P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #244

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November 28 · Issue #244 · 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 🚀
Thanksgiving morning at the quesadilla truck.
Thanksgiving morning at the quesadilla truck.
  1. Come and see for yourself. In crypto, we use wallets to digitally store tokens or coins. My wallet app allows me to name my various wallets. The one I use for experimental purchases is named “See for Yourself”, an homage to the Buddhist phrase (“Ehipassiko”). This past week, I saw for myself. 👇
  2. We didn’t buy the U.S. Constitution. Last week I shared that I jumped in on ConstitutionDAO, a Digital Autonomous Organization (DAO) that was attempting to buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution at auction with $47 million raised almost overnight from a motley crew of regular people on the internet. Kim still thinks I’m a bit nutty for doing this. While the DAO didn’t win the auction, there’s been a surprising rally in the value of tokens. The market value is (at the moment) up 30x from my original purchase (I won’t call it an investment). Why? It’s become a meme! I still don’t understand it, except to say that the people of the internet can be a powerful force. While I sold off most of my PEOPLE, as the token is called, I’ll retain the eye-opening lesson on how quickly and powerfully the internet can move.
fun facts 🙌
How a Jefferson dinner works. “You must have a single conversation. You talk to the whole table and the whole table listens. The whole time. That’s 8 to 14 brains on one topic. It’s powerful and unique.” | learn more
The can that always can — the history of WD-40. “After forty attempts to create the formula, they famously came up with the right one on their 40th attempt. The name WD-40 stands for water displacement, formula 40. It’s first application came as a coating for the Atlas missiles made by Corvair in the 1950s.” | learn more
Beleaguered hoteliers want Morocco to change a controversial sex law. “Premarital sex is illegal in Morocco, and hotels typically uphold a policy of “no marriage certificate, no (shared) room.” This has resulted in a lot of workarounds. Tourist websites recommend everything from offering extra money to putting on fake wedding rings, to booking two single rooms and sneaking across to your partner’s chambers after dark.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
The rise of many in consumer fintech. Three partners at venture capital firm a16z explain their view that fintech is going to get very fragmented as brands develop around niche audiences that aren’t constrained by geography. “What will differentiate these products in the long-run will be the features that are purpose built for a specific community or audience.” | learn more
The end of Entrepreneurs in Residence. “If you believe enough in a founder to invite them to be an EIR you might as well just give them some money on a note and let them iterate with you already pot-committed.” | learn more
B2C2B as the future go-to-market for digital health companies. “The thought of being able to control user acquisition and growth, and have the offering subsidized or paid for by insurance is just too compelling.” | learn more
better doing 🎯
How (and why) giving students choices can dramatically improve learning. “A team of researchers recruited twenty-four 10-year old girls to learn five classical ballet positions.” One group had a choice of when to see video demonstrations of each position. The other (“no-choice”) group saw the same videos, but the timing was tied to a participant in the choice group. | learn more
to your health ⚕
The new science of brain health. “Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. It’s a relatively new field that combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications that are tailored to a person’s genetic makeup.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Retail price hikes & framing. The headline is “America’s biggest companies can’t stop bragging to investors about how they’re charging you more” and I saw the link because of a politician’s tweet. The framing makes a few not-to-subtle implications about what “should” happen—retailers should absorb cost increases and avoid highlighting market realities to investors. Just a friendly reminder that without the profit incentive, we’d have about as much consumer retail choice as Soviet Russia. | learn more
Americans spend more when Thanksgiving falls early. “In 2005, the economist Emek Basker…studied the US, where Thanksgiving now ranges between November 22 and 28, leaving as few as 26 or as many as 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She found a clear pattern: Americans do indeed spend more when Thanksgiving falls early.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Evolution-proofing antibiotics. “Part of the problem lies precisely in the very effective way in which antibiotics work. Most inhibit essential components of the cellular machinery, efficiently killing susceptible pathogens but also members of our commensal microbiota. This exerts a massive selection pressure, where the only route to survival is the evolution of resistance.” There’s an approach to dealing with antibiotic resistance by fighting virulence factors rather than microbes themselves. It’s promising, but is it really possible to sidestep the evolution at the root of drug resistance? | learn more
Alzheimer’s progression in the brain doesn’t work like we thought. “The international team, led by the University of Cambridge, found that instead of starting from a single point in the brain and initiating a chain reaction that leads to the death of brain cells, Alzheimer’s disease reaches different regions of the brain early.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
The coming world ruling class. “This ruling class might sometimes offer their larger community some options to choose between. But mostly this is when the ruling elite can’t decide, or wants to make others feel more involved. Such as who exactly to put at the top most visible positions. Sometimes real fights break out among coalitions within the elite, but these fights tend to be short and behind the scenes.” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Bitcoin City will be funded by Bitcoin bonds. There’s a new city coming to El Salvador. “…President Bukele has a track record of not only successfully executing on his plans, but doing so in lightning fast speed. We live in an age of politics where you can discount almost any announcement and reliably believe a very small percentage of plans will actually be accomplished — that doesn’t seem to be the case in El Salvador at the moment.” | learn more
Adoption of Bitcoin’s lightning network. Unlike the wild swings in crypto token prices, I’m intrigued by the slow and steady increase in adoption of the lightning network. It’s purported to have all the security of the base blockchain with fast and cheap transactions. I wasn’t paying much attention to this until I recently met a “Bitcoin maximalist” who shed light on it. | learn more
calls to action 👇
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