More Americans Safely, Meritocracy and Recent Investments

Your weekly 5 things from the mind of Miles Lasater

Welcome to your Saturday. Here are your weekly five things from the mind of Miles.

  1. One Billion Americans.  Have you read the book on how and why we should have a lot more people in the US? The proposal is that through immigration policy and support of families, we can increase the US population.  That will in turn grow our economy, US global power and leave many people better off. Yes, people maintain personal freedom about the size of their families. Government policies and cultural changes could make it incrementally less expensive and less difficult to raise children. And if people want to move here, let’s give more of them freedom to pursue opportunity. You don’t have to go as far as “letting everyone in”. Interesting development as it looks like the big Covid relief bill does have support for families in it.  Maybe we’re moving in the One Billion Americans direction.

  2. Maternal Outcome Improvements. Regardless of your views on natalist policies we should have better health outcomes for pregnant mothers. I recently learned about the success of CMQCC. By making evidence-based interventions easier to adopt and organizing to make sure they are adopted in all the details, they have made a huge difference. Results are amazing.  Now for the rest of the country.

  1. Fusion. When I visited the MIT’s Engine tough-tech incubator, I was initially puzzled when they were talking about their “fusion startup”. My mind went to cooking but then I realized they meant nuclear fusion for purposes of generating energy. I’ve been looking into it more recently despite the stigma of the technology always coming but never here. Reading a textbook and taking an EdX course. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

  2. Tyranny of Merit and Meritocracy Trap. We are used to hearing rhetoric about the failure of our society to measure up to meritocratic ideals. But have you heard the growing amount of criticism of meritocracy even when it does “work”? I read Tyranny of Merit and most of Meritocracy Trap and would recommend the former. I’m sympathetic to the arguments about the downsides of meritocracy. For example, blaming people for lower incomes or lower dignity of work. Or pointing out that while colleges have become supposedly more meritocratic in admissions, income mobility appears to have declined (although perhaps some evidence that college admissions can help with income mobility). I’m still not clear on the proposed alternatives? A lottery? One idea of increasing the number of slots a university is interesting. Still sorting out my ideas here.

  3. Recent Investments and Raises. I wanted to share some of my recent startup investments as there is so much exciting stuff going on applying digital technologies. For example, dental telehealth company Wally and IBS digital health company Dieta. (I mean convincing people to take pictures of the inside of their mouth or of their stool - what could be more fun?) I wanted to offer congratulations to TripleBlind and EarnUp on announcing recent fundraising. Also, if you want a remote personal trainer from DeltaTrainer, hit me up for a referral code for one month free. And if you want to quit smoking, Vincere will pay you to do so. Or if you are seeking treatment for depression or anxiety, check out Brightside Health.

As a reminder, my work projects are:

Until next week,