💠 Sunday Scaries (11/22/20)

Life on Mars, Kasparov and the U.N., The Great Books Reading list

Hi everyone,

Writing to you from Los Angeles, CA. I moved to a new neighborhood this weekend and am finally settled in. It feels like I’m looking at the city for the first time again.

Above all, I’m excited to have my books back! I put most of my collection into storage over the summer in preparation for a cross-country road trip. Now that I have space, I’ve put together a bookshelf to show off the books that mean the most to me. If you see any of your personal favorites on this list I’d love to hear about it.

What’s New From Me:

  1. Spacepost. I’ve been a member of a community of hackers and artists in Venice for a few years. I wrote about how I got involved with the group and what keeps me around. It’s not every day that you find a group of people who are motivated by the same thing, but when you do … magic can happen.

In This Week’s Edition:

Elon Musk: Life to Mars (2001)

Before starting SpaceX, Elon had a different plan for getting people excited about space: he wanted to put a greenhouse on Mars. Shortly after merging his second company with PayPal, Elon moved to Los Angeles to be closer to the space industry. He found his way into the Mars Society and joined the board of directors (after pledging $100,000 to the cause).

This article describes how a young Musk started his journey into an field that he knew nothing about. Reading this article will give you a rare glimpse into the ambitions and process required to revolutionize one of the most technologically complicated industries in existence today. My favorite quote:

Musk describes his goal as providing "positive inspiration at a time when we need such inspiration. The world has reached a stage where it needs some positive challenge it could get excited about, something that helps unite humanity." The Mars Oasis project could accomplish a great deal to bring that about.

Lindy score: 2039


Thiel and Kasparov Discuss the U.N.

I’ve been devouring everything that I can find by Peter Thiel over the past few months. His public presence is incredibly consistent — he presents the same few ideas over and over again, punctuated with different examples and nuance that add layers to their meaning. Among those ideas is the strong feeling that we are living history one moment at a time. Unlike other technology executives who pride themselves on being scientifically gifted, Thiel leans into his Liberal Arts education.

This short, intimate video gives a behind the scenes look at Thiel and Chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov discussing the track record of the United Nations. Coming in at just under five minutes, this video will leave you wanting more. If that’s the case, I recommend searching “Thiel Talks” on Spotify for a playlist of public seminars.

Lindy score: 2027


St. John’s College Reading List

The first time I saw this list I was over the moon. St. John’s College has been maintaining an updated Great Books list since 1937. The curriculum is broken down by grade level, but there isn’t a wrong place to dig in.

I’m especially excited about this because it provides structure for my concept of a Lifetime Curriculum. I’m planning to use this collection to put together a list of books I plan to read during my lifetime. As ridiculous as it seems, we only have a finite number of years on this planet, so what you choose to read matters. This collection is a cheat sheet for finding some of the best works out there.

Lindy score: 4,000+


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. 👇