Medley 222: Tik Tok, COVID-19, Dating Apps, Living Spaces, Elon Musk, Hydroxychloroquine...

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:

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Happy Monday!

I've got a few new things for you this week...

First up: I published an article all about the deceptive marketing and unhealthiness of Oatly, the wildly popular Oat milk.

I also added my notes on "Scale" by Geoffrey West to The Brain. It's a fantastic book linking together laws of growth for organisms, cities, companies, and more.

And I've partnered with Tiago Forte to bring the Roam course to Forte Academy, alongside Building a Second Brain and David Perell's Write of Passage! More info and enrollment will launch on Monday.

Finally, last week I joined my friend Z on the "Tako Talk" podcast to talk all about growing Growth Machine and scaling a service business.

The World of Relationships

🀳 Here's some interesting data on how dating apps are a poor strategy for finding a serious relationship, based on data about what works and doesn't work for relationship satisfaction. The key issue is that the main predictor of relationship quality are the characteristics of the relationship, not characteristics about either person.

"At the outset of relationships, relationship-related characteristics are likely to account for about 45 percent of the differences in relationship satisfaction. Actor reported traits (or your own personality) can account for 19 percent of differences."

πŸ˜† Though if you are using dating apps, this is a funny idea for Tinder: turn it into a Powerpoint.

🧭 One way to help decide about next steps in a serious relationship is to stress test it, something I've often recommended to people who are about to move in together, or are considering getting engaged. Here's a good read on how one couple did it after meeting through a dating app, and here's how my wife and I did it. I typically also recommend everyone in their 20s read "The Defining Decade" since it has great advice on this issue.

πŸš€ And this was a nice profile of Elon Musk focusing more on his personal life and less on his work.

The World of Hydroxychloroquine

πŸ€” This Newsweek op-ed on Hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 intervention by a Yale professor has been making the rounds. The premise of the piece is that there's some evidence HCQ could help decrease COVID symptoms when properly administered early in the infection.

πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ And this is a really good critique of the piece, which makes compelling points about everything the Yale professor got wrong.

😱 I asked about the Newsweek piece on Twitter, and I was pretty surprised by how animated the responses were. A number of people seem to be taking debates about HCQ personally, as if there's some identity embedded in whether or not you think it can work as a treatment. It was a really good example of crony beliefs in action.

🀐 I know what I would do if I were infected with COVID-19, but the HCQ debate isn't honestly that interesting. What is interesting is that discussion about a drug has gotten so politically charged that I was getting text messages and DMs from people with their research on HCQ which they didn't want to share publicly. They felt like it was risky to their reputation to publicly discuss a medicine.

🦠 That is really, really wild. Whether or not HCQ works, we're absolutely harming ourselves if we politicize discussion of medicine. There are going to be a lot more debates about what does and doesn't work for mitigating COVID deaths, and what to worry about or not worry about, and if it turns into a political issue then all chance of reason and progress will go out the window.

The World of TikTok

πŸ‘ Trump finally officially announced his intention to ban TikTok, and he made it even more interesting by throwing WeChat into the mix too.

πŸ“Ή I've mentioned before that I'm all for this, and think it should have come sooner. The articles on The TikTok War and The Rise of TikTok are good primers if you haven't read other TikTok discussions in the Medley.

🐣 I'll be really interested to see if Microsoft buys it, or maybe Twitter? It would be particularly wild if Twitter ended up buying TikTok after shutting down Vine a few years ago.

The World of Life

🐲 This is a great metaphor for our attitude and research around aging. Just because we're used to sacrificing people to the dragon tyrant doesn't mean we have to keep doing it.

🏘 I like the idea of what Culdesac is trying to do around building communities without having to do full co-living. I don't think I'd want to live in a city this artificial, but I like the idea of designing living spaces for socializing and reducing the amount of time spent at home alone.

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ And is there a way we can encourage more productive behavior through "Proof of X"? I love Julian's idea in the article of an app that creates social capital around reading and learning in the same way Strava does for fitness.

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.

If you want to support the Medley and my other writing, there are many ways you can do that here.

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

Did You Enjoy This?

Then consider joining the 30,000 other people getting the Monday Medley newsletter. It's a collection of fascinating finds from my week, usually about psychology, technology, health, philosophy, and whatever else catches my interest. I also include new articles and book notes.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.