Links for March 20, 2022

♻️ Forget ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — The Atlantic

Derek Thompson has a thought-provoking interview with Saul Griffith, an entrepreneur and MacArthur Grant recipient. He recently published a book that tries to shift the conversation around climate change towards much bolder ideas.

Griffith is clearly someone who thinks about the world in a positive-sum way:

But it’s the details that make his book Electrify Everything one of the most quietly revolutionary policy books I’ve ever read. Griffith is allergic to thinking small. He condemns the “1970s mentality” of energy efficiency, which says we can save the planet with a bit more recycling and a few more stainless-steel water bottles. Rather than guilt Americans over their living standards, he proposes that we can keep our luxurious lifestyles without destroying the planet if we all—governments, companies, and individuals—get a small number of big decisions just right.

💡 Why Do Most Ideas Fail to Scale? — Freakonomics

Here's a great podcast episode exploring why so many promising ideas sputter when you try to scale them:

In a new book called The Voltage Effect, the economist John List — who has already revolutionized how his profession does research — is trying to start a scaling revolution. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, List teaches us how to avoid false positives, how to know whether a given success is due to the chef or the ingredients, and how to practice “optimal quitting.”

And More

This is old news by now, but I found it too wild not to share: The last documented widow of a Civil War veteran died as recently as 2020 🤯

On December 16, 2020, Helen Viola Jackson died in Marshfield, Missouri at the age of 101. She was the last known widow of a Civil War veteran, marrying 93-year-old James Bolin in 1936 at the age of 17.

And if you're interested in how individual people can bridge seemingly impossible spans of time, here's a video of someone who witnessed Abraham Lincoln's assasination. Mr. Samuel J. Seymour was 5 when he saw Lincoln assassinated, and lived long enough to share his experience on a game show:

Lastly, a couple quick updates on stories I previously linked to: Shackleton's ship has been found at the bottom of the Antarctic Ocean, and the patient who received a pig's heart transplant has died.

🐦 A Tweet Thread

And speaking of games, here's an important and inspiring thread on the importance of creating delight:


Reflections on creating systems to sustainably grow your impact on the world.
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