Lenghty (ongoing) series of posts on the US obesity epidemic. According to the author(s), it's not the calories, it's not the sugar, it's not the exercise.

Tunnels are our transportation future

How are doses from mice studies supposed to be translated to humans? It's complicated and there's as of today a clear answer. Two papers on that.

The FDA approved an ineffective drug for Alzheimer's, aducanumab. Scott Alexander has a post on it, including a broader discussion on whether the FDA is too lax or too conservative. The right answers is that it is both; Scott doesn't discuss oncology, where arguably it is too lax, enabling multi-million dollar biotech grifts to exist. Scott's framing is puzzling; why "pulling the FDA level" towards being more lax when one can propose both tactically based on cost-benefit analyses. Anyway, the solutions he discusses later are good and go beyond the FDA: the reason we ultimately care about the FDA approving useless drugs is that the US healthcare system will pay for them. That has to change: The FDA could switch to a multi-tiered level of approvals and Medicare should be decoupled from the FDA so that they don't have to cover all drugs coming out of FDA approval. Here's a critique of some of the points that Scott makes.

Interview with Balaji Srinivasan

Real estate, property rights, and negotiation. And where are the robotic bricklayers?

Increase of 50% in crop yields by a single genetic edit.

The case for more Medici-style patronage

On DeepMind's protein folding achievement

Targeting immune dysfunction in aging

Physicists on clocking in and out of work

Evolving multicellularity in the lab

Three part series on politics for software engineers. Part 3 describes how an unelected elderly lady is a modern day inverse Robert Moses, ruling by veto.

There's a woman in San Francisco with a surprising amount of power: Georgia Schuttish. She is single-handedly responsible for tens-to-hundreds of millions of dollars of fines levied against regular people who tried to do a little more to their homes than they got permission from the SF Planning Department for. She has solidified this power steadily over more than a decade.

But Georgia has never won an election, never ran for office, and I guarantee you've never heard of her. So how did she gain so much power and influence? Simple: Georgia has been showing up to the Planning Commission hearings at 1pm, every Thursday, for a decade. What were you doing? Working? Hahaha, what a chump!

New primer on aging research

Tour of SpaceX's Starbase site

What I've been working on in the past few months, a thread

Interview with game designer Jonathan Blow (I strongly recommend both the Witness and Braid)

Mirror DNA and its possibilities

Inte's roadmap to 1.8 nm

Bottlenecks in telerobotics

Comments on peer review and quality of research, thread with links

Americans mostly opposed the Apollo project in the 60s.

A pattern I noticed while reading a book on the Iridum satellites

Life as a pursuit of happiness, meaning, or variety

Why does allergy immunotherapy work?

Thread on the 1915 SF exhibition

Various posts at the DynoTx website on AAVs for gene therapy

Progress in oncolytic AAVs carrying gene circuits (my preferred approach towards universal cancer therapy)

Free startup idea: A Tesla for microwaves