Summary of “What I Learned From Reading Every Google Founders’ Letter”

From its unconventional dutch-auction IPO, to giving employees 20% time to explore any interest related to Google, to balloon-beaming Internet projects, Google, and now Alphabet, has been anything but conventional.
1/ It’s search, stupidWhy did Google succeed and endure in the Internet battlefield when almost all other startups have faded into distant memory?
2008Even as Google has grown into a behemoth, they never took their eyes off the prize in search.
2012As the world moves increasingly digital, the core business value of Google is becoming increasingly stronger as they build even stronger network effects into their search business.
From the beginning, Google gave their team members the ability to work on projects outside of search in a 70-20-10 format.
2012But one of the biggest innovation Larry and Sergey made was to appoint Sundar Pichai as the CEO of Google in 2015.
Sundar Pichai, 2015Takeaway: if you don’t make lots of small and smart bets along the way, you might not live long enough to make the big bets.4/ Culture eats strategy for breakfastWhile Hollywood had some fun at the expense of Google in the movie The Internship, Larry and Sergey never took the culture of Google for granted.
IPOLarry was reviewing every hire even in 2007 when there were 17,000 people at Google.

The orginal article.

Summary of “27 books that can change your life forever”

“Amazon synopsis:”This classic poetry collection, which is both outrageously funny and profound, has been the most beloved of Shel Silverstein’s poetry books for generations.
“I almost never reread books, but I’ve returned to this one over the years. It’s about high schoolers, but it’s relatable no matter where you are in life. It shows how dark and harsh the world can be, but also that there are good things and good people if you stop to appreciate them. Something about that dichotomy leaves me stuck on this book no matter how many times I’ve read it.” -Emmie Martin, Your Money reporter.
Amazon synopsis: “In ‘I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This,’ [White] shares her secrets to success. A witty, wise, straight-talking career guide for women, ‘I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This’ is the perfect book for the current economic climate, whether you’re just starting out, re-entering the workforce after maternity leave, or simply looking for a career change; essential tips and bold strategies from a gutsy innovator who helped increase Cosmo’s circulation by half a million copies per month.”
“A word of mouth phenomenon since its first publication, ‘The Power of Now’ is one of those rare books with the power to create an experience in readers, one that can radically change their lives for the better.”
This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer – brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti – blasts through convention to get results.
At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope, and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb ‘Beyond mountains there are mountains’: as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too.
“The book follows observant ‘wallflower’ Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.”
“My parents first read ‘Love You Forever’ to me when I was 3 or 4 years old, and I’ve probably reread it a thousand times since. The sentimental children’s book taught me a few important lessons about life and death, the unbreakable bond shared between a parent and their child, and, perhaps most important, a lesson about the existence of unconditional love … all of which changed my life in important ways. My younger self found much comfort in knowing that the love my parents had for me as a child, and I for them, was not something anyone could ever outgrow.” -Jacquelyn Smith, careers editor.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Who Won the Reformation?”

The rapaciousness of Henry VIII and the police state of Elizabeth I, the evisceration of the old Catholic culture and the suppression of popular protest and dissent, the ethnic and religious cleansings carried out on England’s Celtic fringe – these were very modern projects, and their purpose wasn’t liberty but subjugation, not religious tolerance so much as the elimination of any religious challenge to the state.
Which makes him an apt choice, even if Mantel does not intend it, to embody the secularizing forces that triumphed over Protestants as well as Catholics – because Cromwellism, mass murder in the service of secular power and commercial wealth, has just as strong a claim as liberty or individualism to define the world that succeeded Christendom’s collapse.
So perhaps the modern world as we know it was the best we could do, the only path to liberty and pluralism and mass prosperity, however many Cromwells it required to get here.
My own guess is that given the technological and social changes already at work in early modern Europe, the great new modern powers, the state and the commercial interest, would have come to bestride the world no matter what happened to Christian unity.
So a church that remained undivided probably wouldn’t have been able to strangle modern science or capitalism in the crib even had it wanted to.
As the church did before its crackup, and might have done thereafter, these modern ecclesiastical agencies do have some gentling effect.
They are a made-up religion whose acolytes at some level know it – and the thinness of their metaphysics, their weak claim on human loyalties, makes them mostly just a pleasing cloak over the dark power that’s actually stabilized the modern world, the terrifying threat of nuclear war.
The modern world offers many gifts, and the fact that Catholics and Protestants now dwell together without bloodshed is certainly one of them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How science transformed the world in 100 years”

In an essay for the BBC, Nobel Prize-winner and Royal Society President Sir Venki Ramakrishnan contemplates the nature of scientific discovery – how it has transformed our worldview in a short space of time, and why we need to be just as watchful today about the uses of research as we’ve ever been.
If we could miraculously transport even the smartest people from around 1900 to today’s world, they would be simply astonished at how we now understand things that had puzzled humans for centuries.
Just over a hundred years ago, people had no idea how we inherit and pass on traits or how a single cell could grow into an organism.
That in turn has given us the ability to figure out how things go wrong in genetic diseases and potentially how to fix them.
We are no longer a complete black box, although our complexity is such that we are only just beginning to understand how our genes regulate the body and how they interact with our environment.
A hundred years ago mysteries such as how the Universe came to exist were, for many, firmly in the realms of faith.
Today, much of how we see the world is through an electronic screen.
Computers in all their many guises are sources of knowledge, but they are also increasingly how we present ourselves to the rest of the world, and how we interact with others.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Assassin’s Creed Origins review”

Like so many big-budget extravaganzas, Assassin’s Creed Origins is an attempt to perfectly triangulate the three corners of open-world game design: environment simulation, storytelling and gameplay.
Previous Assassin’s Creed games took place in the late medieval or post-Renaissance world.
As the game progresses, Bayek and Aya are involved in some of the most iconic moments in ancient history.
While the world is superb, and the story offers plenty to admire, the game itself is much as you’d expect, if you’ve spent any time playing entries in the Assassin’s Creed series.
As a stealth and combat game, Assassin’s Creed Origins is entirely competent.
The game itself makes a lot of compromises with its alleged openness, in order to guide the player through a coherent experience.
Wrap-up Assassin’s Creed Origins is the best iteration of a decade-old formula In essence, Assassin’s Creed Origins is much the same game as the original Assassin’s Creed, which came out a decade ago.
In each episode of Quality Control, a Polygon editor talks to a critic after they review a new game, movie or piece of gear and allows them to add a little bit of extra context and insight.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Would Happen If There Were No Number 6?”

What if there were no number 6? – Isaac R., age 5 1/2. “There are things where you just stand there and you’re like, ‘At this point, am I teaching math or am I teaching philosophy?'” said Jordan Ellenberg, whose titles at the University of Wisconsin suggest that he is meant to be teaching math.
What would happen if 6 vanished overnight? At least some of the other numbers would also cease to exist.
If there’s no 6, said Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh, a math professor at Duke University, then there can’t be a 7, 8 or 9 – or, really, any number greater than 5.
Losing 6 would affect far more than just numbers, since numbers pervade so many things.
As long as 6 still exists as a fundamental concept, we can choose many different ways of naming, counting and thinking about that number.
The ancient Babylonians had a mathematical system based on the number 60, which was possibly an outgrowth of choosing to count using the 12 knuckles on four fingers of one hand, rather than counting each finger on both hands to get to 10.
A normal clock is using 12 as its modulus – the number the modular arithmetic counting system wraps around.
So we can use modular arithmetic to remove 6 – or any other number – from the world whenever we want to, at least in a limited sort of way.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What We’re Missing About the Sixth Extinction”

Myriad species, thanks in large part to humans who inadvertently transport them around the world, have blossomed in new regions, mated with like species and formed new hybrids that have themselves gone forth and prospered.
“Virtually all countries and islands in the world have experienced substantial increases in the numbers of species that can be found in and on them,” writes Thomas in his new book, Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction.
If you take the mainland North America north of Mexican border, for which there’s good data, and mainland Europe, we know of more hybrid plant species in both of these regions that have come into existence over the last 300 years than we know of plant species that have become completely extinct.
People seem to think it’ll be 10 or so percent of the world’s species that might be endangered, and many of these are these mountain species with nowhere to run.
If extinction of whole species does not convince skeptics, I’d just say, “New Orleans and London, not to mention the farmers of Bangladesh.” They are going to be in deep trouble once the sea levels rise seriously.
You tell us this loss of around 10 percent of species “Falls far below the level of extinction required to match one of the previous ‘Big Five’ mass extinctions in the geological past.” Is the Sixth Extinction overrated?
Well, I agree there has been a huge acceleration of the extinction rate in the human epoch, and that if we keep up the current rate of extinction for the next 10,000 years, we end up with a mass extinction of 75 percent of species going extinct.
You spotted the fatal flaw! But if I’m not allowed to use the word “Natural,” and I accept it has no special meaning, I would just have to say that the Earth’s system is simply what it is: It now contains the human species as well as other species.

The orginal article.

Summary of “6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger”

The number of first-time travelers who choose to go solo has more than doubled in recent years.
Even if you’re not traveling long-term, venturing out for a solo vacation once in awhile can help you build skills and competencies that you can bring back and apply to all areas of your life.
Traveling alone will help you learn to experience immense moments without being clumsily demonstrative.
Even when traveling solo, you don’t really have to be alone all that much if you don’t want to.
Traveling solo can increase your awareness of the body signals you’ve been unintentionally sending.
Traveling makes you more aware of how powerful you are than the first time you strapped on that backpack and walked out the door.
Traveling solo isn’t a requirement for leading a good life.
Traveling alone accelerates your emotional and mental growth in a way that no other activity can.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Insectageddon: farming is more catastrophic than climate breakdown”

Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental issue? Climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban expansion? My answer is none of the above.
The other is the erasure of non-human life from the land by farming.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, at current rates of soil loss, driven largely by poor farming practice, we have just 60 years of harvests left.
The impact on wildlife of changes in farming practice is so rapid and severe that it is hard to get your head round the scale of what is happening.
A study in the journal Arthropod-Plant Interactions shows that the more neonicotinoid pesticides were used to treat rapeseed crops, the more their yield declines.
Do we allow them to hold the world to ransom, or do we acknowledge that the survival of the living world is more important than returns to their shareholders? At the moment, shareholder value comes first.
2 We need environmental impact assessments for the farming and fishing industries.
4 We need to reduce the amount of land used by farming, while sustaining the production of food.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Staggering Impact of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative”

Now it’s one centerpiece of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, and the town has transformed as a result.
While the country was the world’s largest recipient of World Bank and Asian Development Bank loans in the 1980s and 90s, in recent years, China alone loaned more to developing countries than did the World Bank.
Belt and Road is China’s biggest foreign policy initiative to date, but it’s no Marshall Plan.
On the prosperity question, China’s economic impact on the countries it lends to so far seems mixed at best.
China usually requires donee countries to use Chinese firms to build roads and ports, and until recently didn’t train local workers.
Perhaps the biggest challenge China’s efforts pose to the “Liberal international order” is that, in contrast to most Western aid and loans, Belt and Road projects often encourage terrible governance, environmental, and human rights standards, although China’s record on this has improved somewhat over the past few years.
China’s new infrastructure investment bank, the AIIB, wants to apply world-class standards, and many Chinese companies-including the national oil behemoth CNOOC-are improving rapidly.
If China’s geoeconomic push continues, it will be its largest legacy and have a profound impact on the world-not necessarily all negative.

The orginal article.