The biggest BS artist you've never heard of
Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from January 30, 2017. It's a collection of podcasts, videos, and other links for people who love to learn online and are fascinated by the world. Click here to get playlists emailed to you as they come out
Best fact from this week: If you pile all people in a giant pyramid, it would barely fill up a portion of the Grand Canyon. But if everyone holds hands, we'd make a circle that dwarfs the orbit of the moon. – From Vsauce
THE BIGGEST BULLSHIT ARTIST YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF Man of the People | Reply All | 44 minutes As much as I hate pseudoscience, there is something compelling about the persistent huckster entrepreneurialism that accompanies the most successful peddlers of bullshit. And oh boy is the focus of this episode quite the peddler of bullshit. Perhaps the best ever, and I had somehow never heard of him. John Brinkley made his mark just long enough ago that he is fading from common knowledge, but his methods certainly ring familiar. (listen/show notes)
WHY YOUR JUDGMENT SUCKS Daniel Kahneman | How to be Amazing with Michael Ian Black | 57 minutes Is this the third newsletter in a row I've mentioned Daniel Kahneman? Well he's a pretty fantastic thinker and this interview gets into the main concepts of Thinking Fast and Slow as well as his childhood in Nazi occupied France. (listen/show notes)
YOUR JOB IS NOT STRESSFUL How Crisis Responders Keep Calm Under Pressure | Movers & Thinkers | 25 minutes From Nashville public radio comes this great discussion with three professionals who deal with crisis on a daily basis. Let a trauma surgeon, a police chaplain, and a crisis PR specialist make you feel silly about ever feeling stressed in your job. (listen/show notes)
THE GREATEST INSTITUTION The Revolutionary Post | 99% Invisible | 20 minutes A classic episode of 99pi, and a convincing argument that the post office literally made the United States what it is today. (listen/show notes)
Quick learnings from other podcasts:
U.S. trucks dominate the market because of something called the chicken tax. – Planet Money's The Chicken Tax.
Someone with "talent" can be beaten every time by someone who practices hard. – Freakonomics' How to Become Great at Just About Anything.
WITH THE POWERS OF VSAUCE AND MYTHBUSTERS COMBINED.. The Brachistochrone | Vsauce | 26 minutes You know you're good when you can get 3 million+ views on a video called "The Brachistochrone" with a YouTube thumbnail that only shows a curved line. Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame is brought in to help answer the question, "what is the fastest path for gravity to get something between two points?". Spoiler: it's not a straight line. (watch)
DO YOUR OWN PAINT NIGHT Nebula and Planets Step by Step Acrylic Painting on Canvas for Beginners | Painting with Jane | 45 minutes Whenever I see a local art gallery, I always think that landscapes are overdone and that you never see paintings of outer space (they're always digital, not actual paint). My wife found this video of how to paint a planet with a nebula backdrop and I totally took dibs on it and stole the idea. Mine certainly didn't look as good as the video, but I'm happy with how it came out, especially when taking my low artistic ability into consideration. This channel has lots of great step by step tutorials, so buy a cheap canvas, some acrylic paint, some wine, and do your own paint night! (watch)
BE SKEPTICAL OF NIETZSCHE QUOTES How Hollywood Gets Nietzsche Wrong | Slate Magazine | 9 minutes I am no philosophy buff so I always appreciate any explanation of the great thinkers of the past. This video cleverly uses the misguided quotes of Nietzsche from TV & movies as jumping off points on what he was really all about. (watch)
ARTICLES AND OTHER LINKS
As a newsletter/blog that wants to include more about learning on the internet, I'd like to start sharing any stories of people who teach themselves skills/hobbies that I come across. Here's a reddit post that does just that: 18 months ago I didn't know how to code, I'm now a self-taught programmer who's made apps fro the NBA, NHL, and schools like Purdue, Notre Dame, Alabama and Clemson. I'm now releasing my software under the MIT license for anyone's use–AMA!
Before photographs, these amazing illustrations showed us what deep space looks like It's bizarre to realize that there was a time when people knew what Jupiter looked like but didn't have the ability to photograph it. All that the public had access to was drawings, and some of these surprisingly elicit the same sense of wonder as the real thing.
The idea of a Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset as put forth by Carol Dweck in her popular book is something I hear about regularly, and is certainly trendy to buy into. It looks like there are some cracks forming in the science behind it. That's all for this week!