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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #188

👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7
November 1 · Issue #188 · 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 🚀
Another beautiful day in a life full of good fortune.
Another beautiful day in a life full of good fortune.
8️⃣ As the US election and its aftermath take national mindshare this week, remember that 8 weeks remain in 2020 and it’s your choice how you spend them. Welcome to November!
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
Colorized image from The Colour of Time (via Marina Amaral)
Colorized image from The Colour of Time (via Marina Amaral)
Nine kings in one photo, 1910. “At King Edward VII funeral, were nine kings, who were photographed together in what very well may be the only photo of nine reigning kings ever taken.” Link to The Colour of Time book. | learn more
AI magic makes century-old films look new. I came here for the colorized and sharpened San Francisco, a Trip down Market Street, and it was great. There is also upgraded old footage from France, Japan and the Moon! | learn more
The curious case of haunted house pricing. This is about real haunted houses, not the Halloween variety. “Exploiting the unique institutional setting of Hong Kong’s real estate market, we uncover a curious ripple effect of haunted houses on the prices of nearby houses. Prices drop on average 20% for units that become haunted, 10% for units on the same floor, 7% for units in the same block, and 1% for units in the same estate.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Understanding biotech investing. “As with startups, biotech companies have high failure rates: 90% of clinical programs fail to receive FDA approval, while 92% of biotech companies are unprofitable at any given time.” | learn more
Proof of X. “At their core, social networks are primarily about one thing: Building social capital through signaling.” This post is much more interesting than the title suggests. Starting with Strava (fitness social network) as proof-of-physical-activity leads to many thought-provoking ideas of Strava for X. | learn more
better doing 🎯
Five monkeys, a ladder, a banana and a water spray. There’s an apocryphal story of an experiment that highlights how group norms form and stick around – with monkeys! Despite it likely being made up, I still love it. I think of it whenever I hear “that’s the way we’ve always done things around here.” | learn more
Appearances vs experiences: what really makes us happy. From Farnam Street: “In the search for happiness, we often confuse how something looks with how it’s likely to make us feel. This is especially true when it comes to our homes. If we want to maximize happiness, we need to prioritize experiences over appearances.” For me, it’s notable that this idea is simultaneously “duh” looking forward and nevertheless frequently “oops” looking backward. | learn more
to your health ⚕
Are we ready for the cure for cancer? New therapeutics bring us to the brink of fixing underlying causes of many diseases. But, “If we can’t do those “easy” things—test for the virus, provide medical care for those that need it, even just get people the right PPE—how are we possibly going to absorb major new technologies into the system?” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Resetting online commerce. From Benedict Evans: “What’s going to happen in ecommerce and retail? TV? TV ads? Retail? Brands? Online advertising? There are half a dozen huge industries where all of the cards are being thrown up in the air, and no-one really knows where they’re going to land.” | learn more
Interview with Shopify’s President. Harvey Finkelstein has an interesting story. One of the first merchants on Shopify with a t-shirt store, he joined the team a few years in, becoming COO and now President. He has a unique perch to see the development of ecommerce and how Shopify furthers the cause of entrepreneurship. | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Beware mass-produced medical recommendations. A couple weeks ago I shared a recent study showing extreme benefits of vitamin D for Covid-19 patients (or maybe the extreme detriments of vitamin D deficiency). More on the curious case of vitamin D, and the murky world of understanding science. | learn more
What forest floor playgrounds each us about kids and germs. I regularly allow my children to immerse themselves in dirt, and luckily this study makes me feel great about it. “Finnish researchers just published the first big test of the “biodiversity hypothesis”—that exposure to the microbes in dirt is good for young immune systems.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
Eating as dialogue, food as technology. The modern view of food as building blocks & fuel misses part of the picture. “[D]eep in the detailed pages of journals such as Cell Host & Microbe and Nature Reviews Endocrinology, a profound transformation is occurring in scientific ideas about food and eating that promises to undo assumptions about the relationships between eaters and what is eaten.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
Critical climate tech breakthroughs, multiplied by Instigators. From Vinod Khosla: “12–15 entrepreneurs, driven by entrepreneurial energy and passion for a vision, could change the climate crisis into societal transformation.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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