Weekend Reading — Goodhart Resistant
This week we elbow our way into a CPU, dump email for Google Docs, mix Neopets and cryptocurrency, and deal with an airplane infestation.
u/ImWadeYo “I figured out you don’t actually have to assemble these things.”
🪑 Design Objective
OH: “when you start to realize that digital product teams are like design, manufacturing, and distribution all in one, it starts to make more sense”
Riley Cran Font geekery:
I started designing a typeface called Really Sans about 2 years ago. It is now available at @lettermatic_abc.
I am going to try something new today: a twitter thread about the underlaying ideas in Really Sans.
What goes into a typeface design?
🧰 Tools of the Trade
Railway Deploy webapp with a database as easy as a few commands (Postgres/MySQL/MongoDB/Redis). If you used Heroku before, Railway is simpler/easier/quicker. And it integrates with Vercel if all you care for is the database. We come a long way from setting up physical servers in data centers. Now we have affordable PaaS, and 15 minutes to set up an app is too long, give me 5 minutes of less.
ScaleGrid ScaleGrid is a service for deploying databases: MongoDB, Redis, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. It’s more complicated to use than Railway, took all of 1 minute to spin up a database with Railway vs 15 minutes with ScaleGrid. OTOH ScaleGrid has a lot more features: cluster management, backup/restore, alerts, slow query analyzer, logs, etc. And you can bring your own cloud account.
Railway is perfect if you want to start a new project and push to production the same day. ScaleGrid when you have customers and you need to worry about SLA, backups, etc. And RDS if you have a dedicated ops team.
Chris Heilmann “LOL to GitHub CoPilot any form is a TODO app”
Could Gen Z Free the World From Email? I have high hopes.
For those under 30, Google Docs was the app workers associated most with collaboration, followed by Zoom and iMessage.
Jake Wharton “Missed opportunity to call it elbow”
PlasticArm is a 32-bit bendable processor “Flexible electronics have been done before, but not on this scale.”
David R. MacIver This is an interesting way to look at team dynamics. Are they resistant to Goodhart's law?
Teams where everyone cares about quality generally find that almost every intervention they make to improve quality improves quality. Teams where nobody cares about quality reliably produce shitty results no matter how many safeguards you put in place.
I guess one way to look at this is that healthy environments are ones that are resistant to Goodhart's law. Healthy environments do roughly what you meant to ask them to, unhealthy ones do exactly what you asked them to and don't much care whether you like the way they do it.
A.R. Moxon This thread is about anti-vaxxers and how the media caters to them, but the general principle applies to any social circle:
The way you make a selfish asshole stop being a selfish asshole is well known.
You draw a clear boundary and then you enforce that boundary. You tell them that their bullshit won't be tolerated, and then you don't tolerate their bullshit.
I think we all know that, actually.
📈 Business Side
MicroAcquire Partners with Capchase to Offer Acquisition Financing to SaaS Entrepreneurs I like what they’re doing here. MicroAcquire is an easier way to buy and sell small SaaS startups. Banks don’t know how to finance SaaS deals, but Capchase does with revenue-based financing.
Chris Dixon A thread on how the internet routes around bad business models:
2/ Let’s start with this fascinating chart (from https://www.matthewball.vc/) which raises the question: why has the video game industry grown alongside new technologies, while the music industry has not?
Infinity Revenue, Infinity Possibilities Speaking of innovative business models: Axie Infinity, a Pokémon-like game that's growing like crazy. It costs $195 for a starter pack of monsters, but you earn money from playing the game, and players get 95% of revenues. And yes there’s cryptocurrency involved.
🔒 Locked Doors
Pseudonym1, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a gay bar. Pseudonym1 goes to his sister's lake house, his apartment, and his office. His location data is bought, the unique locations used to ID him, and he's outed and resigns. The Punchline? it's legal
Clearview AI raises $30 million from investors despite legal troubles “Siri, what is ‘irony’?”
The investors, though undeterred by the lawsuits, did not want to be identified.
The company’s product has been deemed illegal in Canada, and it is being investigated by Britain and Australia for its use of citizens’ personal information
A Defunct Video Hosting Site Is Flooding Normal Websites With Hardcore Porn
Stories on major news sites like ‘The Washington Post,’ and ‘New York Magazine’ currently have porn embedded in them because of an old site called Vidme.
cillic “You're welcome.”
⭐ None of the Above
Best of Nextdoor “Meanwhile, in Colorado...”
Interviewer: Are you good at staying calm in stressful situations?
Me: I’m not good at staying calm in relaxing situations.
reaganlevi How to dust your keyboard …
Observing Many Researchers Using the Same Data and Hypothesis Reveals a Hidden Universe of Uncertainty Same data, different conclusions. And rightfully they suggest “humility when presenting and interpreting scientific findings.“
We test this by observing all decisions made among 73 research teams as they independently conduct studies on the same hypothesis with identical starting data. We find excessive variation of outcomes. When combined, the 107 observed research decisions taken across teams explained at most 2.6% of the total variance in effect sizes and 10% of the deviance in subjective conclusions. Expertise, prior beliefs and attitudes of the researchers explain even less. Each model deployed to test the hypothesis was unique, which highlights a vast universe of research design variability that is normally hidden from view and suggests humility when presenting and interpreting scientific findings.
Katelyn Burns: Just got a press release for this new product called “pronoun water” I shit you not”
Frank Cvetkovic: What idiot named it "pronoun water" and not "gender fluid"?