Per My Last E-mail #13

Sabbatical, Meta-NIC, Academia, Meaning, Debate, Book Club

Hi Friends 👋,

Happy Monday! Welcome to Per My Last E-mail lucky number 13.

This is an exciting week for me. Breather offers a month-long sabbatical to employees who have worked at the company for over five years; I have been there for nearly six. Starting this Wednesday, I am going to be on sabbatical until mid-September. I plan to read, write, finalize the details for Debate Club and Book Club, travel, work out, meditate, spend time with friends and family, relax and recharge. I’m on the lookout for the best places to read and write in NYC - if you know of any hidden gems, send them my way!

Here’s a gif of me over the next month:


Links & Listens

🌳 Pattern Brands: Building a Meta-Natively Integrated Company

Top DTC digital agency Gin Lane is pivoting into Pattern Brands, a Meta-Natively Integrated Company that will create a family of brands designed to help people disconnect and enjoy daily life.

🎙Andy Matuschak on Books and Learning on Econ Talk with Russ Roberts

Andy Matuschak has shown up here twice before - for his piece on Why Books Don’t Work and his experimental mnemonic medium on Quantum Computing. His interview with Russ Roberts on Econ Talk covers technologies for thought and how we can teach and learn more effectively. It is as delightful for its content as it is for the joy he clearly expresses for learning and teaching.

🖥 The Deadly Boredom of a Meaningless Life by Terry Newman in Quillette

Newman ties the recent mass shootings to fewer face-to-face interactions stemming from the decline of religion’s importance and the rise of online interaction. Newman asks: how can we replace the stabilizing role that religion has played for so many?

Best Quote: “Tradition is a set of solutions for which we have forgotten the problems. Throw away the solution and you get the problem back.” — Donald Kingsbury

📚 Academia: An Outsider’s Perspective by Daniel Gross of Pioneer

Gross, an entrepreneur and investor, highlights a few of the structural reasons that academia moves more slowly than Silicon Valley. Tenure is the most interesting to me because it encourages people to focus on politics over projects, something that Safi Bahcall pointed out was anathema to building innovative organizations in Loonshots.

🔗 More interesting reads 🔗

Does Stanford Prisoner Experiment hold up? Ever wondered why hotels don’t provide toothpaste? Mental Floss has the answer. Why didn’t we invent the bicycle until the late 1800s? What happens to the world’s largest ETFs when these 11 kids die?


What I’m Reading

This past week, I went through a 30-hour journey to get back home from Montreal. With no access to login-free wifi and nothing but time, I was stuck with books already downloaded on my Kindle. So after saying I wasn’t going to read it, I started The Prize.

I’m glad I did. Although I’m only 5% in (it’s a long book), I’ve already gotten to learn the story of how the Nobel Prize came to be. Check it out here.


What’s Next?

NYC Debate Club

With just a couple of people left to Doodle, September 19th looks like the clear winner for our first NYC Debate Club debate. Since a couple of people can’t make that date, we have a couple of spots open - if you want to join, fill out the Doodle.

I’ve put together an abbreviated version of the rules for you to check out. I’m trying to make the format more lightweight than traditional Parliamentary debate without losing its essence. This will be super experimental and the rules are likely to evolve based on how the first debate goes.

Slack Book Club

We have some good interest for a Slack Book Club, so let’s do it! I’m planning to start in two weeks. Before we start reading, I want to get some more people to sign up and suggest books, vote on what we’re reading as a group, and get the Slack group all set up. If you want to get involved and recommend a book, you can sign up here!


PMLE-m is only as good as the people involved. I would really appreciate if you spread the word to people who want to read, discuss, and debate by sharing these links:

  • Join the Slack Book Club: share this link where they can sign up & suggest books

  • Debate With Us: they can sign up here and Doodle for dates here

Thanks for reading and sharing!

Packy