn’t mean it’s all serious. The author, Scott Alexander, writes under a pseudonym which gives him the freedom to explore ideas that would otherwise be too controversial to publish.

My favorite posts include:

Oh, and there’s a book of his collected works too.

Lindy score: ~2100 (this one is a break from my usual calculation, but I believe Scott has serious staying power)


Thanks for reading,

Phil

Sunday Scaries is a newsletter that focuses on content that has stood the test of time. Because of The Lindy Effect, the topics covered will still be relevant in the future. You can subscribe by clicking the link below. 👇