Sunday Wisdom No. 21

When you don’t have the fundamentals clear—overcoming internal obstacles—the story behind the Ebola vaccine—global warming for real—audio porn tops video porn—wisdom of Confucius—living tree bridges

Happy Sunday!

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📝 My Latest Article

Cargo Cult Science: When You Follow The Instructions But Don’t Understand The Process

I’m a massive fan of Richard Feynman. Rather than a scientist, a physicist, or a Noble laureate, he is best described as a curious character. We can learn a lot from him—especially his forever hunger to play with new things—not for the betterment of humanity or the world, or the progress of society, but just for the sake of it; just for the fun of it.

This article explores key ideas from his 1974 commencement address at Caltech entitled Cargo Cult Science. Like pseudoscience, cargo cult science looks like science, and follows all the basic traits of a scientific experiment. But it blindly copies instructions without understanding them, confuses correlation and causation, and is overtly focussed on outcomes without having clear fundamentals. (510 words)

The past three editions of Sunday Wisdom: 2019, and 18.

💡 An Idea For You

In the workplace, a job well done almost always depends upon external factors like office politics, the opinions of your supervisors, or the mood of your clients.

In many sports, outcomes are affected by things like the weather, equipment, officiating, or the performance of teammates.

But personal growth is different. If you wish to read more, learn more, write more, behave well, eat well, sleep well, there are rarely any external factors to blame. Usually it’s you who creates an internal obstacle for yourself.

What you get out of yourself is proportionate to the internal obstacles you get rid of.

🗒 I Enjoyed Reading

‘Against All Odds’: The Inside Story of How Scientists Across Three Continents Produced an Ebola Vaccine

“…for years, scientists who studied Ebola, which belongs to a family of viruses called filoviruses, had poured their hearts into work to develop vaccines and drugs to combat these deadly scourges. And for years, they had seen promising work smash up against unscalable walls. There was no potential for drug makers to recoup development costs; and, with outbreaks only sporadic, there was little opportunity to subject experimental vaccines to rigorous tests.”

How We Know Global Warming is Real 

“It is that the world is more than 1 degree Celsius hotter than it was before industrialisation began pumping fossil fuels into the atmosphere. This warming has fuelled new deadly fires, strengthened hurricanes and displaced people. And many areas have warmed far more than the average.”

What If Porn Had No Pictures?

“Ms. Gutierrez and her co-founder, Faye Keegan, 29, were intent on a narrative approach based on the premise that ‘the best sex content was hidden inside other content.’”

🤔 Worth Thinking About

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.”

— Confucius

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P.S. Living tree bridges in India stand strong for hundreds of years