Sunday Scaries (01/10/21)

Secrets of life, the end of the universe, science pre-prints

Hi everyone,

Writing to you from Lake Tahoe, CA. Tahoe is easily one of my favorite destinations in the United States, so when I had the opportunity to join some friends living here, I jumped on it.

I spent the weekend exploring the wind-swept peaks of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. Tahoe is one of those rare places that is great to visit any time of the year. If you’re into outdoor activities, this is one to add to your vacation list for 2021.


What’s new from me

  1. Seeing Like A State: Everything had to be invented, even last names, money, and taxes. Seeing Like A State explains why governments take on these monumental projects and what happens when they don’t go according to plan.

  2. Best links of 2020: I compiled the top finds from every edition of Sunday Scaries from the past year. This newsletter is my way of open-sourcing the best things that I discover each week, and now you can check out the best links all in one place.


In this week’s edition

[💎 Philosophy]

Steve Jobs: Secrets of Life Movie (1995)

This video of Steve Jobs was recorded by the Santa Clara Valley Historical Society in 1995. In it, Steve gives a fascinating answer when asked about the meaning of life:

When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.

Lindy score: 2045


[🔬 Science]

Timelapse of the Future

This video gives me frission. Starting with the present day, it gives a detailed look at the future of our universe. The video's scale is incredible — thousands of years pass by in a moment, while the unmistakable voice of David Attenborough explains the science behind the predictions depicted onscreen. I highly recommend watching this film full-screen and with the sound on.

Lindy score: ∞


[🔬 Science]

Arxiv Sanity Preserver

Arxiv (pronounced “archive”) is a website that aggregates pre-print manuscripts from scientists. It’s a sneak peek into the latest developments across dozens of fields of science. The flood of information is a modern miracle, but it can be overwhelming.

That’s why Andrej Karpathy, head of AI at Tesla, created the Arxiv Sanity Preserver, a website that provides a better interface for sifting through the noise. His website is specifically focused on computer science, but there is a corresponding Arxiv page for biology.

Lindy score: <1 year


Have a great week,

—Phil


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