Robot Overlords, Remote Work, and Resting
Welcome to the inaugural issue of "More Every Week"!
Here's the basic idea: every Sunday morning, I'll share articles, videos, quotes, podcasts, etc. that make you feel more...something.
That might include an article that makes you more optimistic, a video that makes you more productive, a quote that makes you more inspired, or something else entirely.
My goal is to deliver an email that takes 5 minutes to read, but could provide you with a week's work of smart ideas, perspective changing quotes, and (at a minimum) topics to talk about at parties.
With the background out of the way, let the regularly scheduled programming begin.
More Confident That Remote Work is Good for Society
I've been working remotely my entire career and have long felt that its better for personal productivity and mental well being. Now, research shared in the New York Times has found that "during the lockdown, the rate of babies born before 28 weeks (i.e. premature births) had dropped by a startling 90 percent." One of the potential causes? More sleep, less stress, and less time commuting to the office. Read the whole article here.
More Welcoming of Our Robot Overlords
If you're in tech or follow tech twitter, you're already super hyped on GTP-3, the latest "AI" algorithm to be released. If you're not, prepare to have your mind blown.
GPT-3 is essentially a text predictor. You give it a prompt, it replies with what it "thinks" should come next. It was trained by reading effectively the entire internet, and its awe-inspiringly good.
Begin by reading this article until the end (~4 minutes). Then check out this twitter thread of examples where it writes code, writes business memos, designs websites, and more. It can write (pretty solid!) poetry. It can pretend to be famous people. It can, with just a simple prompt, write cogently on pretty much anything. Just don't go planning to build a business around it.
Is it a true artificial general intelligence? No. But is it the most astonishing technological development of 2020? So far, easily yes.
More Hopeful That This Generation Will Live to 120
Cancer is the #2 leading cause of death, and the later a doctor sees it, the more deadly it can be. But a new blood test had a 91% success rate in predicting that patients without symptoms would get stomach, esophageal, colon, lung, or liver cancer in the next 4 years. Read the full ScienceAlert article here.
More Cynical That People are Rational
Lovely quote from one of the best young thinkers on the internet, David Perell:
"Whenever you find yourself thinking that people are rational, remember that people spend more on lottery tickets than movies, video games, music, sporting events, and books combined."
If you have 7 minutes and 46 seconds to spare, you should watch "7 Ways to Maximize Misery" by CGP Grey. It's the motivating thing you'll see today and done in a delightfully fun style. If you don't have that much time, here are the 7 ways you can make yourself more miserable. How many of these misery drivers are you currently doing?
- Stay still - don't go outside, don't exercise.
- Screw with your sleep - vary your bedtime and sleep in a day or two a week. Never sleep or wake up at the same time.
- Maximize your screentime - let the screen keep you awake. Let a screen be the first thing you look at when you wake up.
- Use your screen to stoke your negative emotions - feed your anxiety and anger about things over which you have no control.
- Set v.a.p.i.d. goals - vague, amorphous, pie-in-the-sky, irrelevant, delayed. Do not set s.m.a.r.t. goals, which are specific, measurable, actionable, (goals for which you are) responsible, time-bounded.
- Pursue happiness directly - expect that unending bliss is possible.
- Follow your instincts - do what makes you immediately happy even when you know it will make you sadder in the long run.
More Rested (in Less Time)
The science is very clear: caffeine naps are the best way to quickly get an energy boost. In short: drink some coffee, lay down, and set your alarm for ~20 minutes (I use 22 minutes).
I've recently upgraded my routine by using an eyemask (here's the one I use) and putting on "Pink Noise" (with this free app) that helps me fall asleep faster.
I wrote a bit more about my sleep routine here.
More Calm (After Watching this Five Times)
Credit: Nathan W. Pyle (my favorite cartoonist)
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