Bookmarked Ergodicity: Definition, Examples, And Implications, As Simple As Possible (Gumroad)
Some reviews of Luca's previous books"This book is like a magnificent suspension bridge, linking the science of the human brain to the practical craft of applying it in everyday life. I loved it." – Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy's Vice Chairman“A SUPERB book […] by one of the profound thinkers in our field [behavioral economics].” – Michal G. BartlettWhat's ergodicity, and why it matters?"The Most Important Property to Understand in Probability, in Life, in Anything." – Nassim Nicholas Taleb on ergodicity."I think the most under-rated idea is ergodicity." – David Perell, author.Is ergodicity the most important concept in decision-making and behavioral sciences? (Yes.)Is it relevant for you in your daily life? (Yes.)Is it possible to explain it so simply that a grandma or a high-schooler can understand it? (Yes.)Even if they know nothing about maths? (Yes.)That's because ergodicity is an important idea with so many practical applications. Sadly, most books describe it in a very technical way, making it inaccessible to most people.In this short book, 6-times author Luca Dellanna describes ergodicity as simply as possible. You will read stories about how not knowing about it destroyed his cousin’s career as a skier, or how misunderstanding it caused additional deaths during the pandemic. You will learn how to spot situations in which ergodicity matters and the three strategies to react appropriately.The book is approximately 166 pages long, of which 143 are pure content and the rest tables of content, etc.This page sells the eBook / Kindle version. Around mid-November, the paperback version will become available on Amazon and in selected stores (e.g., most Barnes & Noble).Who is this book for?This book is for readers interested in growing themselves, their career, or their business, and who want to learn about ergodicity and its practical applications without having to understand its mathematical foundation. No mathematical knowledge is required, only a high-school level understanding of English.Readers who want to master the theory and mathematical foundation of ergodicity are better off reading a more formal manuscript. This book is not a substitute for it, but a complement.You might also be interested in my second Roam book, on management (link).About the authorLuca Dellanna is the author of 7 books. He is a researcher in complexity science and emergent behaviors, and an operational excellence consultant. He spoke at Nudgestock and regularly teaches management workshops and risk management courses.His personal website is and his Twitter is @DellAnnaLuca.What you will getBy purchasing this book, you will receive all of the following:PDF version.ePub version (compatible with Apple Books & other eBook readers).mobi version (Kindle)Moreover, you will get added to my mailing list, where I frequently publish essays that do not make it into books.The Roam versionThis book is also available as a Roam Research graph.Roam is a website that shows content in an interconnected way, a bit like Wikipedia. Reading the book this way will allow you to go back and forth content at your pace and following your interests."Ten minutes in, and I'm already questioning whether I'll want to read another non-fiction book *not* published in Roam format. How fascinating and so very valuable. Thank you Luca Dellanna" – Conor M. Ogle (link)Important: reading the Roam version requires a pre-existing Roam subscription, which is not included in this bundle.If you purchase the Roam version, you will receive the eBook in 3 formats (PDF, Kindle, and ePub) and the Roam version (as an editable .json export of the book) and a document suggesting how to import the Roam book and use it and the option to email me to request access to a live, read-only version of the book.Patron's supportThank you very much for your support, it helps me spending more time on my research.I will also add your name as a Patron in the acknowledgment section of the future editions of the book.Some more reviews of Luca's books“Luca’s book was so helpful to my work. Opened my eyes up to some more reasons why change is so hard.” – Chris Murman"A thoughtfully written book in very straightforward language." – A.L. PeeveyYou can find more reviews on the pages of my other books, such as this one.
This could be interesting as an overview to recommend
Read A Skeptical Farmer’s Monster Message on Profitability by Chris BennettChris Bennett (AG Web)
Adam Chappell was a slave to pigweed. In 2009, several years prior to the roller coaster rise and fall of commodity prices, he was on the brink of bankruptcy and facing a go broke or go green proposition. Drowning in a whirlpool of input costs, Chappell cut bait from conventional agriculture and dove headfirst into a bootstrap version of innovative farming. Roughly 10 years later, his operation is transformed, and the 41-year-old grower doesn’t mince words: It was all about the money.
Interesting to read this after hearing the experimental anthropologist Scott Lacy talk about farming technologies in Africa earlier this morning in Anthropology and the Study of Humanity. The African farmers described sounded much more in touch with their needs and their land than the majority of American farmers apparently are. Based on this, it almost sounds like Big AG has been doing to the industry what ride sharing tech companies are trying to do elsewhere, they’re just doing it with different tactics.
Somehow AG Web seems like the sort of journal I ought to check in on occasionally. 
Read New Clues to Chemical Origins of Metabolism at Dawn of Life by John RennieJohn Rennie (Quanta Magazine)
The ingredients for reactions ancestral to metabolism could have formed very easily in the primordial soup, new work suggests.

they found that the glyoxylate and pyruvate reacted to make a range of compounds that included chemical analogues to all the intermediary products in the TCA cycle except for citric acid. Moreover, these products all formed in water within a single reaction vessel, at temperatures and pH conditions mild enough to be compatible with conditions on Earth. 

Annotated on October 13, 2020 at 10:20PM

Read The Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (The Kitchn)
Growing up, I thought there was only one way to make a chocolate chip cookie. You started with the yellow bag of Nestlé Toll House chocolate morsels, followed the directions on the back, and nine to 11 minutes later you were rewarded with a tray of warm cookies. Simple as that. Fast forward 20 years, and there are now more recipes for chocolate chip cookies than I’d ever have a chance to make in my lifetime (although I’d be down to try). To distinguish themselves from the competition, they all claim to be the best, whether that’s because they’re the easiest, or the most flavorful, or the chewiest, or the softest.
Not quite the article I was searching for, but relatively interesting nonetheless. One would expect Alton’s cookies to be best here…
Read A New Theory of Western Civilization (The Atlantic)
Could a marriage policy first pursued by the Catholic Church a millennium and a half ago explain what made the industrialized world so powerful—and so peculiar?
This is the second article on this book that I’ve seen in the last week or so. Perhaps I should add it to my list?

Henrich, who directs Harvard’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, is a cultural evolutionary theorist, which means that he gives cultural inheritance the same weight that traditional biologists give to genetic inheritance. Parents bequeath their DNA to their offspring, but they—along with other influential role models—also transmit skills, knowledge, values, tools, habits. Our genius as a species is that we learn and accumulate culture over time. Genes alone don’t determine whether a group survives or disappears. So do practices and beliefs. Human beings are not “the genetically evolved hardware of a computational machine,” he writes. They are conduits of the spirit, habits, and psychological patterns of their civilization, “the ghosts of past institutions.” 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:03AM

WEIRD people have a bad habit of universalizing from their own particularities. They think everyone thinks the way they do, and some of them (not all, of course) reinforce that assumption by studying themselves. In the run-up to writing the book, Henrich and two colleagues did a literature review of experimental psychology and found that 96 percent of subjects enlisted in the research came from northern Europe, North America, or Australia. About 70 percent of those were American undergraduates. Blinded by this kind of myopia, many Westerners assume that what’s good or bad for them is good or bad for everyone else. 

This is a painful reality. It’s also even more specific to the current Republican party. Do as we say, not as we do.

This is the sort of example that David Dylan Thomas will appreciate.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:09AM

By the time Protestantism came along, people had already internalized an individualist worldview. Henrich calls Protestantism “the WEIRDest religion,” and says it gave a “booster shot” to the process set in motion by the Catholic Church. Integral to the Reformation was the idea that faith entailed personal struggle rather than adherence to dogma. Vernacular translations of the Bible allowed people to interpret scripture more idiosyncratically. The mandate to read the Bible democratized literacy and education. After that came the inquiry into God-given natural (individual) rights and constitutional democracies. The effort to uncover the laws of political organization spurred interest in the laws of nature—in other words, science. The scientific method codified epistemic norms that broke the world down into categories and valorized abstract principles. All of these psychosocial changes fueled unprecedented innovation, the Industrial Revolution, and economic growth. 

Reading this makes me think about the political break in the United States along political and religious boundaries. Some of Trumps’ core base practices a more personal religion and are generally in areas that don’t display the level of individualism, but focus more on larger paternalistic families. This could be an interesting space for further exploration as it seems to be moving the “progress”(?) described by WEIRD countries backward.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:19AM

If Henrich’s history of Christianity and the West feels rushed and at times derivative—he acknowledges his debt to Max Weber—that’s because he’s in a hurry to explain Western psychology. 

This adds more to my prior comment with the addition to Max Weber here. Cross reference some of my reading this past week on his influence on the prosperity gospel.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:21AM

Henrich defends this sweeping thesis with several studies, including a test known as the Triad Task. Subjects are shown three images—say, a rabbit, a carrot, and a cat. The goal is to match a “target object”—the rabbit—with a second object. A person who matches the rabbit with the cat classifies: The rabbit and the cat are animals. A person who matches the rabbit with the carrot looks for relationships between the objects: The rabbit eats the carrot. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:25AM

Toppling the accomplishments of Western civilization off their great-man platforms, he erases their claim to be monuments to rationality: Everything we think of as a cause of culture is really an effect of culture, including us. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:27AM

He refutes genetic theories of European superiority and makes a good case against economic determinism. His quarry are the “enlightened” Westerners—would-be democratizers, globalizers, well-intended purveyors of humanitarian aid—who impose impersonal institutions and abstract political principles on societies rooted in familial networks, and don’t seem to notice the trouble that follows. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:29AM

Read FedEx Bandwidth (

If you want to transfer a few hundred gigabytes of data, it’s generally faster to FedEx a hard drive than to send the files over the internet. This isn’t a new idea—it’s often dubbed SneakerNet—and it’s how Google transfers large amounts of data internally.

But will it always be faster?

Cisco estimates that total internet traffic currently averages 167 terabits per second. FedEx has a fleet of 654 aircraft with a lift capacity of 26.5 million pounds daily. A solid-state laptop drive weighs about 78 grams and can hold up to a terabyte.

That means FedEx is capable of transferring 150 exabytes of data per day, or 14 petabits per second—almost a hundred times the current throughput of the internet.

Read Passphrases That You Can Memorize — But That Even the NSA Can’t Guess by Micah LeeMicah Lee (The Intercept)

IT’S GETTING EASIER to secure your digital privacy. iPhones now encrypt a great deal of personal information; hard drives on Mac and Windows 8.1 computers are now automatically locked down; even Facebook, which made a fortune on open sharing, is providing end-to-end encryption in the chat tool WhatsApp. But none of this technology offers as much protection as you may think if you don’t know how to come up with a good passphrase.

Watched Anatomy of a Great Faculty Website by Steve RyanSteve Ryan from WPCampus 2020 Online - July 29-30 - Where WordPress meets Higher Education

Within higher education, requests to build websites for individual faculty members sit at the absolute bottom of the work queue for most marketing/communications teams. If this type of product is offered at all, it typically uses a self-service model; the institution will provide the platform while the faculty member will provide the content. And while this is the most sustainable model for most small and mid-sized web teams, it tends to produce multiple websites that are ineffective at communicating even simple messages. Worse, they have a high tendency to become the poorest reflections of the institution with a high rate of abandonment or misuse.

Let's fix that tendency together. With a careful examination of what really matters to faculty members who are looking to create and maintain their own websites, we can begin to build better sites. With better sites (and a little luck), you can start to derive value from the project at the bottom of your work pile.

Together we'll talk about:

  • A simple analysis of the types of content that you'll typically find within a faculty website.
  • A "wish list" for the types of content that you (as a marketer) would really like to see from these types of sites.
  • A working example of a theme that delivers on these key concepts and adds some "quick wins" which makes for a better experience.
  • How to leverage the capabilities of WordPress multisite to produce more value from collections of these type of sites.

This is an awesome little session at WPCampus 2020 Online. (Video for it available shortly.) It reminds me a lot of the Drupal project Open Scholar that does something similar. I can see it being useful for folks in the Domain of One’s Own space.

I totally want to start using something like this myself to not only test it out, but to build in the proper microformats v2 mark up so that it’s IndieWeb friendly. Perhaps a project at the planned IWC Pop-up Theme raising session?

Read What Is an Individual? Biology Seeks Clues in Information Theory. (Quanta Magazine)
To recognize strange extraterrestrial life and solve biological mysteries on this planet, scientists are searching for an objective definition for life’s basic units.
I’ve been following a bit of David’s work, but obviously there’s some newer material I need to catch up on. I like the general philosophical thrust of their direction here. I can see some useful abstractions to higher math here, maybe an analogy to a “calculus of biology” which doesn’t look at single points, but rates of change of that point(s).
Read Scientists Call for Academic Shutdown in Support of Black Lives (Gizmodo)
White supremacy is baked into science and academia, from racist language in textbooks to a culture that excludes Black scientists from innovating and advancing at the same pace as their colleagues. But rather than more milquetoast statements and diversity initiatives, researchers want action. Organizers are asking the scientific community to participate in a work stoppage on Wednesday, June 10 to bring attention to racism in the world of research.

A Short Essay on the Relationship of STEM and Racist Ideas

I’ve seen many tweets today with the hashtag #shutdownSTEM. Some of them included some people asking why such a thing would be necessary. What does STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) have to do with racism they ask? 

I find myself seeing some immediate and excellent historical examples in Dr. Ibram X. Kendi‘s book Stamped from the Beginning. In chapter nine of the book he discusses the variety and flavors of racism espoused by Thomas Jefferson in his book Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), which would become the most  consumed American nonfiction book until well into the mid-nineteenth century.

Shortly afterward Samuel Stanhope Smith countered portions of Jefferson’s racist ideas in the 1787 annual oration to the august American Philosophical Society. This annual lecture was already one of the most heralded scholarly lectures in America and was attended by the wealthy and elite leaders and thinkers in the country. The lecture would be published as the influential Essay on the Causes of Variety of Complexion and Figure in the Human Species

While Smith used the lecture to attack the abhorrent racist idea of polygenesis, he did espouse a wide array of other racist tropes including assimilationist climate theory. Dr. Kendi specifically notes that he may have picked up this idea from James Bowdoin’s opening oration of the newly established American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston on May 4, 1780.
To quote Dr. Kendi:

Samuel Stanhope Smith joined those preeminent intellectuals in Boston’s American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society in attacking polygenesists, in reviving climate theory in America. His scholarly defense of scripture was quickly printed in Philadelphia, in London, and in Lord Kames’s back-yard, Edinburgh. By the time he sat down in Princeton’s presidential chair in 1795, he had amassed an international scholarly reputation.

So in just a few pages Kendi lays out some serious evidence of the direct spread of a wide variety of racist ideas by not only by the academic elite, but the leaders of multiple influential universities and scientific and philosophical institutions in America. The reverberating echos of these wrongs are still haunting us today. They still need to be addressed and righted. We need to use our moral alembic and distill these racist ideas out of science in America.

Lest one wonder about the influence of Samuel Stanhope Smith’s essay, I’ll note that Noah Webster cited Smith directly in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary in the definition of philosophy. The citation was from  Smith’s second edition of his Essay on the Causes of Variety of Complexion and Figure in the Human Species (1810). The quote as given: “True religion, and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle.”

We’re obviously still seeking both true religion and true philosophy.

While you’re thinking about #shutdownSTEM on June 10th and long thereafter, I recommend you spend some time sitting with the ideas that have been handed down to us and question them closely, for this is what science and philosophy are all about. If you find you can’t do that hard work–and it is hard, then perhaps read a bit of Dr. Kendi’s excellent and ardent text Stamped from the Beginning.

Watched Learn Morse Code from a Memory Champ (in 15 minutes) by Nelson Delis from YouTube
This is a video I've been wanting to do for a while (in part because I've wanted to learn Morse Code myself, for years!) and I've also had many requests for it.
The first method is also useful for letter frequencies (or playing something like Wheel of Fortune) while the second is actually useful for the sound memory needed to practice Morse code.