I studied film in college. Something I noticed time and time again was that men and women tend to relate to movies differently. While women use characters as conduits for outsourcing feelings and temporarily relieving them of the need to feel their own (full subject-object convergence), men tend to think of films as sources of external aspiration (maintaining subject-object differentiation). When asked, men are much more likely to leave a theater feeling inspired to better themselves in the likeness of the strong male character, while women tend to talk more about the catharsis they felt for the characters themselves.
Extrapolating this further, I think women care much more about cultivating beauty and decreasing suffering (emotion-led), while men are primarily motivated by problem-solving and power (conquest-led). Blank slate theory would tell you that these mentalities are socially programmed into us by society, but I’m not so sure. If you’ve ever been in a heterosexual romantic relationship you probably know that men and women both behave and seem to see the world remarkably differently. Books on relationships are one of the few sources of honesty here.
This difference is interesting to me insofar as it affects ~half the population’s ability to understand my, and many women like me’s, motivations. In typical female fashion, I don’t feel like I need role models to aspire to or for my personhood to be widely understood — I just want a few true believers who support me unconditionally. This sentiment is something some (usually men) find quite confusing. “Don’t you want to define and scale yourself more?” or “Isn’t there someone whose life you’d trade with given the chance?”
The honest-to-god answer is no. Maybe that’s because I’m lucky and happy with what I have or maybe it’s because what a successful woman looks like today is a narrative that continues to be entirely up for grabs. It’s safe to say that the girlboss is dead, hardcore feminists went too far, tradwives will never make the comeback the right so stubbornly wants, and no archetype in particular has risen up to fill all three of their shoes.
Who Becomes an Entrepreneur by The Generalist
Predictable but clarifying nonetheless. tl;dr: generalists with difficult childhoods!
Elad Gil and Dylan Field on Ai and education
A brilliant convo between two brilliant people.
Brokenism by Alana Newhouse
Excellent piece on new vs. old institutions. Also great: Everything is Broken.
How Politics Became Pro Wrestling by Frame Problems
Heady intellectual topic packaged in a fun, digestible format.
Kill all the Heroes by Paul Kingsnorth
On the inversion of culture, but reads kinda like a fairy tale.
Silicon or Carbon by Nadia Asparouhova
On bits vs. atoms, Balaji’s network state, and personal patriotism.
Art is not Therapy by Jasmine Hu-Hollingshead
Good™ art criticism on the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Looking for Alice by Henrik Karlsson
For romantics who don’t quite buy the idea of soulmates but do believe that some people are simply special.
Transcending Woman-Ness by Gynoid
Transhumanism came for women first.
Childhoods of Exceptional People by Henrik Karlsson
Boredom! 1-on-1 tutoring! Apprenticeship! Innate talent!
Good conversations have lots of doorknobs by Adam Mastroianni
Conversation is a craft that you can get better at.
The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane
Charisma is also a craft that you can get better at: power, presence, warmth.
Aella on Lex Fridman (podcast)
This was surprisingly fun to listen to and, per above, a great example of a convo with lots of doorknobs.
Luv by Q (song)
Leave it by Lil Silva and Charlotte Day Wilson (song)
Visualization of a fully connected neural net (video)
Still my fav, even on the second time around. Love this scene in particular.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.
— The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald