Sunday Wisdom No. 42
We focus on a problem by using information that is close at hand. We make predictions based on our unique set of inputs. The more closely we know a problem, the more confident we are. This is wrong!
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📝 What I Wrote
In the last two editions of Sunday Wisdom, I wrote a two-part easy on the importance of being a multi-hyphenate: the importance of being a generalist and kind and wicked domains. In this week’s essay I talk about countering the “inside view” to make better decisions.
Inside View: Why This Time It’s NOT Going to be Different
Time and again I’ve seen overzealous entrepreneurs set hefty business goals with extremely tight deadlines. When asked if all these can be achieved in so little time, the answer is always some version of, “Yes, it can be done.”
But what about the last time when it took more than a year instead of a month to achieve a similar milestone, the most common reply is, “This time it’s different.” These might as well be the 4 most costly words when it comes to making plans.
Once you are done reading, I would love to hear what you think about it. If you agree and want to add to it, I’m all ears. If you disagree, I look forward to hear your point of view. We can have collective growth only through a collective exchange of dialogues and ideas. Therefore, do share your thoughts in the comments.
💡 Little Bit of Wisdom
Be an advocate of peace. Always! Go as far as you can to avoid war. But during war, don’t pretend to be an advocate of peace. Accept it and change your game. Go full offence!
We often don’t get what we want from life. But if you ignore reality, you’re gonna get crushed.
📑 I Enjoyed Reading
Animation Is Eating The World — “Lessons from the past, present, and future of animation.”
The World Needs Netflix Minis — “Say I’m in an airport security line with 10 minutes to kill. I’d love to be able to open the Netflix app on my phone, indicate the length of wait, and get a list of short programs to fill that space.”
Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight with China — “China is more powerful and aggressive than at any time since Mao died in 1976. China’s weapons of choice are inducement and coercion. Failing which, it is ready for high-intensity conventional war.”
🔍 An Interesting Find
The Body is full of fantastical facts. This one caught my attention recently:
In breathing, as in everything in life, the numbers are staggering—indeed fantastical. Every time you breathe, you exhale some 25 sextillion (that’s 2.5 x 10^22) molecules of oxygen—so many that with a day’s breathing you will in all likelihood inhale at least one molecule from the breaths of every person who has ever lived. And every person who lives from now until the sun burns out will from time to time breathe in a bit of you. At the atomic level, we are in a sense eternal.
Every day you breathe in and out about 20,000 times, processing some 440 cubic feet of air (depending on how big and how active you are)—that’s about 7.3 million breaths between birthdays, 550 million or so over the course of a lifetime. Whoa!
📹 I Enjoyed Watching
How We’re Using Drones to Deliver Blood And Save Lives — “Keller Rinaudo wants everyone on earth to have access to basic health care, no matter how hard it is to reach them. With his startup Zipline, he has created the world’s first drone delivery system to operate at national scale, transporting blood and plasma to remote clinics in East Africa with a fleet of electric autonomous aircraft.”
Police: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — “John Oliver discusses how the histories of policing and white supremacy are intertwined, the roadblocks to fixing things, and some potential paths forward.”
3 Genes That Give People Superpowers — “There are genetic mutations in the population today that can grant people some seemingly superhuman abilities.”
🤔 Worth Thinking About
If I ever felt myself getting caught up in or brought down by what other people thought of me, whether or not they approved of what I was doing (or wearing), all I had to do is ask myself if they would be one of the ten people to cry at my funeral. Instantly their rejection would lose any power over my emotions.
— Darren Hardy, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster
🤓 What I Did Last Week
Last week I finished watching Defending Jacob, an Apple TV+ mini-series based on the novel of the same name. I loved how the story is woven together by these little subplots—all of which converge towards the main plot eventually. It has excellent storytelling in my opinion. I read the plot outline of the book it’s adapted from. The ending is different. I personally liked the ending of the series much more.
As a kid I devoured crime novels. Apart of Sherlock Holmes, there’s also a wide array of Bengali (my ethnicity) crime detectives to choose from, viz. Feluda, Byomkesh Bakshi, and the likes—so I had a lot of options growing up. These days I rarely read fiction, but watching Defending Jacob suddenly rekindled an interest. I would try reading some. Or perhaps listening some while doing chores.
I primarily want to hone my storytelling skills. I find it more productive to do that by reading good stories rather than by reading good storytelling tips. Do you have any favourite crime writers or novels? Do let me know. The more obscure the better.
Last week I finished reading Why We Sleep. It’s a fascinating book written by a sleep scientist. It goes from the physiology of sleep to the benefits of sleep. What’s interesting is the harm it does if the body doesn’t get proper sleep every night.
I usually didn’t sleep more than 6 hrs a night until I learnt that after 10 straight days of that the brain starts functioning with an extremely low productivity—as if we’ve been awake for 24 straight hours. The worst thing is that the brain acclimatises to the condition. We aren’t even aware that we are performing at a lower productivity.
You should definitely read this book. Even if you don’t, make sure you sleep 8 hours every night—that’s the first thing I changed in my routine.
To keep track of all the books I’ve read, visit this page.
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P.S. All typos and grammatical errors are intentional.