Okay, now move your eyeballs again because I’ve got an announcement to make: due to popular demand (thank you to our lovely survey responders), we’re going to start sending this newsletter on only Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays for the foreseeable future. Instead of Gradual Daily, we’re now Gradual MWF, jk…could you imagine…the actual rename: Gradually Curations
Thoughts, concerns, complaints, virtual hugs? Smash that reply button. Have a lovely week y’all.
If you’re new here, welcome! Below you’ll find 3 pieces of valuable curated content that aim to make you wiser, wealthier, and healthier — gradually (aka your daily dose of digital vitamins).
You can find all previous issues here, all previous curated content organized/archived here, and if you aren’t subscribed yet — you can do so here.
I highly suggest consuming the full piece here (11 min. read time)
“Today, batteries account for a substantial portion of the size and weight of most electronics. A smartphone is mostly a lithium-ion cell with some processors stuffed around it. Drones are limited in size by the batteries they can carry. And about a third of the weight of an electric vehicle is its battery pack.” — Daniel Oberhaus
Conventional vs. structural batteries: “In a conventional battery…elements are either stacked like a wedding cake or wound around each other like a jelly roll to pack as much energy as possible into a small volume. But in a structural battery, they have to be reconfigured so the cell can be molded into irregular shapes and withstand physical stress. A structural battery doesn’t look like a cube or a cylinder; it looks like an airplane wing, car body, or phone case.” — Daniel Oberhaus
A battery future: “The battery has always been an addendum, a limiting factor, and a parasite. Today it’s vanishing before our eyes, melting into the fabric of our electrified world. In the future, everything will be a battery, and stand-alone energy storage will seem as quaint as landline telephones and portable CD players. It’s a disappearing act worthy of a great magician: Now you see it—and soon you won’t.” — Daniel Oberhaus
Safety first: “…technical challenges are only half the battle when it comes to getting structural batteries out of the lab and into the real world. Both the automotive and aviation industries are heavily regulated, and manufacturers often run on thin margins. That means introducing new materials into cars and planes requires demonstrating their safety to regulators and their superior performance to manufacturers.” — Daniel Oberhaus
My two cents: I had no idea what structural batteries were before reading this piece. So if you don’t know much about batteries, this piece is definitely for you. Sorry battery nerds! I dunno sh*t, but I thought nuclear was potentially the future. Maybe it’s a race to see which one’s safer + more resourceful → nuclear energy vs. structural batteries.
I highly suggest consuming the full piece here (8 min. read time)
“Every idea, every project, every piece of work is comprised of smaller pieces that were created by other people. In most cases, it is not feasible to track the provenance of these ideas or to compensate their originators for every instance in which they are being used.” — Dror Poleg
Code and content baby: “…the two most important outputs of the 21st Century are code and content. Code creates powerful tools that, among other things, help distribute content. Content props up powerful narratives that, among other things, help bring more economic activity under the dominion of software tools. Code itself is content, and content — language— is itself code. Both aim to make abstract ideas actionable.” — Dror Poleg
An NFT future: “It is possible to allow every contributor to get paid exactly according to their contribution — not just once the work is done, but indefinitely: Every time the code gets used anywhere, all contributors can theoretically earn ‘royalties’; and if the code is part of a big startup exit, the contributors can earn a commensurate piece of the acquisition price as well.” — Dror Poleg
How close we are: “Technology is on the cusp of enabling us to keep track of every person’s economic contribution at a granular level and of compensating each person for that contribution and all instances at which it ends up being useful.” — Dror Poleg
My two cents: Gah la la…I can not wait for this to play out exactly like Dror explains it will. Will it? Are we on the cusp? I’m not so sure about that, but woo-wee wouldn’t that be nice and SO cool. It would unlock so much value for creators of (almost) all kinds. I say almost because I believe code/written content will probably be first, but once you get into video, music, audio, and images, I feel like it gets more complex — especially to really know the origin of individual elements of those mediums in particular.
I highly suggest consuming the full piece here (29 min. read time)
“[David Hume] argued that there was no soul, no coherent self, no ‘I.’ ‘When I enter most intimately into what I call myself,’ he wrote in the Treatise, ‘I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception.’” — Alison Gopnik
Self as an illusion: “In my own scientific papers I’d argued, like Hume, that the coherent self is an illusion. My research had convinced me that our selves are something we construct, not something we discover. I had found that when we are children, we don’t connect the “I” of the present to the ‘I’ of the past and the future. We learn to be who we are.” — Alison Gopnik
Hume’s greatest idea: “Ultimately, the metaphysical foundations don’t matter. Experience is enough all by itself. What do you lose when you give up God or ‘reality’ or even ‘I’? The moon is still just as bright; you can still predict that a falling glass will break, and you can still act to catch it; you can still feel compassion for the suffering of others. Science and work and morality remain intact. Go back to your backgammon game after your skeptical crisis, Hume wrote, and it will be exactly the same game.” — Alison Gopnik
Giving up for the better: “Give up the prospect of life after death, and you will finally really appreciate life before it. Give up metaphysics, and you can concentrate on physics. Give up the idea of your precious, unique, irreplaceable self, and you might actually be more sympathetic to other people.” — Alison Gopnik
My two cents: I debated putting this piece in the Wisdom section, but most of it is about the self. There is quite a bit of philosophy in this piece, though, so be on the lookout. Oddly enough my biggest takeaway from this piece is the serendipitous nature of life. It never seems like it in the moment, but looking back, it’s often hard not to see just how lucky we all are.
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