Found myself in somewhat of a funk this month, low on energy and motivation. My usual menu of neuroses bubbling up and my usual response; fits-and-starts of bouyancy followed by lethargy. Unhappy with my work. I think I need a holiday. And twenty more IQ points.

Anyway, not much writing, just Wallets As Identity, a rough first draft of a chapter from the Ethereum book.

I began five books but only finished one: Feyerabend’s Against Method. I intend to write in more detail about it, because it was both very good and also rather illegible. After some effort, I think I have a clear idea of what he is trying to do, but I can’t see how his arguments don’t collapse into a much broader scepticism. Here’s a Twitter thread with some quotes I enjoyed.

The unabridged edition of Simon Schama’s History of Great Britain series is wonderful – Schama writes so well – and it’s currently included with any Audible subscription, although that will change this month.

A collection of memos ‘written for an internal audience’, mostly business and technology but some politics too. Diaries and letters and other documentary on how the sausage gets made gives you a good sense for 1. the trade-offs involved in absolutely everything, something that is easy to consider intellectually and much harder to feel intuitively, 2. how chaotic and unregimentable progress is a priori, and 3. the sheer variability of approaches and styles of success and failure.

Michael Nielsen writes on effective altruism and his take on its problems providing a moral core for an individual’s life.

A friend pointed me to this Dylan B-side, from the Blood on the Tracks sessions. Lovely and sad and detached. Dylan’s narrator is always at arm’s length from his subject, even when he’s singing about himself.

Two useful reviews of The Future of Fusion Energy, one from Martin Kleppman, the other from the Astral Codex Ten book review contest: the former reviews the book, the latter reviews its content.

Toby Ord on the knowability of the Edges of the Universe; and a fun lecture from Stuart Armstrong on how we might get there.

For a bit of context on the jurisprudential questions that underly the Roe v Wade debates, a chat between Scalia and Breyer.

And here’s a beautiful photograph of a new(-ish; May 2020) impact crater found on Mars:

Impact crater on Mars