What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#95)

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“To me, complete rational logic tells me to be atheist about all of the Earth’s religions and utterly agnostic about the nature of our existence or the possible existence of a higher being. I don’t arrive there via any form of faith, just by logic.” (Tim Urban, Wait but Why Year One)

Quote I appreciated:

Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.

Abraham Lincoln

Fake it till you make it:

Our brains are trained to think and feel certain things that cause us to behave certain ways. Learned thoughts and feelings turn into learned behaviors.

Once we’ve learned these things, it’s difficult to unlearn them. We get comfortable in our routines and patterns. It’s hard for us to imagine a different reality or a new way of thinking. The thoughts we’ve practiced for so long solidify in our minds, practically becoming truths.

When you “fake it till you make it,” you’re showing your brain an alternative scenario—one that involves you thinking, feeling, and/or acting differently. You’re essentially giving yourself new evidence, proving to your brain that there might be a different way to look at things.

The more you practice thinking in new ways, the more you’ll start to “unlearn” the harmful thoughts that have been holding you back so that you can move forward with thoughts that truly serve you. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen over time.

Reminds me of something Derek Sivers said on a TF podcast about how he was never a confident person until he started just trying to pretend he was confident and all of the sudden he realized he could be that way if wanted to.

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#93)

Article excerpt I enjoyed:

INTERVIEWER: You seem very troubled—but not by death?
BALDWIN: Yes, true, but not at all by death. I’m troubled over getting my work done and over all the things I’ve not learned. It’s useless to be troubled by death, because then, of course, you can’t live at all.” (Margaret Jull Costa, The Art of Fiction No. 78)

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“Just as long-distance runners push through pain to experience the pleasure of “runner’s high,” I have largely gotten past the pain of my mistake making and instead enjoy the pleasure that comes with learning from it. I believe that with practice you can change your habits and experience the same “mistake learner’s high.”” (Ray Dalio, Principles)

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#92)

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

Whatever the needs of the moment, I had a choice: I could do what was required calmly, patiently, and attentively, or do it in a state of panic. Every moment of the day—indeed, every moment throughout one’s life—offers an opportunity to be relaxed and responsive or to suffer unnecessarily.” (Sam Harris, Waking Up)

You do have a choice and an opportunity in every moment, even though it might not feel like it sometimes.

The logistics of distributing a vaccine in the 19th century versus today:

Distributing a COVID vaccine to billions of people will be challenging. We will require vials, needles, cold storage, air travel, trained health care professionals and much more. The challenge of distributing a smallpox vaccine in the 19th century was even greater because aside from fewer resources the vaccine, cowpox, was geographically rare and infected humans only with difficulty. Moreover, the best method of storing the vaccine was in a person but that worked only until the person’s immune system defeated the virus. Thus, a relay-race of vaccine couriers was created to distribute the vaccine around the world.

Interesting history of using cohorts of human vaccine couriers to distribute a vaccine. Never realized or thought about that until now.

For a summary of the modern day challenges that we’re facing, this is worth watching:

3:22 is when the good stuff starts. Interesting info about the challenges involved in producing and moving the vaccine.

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#91)

Quote I was thinking about:

If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged.

Margaret Atwood

Two different videos on how to sample:

First, the basic principle.

Then, the art of it all through the lens of 9th Wonder.

We talkin’ about practice. Are you doing 1000 jumpers a day or no?

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#90)

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“We should never label our practice sessions as “good” or “bad.” Any time you get to the meditation seat is good meditation.” (Lodro Rinzler, Sit Like a Buddha)

Resist the urge to label your practice efforts!

Our brave new merged world:

A great little read on the changes afoot in the work world and where we live. The physical location of where we live has never felt more significant from a social perspective, while less significant from a work-perspective.

As jobs will less force people to move, people will move areas less often, and the areas where people live will be less set by jobs. As life at work will be less social, people will have to get more of their socializing from elsewhere. Some of this will come from remote socializing, but much will still probably come from in-person socializing. So people will choose where they live more based on family, friends, leisure activities, and non-work social connections. Churches, clubs, and shared interest socializing will increase in importance. People will also pick where to live more based on climate, price, and views. Beach towns will boom, and the largest cities will lose.
Because people will move areas less often, the social connections they make in school will last them longer into life. Yet today school is widely talked about as a preparation for work. So schools will be torn between wanting to be in-person to promote local social connections, and remote to promote work skills. Perhaps schools will split, with core work-related classes being remote but electives and “after school activities” being in-person. Work hours will be less rigid, and it will be easier to do non-work tasks during usual work times.