Nerd Corner #37: Write of Passage, saturated fat, and more! 😷

Hi All,

I just published an article on my reflections and takeaways from Write of Passage, the online writing course I recently took and blew my mind. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed the course!

What I am reading 📚

I took some time this weekend to catch up with some articles. Two stood out:

  • FOR, THEN AGAINST, HIGH-SATURATED-FAT DIETS. This article starts out trying to understand why modern North Americans are fatter than during the 1800s despite little changes in their diets. The author initially points to the rise in consumption of vegetable oils as the likely culprit but ends up without drawing any strong conclusions. This is to be expected, nutritional studies are very hard to do and with so many variables at play (types of food, nutrients, portions, genetics, etc.) we are very far from a clear conclusion. What we can all do however is avoid as much as possible the Standard American Diet (even its acronym S.A.D tells you how wrong it is 😂) and experiment with what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat.

  • Against Edenism by Peter Thiel. Thiel’s Christian and mimetic views are highlighted in this article. While he argues that we have entered an era of stagnant innovation (if compared to the 1970s and 1980s) I liked his optimistic views about God, progress, and technology:

    Science and technology are natural allies to this Judeo-Western optimism, especially if we remain open to an eschatological frame in which God works through us in building the kingdom of heaven today, here on Earth.

    I couldn’t stop thinking about Jeff Bezos and his fear of slowing innovation:

    the danger is not necessarily extinction but stasis: I think is a very bad future.

Nerd Corner 🤓

I’ve been converting all the lights in my new apartment to “smart lights” (I bought a bunch of these). I hooked them up to my Home Assistant setup and automated them! Now, their temperature and brightness change with the Sun: they are brighter during the day and as the Sun starts to set they automatically reduce their brightness and turn warmer.

So far I’ve noticed a few things:

  • The warmer color of the lights gives my home a cozier feeling.

  • I’m usually on my computer until late and having the lights on but at a very low brightness has helped me reduce my eye strain.

The next step is to add a few RGB lights so I can change the ambiance when watching movies or hosting dinners like I used to in pre-covid19 times.

Cool Finds 🤯

  • Not particularly cool but mind-blowing, this chart shows how bad COVID-19 has hit different segments of the economy:


  • After revisiting some of the ideas in Zero To One (one of the few books about business and innovation that you should read), I’ve been researching more about Peter Thiel’s views and philosophy. In this interview, he tells Google’s president that Google shouldn’t call itself a technology company because instead of spending their money in R&D they are hoarding cash like other “tech” companies (Microsoft and Apple). What interests me here is not if he’s right or wrong but that he is able to articulate such a contrarian view directly to one of Google’s most powerful men.

  • Of all the cool things I’ve seen in a while, this is one of the best: professional race car drivers—bored at home like most of us—started hosting races and competing in online races against normal people! I knew that race car simulators were advanced but not to the point where an experienced player can compete against a professional driver 🏎.

Before you go 😎


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Until next week,