40 Concepts, Dorito Effect, Paradox of Choice and Smallest TV in the world.
#34 of 10+1 Things |📍Kerala |☔️ 23°C
⚡ Welcome to #34 of 10+1 Things!
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Here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
📆 Energy Calendar
For a couple of months, I've been following the calendar framework used by Sahil Bloom which he recently coined as the 'Energy Calendar'. The idea is to colour code every event by the end of the day based on how you feel and your energy levels. For example, colour code it Red if it was an energy drainer and Green if it was an energy booster. Every weekend take a look at your events and see which activities drained your energy. An effective yet simple framework you can easily add to your existing workstream and I thought of writing a short post on it.
🧮️ Paradox of Choice
The paradox of Choice is a phenomenon popularized by psychologist Barry Schwartz where more choice leads to less action. When the number of choices increases, the difficulty of knowing what is best also increases. Unlike our previous generations who had limited choices, we are surrounded by a plethora of choices in the modern world. For a customer going to a supermarket, having multiple options for the same commodity (like milk or eggs) causes a choice overload often resulting in customer dissatisfaction or confusion. Another great example of this phenomenon can be seen in the modern practice of dating using apps like Tinder. How do you pick one person to date when there are so many people out there that might be better? This creates confusion and people are less likely to commit or get to know a person for a long time!
“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard."
📺 Smallest TV in the World
After spending close to $400,000 on R&D, Japanese watchmaker Seico released a watch called the Seico TV Watch. In the 1984 edition of Guinness Records, the watch was dubbed the 'Smallest TV set in the world' and paved the way for the LCD TV category. The wristwatch had a screen built-in 1.2" LCD TV screen and a separate TV receiver for watching over-the-air TV. The watch was designed for on-the-go businessmen who would be walking while watching and the company even recommended users route the cable through the sleeve of their jackets while hiding the receiver in the pocket or hips. The watch gained popularity at that time and James Bond even wore it in the 1983 movie Octopussy!
🧵 40 Concepts
I found this old interesting thread by Dr Emily Anhalt explaining 40 psychological concepts in less than 280 words. Human behaviour is beautiful, yet extremely complex and these concepts are often explored through therapy. One interesting concept I found from the thread is 'Transference' where a patient unknowingly redirects his/her/their feelings about people in life toward the therapist. For example, a case when a patient with judgemental parents assumes that the therapist is judging them. This is an interesting thread and read through the replies by other people to learn more interesting concepts.
🏔 Climbing Everest
I have this crazy dream of climbing one of the 14 Peaks (alt >8000m!) someday and I came across this interesting FAQ on climbing Mt. Everest by Alan Arnette. Alan is an interesting guy who started climbing at age of 28 with Mont Blanc for raising funds for Alzheimer's research. He's the oldest American to have summited K2 at the age of 58 in 2014 and has summited all 7 peaks. If you're into mountaineering or curious about the whole process, this FAQ is a must-read. He covers interesting topics like a 10-step plan to climb Everest, the role of Sherpas, how to communicate home during expeditions and more. If you want to dig deep, check out his climbing 8000m FAQ as well!
“Being able to climb where and what I do is a gift. The opportunity to see so many awe-inspiring places, meet amazing people and spend more than a moment in unique lands are the presents. I climb to discover, learn and test - and in those regards, I never fail. I know I am fortunate. I am grateful and try not to take it for granted."
⏰ Sleepy Time
Do you sometimes wake up tired and groggy? Most likely this happens when you wake up in the middle or end of a sleep cycle which usually lasts around 90 minutes. We go through different stages during a sleep cycle and the ideal time to wake up is during the first stage of the sleep cycle. Sleepyti.me is a simple web tool that tells us the ideal time to wake up based on when you plan to sleep based on this concept. The website has been around for more than 10 years and has been experimented by various journalists as well. For the last couple of weeks, I've tried to set up my alarm based on the wake-up times suggested by the tool and it was quite effective for me!
Refrigerants used in airconditioning systems are 2000x worse than CO2 and account for 6% of all global emissions. AC technicians mainly in emerging economies often release refrigerants into the atmosphere while repairing or scrapping air-conditioning systems. The gases released from a single standard air conditioner are equivalent to burning fuel while driving back and forth from SF to NY. Recoolit is a company that addresses this problem in a cost-effective as well as scalable way. They find, train and onboard AC technicians and shops around the world with tools for collecting these gases. The gases are collected in cylinders and are then destroyed following standards preventing climate impacts. The company funds itself by selling carbon credits to individuals or other companies thereby keeping the business sustainable.
This week I'm exploring an art project called 'Topographies of Fragility' by Ingrid Weyland. To express the fragility of our natural environment, the artist stacks a crumbled photograph of the landscape over an untouched one. Having travelled all over the world in search of pristine landscapes, Ingrid always had an intimate connection with nature. During one of these trips, she realized how vulnerable and fragile nature is. Like a wrinkled paper that can never regain its original shape, the artwork questions severe environmental degradation and our relationship with nature.
“It is said that a wrinkled piece of paper can never regain its original shape; the trace persists. In the same way, nature is forever changed, and many times unrecoverable, when it is disrespectfully invaded.”
— Ingrid Weyland
📚The Dorito Effect
This week I'm reading a book titled 'The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor' by Mark Schatzker. Through histories, experiments and stories, Schatzer explains why we have changed our diet and a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity in society. In nature, flavour and food go hand in hand. But today, the food we eat lies to us. Artificially flavoured foods that we all love often have little to no nutrition essential for our bodies. For example, for tens of thousands of years, the only way we could get a taste of orange was to eat an orange. But today, thanks to orange flavouring, we can get a taste of it by eating orange pops, ice creams or drinks. These artificially flavoured food products deliver deliciousness and calories, but no nutritional value. If you're curious about why we are addicted to junk food and not nutritional food, this book has the answer!
"The rise of obesity is the predictable result of the rise in manufactured deliciousness."
~ Resurfaced using ReadWise(FREE!)
🎬 Second to None
This week I've enjoyed watching a stop motion comedy titled 'Secon to None' by Vincent Gallagher, about ambition and where second best is never enough. When Herman becomes the oldest man, his younger brother Federick who was born a few minutes later become jealous. Federick makes it his life's mission to steal the title from Herman by any means necessary. The film explores the theme of drive and ambition and is a must-watch if you're into dark humour.
💡 Staying Small
This last section of the newsletter explores a thought I had, an idea I'm exploring, a dream I experienced or something interesting that I observed:
I've been reading and following startup founders for some time as I want to build my own company someday. More I read and discover, I feel like behind all the glory of entrepreneurship, the majority of these founders are stuck in a rat race of growth. The moment you raise money, you're obligated to answer to your investors and more often the company's vision degrades our time. Thinking about this made me write a couple of lines in my journal and here's a one-liner I came up with: "I want to build a small, people-first, purpose-driven company where everyone can work for themselves at their own will and is highly profitable as well as sustainable". This one-liner looks quite enticing and has all the fancy words, but running a sustainable business in such a fashion itself is a challenge.
Nevertheless, while writing this, I came across this list of 25 companies that believe being small is better and having revenue in multiples of millions. You can read it here.
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That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
- Albert Einstein
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