20 Frameworks, Boring Phone, How to Ride a Bicycle and the Perfect Mirror.
#33 of 10+1 Things |📍Kerala |☔️ 24°C
⚡ Welcome to #33 of 10+1 Things!
This edition of 10+1 Things is delivered in partnership with Refind, a daily newsletter that brings the essence of the web, every morning to your inbox. I've enjoyed reading the personalized digest every morning from Refind while having a cup of tea!
Here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
📱 The Boring Phone
Last year, I was quite addicted to my smartphone. My average usage time peaked above 9 hours and I had an unhealthy relationship with my smartphone. To tackle this, I came up with the idea of 'The Boring Phone'. The thought process was to make your phone as boring as possible so that you're not addicted to it anymore. I didn't do anything revolutionary but simple hacks like turning off all notifications, deleting all social media apps, and more. Also a couple of months back I switched to a smaller 5.4" smartphone which helped me to reduce the amount of content I was consuming from my smartphone, especially YouTube. This is a working article and you can read it if you're curious.
🚵 How to Ride a Bicycle Across a Continent
Kevin Kelly is an interesting personality I have been following for a while and I have featured him multiple times in the past in this newsletter. Several years back Kevin Kelly bought a 10-speed bike for $185 and rode from San Francisco to New York, clocking close to 5000 miles. He contacted 150 such people who have crossed the United States on a bike and created a guide on the Whole Earth Review titled 'How to Ride a Bicycle across a Continent'. This is a collection of advice and experiences of different people ranging from what to eat during a ride to what all tools one should carry on such a ride. If you're into long-distance cycling like me, this is an interesting read!
💻 AI’s Carbon Footprint
Be it Netflix recommendations, chatbots or digital assistants, Artificial Intelligence(AI) has become an essential part of our lives. Deep learning, a process by which computer models are trained to recognize data requires a lot of computation power. As you might already know, more computation power means more electricity, which in turn means more carbon emissions. To give you a perspective, GTP-3, one of the most popular and elaborate deep learning models used to emulate human-like language requires an amount of energy equivalent to powering 126 Danish homes a year or a carbon footprint equivalent to driving 700,000 kilometres a session! Since this will be a rising concern in the coming years, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have developed a free open-source program to assess and predict the carbon footprint of deep learning models. An Add-on program called Carbontracker analyzes the deep learning model and outputs the carbon footprint for the training model in terms of kilometres travelled by car.
💉 35-Year-Old Vaccine
WHO approved the first Malaria vaccine in Oct 2021 that promises a 30% reduction in severe malaria in fully vaccinated children. The interesting thing is that the core ingredient of this groundbreaking vaccine was almost 35 years old and scientists knew its formula since the late 1990s. At a time when the Covid-19 vaccine was developed and authorized in less than a year, why did it take so long to develop a vaccine for a global killer? Long story short, the challenges of developing a vaccine against a complex parasite, lack of urgency and limited access to funding caused this delay. The research for finding the vaccine was driven more by the intellectual interest of academics than a sense of medical emergency as the majority of malaria-affected individuals were children in poor parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
"The people who are affected by malaria, they’re not Europeans, they’re not Australians, they are poor African children. Unfortunately, I think we have to accept that that is part of the reason for the lack of urgency in the community.”
🌎 Depths of Wikipedia
Growing up Annie Rauwerda spent much of her childhood on Wikipedia, absorbing the vast ocean of knowledge out there. She has now turned her fascination into Depths of Wikipedia, an Instagram account(close to a million followers!) that features the weirdest, wildest and most unexpected Wiki facts into bite-sized content suitable for the social media generation. From the list of games that Buddha won't play to exploding trousers, the depths of Wikipedia scouts Wikipedia to find content that is jaw-dropping. You can check out the Instagram page or check out her newsletter.
🧵 20 Frameworks
I came across this interesting thread by Sahil Bloom featuring 20 interesting frameworks on startups, investing, writing and life. These are a collection of 20 short as well quirky frameworks that are quite useful in our daily life. My favourite from the thread is the Weekend Test framework which says "What the smartest people do on the weekend is what everyone else will do during the week in ten years." This was an interesting framework on where we should invest our time and efforts.
🧑🤝🧑Journey of your Life
Population.io is an interactive website by World Data Lab, that tells us our place in the world population and how long we will live based on geographical data and other parameters. It gives you shocking numbers like how old are you compared to the whole population of earth and also your country. It also estimates how long will you live as a global citizen and also in your country. I just realized that I share my birthday with 323,641 people around the world!
📚 Finite and Infinite Games
This week I'm reading the book titled 'Finite and Infinite Games' by James Carse. The book explores the differences between approaching life as a game with an end(finite game) or a game that goes on forever(infinite game). Defining which game you want to play in your life will determine how you define success and what you need to achieve it. A finite player is all about power whereas an infinite player is all about endurance in life. To be fair, this is not one of those books that have a smooth flow and keep you addicted, but it teaches a framework that helps to determine whether we are making the right choices to be successful at the type of game we are playing.
My favourite quote so far from the book is:
“Gardening is not outcome-oriented. A successful harvest is not the end of a gardener's existence, but only a phase of it. As any gardener knows, the vitality of a garden does not end with a harvest. It simply takes another form. Gardens do not 'die' in the winter but quietly prepare for another season.”
~ Resurfaced using ReadWise(Free)
If you loved last week's recommendation (Four Thousand Weeks), then this is a must-read for you!
📸World in Faces
This week I'm exploring an art project titled 'World in Faces' by Alexander Khimushin, a nomadic photographer who has been on the road for over a decade. World in Faces is a project that documents people of all ethnicities in their traditional clothes, photographed at their places of ancestral living. There are more than 10,000 different ethnicities in the world. But due to rapid globalization, destruction of the traditional environment and conflicts, many of these communities are getting dispersed or going extinct. Through World in Faces, Alexander's mission is to document and showcase the incredible diversity of our multicultural world. From the Huli Man of Papua New Guinea to the Nenets Man in Arctic Siberia, the project celebrates our cultural diversity.
"Our diversity is not a reason to hate each other_. Quite the opposite, we must admire and respect it."
🎬The Perfect Mirror
This week I've enjoyed watching the story of 'Aranmula Kannadi', a sacred mirror made only in the Indian town of Aranmula(less than 100 km from my home!). Aranmula kannadi or Aranmula mirror is a sacred mirror that is believed to bring good luck. It is handcrafted entirely from metal by a few families who have inherited the craft using a secret formula. Unlike normal silvered glass mirrors, these metal alloy mirrors eliminate secondary reflections or aberrations and are believed to provide a more accurate reflection. The story follows the process of making these mirrors by Sudhammal J and her family, keeping this 1000-year-old craft alive. You can also support these artisans directly here.
✅The Newsletter Strike System
This last section of the newsletter explores an original thought I had, an idea I'm exploring, a dream I experienced or something interesting that I observed:
I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, this means that on average I receive close to 20~30 emails per day. I try to spend 30-40 mins every day so that I read all my emails on time and keep my inbox clean. But email newsletters can be tricky quite often. Sometimes I subscribe to a publication or a person, but over time the content changes or my interest evolves. So how do I identify what publications should I unsubscribe from? I follow a simple method that I named as the 'Newsletter Strike System'. Every time I receive a newsletter that I don't like, I add a star against the name of the publication or author in a small note that I maintain in Obsidian. Once there are 5 strikes, I straightaway unsubscribe from the newsletter. This ensures that I give the author or the publication a fair chance and my inbox doesn't get messy over time with things that I'm not interested in.
What is your process? Do you straightaway unsubscribe from a newsletter if you don't find the content appealing?
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That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
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See you next week!
“ Books, walks, parks, runs, libraries, striking conversations, philosophical discussions, sports, introspection, meditation, sunrise, sunset, rain; people who get excited from these are lucky”