Weekly Newsletter

September 6, 2015

Nutrition and Health

Starving Your Way to Vigor (see attached)
A writer discusses his experience fasting for over a week. He cites scientific and historical sources showing the effectiveness of fasting in treating several ailments. My own understanding of nutrition supports this author’s claims. For a more scientific take on fasting, make your way through some of there (https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=valter+longo+fasting&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ved=0CBsQgQMwAGoVChMI1s3smvTjxwIVgZMeCh1FLQ6r) articles. If you’re interested in trying out fasting but don’t want to commit to a longer fast, I recommend Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon.

Edenworks Is Building The Future Of Food On Urban Rooftops
Profiles an agriculture startup that’s technologizing aquaponic growing. Having worked on a hydroponic farm, I totally geek out over this tech. I’ve already requested a tour of their farm in Brooklyn.

Space Colonization

An Astrobiologist Asks a Sci-fi Novelist How to Survive the Anthropocene
Kim Stanley Robinson, a sci-fi author, is interviewed about his views on human adaptability and our future prospects for survival. Robinson romanticizes earth and its biosphere to an extent I do not, but I still think he’s full of interesting ideas.

In the interview, Robinson talks about universal education, a topic I’ve been thinking about since listening to an interview with Peter Diamandis in which he recommends the same thing. I’m still not convinced that I’m in favor of universal education but I’m becoming more open to the concept. I worry that creativity and diversity of views will be stifled by further systemization of education. I’d more likely be in favor of some form of MOOC that could be distributed for free to everyone with access to the internet, but I’m sure there are problems with that also.

Why do I include this summary of my opinions on the topic? I want to discuss this topic more. I’d especially like if someone who believes in universal education could make a good argument for the policy. Hopefully I’ll hear from at least one or two of you on this topic. I promise to be open-minded in our discussion, despite my healthy distrust of government.

Education

Teaching tomorrow
Profiles Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity and former director of Google[X]. Thrun has interesting ideas about keeping humans relevant in an age of AI, and, as one of the brains behind Google’s self-driving car program, has some serious street cred. Udacity takes an innovative approach to its online course structure, offering nano-degrees instead of full-on degree programs.

Other Contributions

How America Lost Track of Ben Franklin’s Definition of Success (Paul Finkelstein)
Describes Ben Franklin’s early life in business and argues that Franklin’s ideas about the meaning of success have been largely lost to today’s aspiring business leaders. I’m a huge Franklin fan. If you are too, I recommend Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin.

What Inmates Are Saying About Colorado Shooter James Holmes Getting Life in Prison (Spencer Blair)
A prisoner in jail for selling meth reflects on the absurdity he sees in his situation, highlighted by the recent news about the Aurora shooter’s prison sentence, the same as this prisoner’s.

Discussion, links, and tweets

I'm a software developer currently working at UberEats. I keep a low social media presence, but, if you enjoy what I have to say or want to rant at me, you should email me at stephenmalina@gmail.com. If you're interested in what I'm currently programming, check out my Github. I occasionally rant on Twitter as well.