The Profile: The celebrity scientist demystifying the brain & the supermodel turning to entrepreneurship
This edition of The Profile features Andrew Huberman, Kendall Jenner, (fake) Tom Cruise and more.
Good morning, friends!
I am back home after a week of book events, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to meet so many new readers and celebrate with old friends.
It was one of those rare moments in life where people from different parts of your life are in a room together. I had a blast.
Did ‘HIDDEN GENIUS’ hit No. 1 on Amazon? No. Did it make a bestseller list? Don’t think so. How many books were sold? I’m not entirely sure as the data is still trickling in.
Although those are metrics deemed important in the publishing world, that’s not why I wrote the book. I would do it all over again just to have the conversations I’ve been privileged to have in the last week. There is no greater feeling than someone valuing a creation that came from somewhere in your brain. Seeing people hold the physical copy in their hands fills my soul.
I was talking to a fellow author friend about these very metrics, and he sent me this quote by James Corse from his book Finite and Infinite Games:
“The more we are recognized as winners, the more we know ourselves to be losers. That is why it is rare for the winners of highly coveted and publicized prizes to settle for their titles and retire. Winners, especially celebrated winners, must prove repeatedly they are winners. The script must be played over and over again. Titles must be defended by new contests. No one is ever wealthy enough, honored enough, applauded enough. On the contrary, the visibility of our victories only tightens the grip of the failures in our invisible past.”
It reminded me of Ernest Hemingway. In October 1954, Hemingway received the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of the art of narrative."
In his acceptance speech, he said:
“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.”
His remarks are impeccable. He simultaneously insults the people who gave him the prize while alluding to the idea that he doesn't need recognition or admiration from his peers in order to be a great writer.
For me, writing is a form of expression. I have very low expectations. Even with the book, I was hopeful that people would enjoy it, but I had no delusions about bestseller lists and public recognition. As Hemingway said, “You must be prepared to work always without applause.”
Thank you to all of you who have read the book, shown support, or attended an event. It means much more to me than any vanity metric or industry award ever could.
— The celebrity scientist demystifying the brain [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The supermodel turning to entrepreneurship
— The world’s biggest Tom Cruise impersonator
— The founder who tried to build a Twitter alternative
— The man who turned the world on to the genius of fungi
PEOPLE TO KNOW.
The celebrity scientist demystifying the brain: You’ve probably listened to an episode or two of Andrew Huberman’s wildly popular podcast, Huberman Lab. But a long-form science podcast is not an obvious recipe for success at a time when attention spans are short, Americans’ trust in scientists is declining, and misinformation is rampant. And yet, Huberman has accumulated a massive and dedicated audience. So what is the cause of Hubermania? (TIME)
“He’s kind of a rock star in our field.”
The supermodel turning to entrepreneurship: Yes, this is a profile of Kendall Jenner, and yes, it is in … The Wall Street Journal. You know her from the Kardashian clan, being one of the only ones who didn’t have her own venture. But two years ago, she started a tequila brand called 818. Just two years post-launch, 818 is on track to sell 160,000 cases of tequila this year. “Being my own boss is really cool,” she says. (WSJ)
“Since I was really young, I felt out of place in my family. I was born into this life, but I didn’t choose this life.”
The world’s biggest Tom Cruise impersonator: I was recently at a conference when I turned around and heard people whispering that Tom Cruise was present. It wasn’t Tom — it was his very believable impersonator. This is a profile of Evan Ferrante, an actor and producer who credibly calls himself the “leading Tom Cruise impressionist in the world.” He’s been making a boatload of money ever since Top Gun: Maverick came out, and he’s turned his strikingly similar Tom Cruise looks into a lucrative business. (Inverse)
“I sometimes don’t know where Evan Ferrante begins or ends or Tom Cruise begins or ends.”
The founder who tried to build a Twitter alternative: Christopher Bouzy is the 48-year-old CEO of Bot Sentinel, an automated service that ascertains whether Twitter accounts are part of coordinated harassment or disinformation campaigns. He decided to create a more ‘friendly’ Twitter alternative called ‘Spoutible.’ As the reporter followed his journey, odd things began to happen and Bouzy became more and more secretive and combative. This is really, really good reporting. (WIRED)
“At the end of the day, I don’t want to be Elon Musk—I really don’t.”
The man who turned the world on to the genius of fungi: Merlin Sheldrake, 35, has turned into a kind of human ambassador for the fungal kingdom: the face of fungi. He has flown to the Tarkine rainforest in Tasmania to shoot an IMAX movie, narrated by Björk, that is screening this summer. And his message is important: Without fungi, matter wouldn’t decay; the planet would be buried under layers of dead and unrotted trees and vegetation. If you love learning about the fungal world, this one is for you. (The New York Times)
“Why do we think of a ‘self’ when it’s more accurate to identify ourselves as a walking ecosystem?”
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