Here are your Must-Have Covid Quarantine IQ Points

Occasionally, I publish the contrails of my online research here on Medium. They don’t usually get many viewers. I thought I’d suspend them during lockdown, but a) lockdown is going to be with us for quite a while, and b) this may be the best time, not the worst, for you to stretch your brain.

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Garlando XXL foosball table

A Quick Review

I wrote a big piece on the Covid-19 Lockdown last week and 12k people read it. If you haven’t, please do:

There is No Peak — a Critical Assessment of Our Collective Situation

And previous lists of fascinating links to stimulate your prefrontal cortex:

Your Brain is Not a Computer, The War on Sensemaking, and the Death of Democracy

Jewish Law Firms, Climate Data, Causes of Crime, Optical Illusions, and More IQ Points

Opioids, Startups, Pickable Locks, Sex, Veganism, and Population Control

Fresh Links

Must watch:

If that interests you, watch Al Jazeera’s report on media ownership.

Ben Evans on the future of tech — a gorgeous slide presentation well worth the time.

To fix science, allow people to bet on outcomes — a Robin Hanson thought piece.

Harvard to the Big House — everything is broken, especially criminal justice, and society needs a complete overhaul

America is losing the toilet race.

Fun to watch, and the more carefully you watch, the more interesting it is:

You know those large floating rafts of plastic garbage accumulating in the middle of the ocean? They don’t exist.

A paper on how researchers got people to believe spurious bullshit sentences, calling them profound.

Yes, 65 percent of megaprojects really do fail.

I watched this from start to finish. I hope you enjoy it:

A Stanford study shows compelling evidence that skipping kindergarten is better for kids, and the effects last at least until age 11.

What separates a good CEO from a bad CEO? Several new studies point to the ultimate influence: luck.

Learn about p-hacking, how statistical significance is manipulated — by Neurobonkers

When Science Doesn’t Support Our Beliefs — a Libertarian skeptic looks at the evidence

World Bank Study: Role of School Improvement in Economic Development — debunking myths about education.

The Obesity Era — excellent article by David Berreby

Routine Health Check-Ups Provide No Measurable Health Benefit — CBS article

Prostate Cancer for Marketers

Overconfidence as a Cause of Diagnostic Error in Medicine — a technical paper showing how doctors’ egos affect outcomes. Tip: go with the doctor who is quiet, reserved, a bit unsure, and qualifies statements.

Private philanthropies spend over $4 billion per year to improve public education in the United States. How well does that work out? Read How Billionaires Rule our Schools, by Joanne Barkan.

If you haven’t seen it, here is my 45-minute tour of climate data:

Check out @tristanharris ’s podcast, Humanetech, on how technology subverts our attention for the benefit of companies.

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David Siegel is a serial entrepreneur in Washington, DC. He is the founder of the Pillar Project and is raising money for a new post-Covid company. He is the author of The Token Handbook, Open Stanford, The Culture Deck, Climate Curious, SkiBetterFaster, and The Nine Act Structure. His full body of work is at

Written by

Provocateur, professional heretic, slayer of myths, speaker of truthiness to powerfulness, and defender of the Oxford comma.

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