A really cool thing happened on Twitter this past week. Venkatesh Rao challenged people to post a tweet promising one opinion on a topic of their choice for every like the tweet gets. Almost a hundred people accepted the challenge, leading to Threadapalooza, a frenzy of brainstorming on topics as diverse as atoms, solitude, living better, mainstream parenting, books and reading, the physics of basketball, and the risks and dangers of trans life. I participated too, and ended up biting off far more than I could chew:
Venkatesh Rao@vgrEveryone should do a one-opinion-per-like personal challenge (make it 2 or 3 if you have too few followers). Live-fire stress test of your brainstorming capacity
It turns out that it’s really hard to come up with 100 unique insights on a topic, even one you know extremely well. I’ve learned a lot about chess over the past year, but I had to tap out after 40 tweets. Somebody made a visualization of all the threads that were written over the days that followed the initial challenge, showing just how few people made it to 100:
I’ll be taking a break from the newsletter for the next two weeks to spend more time with family over the holidays. I'll also be reflecting on my year and setting some goals for 2020. If you're into doing annual reviews of this sort, check out this great thread of resources from Tasshin Fogleman. Until then: look to my coming, at first light on the second day of January. At dawn, look to your inbox…
// recently read
8 minutes | Anna Fifield | 2015
South Korea's intense focus on standardized testing has led to the rise of extremely rich teachers who offer test preparation online at a massive scale. If it is true that the future is already here but is just unevenly distributed, we will surely see more of this.
40 minutes | Nathan Barry | 2019
Wealth creation is a skill like any other, with many levels of mastery. It can be thought of as a series of ladders, each harder to climb than the last: trading time for money, running your own service business, selling productized services, and selling products.
15 minutes | Andrew Chen | 2019
Two lessons that I found particularly interesting:
Titles should pass the "naked share" test: is it worth sharing even if there isn't anything linked to it?
Build essays out of declarative claims sourced from strong agreement or disagreement in conversions and readings.
20 minutes | Tunku Varadarajan | 1999
At the time when this article was written, Indian immigrants made up less than 1% of the US population, but owned 51% of all motels in the country. What explains the Indian-American dominance of this economic niche?
// top tweets
And finally, something that might come in handy soon:
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