Wait but why. Introducing the Dinner Table. A content site is like a piece of internet fly paper.
The internet is swarming with billions of people, and when one of them ends up on a content site, it’s like a fly landing for a second on a piece of fly paper. But internet fly paper isn’t like normal fly paper, which catches every fly that touches it. Internet fly paper is only sticky for certain types of people, depending on the type of content it puts out there and how useful or enjoyable that content is. When someone ends up on a content site for the first time, reads something, and likes it enough to remember to come back later, bookmark the page, subscribe by email or follow on social media, they stick to the paper.
Everyone else lands once, flies away, and never comes back. The fly paper of a cooking blog will collect people who like to cook. 10 Types of 30-Year-Old Single Guys. 30-year-old guys are a curious bunch.
Find me a group of 30-year-old men and I’ll pick out one overgrown frat dude living with roommates, another guy who just dropped his two kids off at school, a few who are well into their careers and a couple soul-searchers looking for work. A Religion for the Nonreligious. The mind…can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. ― John Milton The mind is certainly its own cosmos. — Alan Lightman.
How Religion Got in the Way. For all those readers frustrated with the late posts, Why I Can’t Post On Time.
“Wash your face before bed so the angels will come down and kiss you while you sleep.” Putting Time In Perspective. Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them.
It’s not our fault—the spans of time in human history, and even more so in natural history, are so vast compared to the span of our life and recent history that it’s almost impossible to get a handle on it. If the Earth formed at midnight and the present moment is the next midnight, 24 hours later, modern humans have been around since 11:59:59pm—1 second.
And if human history itself spans 24 hours from one midnight to the next, 14 minutes represents the time since Christ. To try to grasp some perspective, I mapped out the history of time as a series of growing timelines—each timeline contains all the previous timelines (colors will help you see which timelines are which). All timeline lengths are exactly accurate to the amount of time they’re expressing. Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think. We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing.
Buy it here. Part 1: Meet Your Mammoth The first day I was in second grade, I came to school and noticed that there was a new, very pretty girl in the class—someone who hadn’t been there the previous two years. Her name was Alana and within an hour, she was everything to me. The AI Revolution: Road to Superintelligence. PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing.
Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Note: The reason this post took three weeks to finish is that as I dug into research on Artificial Intelligence, I could not believe what I was reading. The Battle to Lose the Independent Vote. Meh… Independent just seems to be another way of saying you either a) aren’t smart enough to think about the issues and make a determination of where you stand, or b) don’t give a shit about any of it.
However, the glaring truth is that there is no material difference between Republicans and Democrats, and probably hasn’t been for over a 100 years. Independent or “center-center” is still squarely in the middle of the statist camp. The Dark Secrets of the Bird World. 66 million years ago, a large asteroid about six miles in diameter smashed into what is present-day Mexico.
It was the most unpleasant thing you can imagine for everyone here at the time, and it ended up causing the extinction of over 75% of species, including all the dinosaurs. Right? It killed off all the dinosaurs—that’s how the story goes. Right? The Fermi Paradox. PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing.
Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Everyone feels something when they’re in a really good starry place on a really good starry night and they look up and see this: Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?” Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy. Say hi to Lucy. Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She’s also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y. I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group—I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. Elon Musk: The World's Raddest Man.
This is Part 1 of a four-part series on Elon Musk’s companies. PDF and ebook options: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing (see a preview here), and an ebook containing the whole four-part Elon Musk series: Last month, I got a surprising phone call. Elon Musk, for those unfamiliar, is the world’s raddest man. The Deal With Solar. In the Tesla post, we established what would need to happen for us to get to a totally sustainable future world: 1) We need almost everything we use to be running on electricity. 2) We need almost all of our electricity to be produced from sustainable sources.
We’ve talked about #1 a lot already in the Tesla post. There are other parts of #1 beyond cars—think of what still works in your house when there’s a blackout. For many people, that’s their car, their heat, their stove, and their water. Odd Things in Odd Places: Intro. A couple months ago, May Tim got inspired. “You know what would be cool?” May Tim thought to himself, “To send June Tim, July Tim, and August Tim, alone, to a bunch of places where they don’t know anyone and can’t speak to anyone, and they can do a big awesome blog series about it!” Russia: What You Didn't Know You Don't Know. If you’re not sure what Odd Things in Odd Places is and why I’m wandering around Russia by myself, you can learn here. When given the choice of Russia, Latvia, and Poland for where to send me on the first leg of the Odd Things in Odd Places series, it wasn’t that surprising that WBW readers chose Russia.
Russia is funny. Japan, and How I Failed to Figure it Out. 19 Things I Learned in Nigeria. From Muhammad to ISIS: Iraq's Full Story. If you’re not sure what Odd Things in Odd Places is and why I’m in Iraq by myself, here’s why. On the morning of Saturday, August 2nd, I got in a taxi in Erbil, the regional capital of Kurdish Iraq, and asked the driver to take me to the Khazir refugee camp. But What About Greenland? Why Procrastinators Procrastinate. How to Beat Procrastination. This is Part 2.