Medley 263: Responsibilities, Equality, Wisdom, DeFi, Silicon Valley, Poets...

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 published two new DeFi related articles last week: one on using automatic asset allocation to earn 15-20% APY, and another about the recent crypto market meltdown.

I'll also be doing a chat about DeFi & crypto in the Every Discord tomorrow morning for paid Almanack subscribers. If you're not a member, you can sign up here.

On the SEO for Solopreneurs side, I released a number of new videos around Technical SEO, including HTML requirements, basic UX things to watch for, and a walkthrough on WordPress & Webflow.

Finally, Nathan Barry had me on his podcast recently to talk about course building and launching!

Wow that was a lot of stuff last week. Alright, on to the Medley!

​SATs & Equality pt. 2

📚 A medley reader sent me this thread that popped up related to my thread on SATs and Education last week.

💵 The thread explores how SATs are also predictive of socioeconomic status, and uses a good analogy to explain it:

"Consider an example: I develop a new test where I interview each student and give them a score. I label it a perfect “meritocratic sorting tool for academic skill.” It is also a black box – I don’t tell you how I construct scores. This score very strongly predicts college grades. It is correlated with SES, just like other measures. It is only modestly coachable. And in an admissions system based on it, it would be very much equity-promoting to make sure all students have the opportunity to take it. Now I open the black box. It turns out that scores on this test are based entirely on how well the student knows the rules of lacrosse (except in Maryland), when to tack when sailing upwind, and the difference between béchamel and hollandaise."

👆 He points out that grades are better than SATs since they tend to correlate less strongly with socioeconomic status, and that if we want to promote more equality of opportunity we should try to prioritize boosts based on income over race.

🙂 It's a rather good thread, definitely recommend giving it a read.

​The World of Parenting

✍🏼 My friend Adee wrote up a fantastic piece on sharing responsibilities as new parents. This isn't something I've seen much published around, and it was helpful to see what has worked (and not worked) for her and her family over the first year.

👪 A few things stood out as relatively easy and potentially high leverage things to implement:

  • Lists of responsibilities for each parent to create structure, but allow for flexibility .
  • Frequent check-ins.
  • Finding ways to remove bottlenecks to make child care easy (laundry, supplies, cleanliness, etc).
  • "Daddy Day."
  • Asking for & offering help, and defaulting to doing more of this than might be comfortable.

​The World of Self Help

📖 This is one of the better articles I've read on "self-help" in a while. It's a hodge podge of writing advice, productivity advice, real estate advice, and some life wisdom.

A couple of my favorite passages:

"The great poets, Bolano, or Ginsburg, know the importance of lying on your back and staring at the clouds. But how many of us have so much confidence in our abilities that we’ll watch the sky move and wait for inspiration while our family starves?"

"However, the important thing is that you find meaning in your life. And meaning comes from creating art (sometimes) and relationships (always). Once you have your basic needs met relationships are the only things that matter. Which is unfortunate. Because relationships are much more difficult than real estate."

​The World of Humor

🤪 Last, we have this pretty hilarious piece on "how to become an intellectual in Silicon Valley."

🙊 I think it's meant to be more spiteful than funny, but it ends up quite funny nonetheless if you're willing to laugh at yourself, me, and the people you read:

"then of course, there’s Thiel, the singular genius of the era—a man who wants to live to the age of 120 and is so far ahead of the curve he often looks as if he’s already reached triple digits, around fifty years early."

"René Girard, a French scholar of religion and literature influential among VC intellectuals, once argued that all human desire is mimetic—anything you desire is a mirror of another person’s desire for that same thing. Your success as a greenhorn Silicon Valley intellectual will rest on your ability to shoehorn Girard’s name and the “mimetic theory” with which he’s associated into as many blog posts, podcast interviews, and tweets as possible."

"What’s the point of taking long vacations if your society doesn’t have a retail economy built on Groupon vouchers? The French have developed no good answer to this question, but America must continue to ask it."

​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.

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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