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📚 Node [[2022-12-20]]
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  • Barnard’s Star and the ‘Wait Equation’ collapsed:: true
    • via [[Matt Webb]] Do not buy three decades of loo paper, nor depart today for Barnard’s Star
    • Current technology would allow us to reach Barnard’s Star in 12,000 years, setting off today.
    • Or: wait.
    • If technology growth is likely to double every 100 years the speed at which this journey could be made, then, using equation –1, it would seem that a voyager need only wait 690 years or so to make the journey in 100 years or less (i.e. at a speed of 6/100 speed of light). In other words, the star could be reached in well under a thousand years from now simply by waiting. Total time to destination is 690 years of wait + 100 years of travel = 790 years.

    • [[Wait Equation]]
    • I’ve observed this same wait equation applies to technology of all kinds. Thinking about this from a [[Wardley Maps]] perspective, technology becomes easier to use (as well as cheaper etc etc) as it moves [[Wardley Right]] — more commoditized collapsed:: true
      • I think of the early days of ML.
      • The first releases of #TensorFlow were incredibly hard to use and put into production. Early adopters spent 6 months just getting things working.
      • Then, Google dumped an update out in public and it now took weeks or days to get started
      • The people who spent 6 months struggling, expending effort vs all of the resources of Google wasted a lot of their effort — and would likely have been better off just waiting
      • [[b5]] and the [[Qri]] team also paid this cost on the early days of the #IPFS protocol and network
  • [[Early stage funding is missing in Canada]] by [[Jesse Rodgers]] of [[Eigenspace]]
  • Mastodon Digest #Mastodon #Python
    • A Python script that aggregates recent popular posts from your Mastodon timeline

Tuesday, 12/20/2022

01:10 growth at home

Over the course of the last few years, I've used Portland (home) as a place to reset and reflect. To me, Portland (proper) is a place where sustainable taste and appreciation are put first - nothing here feels as if it's rushed and everything feels focused on some form of beauty. The city has many of the best restaurants I've been to in the world, it's walkable and bikeable and driveable all the same, and its small clothing, musical, creative and literary communities are incredibly rich - it's no wonder that Portland seems to export a seriously disproportionate amount of talent to its size. The forest that envelops and surrounds the city - with endless trails and great architectural design buried throughout - is just as beautiful as the city itself, and is likely why it's become such an interesting cultural location.

This time, though, I think I'm just learning that Portland is too small for me. The city hasn't managed its poverty and crime issues downtown, and they've gotten worse - the people at my favorite clothing store in the world told me that they've had "a couple of" recent break-ins, and half of their windows were boarded up; everyone I saw walking around on the street (granted, on a Monday evening) looked incredibly sad, dragging their feet or scavenging for trash, and there was nothing I could do to uplift; those working in stores were optimistic, but I don't see them spending much time outside between work and home. Powell's is still one of my favorite bookstores - it was my first exposure to beautiful books - but now I've met people like Michael at Katherine Small, and I'm realizing that large establishments will never compare to individually loved and curated collections, to a person who has the domain knowledge to recommend you such beautiful things, to someone who is active 'in the field'. Portland feels like a place for generalist appreciation, but I'm realizing that I'm beginning to specialize; and I don't think the city offers the kind and depth of subcommunities I want to participate in. Reading about the culture at Stanford's SAIL, of some innovative software clubhouse where people lived and worked and slept and dreamed Human-Computer Interaction, or even of the subcultural lifestyles that people live in SF or NYC, like Joe Kerwin or Parker or any of these characters I keep in touch with on the internet, has me feeling left out in a quiet place like Portland.

It's a good place to create, and a good place to last - but I don't think it's a place that can be conducive to the sort of explosion of enthusiasm that I see happen in New York, in San Francisco, in Boston. It's a wonderful place to be quiet, consistent, and appreciative; but it feels hard to become the 'next best thing' here or to play a part in it. The forest here feels like it lasts forever, as will the IPAs and cold brew and good books and jazz festival and everything else that is in vogue, but I think at this point in my life I want radical, exciting change - and I can't find that here.

Can I build my own community? Where? How? I think I'm a strong individual contributor but not a leader by any means; I might be able to 'lead' with work and ideas, and I'm definitely personable, but my work will not spread by person-to-person networking - I love people, but I just don't have the patience for a ton of social interaction that isn't directly related to my interests. I dream of communities like Interact - techno-optimism might be the best substrate I've ever witnessed in person.

[An aside: I'm trying to develop interests in every field so that I have questions to ask, but I'm finding that sometimes it's really hard to pry out of people what they're really, truly interested in; the real challenge isn't having the person state it; it's understanding their relationship with the subject and how you can interact with that relationship that's the real hurdle]


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