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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #227

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August 1 · Issue #227 · 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 fifth year!

my story 🚀
  1. Facebook is the 6th largest company in the world by market capitalization. This week, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors that, “In addition to being the next generation of the internet, the metaverse is also going to be the next chapter for us as a company.” This is right after a recent interview with The Verge where he went into depth on the topic. I guess that means we should pay attention?
  2. Zuckerberg defined the metaverse: “It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. You can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at. We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.”
  3. In another angle on the metaverse, gaming company Axie Infinity has grown from 670k revenue in April of this year to $79 million through the first 18 days of July. Something is happening here. See the long write-up in Not Boring for more detail. (Disclosure: after seeing the growth chart this week I bought some tokens.)
  4. I finally got a much-needed haircut. While talking to my barber about music, he mentioned he loved to re-watch a particular Lollapalooza concert from 10+ years ago on YouTube. I asked if he’d ever pay to stream a concert at home. It turns out he already had! He is older than me. I asked if he thought it was the future. He said he did, because he later learned a bunch of people he knows independently paid to stream the same concert. Anecdotes aren’t data, but all this shapes up to some interesting opportunity for a future metaverse.
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
Why we’re blind to the color blue. “[T]he color blue is always out of focus for the human eye. It’s hard to believe since it appears that we see blue clearly, but it’s astonishing when shown an example. Here, I’ll explain why we’re unable to focus on blue, and show examples of what it means for image sharpness.” | learn more
No one can figure out how eels have sex. “From Ancient Greece to the 20th century, Aristotle, Freud, and numerous other scholars were all looking for the same thing: eel testicles. Freshwater eels could be found in rivers across Europe, but no one had ever seen them mate and no researcher could find eel eggs or identify their reproductive organs.” | learn more
Why Gen Z loves closed captioning. Confession: I also enjoy this feature! “‘Everyone does it.’ These were the words from my college-aged daughter when I caught her lounging on our couch, streaming Friends with 24-point closed captioning on.” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
The winners of Thursday’s Illinois dispensary license lottery. “Illinois cannabis regulators assigned 55 new adult-use dispensary licenses [Thursday] afternoon and while the licenses seemed at first blush to go to a wide array of applicants – including many with social equity backgrounds – some licenses went to familiar names in the cannabis business.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Rockley Photonics will measure biomarkers such as glucose with lasers. For years I’ve heard rumors of glucose sensors coming to the Apple Watch. I’ve largely ignored them because they’ve been detached from any detail about the necessary technology. Then I saw this deck, now I’m a believer. Not only glucose, but also blood pressure, core body temp, hydration, alcohol and lactate. | learn more
Luckin Coffee stock jumps after financial restatement. The Chinese coffee startup (founded 2017) was a high-flyer until April 2020 when it came out they had fabricated sales figures. I stopped paying attention then, but China really wants a domestic alternative to Starbucks. | learn more
better doing 🎯
Why you think you’re right, even when you’re wrong. “Imagine for a moment you’re a soldier in the heat of battle — perhaps a Roman foot soldier, medieval archer or Zulu warrior. Regardless of your time and place, some things are probably constant. Your adrenaline is elevated, and your actions stem from your deeply ingrained reflexes, reflexes that are rooted in a need to protect yourself and your side and to defeat the enemy.” | learn more
to your health ⚕
UnitedHealthcare footing the bill for Peloton app. “Starting Sept. 1, eligible UnitedHealthcare members will be able to access thousands of live and on-demand classes via the Peloton App for up to 12 months, or receive a four-month waiver toward their All-Access Membership, at no additional cost.” | learn more
I’m called anti-science; I’m just an early adopter. “As an integrative/functional medicine physician, I’ve been criticized, like many of my colleagues in the field, of being “anti-science.”” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Housing medallions. This is a very interesting analysis answering the question: Why is expensive housing such a lucrative investment? “Most Americans (66% of American households) are in the business of owning and leasing residential real estate. It just so happens that they usually rent to themselves rather than an outside tenant, but the economics are the same regardless.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
How newborn mammals dream the world they’re entering. “As a newborn mammal opens its eyes for the first time, it can already make visual sense of the world around it. But how does this happen before they have experienced sight? A new Yale study suggests that, in a sense, mammals dream about the world they are about to experience before they are even born.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
The ultimate hot dog newsletter issue. FYI I always put Ketchup on mine. “Hot dogs have always had a unique place in Chicago’s heart. The sausages were brought here by immigrants as they built the city. Chicago-style dogs fed the masses for cheap when families were hurting during the Great Depression.” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Scaling reads and writes. “Most of the discourse to date around scaling blockchains is about writes. This is often measured as transactions per second (TPS). For example, Ethereum supports 15-30 TPS, Binance Smart Chain supports up to 160 TPS, and Solana supports up to 50,000 TPS. Investors have invested billions of dollars to scale blockchain writes. … Scaling reads will be the next big scaling challenge for the blockchain industry.” | learn more
The billion user table. This starts with how to regulate the internet giants and ends with an unregulatable decentralized internet giant. “The login is the gateway to the internet. And it’s about to get decentralized.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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