What I learned last week (#72)

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Quote I enjoyed:

”The best test of a person’s intelligence is their capacity for making a summary”

Lytton Strachey

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“Long-distance running suits my personality, though, and of all the habits I’ve acquired over my lifetime I’d have to say this one has been the most helpful, the most meaningful. Running without a break for more than two decades has also made me stronger, both physically and emotionally.” (Haruki Murakami and Philip Gabriel, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)

How would you answer the question: what habit have you acquired during your lifetime that has been the most helpful, the most meaningful?

The system that actually worked:

A great peek behind the huge growth in internet usage during the pandemic.

The surge in traffic, on the internet as a whole and on AT&T’s part of the network, is extraordinary in a way that the phrase 20 percent increase doesn’t quite capture. AT&T’s network is carrying an extra 71 petabytes of data every day. How much is 71 petabytes? One comparison: Back at the end of 2014, AT&T’s total network traffic was 56 petabytes a day; in just a few weeks, AT&T has accommodated more new traffic every day than its total daily traffic six years ago. (During the pandemic, the AT&T network has been carrying about 426 petabytes a day—one petabyte is 1 million gigabytes.)

All kinds of digital communication usage is up as well:

On AT&T’s network, customers are spending 33 percent more time talking on their cellphones, and they’re sending 40 percent more text messages, compared with January and February. Twice during the pandemic customers set a record for text messages,—once in mid-March as it started to build, and again on Easter weekend, sending more than 23,000 in a single second, besting the old record of 15,000, set on New Year’s Eve.


Shifts in routines are a good thing:

The Infamous turns 25:

I have listened to this album countless times, but it has been awhile and this anniversary made me revisit it. I’m glad I did. I forgot how good it was and the help from Q-Tip was unknown to me.

After the duo got their deal—and, crucially, their budget—they reached out to Q-Tip, who had shown them love when their songs were far less biting and sophisticated. In recounting the process, the personnel who worked on The Infamous have said that the Abstract took far less credit than he was reasonably entitled to, mixing a number of songs, adding production to ones that Havoc and P imagined finished, and building others from scratch, while generally acting as a guiding force. Despite the fact that he was fresh off a platinum album that skewed much brighter, he meshed with the group immediately, helping add teeth to Havoc’s serrated sound. (It should be noted that Beats, Rhymes and Life, the Tribe record Q-Tip made after The Infamous, retains some of the latter’s hard edge.)


More (high quality) input required:

I cam across this in Austin’s recent newsletter and have been thinking about it quite a bit.

I know for a fact I could not do what I do if I was not zealous in managing high-quality inputs into my mind every day of my life. That’s why I spend maybe two hours a day writing. I’m a writer. I spend two hours a day writing, but I spend three to four hours a day reading and two to three hours a day listening to music.People think that that’s creating a problem in my schedule, but in fact, I say, “No, no, this is the reason why I’m able to do this. Because I have constant good-quality input.” That is the only reason why I can maintain the output.

Pay attention to that ratio. Double to triple time spent on input vs. output. (I remember the first time I read Stephen King’s On Writing as a young writer and being blown away by the fact that he writes in the morning and after lunch he spends all afternoon reading.)

Keeping your marriage alive during a pandemic:

Really appreciated and enjoyed this, a good reminder to be more mindful of my efforts here (hi to my own Mrs K!). Also a good reminder that there is an upside to all of this together time.

As an example, the first 12 years of our marriage had been spent apart at full-time jobs. My workweek was 50+ hours and Mr. H’s workweek was 60+ hours. We accounted for two weeks of vacation for uninterrupted time outside the weekends, which was 50 weeks.

If we go with 60 hours as an average—we roughly spent this much of our lives away from each other annually:
3,000 hours
125 days
18 weeks
Over 4 months

In 12 years of marriage, that equals this much time apart:
36,000 hours
1500 days
214 weeks
50 months
Over 4 years

What I’m grateful for:

  • Vivi wants me to read books with her every night. The topic of the moment is anything related to unicorns. 🦄
  • The amazing women in my life, in particular my Mom and the mother of my children.
  • Noticing the changing of the woods now that spring is in full-swing:
Springtime in the woods

Lastly, check out what we’re up to now.

4 responses

  1. > ”The best test of a person’s intelligence is their capacity for making a summary”

    I don’t know about this quote until I read this post, but I always think something similar when I am adding chat notes 😀

    1. Ha! That’s so true. It’s harder that it seems.

  2. Thabo Tswana Avatar
    Thabo Tswana

    “…and the help from Q-Tip was unknown to me.”

    I also had no idea he was involved! Then I was amazed to learn that Mobb Deep sampled a Herbie Hancock album I had never heard of. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I know, really cool to learn. I need to listen to more Herbie Hancock. Love Head Hunters but haven’t dived into enough of his other stuff. 🎧

Comments welcome!

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