Links, September 2022
Wrapped up my work with Fei Labs this week, and am now unemployed again, poking around the edges of opportunities and building a stronger sense of what I want to work on next. My book on product engineering with Ethereum is coming along well; I should have the first draft done in the next few weeks.
I’ve been rewatching The Crown, partly in preparation for the new season, partly to revisit the life of Elizabeth II, and most of all because I have had several casual conversations with friends on various topics in 20th-century British political history, and I wanted a lightweight set of touch points, nudges toward various prime ministers and political events that I might read into more deeply. As a result, almost all of my reading time has been taken up with television. It’s amazing how easily that can happen!
I did, however, manage to reread Stubborn Attachments by Tyler Cowen. It was much less surprising and enjoyable on rereading, but I suppose that’s a sign of a book whose ideas seem to be more mainstream, whose arguments are more familiar and plausible, whose memes have sunk in to my brain. If I have any criticisms now, it’s that it isn’t ambitious or controversial enough; he caveats the demand for growth by demanding sustainable growth; he builds a broader normative pluralism into a notion of ‘Wealth+’; both of which feel more like a concession to the zeitgeist rather than a serious commitment.
Somebody fed the lyrics of ‘Imagine’ into an AI and asked it to write new verses.
Another preposterous and charming post from Randall Munroe: how much of the Earth’s mass would you have to relocate to space in order to lose 20lbs of weight?
Reminder that YouTube has some 400 episodes of Buckley’s Firing Line interviews, and they’re still extremely good. (Has anybody put the audio into a podcast stream yet?)
The top five papers assigned in economics classes since 1990. Might look into producing a similar list for philosophy.
Simon Sarris’s series on building a home continues to be a delight.
Noah Smith interviews Vitalik, mostly on proof-of-stake.