🍋 Musk's Brain Child

Elon Musk's Neuralink implanted its first brain-tech device in a human patient, plus Alphabet and Microsoft reported earnings.

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"New York... where everyone mutinies but no one deserts." — Jerry Seinfeld

Good Morning! Tom Brady is merging his nutrition and apparel brands with NoBull. Weed sales are skyrocketing during Dry January. Job quitting fell by 12% last year but that's not great news for the economy. Microsoft beat earnings as Azure grows faster than expected, but Google parent Alphabet missed on holiday ad revenue. Plus Sam Altman’s advice for the 20-somethings, and five tips to stop you from being your own biggest roadblock. 

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Musk’s Brain Child

This week, Elon Musk made a huge announcement -  his startup Neuralink implanted its brain-tech device in a human patient for the first time.

Neuralink is Musk's brainchild (pun intended), and it’s working on an implant called Telepathy. Its aim? To let people with severe disabilities control technology with their minds, through a tiny device in their brain. Think typing or moving cursors without lifting a finger. The patient, fresh from Sunday’s surgery, is reportedly recovering well. This trial, approved by the FDA last May, is Neuralink’s first big step into human testing.

If Telepathy works as planned, it could be a game-changer for people with neurological disorders like ALS. The hope is they could communicate at the speed of thought. 

But Neuralink still has a long journey ahead of itself - filled with intense safety tests and data collection. The FDA's final nod is still a long ways ahead. And with the number of trial participants under wraps, there’s an air of mystery to it all.

Neuralink is part of a growing brain-computer interface (BCI) industry. It's a crowded field, with companies like Synchron and Paradromics also racing to the finish line. But Musk is hoping Neuralink becomes the first to market.

Takeaway: The dystopian era where Elon Musk literally puts a chip in your brain is fully underway. If Neuralink is approved, it could be one of Musk’s most revolutionary products. Picture this: thinking about doing something and - poof! - it's done. The race in BCI technology is on, and we’ll keep you posted on how the brain chip wars go from here.


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Top Reads

  • Microsoft beats estimates as Azure grows faster than expected (CNBC)

  • Google parent Alphabet ad revenue sputters (Reuters

  • SEC’s blank check rules coincide with market slump (Axios)

  • Tom Brady merged nutrition, apparel brands with NoBull (CNBC)

  • Weed sales boom in Dry January as people drink less (BB)

  • Job quitting fell 12% last year - and that’s bad news for the economy (WSJ)

  • U.S. consumer confidence rose to 2-year high in January (YF)

  • World’s largest sovereign wealth fund posts record $213 billion profit (CNBC)

  • 33 charts that tell the story of the economy in 2024 (YF)

  • Fidelity marks up the value of its holding in X (Axios)

  • UPS announces 12,000 job cuts after package volume tumbles (CNBC)


Markets Rundown

Stocks closed lower ahead of Big Tech earnings.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) General Motors ($GM) +8% after the auto manufacturer announced Q4 sales and profit beat.

  • (–) Whirlpool ($WHR) -7% after the home appliance company projects weaker-than-expected Q4 sales.

  • (–) United Parcel Service ($UPS) -8% after cutting 12k jobs, a dip in package volume.

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When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires—one in shipping and another in railroads—that would make him the richest man in America.

His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by “the Commodore,” subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it.

By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers—the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius’s grandson and namesake had built—the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore’s great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family’s empire, basked in the Commodore’s wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society.

Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

“The ideology of New York City was, is, and probably always will be profit.”


Big Differences in Population Growth Across States

Source: Apollo


Self Control

Self-control is not a permanent trait but a daily decision. Even those who consider themselves disciplined must actively choose self-discipline each day, facing temptations head-on.

There's no magical immunity or an infinite well of motivation; it's an ongoing commitment to resisting immediate gratification.

Understanding the root causes of self-control issues, Durmonski sheds light on the fluctuations in self-control. Stress, fatigue, social influence, boredom, reliance on motivation, and lack of purpose all contribute to the inconsistency in our ability to exert willpower.

Acknowledging these factors, he encourages a holistic approach to building resilience against temptations, emphasizing the importance of rest, positive social circles, meaningful activities, and the cultivation of habits over relying solely on motivation.

In essence, the journey toward self-control is a nuanced and individualized process, requiring self-reflection and deliberate choices to reshape one's identity and behaviors.


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