The Science of Science, a book

Dominic Cummings on the Sisyphean struggle of getting things done quickly within a government bureaucracy

Stripe and Scale

Ise Jingu

After the new structures are built (and the fidelity of the copy has been confirmed), the previous buildings are then torn down, and any undecayed timber is saved for future rebuilding or repair.

The requirement to use traditional techniques, combined with the number of buildings rebuilt, means that rebuilding Jingu is less of a cultural tradition, and more of a massive industrial effort. The most recent rebuilding required 14,000 cypress timbers, 25,000 sheaves of reeds, took 9 years to complete, and cost over $500 million. [...]

But I wonder if the modern world isn’t increasingly susceptible to losing large chunks of it’s process knowledge. Division of labor increases as the market gets larger - a large, globalized market means technology and civilization is increasingly enabled by thousands of tiny niche skills possessed by a small number of people, and by processes that exist in just a few places around the world. The most advanced semiconductors, for instance, are now built by just one firm, as are the EUV machines used to build them (I wonder if there are rules about how many ASML engineers are allowed to fly on the same plane together).

Mitochondria talk to other mitochondria. In other cells. And produce magnetic fields.

The collapse of construction startup Katerra

SSC discussion of the book "How Asia Works"

There's a substrand in the economic history literature that deals with the origins of markets and how much of that was spontaneous "bottom-up" vs created top-down by governments or religious authorities (See my old bibliography on the Polanyi debates). New paper adds evidence to the case for the former.

The wicked problem of protein aggregate diseases

GrimAge, the best epigenetic clock there is works also in twins

Interview with Jim Keller

FDA approves anti-Alzheimer's drug that it shouldn't have approved.

Is biology less theoretical than physics? Or more!

From Eli Dourado, next-generation geothermal

Terraforming Venus

A critique of Wade's case for the lab leak hypothesis

Women invent less on average, but invent relatively more on products that target other women. Anecdotally, most startups that target women are female-founded. Make something people want tends to often become make something people like you want I guess.

Project Qasper from AllenAI: Question Answering on Scientific papers. Nice try, but not quite working yet.

High-g trained chickens

Why does it cost so much to build in America?

Completing the human genome

California once built an 800 mile-long firebreak that was since forgotten

Interview with Marc Andreessen

Debugging biology, has a great summary of various techniques to probe into biology

A writeup of Fast Grants

Claims about PUFAs

Can digital computers ever wake up? (Here at Nintil we don't believe in illusionism or functionalism. Consciousness is truly weird)

Advances in DNA origami