🔥 The Fireside #24 - 🎅🏻 Christmas edition

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Oh oh oh… welcome to Issue 24 of 🔥TheFireside, a curated newsletter about the big questions of society, business, science and technology.

I can’t believe it’s December already. But what’s even more incredible is that it was March just a few days ago…

My Christmas present to you is this curated list of the best articles I’ve found in the last 6 weeks. Hope you enjoy it.

Before you rush to read the articles, I have a BIG question for you (if you’ve been a reader for a while)…

… are you happy with how often you get this newsletter?
TheFireside has always been an “unrushed“ newsletter, going out every 5-6 weeks on average but lately a few people have told me they’d like to receive it more often.

How often would you like to receive TheFireside? Let me know with 1 click:



Bi-quarterly (every 6 weeks)


Thank you for letting me know your opinion and Merry Christmas :)

On to the Fireside…

➤ The links

🌀 The Big Lessons From History

This *might* be the best article of the year:

An important lesson from history is that the long run is usually pretty good and the short run is usually pretty bad. It takes effort to reconcile those two, and learn how to manage them with what seem like conflicting skills. Those who can’t usually end up either bitter pessimists or bankrupt optimists.

🧠 What Makes Society Smart?

In the last Fireside, I shared an interesting paper titled “The weirdest people in the world?“ that discussed how the majority of experiments in the branches of psychology, cognitive science, and economics is usually conducted with people from WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) societies.

In this podcast episode, David Perell talks to the author of that paper, Harvard’s Professor Human Evolutionary Biology Joe Henrich and their conversation is nothing short of amazing.

📰 News in the age of abundance

Hands down the best analysis of the media industry; how news have become a commodity, with a race to the bottom for your attention and how all this has affected the business model of the entire industry. Seriously fascinating read.

🗺 The Geopolitics of the United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

“Inevitable“ is probably the most misused word in history (nothing is “inevitable“) but this article does a great job at analysing how geography has given the United States such a massive head-start in economics, politics and military.

💰 How Hedge Funds Get Rich

Everyone knows that, when it comes to investing, fees matter. But how much do they matter? Well, enough that no matter how much money you start with, a typical hedge fund with their 2/20 take will have more money than you in less than 20 years.

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★ Other things from the interweb

(That may or may not make you look smart at dinner parties)

♠️ Johns Hopkins Poker Course

John Hopkins University’s free course about learning poker from scratch.

💧Baikal Zen

There’s a rare phenomenon called "Baikal Zen", where rocks lying on the surface of frozen lakes are heated by sunlight that emits infrared rays, melting the ice below. When the sun sets, the ice freezes again, creating these incredible frozen near-impossible structures.

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