Sunday Scaries (01/31/21)

Video game design, human cell atlas, China & Technology

Hi everyone,

Writing to you from Salt Lake City, Utah. This city is underrated. Pound-for-pound, it holds its own with places like Denver, Los Angeles, and Seattle in raw natural beauty.

I’m here to kick-off a ten-day snowboarding trip that will take me from the mountains of Utah to Jackson, Wyoming. So far, it’s off to a great start. The day I arrived, the local resorts got hit with a massive snowstorm.

Our first day on the mountain was surreal — snow was flying in every direction, and the visibility was near-zero. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. The next morning, we woke up to blue skies and powder stashes worth writing home about. Here’s a photo I snapped from the top of the mountain today (although a camera lens doesn’t do the view justice):


[🎨 Design]

Standard Patterns In Video Games

Video games are amazing because they give the user a sense of controlling reality. Most choice-based games fall into several categories:

Lindy score: 2028

[🔬 Science]

Human Cell Atlas

One of the hardest problems in science is getting scientists to work together.

The human cell atlas is a cooperative effort to build a complete map of all human cells. Before creating the Human Cell Atlas initiative in 2016, groups worked independently on the problem but would often produce data that was incompatible with research coming from other labs. More than anything, the Human Cell Atlas attempts to solve the coordination problem behind our scientific institutions.

Here is a great introduction video:

Lindy score: 2027

A Strategy for China & Technology

In July 2020, a multi-disciplinary group led by the former CEO of Google and Jared Cohen came together to write a report on the U.S. / China relationship.

The report covers a range of topics and suggestions focused on securing the U.S. position in cutting-edge technology research. Throughout the report, the central theme is that we are not going back to the increasingly globalized world of the early-2000s.

From the report:

As we seek to avoid unnecessary and counterproductive levels of separation, we should also recognize that some degree of disentangling is both inevitable and preferable. In fact, trends in both countries—and many of the tools at our disposal—inherently and necessarily push toward some degree of bifurcation.

Lindy score: 2021

Have a great week,

Phil