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> I am Clay
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April 2021

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

Getting Paper

The Article About Paper Sizes You Didn’t Know You Needed

ISO 216 specifies the dimensions of the A-series of paper. It begins at A0 and gets progressively smaller up to A8. Part of the specification is that the ratio between the length and width of each paper size is always √2-to-1. This gives the series a unique characteristic: When you fold a piece of paper width-ways, the halves have the same aspect ratio as the original. That means if you need to shrink a printout to half its size, you can perfectly fit two pages onto the original-sized paper — which as far as paper technology goes, is basically witchcraft.

Process People

Effort

People like to say that lives on social media look unattainable and perfect, but whenever I see something that’s beautifully curated all I can see is the sweat: the money expended, the surgery and fillers, the workouts, the interior designers, the carefully selected objects, the hours spent setting up and filming and taking photos. I think the effort is what’s most interesting. I like people who try very hard, and I like people who attempt to conceal their effort, but I especially like people who let all their effort show. We are all Frankenstein monsters—patchwork quilts of past experiences—trying to pass ourselves off as whole and cohesive things.

[…]

But this post isn’t about how to get good at things. It’s about how people always assume I’m interested in the end result—the wonderful thing they’ve made—when what I’m really interested in is the process. How did you get this way and why? I’m curious about the ugliness of trying, the years and years of wanting and hoping and working. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by craft. I think it’s because it requires such a sustained tenacity. Like Michelangelo saying that he just chips away at everything that didn’t look like David: a hundred thousand little motions to reveal the underlying beauty.

Formula to Thrive

The Formula Won

Formula 1 did not develop this show with Netflix out of the goodness of its heart: The sport needed a kick-start. Ratings were falling in key countries as distribution and audience attitudes were changing. Drive to Survive is based on the personalities of the drivers and the team principals, the people in charge of the drivers’ teams who function as a sort of general manager/coach. The show revolves around type-A alphas staring directly into the camera like Jim Halpert from The Office and bluntly saying whatever they mean about their boss or coworker. The team principals are walking, talking Tom Wolfe novels; the drivers are all rich, look like models, and still have a lot to complain about. These are the pillars of the show: The principals try to outflex each other as masters of the universe while the drivers navigate HR dramas and try to race as fast as they can. It is the most chaotic possible mashup of Hard Knocks, Gossip Girl, James Bond, and Game of Thrones. It is perfect television.

Topsy Turvy What’s a Fermi

The Fermi Paradox

You are probably familiar with The Fermi Paradox, or have at least heard of it. It might ruin the night’s sky for you but it is “fun” to think about. Tim Urban summarizes our place in the universe and beyond by saying…”We’re rare, we’re first, or we’re fucked.”

In the search for additional intelligent life the portion of speculation that eats at me is, ‘There are scary predator civilizations out there, and most intelligent life knows better than to broadcast any outgoing signals and advertise their location.’

It does seem rather…Earthly (specifically, American) to be the ones to show up on the galactic stage blarring noise from our giant megaphone.

Links

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Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

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