Weekend Reading: American Growth, JTBD, and Dissolving the Fermi Paradox

October 17, 2020 • #

📉 Summary of The Rise and Fall of American Growth

Concise summary of Robert Gordon’s book on Roots of Progress.

👨🏻‍🏫 Guide to Jobs to be Done Interviews

A solid comprehensive, step-by-step overview of how to conduct JTBD interviews.

🛸 Dissolving The Fermi Paradox

A pointer somewhere on Twitter led to this post from the Slate Star Codex archives, discussing a paper that supposedly debunks the Fermi paradox:

Imagine we knew God flipped a coin. If it came up heads, He made 10 billion alien civilization. If it came up tails, He made none besides Earth. Using our one parameter Drake Equation, we determine that on average there should be 5 billion alien civilizations. Since we see zero, that’s quite the paradox, isn’t it?

No. In this case the mean is meaningless. It’s not at all surprising that we see zero alien civilizations, it just means the coin must have landed tails.