Emptying out the mailbag & clearing the history #23

Posted on February 23, 2018

(Last Updated On: September 28, 2018)

Other mailbags can be found hereKeep in mind a lot of this is email conversations, comment replies, or some random interesting things I’ve found. By their nature they are not as thorough or complete as a post on one topic.

Here’s what’s covered in this installment:


Falcon Heavy

Thought I was watching a movie:

Speaking of rockets, here’s why they spray the engines during takeoff.


The evidence for a relationship between physical and mental health keeps coming

Poor fitness linked to weaker brain fiber, higher dementia risk

Some of my writing,

Worried about dementia? Stop thinking and start moving

How quickly can your brain atrophy?


“In 2025, a benevolent AI takes control of Earth. Machines take care of all jobs, everybody has enough for a middle class life. How will you spend your days?”

Love Elena’s answer!


Life expectancy in America going down

Obesity Shaved Almost a Year Off U.S. Life Expectancy

This is still being debated. Some are focusing on opiates as the primary cause. When you consider the relationship between physical inactivity and pain, you can make an argument obesity is part of the opiate crisis too.


How Facebook ended up where it is

This is a pretty jaw dropping article:

INSIDE THE TWO YEARS THAT SHOOK FACEBOOK—AND THE WORLD: How a confused, defensive social media giant steered itself into a disaster, and how Mark Zuckerberg is trying to fix it all.

It took Facebook until mid-2017 to even consider people buying American political ads in rubles -with their browsers in a Russian language- might not be a good idea. It took Zuckerberg 14 years to realize monopolizing people’s attention might not be in anybody’s best interest. That whether he’s worth $40 billion but can sleep at night is more valuable than being worth $70 billion and not. Being in business doesn’t have to mean wrenching every cent out of every person.

Many used to think people in finance were more or less geniuses, merely because they had money. Then the financial collapse happened, and media like The Big Short came out. Where you realized there was a combination of cluelessness, idiocy, and yes, deceit going on. But overwhelmingly, it wasn’t smart people outplaying everybody. I think a lot of people have the same initial view of Silicon Valley. That it’s all a bunch of super smart people who know best.

In that regard, Facebook (and Uber) is having its Big Short moment right now. Similarly, what was so incredible about the financial collapse was how really, very little laws were broken. Facebook, bafflingly, looks to not have broken any laws. Just like the bank CEOs, they’re getting up in front of congress going “Hey, we didn’t know,” and that’s what a $600 an hour legal defense gets you. Because that’s good enough to get away with it.


Making muscle memory more tangible

Study proves ‘muscle memory’ exists at a DNA level


Steph Curry ankle problems keep coming back around

Curry: ‘My frustration level is on 1,000’ Warriors guard aggravates ankle injury in shootaround

He might want to re-examine his golf hobby.


Futility of genomic dieting

Matching DNA to a diet doesn’t work: ‘We didn’t even come close,’ researcher says


A common mistake when debating online

I had a nice conversation with a commenter on this post. You can see us go back and forth with agreeing and disagreeing, yet without any of the common insanity that too often happens in comment sections.

That said, something I’ve learned throughout the years with talking to people online is, many times you think you’re disagreeing with somebody, you’re actually agreeing, but you just have different definitions of what you’re talking about. That if you get the terms situated one way or another, you have a eureka moment.

Now, whose definition is right isn’t so much the point. There are even elements of physics where the definition is borderline nonsensical, but since everybody agrees on it, it works out. It’s more about getting on the same page. I know some people will purposely ask “What’s your definition of X?” Then they’ll simply accept their take, and debate from there. It’s not a bad move. After all, the debate tends to be the more important aspect.

One reason this is important is because so many people jump to calling others idiots online. Yet, they’re actually agreeing with the person. Meaning they’ve called themselves an idiot!

It can really matter. Something as simple as “I define ‘a lot’ as this, is that your definition too?” can go a long way.

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