Functionally illiterate

We all know someone who seems to know way more than us. I can think of a whole universe of people who I admire and stand in awe of the things they (seem to) know. Sometimes I even catch myself thinking they must be way smarter than me.

Of course, the smart thing is not true, and it’s a poor use of time to compare yourself with others. But the knowing more thing? Yes, that’s always true. Someone always will know more. But even they didn’t know at one point. They learned from those before them.

General James Mattis pointed out in his autobiography that “Reading is an honor and a gift,” he explains, “from a warrior or a historian who—a decade or a thousand decades ago—set aside time to write.” Yet many people spurn this gift and still consider themselves educated. “If you haven’t read hundreds of books,” Mattis says, “you’re functionally illiterate.”

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#85)

Quote I was thinking about:

”We retain the facts which are easiest to think about”

B. F. Skinner

Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“And don’t confuse being driven with being authentically animated by an inner calling. One state leaves you depleted and unfulfilled; the other fuels your soul and makes your heart sing.” (Timothy Ferriss, Tribe of Mentors)

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#84)

Last week was moving week! That being said this week’s update will be a little shorter than normal. Moving house is a lot of work, and we’re lucky to have the option to do it so no complaints about it being “hard” as such. Normal life stops while you are in-between and there was not much time for reflection, but I re-learned that I/we are pretty good at moving and I don’t expect this to be anywhere near the last.

Some reminder learnings for myself for next time:

  • Write more descriptive descriptions on moving boxes, at least on one side
  • The stuff I pack first or last tends to be the most important – either I really want to be sure what I’m packing is safe and well-organized (so I do it first and best) or I can’t live without it (and I end up hand carrying or packing last). I should look hard at the stuff “in the middle” and try to get rid of half of it
  • Money spent on a good moving company is money well-spent

Here are some other things I felt worth sharing from last week.

Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“I hate the expression ‘don’t reinvent the wheel.’ What rubbish! If the wheel hadn’t been reinvented, we’d still be using stone wheels.” (James Whittaker, Career Superpowers)

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#82)

Quote I enjoyed:

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Albert Einstein

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“The famed American writer and activist Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”” (Esther K. CHOY, Let the Story Do the Work)

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#81)

Quote I was thinking about this week:

The enemy of life is middle age.

Orson Welles

Another from Orson that might go with the above:

I started at the top and worked my way down.

Orson Welles

What’s in a winglet:

The idea of turning a wingtip up (or down) dates back to the 19th century. In 1897, English engineer Frederick W. Lanchester patented the placement of end plates vertically at the tip of a wing to control wingtip vortices.

Generally only visible in high moisture conditions, clouds, or fog, vortices appear as twisting ribbons of air behind the wing, almost like mini tornadoes turned sideways. As air flows over the wingtip of a conventional airplane, it tends to roll upward from the high pressure area under the wing to the low-pressure area above it. At speed, airflow over the tip of the wing is also forced backward. This backward flow combines with the upward roll from under the wing to form a vortex.

They may look cool, but they’re a major drag, literally. Vortices cause lift-induced drag, lowering the efficiency of the wing.