🧠 Brian Sunter Newsletter - Algorithms Boot Camp and the Elon Musk Twitter Deal
I'm starting a 3 month-long "Algorithms Boot Camp." I've been collecting notes on Data Structures and Algorithms for some time.I'll include a note related to one of the topics in the curriculum here for the next few months as a section in the newsletter.In addition, I'm sharing my logseq comparison template. This simple framework will help you make the best decision between a few options.This week, I'm sharing some research around my latest project: Improving my sleep quality.I also found some interesting perspectives on the Elon Musk Twitter Controversy.I can't believe there are 200 subscribers now. Thank you all for joining!See the "rich" version of the newsletter here.
Algorithms Boot Camp 🤖
I'm starting an algorithms-boot-camp.
It's a weekly series of guides that will help beginner and intermediate programmers learn the basics of algorithms.
Hopefully, my process for making the guide and annotating code will also be enjoyable for non-programmers.
I wrote a comprehensive outline of all the algorithms I plan to learn. This "boot camp" project will build up this outline as a series of guides one week at a time.
I'm not writing this guide from an expert's perspective but rather from a student's perspective. I'll be learning along with you and solidifying my own knowledge.
Feel free to correct me, make suggestions, and ask questions on Twitter. This guide is a living document; hopefully, a community of like-minded people will benefit from it.
Productivity Toolkit 🛠️
In this section, I'll share a productivity tip I've learned recently.
Comparison Template ✅ ❌
The "pros/cons" template is an excellent way to compare two or more items.
When researching something, I'll use this template to compare the pros and cons of different options.
This comparison template helps me to decide which option is the best fit for my needs.
I created a comparison template in Logseq for this purpose.
Feel free to copy this and adapt it to your own needs.
For my newsletter, I chose Revue which is owned by Twitter, because it has a subscribe button on my Twitter profile and is cheaper than Substack.
Brain Food 🧠 😴 Master your Sleep
(Nootropics, or “smart drugs,” are a class of substances that can boost brain performance.)
The Huberman Show is my favorite health and science podcast.
I enjoyed his podcast called Master Your Sleep & Be More Alert When Awake
I value feeling alert and rested almost more than anything, but I still have trouble sleeping well consistently. Mostly because I refuse to go to sleep when I get tired.
I thought this episode had many actionable science-based tips on how to sleep better.
The most interesting part was the in-depth discussion of "Circadian Rhythm," the 24-hour cycle that controls when you feel sleepy.
You can do many "hacks" to adjust when you naturally wake up and feel sleepy.
Here are a few from the episode:
View sunlight by going outside within 30-60 minutes of waking. Do that again in the late afternoon, before sunset.
Wake up at the same time each day and go to sleep when you first start to feel sleepy.
Avoid caffeine within 8-10 hours of bedtime.
Avoid viewing bright lights between 10 pm and 4 am.
Sleep at a cold temperature around 65F (18C).
This week, I'm making an extra effort to get sunlight early in the morning and go to bed as soon as I feel tired, even if there's a lot more I wish to accomplish that day.
Link of the week 🔗
Elon Musk Twitter Deal 🚀🐦
(image from New York Post)
Everyone has been talking about Elon Musk buying Twitter and the controversy around the "spam users."
We've all seen spam, fake, or malicious users on Twitter, but nobody knows how many are out there.
He claims that Twitter isn't providing him with good enough data to determine how many spam users were on the platform.
Twitter is saying they are suing to make the deal go through.
On the one hand, if Elon Musk has buyer's remorse after Twitter's stock dropped, it's easy to say the data Twitter provided isn't "good" enough no matter what. He can always say there are discrepancies.
Also, there's so much data that even people inside these companies struggle to manage, and it would be tough for an outsider to validate the data fully.
He likely should have clarified the exact data requirements before making the deal. But he claims Twitter isn't providing him what they agreed.
I think people will be arguing about this data in court for a long time.
Also, there is a massive conflict of interest and incentive for Twitter to overrepresent how many active users it has.
We could imagine how Twitter could be incentivized to report spam users as real users in growth metrics and let spam users click on Twitter ads. We have to trust that Twitter isn't charging advertisers to show ads to fake users and profiting from that revenue.
I'm not saying this is intentional, but from an organizational standpoint, with money coming in from spam users and no third party auditing the data, Twitter management could be incentivized to look the other way or prioritize other initiatives than fighting spam.
I'll be following how this plays out in court and if anything surprising about the spam users surfaces in court.
HackerNews Comments on the Twitter-Musk Deal
It's somewhat hilarious to think that even if Twitter were to settle modestly for $5bn, that would be more than double of all profit that Twitter has ever generated as a company. - cksastner
Wasn’t Google Ads 80% fake clicks on some studies? It won’t be surprising Twitter Ads is actually worse. There is so zero incentive to clean it up and so many shady reasons to do it. - hartator
This is absolutely pure speculation, but perhaps that is Musk's motive for this whole charade. He is erratic enough that it certainly seems possible that he did this whole acquisition agreement with no intention of following through simply to unveil information to discredit Twitter. It certainly doesn't appear from the outside that Musk had any ideas for making money on this by materially improving Twitter as a business from anything I've read. The justifications about free speech seem to taint this deal with Musk having an ideological bent to the whole transaction, so it seems possible that he thought he could use the buyout to access damaging information (like potentially lying on SEC filings) and then back out without spending the full amount. - zrobotics
I am reminded of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, in which a significant plot point was a hostile buyer using due diligence as a kind of DoS attack on the protagonist's company. - AceJohnny2
"This article says Musk agreed to buy Twitter mostly as a joke. I think there's a far better explanation. This wasn't a joke for Musk because after agreeing to buy Twitter he proceeded to sell billions of dollars' worth of TSLA stock, supposedly to finance the purchase. Even for the richest man in the world that's not a joke.
Why does he need a cover? Because TSLA is way too overvalued. He has to know that it is overvalued. Tesla's market cap is double of Toyota, VW, Mercedes, BMW, GM, Honda, Ferrari and Volvo all combined! . If you sell stock while knowing your company's stock is way too overvalued, you're fleecing unsophisticated investors. Pretending to buy Twitter provides a convenient cover.
Both Musk and Gates sold TSLA, the only difference is that Musk sold stocks he owned, but Gates sold borrowed stocks. But Musk used buying Twitter as a cover, so he gets to pretend to be morally superior Even though both men sold TSLA, according to Musk, Gates' sales means that he isn't serious about climate change" - peliton
What do you think is really going on?
I hope you enjoyed this week's newsletter.
Next week, we'll start getting into the Algorithms Boot Camp. I'll also share my guide on how to run your life using Projects in Logseq.