By Irene Karthik — first published on her blog

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A close friend confessed that she missed the human connection on the zoom calls. She longed to get back to the office and meet people in real-time. On the contrary, I have had the most beautiful conversations and productive outcomes while attending online meetings.

My best experience has been in the Interintellect Salons held online, where I had some of my most memorable moments of meaningful connection and engagement in 2020. Each experience of 3 hours long calls has been intellectually stimulating, but they seem to have cracked the code for creating a series of “human moments” for most of their participants. …

By Étienne Fortier-Dubois

This essay first appeared on Étienne Fortier-Dubois’s personal blog.

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You’re sitting in a math class in university. The professor is writing a proof on the blackboard.

You’re extremely focused. The logic is spelled out with perfect clarity. Each step makes sense.

Then, the instructor utters a word-perhaps “obviously” or “trivially”-and proceeds to write the last line of the proof.

You blink once.


You read the result a couple of times. You frown. It doesn’t make sense anymore. Something happened between the last two lines of the proof, but you have no idea what.

This proof wasn’t obvious to you. It certainly wasn’t trivial. You glance around, and to your relief, you see you’re not alone. Your classmates keep silent, but they look confused too. …

Even more instructive than our mental models may be our mental mythologies

By Daniel Golliher

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This story was first published on Daniel’s blog.

Many are familiar with the idea of mental models, or mental frameworks, and why they’re useful. But I have another tool: mental mythologies. These are stories that subsume a great deal of thought and compress it into a visual form that I can mentally manipulate.

As I will explain in the small exegesis that follows this story, mythologies are useful when humans encounter their age-old, traditional follies: hubris, wrath, melancholy, &c. These rob our intellect of its full power, and the failsafe is a well-structured myth.

I was in an Interintellect salon about community building when I found myself explaining one of my mental-mythical objects, the time wand. Apparently this wasn’t common among those in attendance, so I decided to write this story to illustrate how I use mythologic tools. (This sort of thing is common in ii salons. If you come to one, be prepared to plumb the depths of something, even if it’s your own mind.)

By Lorenzo Evans for the Interintellect — first published on his blog

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In preparation for the next Olympia Academy event via the Interintellect, entitled Running Out of Time: The Temporal Dimension, I thought it might be useful to give a brief rundown on some of the ways we work with time in Physics.

I think one of the key issues with solving the mystery of time, is that we don’t have very much going for us in the way of classifying it as a phenomenon: we talk about time relative to other things, in the same way that we only visualize 2D space, as embedded in 3D space- not the thing itself, but a reconstruction -however it is nonetheless the starting point that we have, and we’ve done wonderful things with it as a species, so it merits some observation I think, for what it has done, regardless of what it hasn’t. …

By fellow Interintellect Dominique Alessi — originally published on her blog

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When I was in college, many of my peers were, well, normal college students. They studied, sure, but they also went to football games, partied, played beach volleyball, took trips to San Francisco, planted gardens… lots of things beyond just studying.

I, regretfully, spent very little time enjoying the delightful recreation available on a California campus, dedicating myself almost exclusively to my studies. …

Fellow Interintellect Andy Mac reflects on Nadia Eghbal’s new book Working in Public

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Written by Andy Mac for the Interintellect

A big thank you to Interintellect founder Anna Gát both for encouraging me in my own venture to work in public and for hosting Nadia Eghbal at a fireside chat at our community which is striding towards the future of IP creation and collaboration that Nadia describes in her book.

For a business to give away the secret sauce of its product seems not just counterintuitive but suicidal, yet some of the most pervasive software organizations (for-profit and otherwise) are doing just that, and becoming valued for billions of dollars in the process (see Red Hat’s $34 billion acquisition). This trend is technically described as “open source” and while currently it describes an offshoot of software product development, Nadia Eghbal digs into this snowballing trend in her debut title, “Working in Public” where the source code of software is openly exposed and available for any third party to use if it were their own invention. …

By fellow Interintellect Kimberley Le Feuvre

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Good times at Taylor Pullinger’s debut Salon which I attended

My first Interintellect Salons was honestly an exhilarating experience! I don’t know what I had expected but I suppose something similar to a lecture type session followed by discussion. When I realised it would be more conversation driven I felt nervous and intimidated, but as soon as people started to share their thoughts and ideas I was mesmerised by their candidness and relatable recounts and insights.

Written for the Interintellect by Sagar Devkate

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The Beginning

When I joined the Interintellect community, initially I was much of an observer on forums because I was skeptical about my ability to add any value to the existing conversations. I was amazed to see fellow members sharing their insights on topics like anthropology, philosophy and art, which as a tech person I had little or no understanding of. This made me more curious about learning those and other relevant topics.

During one of the I.I. Salons (The Scientist in Society), I got to interact with a fellow attendee, Dr. John Collins, who shared great insights on physics, and his work experience in years was greater than that of my age. I feel blessed to get enlightened by such amazing people. There is so much for me to learn and the I.I. …

This essay by fellow Interintellect Amir H. Hajizamani first appeared on the newsletter Showing My Working

Photo of a floating iceberg, with the small white tip above the surface against the sky and the majority of it visible below
Photo of a floating iceberg, with the small white tip above the surface against the sky and the majority of it visible below

Iceberg Questions

There are common questions everyone gets asked that seem to require a simple and short answer, but can go much deeper. The expected short answer may be the 10% tip that appears above the surface, with 90% of it hidden below, deep and heavy.

I’ve known for a long time that “where are you [really] from?” is one such question for me, and many others and othereds. Another deep and heavy question I encountered recently is “how many siblings do you have?” when asked of someone who has grieved the loss of a brother. …

By fellow Interintellect Nuno Leiria

This essay was first published here.

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“Have you ever met someone that has been to Disney World 25 times?

I did, at the Interintellect salon, I hosted about digital theme parks. They said that by the 20th time, you look at the park not from a sense of wonder but from a business point of view.

How do they do that? How does it work? How do they make money?

Is this how we’ll look at digital theme parks, once the initial excitement wears off? …



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