Medley 209: College, Writing, 10k, Building, Spain, Homeschooling, iPhones, Bikes, Hornets...

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

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Happy Monday!

I can barely believe it, but this is the 4-year anniversary of this newsletter. It has gone out every single Monday without fail since the first email in early May 2016.

Last Friday I published a piece on College After COVID, with some thoughts on how the university system could adapt now that students won't want to pay $50,000 for Zoom lectures. I'd really love to see an online/offline blended model like this, I just don't know how resistant to change the current system will be.

The World of Sponsorship

๐Ÿฎ This week's Medley is brought to you by White Oak Pastures. You've probably heard that the meat supply chain is falling apart, but that's only the big, fragile, factory-farming meat suppliers. Now is a great time to stop buying terrible quality meat that hurts the environment, and get carbon negative, grass fed, sustainable meat instead. For more on why this is so important for the economy and your health, check out this recent Forbes profile on what's going on at White Oak.

The World of Work

๐Ÿ–‹ This is a beautifully written post on "how to write and what to write about." I enjoy posts like this where it really feels like the author is writing to remind themselves of something. I find those kinds of posts the most relatable, since I find writing is primarily an exercise of generating ideas or reminding yourself of things you shouldn't forget.

๐Ÿ’ฐ I like Khe Hy's heuristic of asking yourself how much $10,000 an hour work you're doing. One thought I recently had on this is that feeling productive is typically not $10,000 an hour work. It might be $1,000 an hour work, but the times when you spend an hour and get orders of magnitude more out of it you're usually being unproductive: having that one conversation that changes everything, finding that one idea, writing that one post.

๐Ÿ›  And riffing on the great Marc Andreesen post on needing to build, here's some thoughts on what might have gotten in the way of building, and how a shock to the system might be just what we need.

The World of Life

๐ŸŽ‚ Many people have shared Kevin Kelly's "68 bits of unsolicited advice" for good reason, they're great. I particularly like how he blends the more profound topics with some good life hacks, like "Being able to listen well is a superpower. While listening to someone you love keep asking them โ€œIs there more?โ€, until there is no more." being followed shortly by "Donโ€™t trust all-purpose glue."

The World of COVID-19

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Here's a visualization of deaths per day in Spain since 1941. Even though we're moving out of the panic phase, this goes to show just how much of an outlier event the COVID-19 pandemic has been.

๐Ÿ›‚ I was bullish on the idea of immunity passports till I read this article. Basically, because the total infection rate is relatively low, we would most likely have more false positives from uninfected people than true positives from previously infected people. No bueno.

The World of Education

๐Ÿก I loved this thread on homeschooling. Each year I feel more and more in the camp that my future kids would be best educated in some sort of community driven alternative school, not sent to public school. A couple ideas I liked:

"As a bright, lazy kid, public school made me feel like a failure. It was all busywork, and I just wasn't going to do that... Paradoxically, my straight A student wife *also* was made to feel like a failure by school because it's a pie-eating contest where the prize is more pie."

"Homeschoolers can picture themselves as besieged dissidents retreating to the wilderness, or as wealthy 18th-century aristocrats with a library of all the books in the world, as well as a magical portal to see across the universe in time and space."

"Between all-day school, activities, and homework, public school has hypertrophied from an education delivery system to the organizing principle of modern family life... Thus, homeschooling reasserts your sovereignty over more than just your kids' education."

The World of Just for Fun

๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ Here's an impressive example of what you can do with an iPhone camera, bike, and some patience while stuck inside.

๐Ÿค– Another good bit of Onion commentary: there are plenty of jobs available if you're willing to outwork robots.

๐Ÿ And just in case the pandemic wasn't enough, it looks like we're also getting murder hornets now.

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

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And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,

Nat

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