22 May 2022

Welcome back to the Week That Was series highlighting things from the interwebs which are interesting, noteworthy and/or probably worth your time.

Articles๐Ÿ“, Tweet(s)๐Ÿ“ฑ, Videos๐ŸŽฅ, Charts ๐Ÿ“ˆ all fair game with or without attendant commentary.


๐ŸŽจ tiny world

tiny world

its a tiny tiny world, u/Songbirdphantom , digital, 2021


๐Ÿ† Success



Entrepreneur, investor, programmer, and blogger Sam Altman, who is the former president of Y Combinator and current CEO of OpenAI - offers some great advice on success in his blog post: ๐Ÿ“How To Be Successful

Worth a read; introduction and chapter headings below.

Iโ€™ve observed thousands of founders and thought a lot about what it takes to make a huge amount of money or to create something important. Usually, people start off wanting the former and end up wanting the latter. Here are 13 thoughts about how to achieve such outlier success. Everything here is easier to do once youโ€™ve already reached a baseline degree of success (through privilege or effort) and want to put in the work to turn that into outlier success. But much of it applies to anyone.

  1. Compound yourself
  2. Have almost too much self-belief
  3. Learn to think independently
  4. Get good at โ€œsalesโ€
  5. Make it easy to take risks
  6. Focus
  7. Work hard
  8. Be bold
  9. Be willful
  10. Be hard to compete with
  11. Build a network
  12. You get rich by owning things
  13. Be internally driven



“One of the biggest reasons I’m excited about basic income is the amount of human potential it will unleash by freeing more people to take risks. Until then, if you aren’t born lucky, you have to claw your way up for awhile before you can take big swings. If you are born in extreme poverty, then this is super difficult :(”

“It is obviously an incredible shame and waste that opportunity is so unevenly distributed. But I’ve witnessed enough people be born with the deck stacked badly against them and go on to incredible success to know it’s possible. I am deeply aware of the fact that I personally would not be where I am if I weren’t born incredibly lucky.”


๐Ÿ’ต๐ŸŒ Population Weighted Inflation

Per Adam Tooze:

Weight global economic data by population and look how it reweights the map. Pakistan and Nigeria really matter!

Population Inflation


The inflation v gdp picture still not looking great for South Africa - who this week raised rates again, this time by 50bps, to try and curb CPI.




๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“ˆ Era of Evidence

Per Ethan Mollick:

The economics field has changed in recent decades as an unintended consequence of better computers. As large-scale computation has become cheaper & more feasible, economics has become much less about theory, much more about providing detailed evidence.


From this paper: ๐Ÿ“šThe Era of Evidence


๐Ÿคผโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ 38 Ways To Win An Argument



Per The Browser:

World’s gloomiest philosopher explains how to pwn trolls and win Twitter. Prepare to feel a sense of horrified recognition that Schopenhauer could list all relevant tropes in his Art Of Controversy a century before social media was even imagined.


  • Use different meanings of your opponent’s words to refute his or her argument.
  • Another plan is to confuse the issue by changing your opponent’s words or what he or she seeks to prove.
  • Make your opponent angry. An angry person is less capable of using judgement or perceiving where his or her advantage lies.
  • If the argument turns upon general ideas with no particular names, you must use language or a metaphor that is favorable in your proposition.
  • A quick way of getting rid of an opponent’s assertion, or throwing suspicion on it, is by putting it into some odious category.
  • You admit your opponent’s premises but deny the conclusion.
  • A last trick is to become personal, insulting and rude as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand. In becoming personal you leave the subject altogether, and turn your attack on the person by remarks of an offensive and spiteful character. This is a very popular trick, because everyone is able to carry it into effect.




๐Ÿ“Š Distributions

Per Massimo:

Programmer Rasmus Bรฅรฅth wrote a script in R to create diagrams of distribution. This chart shows the distributions that are currently implemented source, read more on GitHub:




๐Ÿค–๐ŸŽจ This Image Does Not Exist

Image Exist

Last week we had a detailed look at DALL-E 2 and image generative machine learning algorithms. Here’s an implementation using images generated by DALL-E 2 and VQGAN generative models which is a game where you need to figure out which image was generated by a human versus a machine.

Curiously challenging… which says alot already.

๐ŸŒThis Image Does Not Exist


๐Ÿ“น Ignoring Assange

Julian Assange has a long, complicated past. But regardless of what you think of him and what he did, you should care about what happens to him. This video goes into why.


Also, check out two very solid documentaries on Assange for a deeper understanding of him as a person:

  • Risk (2016), by Laura Poitras (we used a little footage from that doc in the intro)
  • We Steal Secrets (2013), by Alex Gibney*


๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ‘” Talent


If Tyler and Daniel’s latest book can be boiled down into a single message, it would be that the world is currently failing at identifying talent, and that getting better at it would have enormous benefits for organizations, individuals, and the world at large. In this episode of Conversations with Tyler, they discuss the ideas in their book on how to spot talent better, including the best questions to ask in interviews, predicting creativity and ambition, and the differences between competitiveness and obsessiveness.

They also explore the question of why so many high achievers love Diet Coke, why you should ask candidates if they have any good conspiracy theories, how to spot effective dark horses early, the hiring strategy that set SpaceX apart, what to look for in a talent identifier, what you can learn from discussing drama, the underrated genius of game designers, why Tyler has begun to value parents more and IQ less, conscientiousness as a mixed blessing, the importance of value hierarchies, how to become more charismatic, the allure of endurance sports for highly successful people, what they disagree on most, and more.


๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ“– Bionic

Bionic Reading


๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ˜๐Ÿ“ธ Lunar Eclipse

A couple of snaps from so-called Super flower blood moon event.

The mechanics of the actual lunar eclipse.

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse 5

Lunar Eclipse 1

A few snaps

Lunar Eclipse 2

Lunar Eclipse 3

Lunar Eclipse 9

Lunar Eclipse 6

Lunar Eclipse 12


๐ŸŽจ Red Canyon

Red Canyon

Red Canyon, Ruxin Gao, Digital, 2017


๐Ÿ’ฌ Deep Cuts

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” - Aesop


๐Ÿ”ฎโœจ One More Thing

Don’t jump to conclusions. The blue lines are parallel.

Illusory Lines

Credit @erikbryn


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