Summer Edition 😎- Making moonshots 🚀- Life in 2300 📚- Put your brain in low power mode 🔋- What is defining GenZ ✅- Why were the Beatles so successful? 🎙
Think independently and in exponential cadences, imaginatively and in crystal-clear execution
Episode #70. Hey Sunday reader 👋🏼
How was your first part of 2022? Yes, I guess it went incredibly fast for you as well. Lots of unexpected news like the rise of inflation or the war in Ukraine (which I will not cover in this newsletter).
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#1. Making moonshots
This article is actually detailing how and why deeptech has and will continue to change our world to make it better.
Over the past XXth century, innovation breakthrough has been mostly led and funded by governments, academia and military-led authorities up until the 70ies. The author believes now that “deeptech startups are just as important as academia to scientific progress”.
The Manhattan Project, for example, directly created the atomic bomb and indirectly unlocked insights that made nuclear power possible. Today, nuclear is a crucial element of energy abundance and a potent weapon in the fight against climate change. Ironically, the atomic bomb could help save or destroy the planet.
Once WWII was ended, U.S. President Roosevelt said that there was no reason why this kind of experiment could not benefit in times of peace.
Quoting Roosevelt, he wrote that “without scientific progress no amount of achievement in other directions can insure our health, prosperity, and security as a nation in the modern world”.
But the private sector would be given more weight to the innovation game following “the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which formed patent protection for publicly-funded research, allowed”.
As a consequence, “scientific progress is now distributed amongst thousands of venture-backed entrepreneurial scientists that are collectively iterating and advancing their fields in a financially sustainable way.” The important question becomes: can we have more startups change the course of history ?
The term ‘moonshot’ comes from the Apollo Missions that succeeded in getting the first human being on the moon with Apollo 11 in 1969.
The author tries to define what a ‘moonshot’ founder looks like:
Cautiously optimistic and realistically unrealistic
In brief, ‘moonshot founders’ are able to “think independently and in exponential cadences, imaginatively and in crystal-clear execution”. Are you that kind of person?
#2. Life in 2300
TL;DR From this book 👉 Douze Années Lumières (Ed. Diateino) written by JB Rudelle. Published in 2022.
I took the time to read this new book from Jean-Baptiste Rudelle and this has really been a good moment of anticipation.
Not being an expert of the Science Fiction (SciFi) genre, I enjoy trying to think what our planet will look like in 300 years from now. Science is so powerful that it is worth asking ourselves what will be possible in the future; that is what the author tried to cover in his book which I would put in the ‘new’ category : Science Anticipation.
There are a number of questions that this book raises. And like always, questions are oftentimes more interesting than answers:
Do we have to develop a more detailed plan to develop/migrate human life on a new planet? Yes if we are convinced that our resources will not cover sustainable life of billions of humans on planet earth.
In case we find a very distant planet like Kanuta where humans could live, how can we get there taking into account that travelling faster than the speed of light (like in Star Wars) is scientifically very unlikely if not impossible?
How can we mobilize a massive budget for a mission that most of us will NOT witness failure or success since it will take several generations to reach its (potential) goal?
What is the real trap? Staying on planet earth with the risk of a declining humanity or looking for life in space where isolation during a long trip and human heritage may vanish before reaching a new planet where we can live?
I let you find and read Douze Années Lumières to gather your thoughts about a possible future of humanity. That’s worth it. JB Rudelle might become our national ‘moonshot’ founder 🚀.
#3. Put your brain in low power mode
TL;DR From this article 👉 The brain has a low power mode that blunts our senses published in Quanta Magazine in June 14, 2022.
Yes, you might think that the summer holidays are the perfect times to switch your brain off and relax. Interestingly, eating (much) less is now a proven method to power down your brain. Be careful, I am not saying it is recommended. Here is what scientists recently found about the impact of eating less on our brain:
"Now, in a paper published in Neuron in January, neuroscientists in Nathalie Rochefort’s lab at the University of Edinburgh have revealed an energy-saving strategy in the visual systems of mice. They found that when mice were deprived of sufficient food for weeks at a time — long enough for them to lose 15%-20% of their typical healthy weight — neurons in the visual cortex reduced the amount of ATP used at their synapses by a sizable 29%.”
“What you’re getting in this low-power mode is more of a low-resolution image of the world,” said Zahid Padamsey, the first author of the new study.
“The results suggest that brains prioritize the functions that are most critical to survival. Being able to see a 10-degree difference in the orientation of bars probably isn’t essential for finding nearby fruit or spotting an approaching predator.”
Practically, if you plan to have an important meeting where you have to perform at your best… make sure you have ingested enough power to shine and succeed.
#4. What is defining GenZ?
TL;DR From this article 👉 10 characteristics that define GenZ published in the newsletter Digital Native by Rex Woodbury in June 23, 2022.
GenZ population (people born between 1999 and 2020) is now the largest in the US population according to the Census Bureau.
Inclusion and diversity. Do you know that more >20% of GenZ identify themselves as being part of the LGBTQ community?
Stressed and anxious. 43% of young adults between 18 and 34 are worried of the mental health. Reasons for this are multiple and the Pandemic or the rise of new conflicts in the world are highly contributing to this scary trend. However, “A reason for optimism is that Gen Z’s know their mental health is poor, and they’re taking action. Talking about depression is no longer stigmatized; more and more people are going to therapy”.
Authentic & Private. GenZ are going away from performing as they are exhausted by the constant connectivity and comparison they face on the internet. This is a major difference with the Millenials. In social apps, this can be explained by the move from Instagram users (more millennial) to TikTok or BeReal where authencity is key.
Entrepreneurial. “Last year, more than 47 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs—an all-time record. What’s interesting is how young people entering the workforce are trying their hand at new paths. Many are earning income as content creators, or starting small businesses, or launching startups. This is facilitated by a new set of companies.”
#5. Why the Beatles were so successful?
TL;DR From this article 👉 Can’t buy me luck: The role of serendipity in the Beatles’ Success published in Scientific American in May 4, 2022. Takeaways from Patrick Kervern.
How do you explain the serendipity at work in Beatlemania ?
The right combination of variables is necessary to achieve a blazing success—one explanation for why there was never a “Kinksmania”.
According to Harvard University professor Cass R. Sunstein “if seven or 17 things had gone differently, the Beatles wouldn’t have made it.”
The band almost split up in the beginning. One big compelling factor was that its members were carried along their winding road by an unusually enthusiastic manager (Epstein), a risk-taking producer (George Martin), a big local fan base.
According to Sunstein analysis : The process of Beatlemania involved 4 processes :
“informational cascades” (the statements and actions of some affect the statements and actions of others),
“reputational cascades” (going along with the crowd to be liked),
“network effects” (the value of a good increases as more people use it) and
“group polarization” (groups make more extreme decisions than individuals do).
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