Top of mind

The intention of this page is to serve the function of a /now page - shamelessly stealing the idea of a notes-based now page from the indomitable Andy Matuschak.

Recently I released a document on Why DARPA Works

Why DARPA Works was “intellectual exhaust” from research that led to the hypothesis that An institution riffing on the ARPA Model could enable paradigm shifts that are not happening. Testing that hypothesis is occupying most of my time.

To that end, I’m digging into how find and enable Things that are not paper-worthy enough for academia and not product-focused enough for a startup.

I need to simultaneously answer “What will the first programs be?” And “What will the organization that effectively designs and runs these programs look like?” Without the former, the whole thing is just a theoretical exercise. Without the latter, there would be no institutional structure, which is a core part of the hypothesis.

On the organizational structure front, I’m digging into:

The hypothesis also rests on the assertion that there is a set ideas that aren’t being pursued enough because they fall into an ‘idea dead zone’ where the constraints on existing institutions prevent them from operating effectively. I’m spending (perhaps too much time) digging into these constraints (§Academia Constraints, §Startup Constraints, §Corporate R&D Constraints, §Philanthropy and Non-Profit Constraints.)

I’m also spending too much time on two broad topics are inevitably coupled to these constraints - the history of these institutions (how did the constraints evolve?) theories of how innovation works (what is being constrained?)

Climbing gyms are closed so I’ve been stuck hang boarding. Training Plan.

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