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Thursday 14 July 2022

Weekend Reading


PMS Fund Performance - 2 Months
PMS Fund Performance - 2 Months
Time to store your poop!!
The thought of transplanting another person’s poop into your colon may sound unpleasant, and understandably so. Faeces are a smelly mixture of water, undigested food, dead and living bacteria, and other cells and substances. However, the live bacteria in faeces have proven their worth in treating diseases and ailments of the digestive tract. This is why doctors have been transferring faeces from healthy donors to sick patients for years—usually by colonoscopy, enema, or pill—to restore gut health.
There’s just the small matter of finding the right poop, though. Most willing donors are excluded after filling out questionnaires and having their stool, blood, and saliva tested in the lab. Lifestyle, diet, medical history—including the use of antibiotics, which can kill off gut bacteria—and how someone was born can all rule people out.
Emerging research and clinical trial data suggest that all of these concerns could be avoided by patients providing their own samples. “We don’t know a lot about why this works, to be truthful, but it does appear that using your own stool is better and safer than using a random donor,” says Scott Weiss, a professor of medicine at Harvard.
The Chinese market is silently changing the Hollywood movie
When the studios started to realize how much money was to be made in the Chinese market, not only did they avoid storylines that would be politically problematic, but they also thought to themselves, “How can we maximize revenue or our interests there?”
One thing that they started doing was casting Chinese actors and actresses in these films. The threat of censorship has also exerted pressure, kind of, on plot points and other elements of the moviemaking process too, right? It’s easier to change a film for the censors before you make the film, even if you haven’t talked to the censors yet.
The movies have become a proxy for the broader rivalry forming between the US and China. I think it ultimately becomes a story of values, and what values are shipped around the world. For a hundred years, Hollywood’s movies have been considered the default global entertainment; someone once said that the movies helped turn America into “an empire by invitation,” a gravitational pull toward the country and its way of life. I think China, which sees its turn at dominating a century, wants to copy that playbook.
So there will be major implications beyond the cinema, when it comes to which heroes are elevated, what stories are told, what stories aren’t told, and ultimately how moviegoers around the world see themselves and see the people in charge.
There is no substitute for hard work
There are three ingredients in great work: natural ability, practice, and effort. You can do pretty well with just two, but to do the best work you need all three: you need great natural ability and to have practiced a lot and to be trying very hard.
There are three ingredients in great work: natural ability, practice, and effort. You can do pretty well with just two, but to do the best work you need all three: you need great natural ability and to have practiced a lot and to be trying very hard.
As well as learning the shape of real work, you need to figure out which kind you’re suited for. And that doesn’t just mean figuring out which kind your natural abilities match the best; it doesn’t mean that if you’re 7 feet tall, you have to play basketball. What you’re suited for depends not just on your talents but perhaps even more on your interests. A deep interest in a topic makes people work harder than any amount of discipline can.
It can be harder to discover your interests than your talents. There are fewer types of talent than interest, and they start to be judged early in childhood, whereas interest in a topic is a subtle thing that may not mature till your twenties, or even later.
Do the work
Do the work. That’s all the productivity advice you need, and the only useful productivity advice you’re ever going to get. You can direct your attention to a million optimizations— email, meetings, notes, calendar, time tracking, goals, todo lists, time estimates, prioritization frameworks, quantified self sensors, analytics, apps, documents, journaling. But don’t. Ignore all this, and do the work. When you do the work, everything else optimizes itself.
Work means sitting down, getting through that calculus chapter, and doing the exercises. No amount of productivity hacking will make that easier. You don’t need pomodoro alarms, bullet journals, time tracking apps, animated explainer videos, or different color highlighters. Everyone doesn’t learn differently. Everyone learns calculus in the same way— by doing the work. You need Rudin’s book, a pen, paper, and time. More tools give you negative utility. They won’t make the work go faster. But they will consume as much time as you are willing to waste.
Now edit your genes to lower your cholesterol
It’s been 10 years since scientists developed CRISPR, a technology for making targeted changes to the DNA in cells, but until now the method has been tried only on people suffering from rare diseases like sickle-cell anemia, and only as part of exploratory trials.
A volunteer in New Zealand has become the first person to undergo DNA editing in order to lower their blood cholesterol, a step that may foreshadow wide use of the technology to prevent heart attacks.
The experiment, part of a clinical trial by the US biotechnology company Verve Therapeutics, involved injecting a version of the gene-editing tool CRISPR in order to modify a single letter of DNA in the patient’s liver cells.
According to the company, that tiny edit should be enough to permanently lower a person’s levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, the fatty molecule that causes arteries to clog and harden with time.

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