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Prime Cuts #5
Idiosyncrasy masquerading as a newsletter.
Welcome to Prime Cuts, a curated weekly collection of the most interesting content for your Reading, Watching, or Listening playlists.
Sam Arbesman is a delightful thinker and tinkerer, and he uses his blog to explore historical computing and other informational systems. He revels in the esoteric, like this one. “It is clearly in the genre of General Atomics, General Motors, and General Magic. But it’s General Turtle. So delightful.”
I just recently started diving into the writings of Venkatesh Rao, and this certainly won’t be the last time I highlight an essay of his. This one was a bit revelatory for me, though I’ll admit that it is perhaps more interesting to me precisely because it speaks so directly to the innovation studio I’m building. But the clarity of thinking in this piece! The GUTS framework is just fantastic.
A short profile of someone I’m monitoring closely, Ben is a technologist and a researcher. He wrote the quintessential piece on how DARPA (and more generalized ARPAs) actually work, and is now building one of his own. Keep an eye on Speculative Technologies in the coming years - they’re currently working on easygoing science like…nanomodular electronics 🙄.
I’ll admit upfront that I’m not really a fan of Bethesda’s games. Series like Fallout and Elder Scrolls are eminently popular, but something about their writing or game design has just never totally clicked for me. But this trailer may have convinced me to give them another try. The ambition! The imagery!
Season 2 just wrapped, and the imagery of these board-riding warriors taking on literally 100 foot waves off the coast of Portugal is just as mind blowing as ever. But it’s the more personal stories that continue to carry this series for me.
Some CEOs, especially public company CEOs, are horrible interviews. A consistent mishmash of hedging and vanilla speak. Dara is not this! Honestly couldn't be more impressed by him, or delighted by this episode. Hyper rational thinking communicated clearly and honestly.
Great song by one of our great modern songwriters.