Friday Finds (Kobe, Jesus, Snapchat, Dying, Eleusis)


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Hi friends,

Greetings from San Francisco!

I'm back at my childhood home to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. With the holiday season beginning, I'm starting to work on my Annual Review letter. I strongly encourage you to write one, even if it's 10% of the length. As the world slows down in December, we all have the opportunity to pause and reflect on where we've been and where we'd like to go next.

Here's what I want to share this week:

  1. Twitter Threads: I published two Twitter threads recently: one about building a writing routine and another about how you can learn more effectively.

    2. Building a Personal Monopoly: The most popular YouTube video I've ever published. It's a collaboration with Jack Butcher, where we provide a step-by-step explanation for how to build a Personal Monopoly by writing on the Internet.


Today's Finds

The Mysteries of Eleusis: Jesse Michels runs a YouTube show called American Alchemist, and is a master at finding interesting guests from outside the media spotlight. I enjoyed his interview with Brian Muraresku, who penned The Immortality Key. The interview explores the mysterious rituals that once took place in a city called Eleusis, 13 miles north of Athens, which may have shaped early Christianity. Those who partook in these rituals were forbidden from talking about them, so we know very little about what took place. The contents of the Muraresku interview are somewhere on the spectrum between "absolute nonsense" and "the secret history of the world's biggest religion."

What the Mouse Knows: A lovely short story from one of my favorite online writers: Simon Sarris. It explores the difference between the map and the territory, which I discussed in Expression is Compression. Though we make maps to make sense of the world, actual reality is always more complicated than we think. That limitation presents opportunities if you know how to look at the world. As Ishmael, a character in Moby Dick says: “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” Given that, we should find opportunities in map-less spaces and look for blind spots on the map of human knowledge.

When Breath Becomes Air: If there was ever a book for the heart, this is it. The author, Paul Kalanithi, was born into a Christian family before double majoring in English literature and human biology at Stanford. He was tragically diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and penned this book in his final days. Above all, I enjoyed his exploration of where science ends, and the soul begins. He writes: "Science may provide the most useful way to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue."

Kobe Bryant's Last Game: My YouTube recommendations led me to a video of Kobe's final game when he went on such a tear that I swear a higher power was guiding his hand. The box score says he scored 60 points, but his achievement was more impressive than that. The Lakers were down by 10 points with ~3 minutes left in the game, before Kobe swooshed shot after shot to give his team the win. I particularly enjoyed the reaction shots of his wife, his daughters, and Jay-Z — all of whom seemed to sense a divine power hovering over the hardwood in front of them. Rest in peace, #24.

Dishwashers: There are two ways to read this article. First, you can read it for the literal interpretation. Dishwashers aren’t as powerful as they used to be. They used to wash our dishes in less than an hour, and leave them shiny and clean. But today, it takes 3-4 hours to clean your dishes, and dishwashers don’t work as well as they used to. That brings me to the second way you can read this article. Deep down, it’s a story about the downsides of regulation and environmentalism. Read the article with both lenses.

Have a creative week,

David Perell Logo 2x

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