A Burglar’s Guide to the City – About halfway through and I’m stalled. Can’t decide if I’m going to finish or not. Love it, have gotten a lot of ideas and entertainment from it, but not feeling compelled to pick it up lately. Recommended by Venkatesh Rao on Twitter.
Breaking Smart Email Newsletter – Also by the aforementioned Rao. These Tweetstorm formatted emails are always a treat and force me to think in new ways.
Pi is a Rational, Finite Number – Steve Patterson makes the case for a radical new foundation for mathematics. I’m not a math nerd, but this article fascinates me and it’s intuitive and clear. I love the implications of this debate and it sends my mind in infinite directions (or maybe it’s actually a definable number of directions…)
“Ultra Spiritual”, or, “Actually Spiritual?” – Another Patterson piece, this one a podcast interview with JP Sears, internet famous for satirical videos about college degrees, vegans, Millennials, and much more. A soothing, thoughtful sort of episode, great for going on a walk in nature and contemplating existence both seriously and satirically.
Masters of Scale – Podcast series hosted by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. Highly produced with (sometimes cheesy) sound effects and transitions, and an incredibly clever and engaging ad strategy baked in. This series has been really great for me the last few weeks, as I think through scaling pain-points for Praxis.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Re-reading this top-notch book by top venture capitalist and former tech CEO supreme Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz. I lost or gave away my hard copy (full of notes!), so reading it on Kindle this time. Interesting observation, I see things differently based on the format I read. This book would have been worthless to me prior to founding Praxis, but now it’s one of my Bibles (along with Peter Thiel’s Zero to One).
Steemit – This is a social media platform that (inexplicably to me so far) employs blockchain technology to create a reward system for content creators and curators. I’m endlessly fascinated by this Wild West moment in crypto tokens and applications (though the actual Wild West wasn’t so wild, a compelling case why in one of my all-time favorite books, The Not So Wild, Wild West), and I decided to spend 10 minutes a day scanning, reading, upvoting, and posting to Steemit for a few weeks and see if there’s a ‘there’ there. I’ve watched a few videos and read a few articles claiming it’s everything from a Ponzi scheme to the future of social. Neither of which seem true thus far. TBD.
“Would You Press The Button?” – Phenomenal paper by William Nava that posits the concept of a Collective Interpretive Framework (CIF) as the underlying foundation for all governments. William put into a clear and cogent system many ideas I’ve struggled for years to define about the nature of social change, and the role of beliefs, arguments, experience, and legitimacy. (I give my version here, but I’d revise to explicitly describe it in terms of the CIF if I did it over again). I’m re-reading Will’s piece in preparation of an interview with him for my podcast.
Fearful Symmetry – A study of William Blake, recommended by my friend Michael Gibson, partner at the awesomely radical 1517 Fund and a true gentleman and scholar. He’s a huge fan of Blake (even adopting his name for a Twitter handle), and I keep seeing intriguing Blake quotes pop up everywhere, so I decided to go deeper than Wikipedia and ask for a good starting point. Just arrived and I haven’t cracked it yet.
The City as Liturgy – A fascinating correspondence between an Orthodox Priest and Jane Jacobs, sent to me by philosopher-developer Vince Graham as a followup to our recent podcast episode about cities and living. I’m only partly through, because it’s in PDF format on my computer and I get easily distracted this way.
The Blog of NL – My son started a blog yesterday and posted an article about memes. It’s incredibly fun to find out how he thinks about things via reading his blog, compared to conversations. I didn’t know he was so down on meme culture (which I love!). Don’t know if he’ll stick with it, but today he’s working on a post called “Humor is Not Subjective”. Sounds like I might have to disagree with him again.