Mar 21 • 18M

The Dann Chronicles: March ⏰

Dismantling of time, stopping the clocks, brain warfare, a new type of Ukraine support, and a strong desire to Shake It Off.

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March 2022

Hey all,

Around two months ago, I decided to cancel our cable television package. I just hadn't been watching as much live TV since the last election. It seemed a waste to keep paying for something that we weren't using.

Then Russia invaded Ukraine, and my appetite for news is back in full force. The footage and stories coming out of war-torn Ukraine are absolutely heartbreaking.

I've donated to both GlobalGiving and Save The Children, established organizations that are well-equipped to have an immediate impact on the huge refugee crisis. If you're feeling as helpless as me, it's one way to make a small difference.

Doesn't really help with the news addiction, though.


⏳ Living in the moment?

Let’s begin with a simple fact: time passes faster in the mountains than it does at sea level.

So begins Carlo Rovelli's The Order of Time, the latest book to absolutely blow my mind. It's not just mountains and sea level, there is a scientifically measurable difference in time between a clock on the ground and one higher up on a table.

Rovelli is a quantum physicist taking up the reigns where Stephen Hawking left off, with Tim Urban's uncanny ability to explain complex subjects in a simple, understandable way.

I've been on a SciFi kick recently, which is fairly out-of-character for me. I watched the movies Sunshine, High Life, and Interstellar in quick succession, and squeezed in the book Project Hail Mary somewhere in there, too. I thoroughly enjoyed each of them, but they left me wondering about the actual science behind the fiction.

The topic of spacetime in general feels very overwhelming, coming from a place of practically zero foundational knowledge. So when I received Packy McCormick's newsletter raving about The Order of Time, I thought it might be a great jumping-off point. I was right.

Truthfully, I'm only about halfway through the book. But I had to share it anyway. McCormick claimed that it would take less than a weekend to read, but I'm definitely taking it much slower. What is time, after all?

🕰 Stop the clock

Speaking of time, it seems like we may officially adopt Daylight Saving Time permanently. The Sunshine Protection Act passed in the senate with unanimous consent.

I, personally, have mixed feelings. I sort of enjoy the bi-annual tradition of shifting my internal clock. It's a way to mark the changing of the seasons in a tangible way. Springing forward, like we did this month, means we've crossed the threshold towards warmer weather, even though it's not warm just yet. It's the same with falling back.

But I also recognize that it's completely unnecessary. Growing up in Arizona, I lived in one of the few states that didn't observe Daylight Saving Time.

When I moved to New York for college, changing the clocks became a fun new tradition that also felt completely pointless. The only impact it had on my life was that sometimes my parents were two hours behind me, and other times three.

At this point, I'm sort of more excited at the prospect of our government working together — on anything — than I am of the adoption of Daylight Saving Time.

🤒 Havana Night(mare)s

Categorize this under "unsolved mysteries that continue to take up space in my brain."

Do you remember Havana syndrome? Back in 2016, after US government officials in Havana, Cuba reported symptoms including pain and ringing in the ears, and cognitive difficulties. After much investigating, everything was categorized as "unexplained health incidents," and declared, at least, that we didn't think the Cuban government was to blame.

Five years later, the mystery is not only unsolved, but much broader than it was before. Government officials have been "attacked" on the steps of the White House. And we still have no idea what's actually going on, and by whom.

This 60 minutes segment does a good job of getting us up-to-speed with the current state of the story. Which is actually quite terrifying.

👨‍💻 A whole new war

If you're a high-level government official in Ukraine, and your neighbor Russia has just invaded, why not turn to all avenues to collect support? I imagine that was the logic behind creating official crypto addresses to collect donations in support of defense.

As of early March, Ukraine has received close to $100M in digital-currency donations, and have used the funds to purchase supplies such as bulletproof jackets, food, thermal imagers and optics, and walkie-talkies.

Some suppliers are even accepting payment directly in crypto. What a world.

🎤 I stay out too....LAaAtTtE

Settle a friendly disagreement for me.

I happen to think Mossbot's autotune remix of Taylor Swift’s "Shake It Off" is possibly the greatest thing ever.

Alternately, my wife can't stand it. It raises her hackles. To her, it's the ultimate form of cringe. "It's like nails on a chalkboard, locked in a tiny room, where the chalkboard sound is amplified."

I could easily find myself paying money for a full album.

Which camp are you in?

End note

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Thanks for reading. Until next time,