I hope that you’ve had an excellent week and you’re excited to enjoy whatever your weekend has in store.
Today I’m feeling grateful for the opportunities presented by the social internet. While these tools are certainly being used to exacerbate fear, outrage, and polarization, they also enable people from all over the world to develop friendships, organizations, and feelings of belonging.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve created connections between various friends of mine and I’ve been shocked by the end results. One of them ended up getting a job offer, another ended up finding a technical mentor in their rapidly developing field (AR), and everyone involved was glad to have connected.
I have a strong feeling that we can find better ways to use the internet to have a positive impact in others’ lives. Creating connections between our friends who’d love to meet, but don’t know it, seems like a low-risk, high-reward place to start. None of the social platforms do a powerful, systematic job at facilitating these types of connections.
If you have any thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them.
The Best of my Recent Reads:
- Josh Waitzkin was a chess child prodigy, becoming an International Master at age 16. He then went on to win the 2004 world champion title in, a completely different field, Taiji Push Hands. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about pursuing mastery in their field(s).
- “There are as many as 9 million feral swine across the U.S., their populations having expanded from about 17 states to at least 39 over the last three decades.” from The Clock Is Ticking on America’s ‘Feral Swine Bomb’ by Diane Peters and Undark in The Atlantic.
This story is a great example of a complex problem. Ultimately, people will need to cull the swine to prevent them from causing exceptional damage to the ecosystems they invade. However, legalizing the hunting of these boar is believed to have exacerbated their spread and population by pushing them into new territories.
- [LONG]: What’s Wrong with Social Science and How to Fix It: Reflections After Reading 2578 Papers by Alvaro De Menard. This is a thought-provoking piece on what many have been calling the ‘replication crisis’ in social science. If you’re actively reading and citing literature in the social sciences, you should probably at least skim it (that’s what I did)!
Question for you all:
What types of connections are you looking for? I’d love to create more valuable, mutual relationships between my friends.