Digital Einstein, Fermi's Paradox, Greatest Investor and How to Start a New Country?
#12 of 10+1 Things
Welcome to issue #12 of 10+1 Things.
Thanks to the wonderful souls who bought me coffees ($1) last week!
Here are 10+1 things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
📱 Attention Diet
Distractions have become so common in this digital age and we are accepting them as normal. It has reached a point where we have more ways to get distracted than to be focused. Attention Diet is a term coined by Mark Manson, the author of the popular book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. The goal of an attention diet is to find highly nutritious sources of information and relationships to build our lives around them. It is all about prioritizing nutritious sources of information and relationships over junk ones.
[Read more about Attention Diet]
🤖 Digital Einstein
UneeQ, a digital human company has remastered Albert Einstein as a digital human driven by conversational and experiential AI to create a unique, meaningful experience with one of history's greatest minds. The Digital Einstein created is one of the examples of experiential AI, the next evolution in human to computer interactions. It has Einstein's personality traits and mannerisms and is available to anyone who would like to speak with him 24-hours a day. You can have a daily quiz with einstein or you can have a personal conversation about his life or research. I asked him the question, "Do you think you created the atomic bomb?"
[Check out the Digital Einstein]
🌱 Seed Gloves
Researchers have developed a two-layered glove for seeds that protect them from draughts and improves the utilization of nutrients from the soil. The glove coating has two features one being a gel coating that helps seeds retain more water. The coating also has a presence of a sugar compound containing rhizobacteria and other nutrients. This helps in the better fixation of elements like nitrogen from the soil. The discovery is groundbreaking as the area available for agriculture is decreasing day by day due to the rising temperature thanks to climate change.
[Read more about Seed Gloves]
🌍 How to Start a New Country
1729, a newsletter that pays you for reading by Balaji has written an interesting article on how to start a new country. In the article, Balaji discusses our innate desire to create, whether that’s buying vacant land, starting new countries, or creating a digital currency without any historical constraints. The article looks at conventional ways to start a country like creating a revolution or war to unconventional ways like micronations or seasteading. He concludes with a preferred method to start a new country which is the concept of cloud country.
[Read more about how to start a country]
️🀄️ What China Wants
Tomas Pueyo from Uncharted Territories has written a great piece on What China Wants and Why. The article looks into the geography and history of china focusing on and why it is concerned about Taiwan. In a nutshell, most of China's border is secure now (due to unique geography) or is in the process. The biggest threat for China now is the sea since it is surrounded by enemies on its coast. To protect its seas, it wants to annex Taiwan and increase its control over the South China Sea. This is one of the best articles I have read this year and would definitely recommend it!
[Read more about What China Wants]
🛸 Fermi's Paradox
I've been researching a lot about Fermi's Paradox lately and have enjoyed watching the 2 part series titled: The Fermi Paradox — Where Are All The Aliens? by Kurzgesagt. Named after the physicist Enrico Fermi, it seeks to answer the question of where the aliens are. In a universe that had been around for some 14 billion years, and in that time trillions of stars have developed. Fermi reasoned that there simply must be other intelligent civilizations out there. So where are they? Kurzgesagt has done a great job in explaining this concept with simple visuals and excellent narration.
[Watch the Series]
🌿 Weed Emissions
With the rising popularity of Marijuana in the United States, cannabis cultivation has become one of the most energy-intensive crops in the country. In the United States, 80% of all cannabis consumed is cultivated indoors. This possess a serious threat to the environment as sophisticated lighting and environmental controls are required to maximize the plant’s yield indoors. A generic setup can consume up to 2000 watts of electricity per square meter, 40 times more than other indoor leafy greens. Recent studies have found that growing enough weed for a joint approx. 1 gram consumes as much electricity as driving about 20 miles in a fuel-efficient car.
[Read more about Weed Emissions]
📷 More Than Human
'More than Human' is a photography project by British photographer Tim Flach, capturing the emotions of wild creatures. These intimate portraits were features everything from featherless chickens to chimpanzees. The project makes us think about the similarities between animal poses and gestures that to ours. By photographing these animals on sets, Tim has captured has created a gallery of animal portraits, unlike anything we have seen before. You can check out more photos from the project on his website or check out his book on Amazon.
[Check out more photos]
📚 Tales from Afterlives
I'm about to finish a book called Sum: Forty Tales from Afterlives by David Eagleman. Written by a Neuroscientist, the book presents forty mutually exclusive stories staged in a wide variety of possible afterlife scenarios. I don't read much fiction, but this book was recommended by many famous people I follow and connect with. I have never read a book like this in my life and this book falls under the category of speculative fiction. For me, the book felt like an experimental novel with a lot of thought experiments. The book can be finished in less than two hours and my favourite quote so far is:
“The missing crowds make you lonely. You begin to complain about all the people you could be meeting. But no one listens or sympathizes with you because this is precisely what you chose when you were alive.”
🧵 The Greatest Investor
In an excellent Twitter Thread, Trung Phan has explained the career of Jim Simmons, often called the Greatest Investor on Wallstreet. In 1988, Simmons launched a hedge fund called Renaissance Tech, one of the most successful hedge funds of all time. To give you a perspective of its success, in the years 1988-2018, it posted a return of 66%/yr. $1 invested in 1988 in this fund is now worth $14m+. Simmons was a former codebreaker and was able to find hidden patterns in the market which no one recognised, which led to the success of the fund.
[Check out the Thread]
🎧 Holographic Universe(s)
I've been listening to an album called Holographic Universe(s?)!, an album by Nonlocal Forecast, a vaporwave project from Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist Angel Marcloid. The album features synths and programmed drums that are complexly featured, giving a strange soothing feeling!. Listen to the album on Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music.
That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
This newsletter is free, but not cheap. It takes a lot of effort and time from my end (7~8 hours) to deliver this newsletter every week. You can help me in keeping it going by forwarding it to someone you like, buying me a coffee($1/₹75), sending me some crypto, visiting my blog or following me on Twitter.
See you next week!
Quote of the week: "Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough." ~ Richard Feynman
I'm collecting testimonials from the readers of this newsletter. You can leave a text or a video testimonial by clicking here. The testimonial will be featured in the 'Wall of Love'!
The attention diet point is extremely interesting. part of the reason I came onto substack in the first place: less endless scrolling. more curated, high quality content you choose for yourself. Great list!