That Famous Pixar Lunch of 1994 - Astukari Newsletter #83
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I apply the principles which I talk about on the blog recently — the Ubermensch Concept, Social Games, everything like that. Even though it’s easy for me to write about, it’s very hard to practice! Like I mention in my writing and lectures there’s a very innate biological block that stops us from simply “doing what we care about and want to do”. Personally, I think the best way I’ve been able to get closer to the Ubermensch idea is by trying to stay mindful and present, allowing me to stay in control of my feelings and direct them closer to that angle, so that (hopefully) one day it might be automatic. I’ll tell you if I make any good progress.
🔨What I’ve Been Making
New writing: Two new blog posts, as always: What’s “Hivemind”?, and Life as a War. Not much else in that department, however I am getting pretty close to finishing the writing process for the first part of my upcoming book series :)
New video/audio: Alas, I have run out of videos to post on the funny TikTok. The good news is that more lectures should be coming out on the main channel, as I intend to record some more this Monday. Not sure when the next live stream will be just because living in an apartment in San Francisco is less conducive to streaming than it was before, but I’ll see what I can do. Oh, and before I forget: a new podcast episode!
Other projects: JBR is finishing up its first quarter, and I think we’ve made some exciting progress. I intend on either making a video or a blog post (depending on what I have time to do) going over some of our metrics for the first quarter, the plans we have, anything else interesting, etc. etc. Build in public!
📚What I’ve Been Reading
The Myth of Skyrim’s Treasure Fox - Back when Skyrim first came out in 2011, there was a rumor that if you followed a fox in the game it would lead you to some sort of treasure or interesting event. As it turns out, that’s true… but it wasn’t the developer’s intention. Game programming is honestly my favorite type of programming to read about, and this little article that goes over AI pathing I would say is worth the read.
Conceptual Personae - Here’s an interesting idea. Say you, like most people, are interested in a lot of different miscellaneous things. But, due to our authority bias, other people don’t trust you (because you’re only supposed to be good at one thing, damn it!). Well you could be like me and take the easy route (not care), but Fernando Pessoa took a little bit more of a roundabout approach: he invented a different pseudonym for each of his interests.
That Famous Pixar Lunch of 1994 - In a single lunch, the founders of Pixar thought of its first four movie ideas, plus a few others. This summary of that lunch provides some pretty deep insight as to how people construct such unique ideas.
The Didactic Novel - If you think fiction books have nothing to teach you, you are pitifully mistaken. This blog post takes “learning” a bit literally (talking specifically about learning a new concept or a language through a fiction book), but most good pieces of fiction will inform you in one way or another on a philosophical or psychological concept that you’ve perhaps never thought of before.
TSMC’s Arizona Culture Clash - You don’t have to have lived in Arizona and China to know that Arizona and China have very different cultural views. So when TSMC, a primarily Chinese manufacturer, decided to place its newest semiconductor facility in the middle of the Sonora desert, it got a backlash it wasn’t expecting. Yes, Arizona is a good place environmentally and regulatorily to place a fab building. But never forget about the human element.