Goji Berries

By Gaurav

The newsletter is devoted to sharing interesting and useful things.

The newsletter is devoted to sharing interesting and useful things.

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Goji Berries - Corona(ry) Inducing (Numb)ers

UAE is an uncelebrated success in vaccination---Israel gets all the credit. The UAE has injected 109 doses per 100 people (and that includes the 8M expats). However, the number of new infections has remained steady over the last month or so, at about 1,700 ne…


Goji Berries: The Meaning of Life And Dishwashers

A generation spaceship is a kind of a spaceship that travels to nearby stars. Given the vast interstellar distances, multiple generations live and die.Neil deGrasse Tyson: “…[generational spaceships produce] interesting ethical questions … to bring an entire …


Goji Berries---Building Software For the Lay User

Build Software for the Lay UserMost word processing software helpfully point out grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Some even autocorrect. And some, like Grammarly, even give style advice. Now consider software used for business statistics. Say you wan…


Goji Berries ---Connecting the Dots and Covid-19

A big focus in statistics is on how to connect the dots. Economists regularly contribute to the literature. The following examples are not about those economists. They are about connecting the dots with ideological glue and fairy dust.1. Color Book. Raghuram …


Goji Berries---Irrational Numbers

I Workout! So go the lyrics of a popular song by LMFAO. But who knew Peloton customers would take the lyrics to heart? According to the graph below, the average number of monthly workouts per subscription rose from about 9 to 18 between Q4 of 2018 and Q3 of 2…


Goji Berries---Why is Online Learning Offline?

Why is Online Learning Offline?Coursera solves for highly motivated students. Today, millions of motivated people have cheap access to high-quality teaching on some topics. For instance, more than 4.5M students have enrolled in Andrew Ng's courses. But the ra…


Goji Berries---Beyond Belief

Cheat Codes in LifeSapphire "ignites the power to attract riches." (More here.) And hanging red paper firecrackers insures you against being burgled and from accidents (NYT). The thesis underlying these 'hacks' is that life is a game, there are hidden cheat c…


Goji Berries---Missing Women

Missing Women at BirthInitial research into the reasons suggested that the main reason behind missing women was prenatal preferences (see here plus the table below). South Asian and Chinese parents prefer male children because sons are supposed to provide for…


Goji Berries---Why do we make errors, the structure of errors, and learning from errors

"Imagine that you are a hominid walking along the savanna of an African valley three million years ago. You hear a rustle in the grass. Is it just the wind or is it a dangerous predator? ...If you assume that the rustle in the grass is a dangerous predator bu…


Goji Berries---Bad Habits, Tool Tips, The Idiot, and more

The ProducersMax your production with these ideas.Just Do it (Again). It is frustratingly hard to do what you plan to do. One reason for that is time inconsistency. "In the moment, people often want to be entertained. On reflection, they often want to be impr…


Goji Berries---GPT-3 and a Joke

Winograd SchemaPay attention to what the word 'it' refers to.The large ball crashed right through the table because it was made of steel.The large ball crashed right through the table because it was made of styrofoam.These sentences are examples of Winograd S…


Goji Berries---Meta Skills for Solving Problems

Each problem is new in different ways. And mechanically applying specialized tools often doesn't take you far. So beyond specialized tools, you need meta-skills.The top meta-skill is learning. Immersing yourself in the area you are thinking about will help yo…


Goji Berries. 99 Problems---Solving Problems With Data

Is the Problem Worth Solving? There is nothing worse than solving the wrong problem. You spend time and money and get less than nothing in return---you squander the opportunity to solve the right problem. So before you turn to solutions, find out if the probl…


Goji Berries---Blindness

Price Dispersion on AmazonAmazon makes price discovery easy, controls some aspects of quality by kicking out sellers who don’t adhere to its policies and provides reasonable indicators of quality of service with its user ratings. But still, on nearly all item…


Goji Berries---Quarantine Edition

The emergency rations of fun are here! Open up your toilet paper fortresses and let the delivery in. And don't forget to wash your hands afterwards! To thrive in quarantine, you need entertainment. Here are some entertainment supplies: Kanopy. Now that the li…


Goji Berries: The Tale of Two Books

In the last two months, I have hit a lucky streak with books---I read two gems. Before the flood was a drought brought upon by my foray in business strategy books like 7 powers and High Output Management. Having read five of them, I recommend substituting bus…


Goji Berries ---- Health and Entertainment Edition

HealthExercise Fasting: The one known-known about health is exercise. But it may be time to add fasting to the list of one. You can read some of the research on fasting here. But beware! Many of the studies were done in mice. (There is a twitter account devot…


Goji Berries---Cat Ladders, Productivity, and How to Write Emails

1. Swiss Cat ladders. You can pre-order the book here. h/t Benedict Evans2. Stuff I Own And Use: Artir (Nintil) has a list. So does Alexey. Includes wisdom bombs like:"I posit that computer mouse is one of the most important workplace investments you can make…


Goji Berries---fun science and math resources plus my take on The Checklist Manifesto

Why We Fail? And What to do About it?I recently read Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto. The coolest things in Atul Gawande's book are facts about the volume of surgery. Sample one. Nearly 50 M surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year. (You can confirm th…


Goji Berries---Procrastination, How to teach kids to control their anger, and more

1. Procrastination is about:“the primacy of short-term mood repair … over the longer-term pursuit of intended actions.”Put simply, procrastination is about being more focused on “the immediate urgency of managing negative moods” than getting on with the task,…