Welcome to a newsletter of random things that fall out of my brain: Outside Context. Sci Fi fans might recognize the name from Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels. Beginnings are important, and if I can imbue this series of writings with some purpose here at the outset it would be: To bring us closer together as friends, colleagues, and humans while we navigate the shared experiences of work and life. As individuals and as a species we are regularly encountering outside context problems, and how we deal with these problems will determine our individual and collective futures.Here follows my small contribution to that effort.
We're actively researching and considering where to establish our HQ. Leading contenders right now are NYC, DC, and SF. We're currently seeking more information about hiring eng and design in DC, and about hiring security talent in NYC. If that's something you or someone you know has experience with, please let us know!
Energy and Civilization: A History by Vaclav Smil (analog). Bill Gates says he reads anything Vaclav Smil writes. I’m interested in primers on fundamentals of our existence as humans, and so far this book fits the bill. For a more detailed review, you can see what Bill Gates has to say.
Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke (Audible). Annie is a badass professional poker player and decision maker. She presents an analysis of how successful poker players make decisions and applications of these techniques beyond the game itself. Playfully written and narrated by the author.
Amelia Lin is working on Keep Life Stories. I recently bought a few hours for my mom to use with her mom, and the result was pretty amazing.
Gary Marx is working on Pacific Coast Waters. Sustainably sourced water in zero-waste (and zero microplastics) glass bottles. Gary is a rocket scientist turned software engineer turned water warrior. The beautiful logo was designed by my amazing sister, Nicole Thiel!
Austen Allred is working on Lambda School. It's a 9 month coding bootcamp that's free until you get a job. Everyone will be talking about this soon enough. If this existed when I was in my early 20s, I absolutely would have gone.