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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #173

👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7
July 19 · Issue #173 · View online
P.S. You Should Know...
👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7am CST, and definitely the best one published by me. Now in its fourth year!

my story 🚀
I'm still taking opportunities to practice drawing!
I'm still taking opportunities to practice drawing!
What if we treated aging as a disease? Already you can imagine the controversy. It would feel wrong to call granny sick just because she’s old. Aging has always been integral to the human experience. Generations of forefathers lived predictable lifespans with predictable maximums. David Sinclair, a researcher at Professor at Harvard Medical School, believes that’s about to change….
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
A mind-boggling probability problem. I’ve decided when it comes to probability, I must completely ignore intuition to give myself a fighting chance. “A man comes up to you on the street and says: I have two children. At least one of them is a boy. What is the probability that the other child is also a boy?” | learn more
Moscow city contract written with disappearing ink. “A deputy in a local Moscow council said a city contract to replace an elevator in an apartment building was written with disappearing ink, potentially allowing the company to inflate the price.” | learn more
Auctioning a 155-acre college campus. The minimum bid is only $3 million for a whole bunch of land and 22 buildings that combine to 447,000 square feet of space. A live auction is happening August 18. Have any spare cash laying around? | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
High-end Chicago brothel had ties to law enforcement & government. “Jessica Nesbitt, who allegedly ran the business, is balking at giving prosecutors her customers’ names, given their “positions of prestige in the community.”” | learn more
20 new restaurants and bar patios to try in Chicago. “Outdoor dining has long been a popular pastime (weather allowing) in Chicago. The pandemic has made the practice more important than ever for Chicago’s bars and restaurants. This summer’s patio season looks a lot different from those prior. Especially with open roads, where the city closes streets to allow restaurants to set up tables and seats.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Prepare for artificial intelligence to produce less wizardry. “A new paper argues that the computing demands of deep learning are so great that progress on tasks like translation and self-driving is likely to slow.” As with all predictions, I think it’s useful to consider the evidence and discount the conclusions. | learn more
The TikTok war. Ben Thompson at Stratechery digs into the drama around TikTok, it’s Chinese ownership, and the implications for international relations. Meanwhile, as if to gain grassroots support in the US, the platform is giving away free advertising credits to US small businesses. | learn more
The Uber + Postmates deal. Ranjan Roy calls this deal “an all-stock no-brainer,” thinks it’s brilliant, and also thinks it won’t pass regulatory approval. | learn more
better doing 🎯
The 10/10/10 rule for decision making. I learned of this from Annie Duke’s book Thinking in Bets (review coming eventually) then googled for more detail. The short version: when considering a decision, think about how you will feel about it in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years. | learn more
Framework to build new habits and get things done. “Using 2-week challenges, I finally began succeeding with habits and long-term goals.” I have not tried this yet but am sharing it to remind myself that I’ve been stagnant on habit-building for a while. | learn more
to your health ⚕
Pooled testing is super beneficial. The blog Marginal Revolution first introduced me to the idea of pooled testing a few months ago. They’re back on the topic with even more interesting detail. “The primary benefit of pooled testing is obvious. If 1% are infected and we test 100 people individually we need 100 tests. If we split the group into five pools of twenty then if we’re lucky, we only need five tests.” Though the best case is unlikely, their math shows pooled testing increases effective test capacity by 4x. | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Why are toys such a bad business? “Every year, [toy companies] have to a) predict trends, b) invent them, and c) commit capital to them. All without knowing how the rest of the year will turn out. Since toy trends exist, but don’t last for very long, they have to invent new products every year—but the technological state of the art doesn’t advance very fast. It has all the volatility of tech, without the progress.” | learn more
Retail cannabis sales compared to other markets. It’s bigger than the NBA’s revenue and approaching the size of the wholesale prescription pain medication market. “With revenue of $10.6 billion-$13 billion in 2019, sales of legal adult-use and medical marijuana in the United States topped spending on sleep aids, hard seltzer and toothpaste combined.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Weaving indigenous knowledge with scientific research. This article’s title caught my eye because I’ve been trying to reconcile the wisdom of my grandparents and evidence-based science (they often seem far apart). It’s focused on geoscience, a bit out of my sweet spot, yet still relevant. “Although Western scientists have historically deemed [indigenous knowledge] unreliable, during the past decade there has been increasing recognition of the advantages of bicultural approaches to scientific research, including demonstration of reliability.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
Illusion and agreement in the debate over intolerance. Much has been written recently about “cancel culture” and its growing prevalence. The author, philosophy professor Justin Weinberg, takes aim at the underlying premise that, “the free exchange of information and ideas… is daily becoming more constricted.” The debate continues in the comment section. | learn more
calls to action 👇
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