Cereal Entrepreneur, Decentralized Country, Earth's Perfume and The Pale Blue Dot
#16 of 10+1 Things
Welcome to the #16 of 10+1 Things!
Thanks to everyone who bought me coffee last week. Your support keeps this newsletter up and running.
Here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
🥣 Cereal Entrepreneur
Million Dollar Minds has shared a great story on how Airbnb founders sold cereal to keep their dream alive. Despite their initial success, the founders struggled to get more users on the platform. To pay their credit card debts, the founders decided to sell breakfast cereals at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado where Obama was set to speak before 80,000 people. They custom-designed cereal boxes with catchy titles and filled them with the cheapest cereal available in the market. Pitched as a limited edition collector's item, they ended up selling $30,000 worth of cereals, which helped them to stay alive and raise more funding, and the rest is history.
[Read in detail the story of Cereal Entrepreneurs]
✍️ How to Learn Quickly
The Internet has democratized education, but learning how to learn effectively is super important considering the amount of information that is available. In a blog post, Joshua Comeau has shared his experience on what he has learned about learning through his experience as a software developer. The key to learning effectively is through unguided learning by creating projects from scratch, extending tutorials, making intentional mistakes and cultivating a mindset. He also emphasizes the importance of stacking a network of skills to learn stuff quickly.
[Read more on How to Learn Quickly]
🏥 How Doctors Die
Ken Murray, a retired Los Angeles family doctor has written a blog post on how doctors die and why some doctors refuse treatments when terminally ill, which they normally would have administered to their patients. He starts with the story of Charlie who was a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Upon the diagnosis, Charlie was uninterested in any cancer treatment and focused on spending quality time with friends and family. For terminally ill diseases, importance should be given to hospice care, which focuses on providing patients with comfort and dignity rather than on futile cures.
[Read More on How Doctors Die]
If there is a state of the art of end-of-life care, it is this: death with dignity.
☀️ Rethinking Air-Conditioning
According to calculations by World Economic Forum(WEF), by the end of this century, air conditioning will account for as much as 0.5 deg C rise in global temperatures. The irony is that warmer temperatures lead to more air conditioning; more air conditioning leads to warmer temperatures, creating an endless feedback loop. To solve this riddle, a California-based company called SkyCool Systems is using patented radiative cooling technology to create an efficient air-cooling system utilizing very little energy. The setup consists of rooftop panels containing pipes with an optical film that radiates infrared light and cools itself in the process. According to the company, these panels reflect 97% of the sunlight that hits them, thereby cooling the surface beneath them without the use of any energy.
[Read More about SkyCool Systems]
🌍 Pale Blue Dot
Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 space probe in 1990 from a distance of about 6 billion kilometres. At the request of astronomer Carl Sagan who originally coined the term, the mission managers commanded the space probe to look back for a final time and snap images of the worlds it was leaving behind on its journey into interstellar space. The image depicts our planet's vulnerability by illustrating how fragile and irreplaceable it is, and demonstrates the small place it occupies in this vast universe. Earth in this image is only about the size of a single pixel, a pale blue dot.
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. "
An excerpt from Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan.
🧵 World of Paradoxes
In an excellent Twitter thread, Paras Chopra has summarized a shortlist of paradoxes in economics and society. My favourite from the list is the Paradox of Plenty or Resource Curse, a phenomenon of countries with an abundance of natural resources having less economic growth, less democracy or worse development indicators than countries with fewer resources. If you're someone who loves paradoxes, this is an excellent thread to save and research further. (You can use ReadWise to save threads directly from Twitter!)
[Check out the thread]
Which is your favourite Paradox from the list?
🎬 Earth's Perfume
I have enjoyed watching this video showcasing the craftsmen from Kannauj, India's perfume capital, making 'attar' or natural perfumes using traditional distillation techniques. Using their unique precise skills inherited from fathers and grandfathers, these craftsmen recreate the scent of rain on earth called 'mitti attar' often known as petrichor. They closely monitor the fires so that the heat cauldrons stay warm enough to evaporate the water inside to steam—but never so hot that it destroys the aroma.
[Watch the Video]
Have you ever tried anything like this?
This week I'm exploring a photography series called Removed by Eric Pickersgill. In a series of 28 black and white photographs of people, Eric digitally removed smartphones and digital devices to showcase our growing obsession with digital technology. He achieved the surreal effect in his photography art by asking strangers and friends to remain in position, taking the shot and then removing the devices during post-production. Even though the photos are staged, the lack of personal interaction between individuals is almost comedic and unreal.
[Check out more photos from the series]
Are you addicted to smartphones? Check out this article I wrote on the importance of an Attention Diet in the 21st century.
In a previous edition of this newsletter, we talked about starting a cloud country from the article How to Start a Country by Balaji. Inspired by this concept, Abhishek Basu, a science fiction writer has created Binod World Order (BWO), the first decentralized, digital nation on Earth built on Solana blockchain. The project consists of 9999 ducks, made through generative art, resulting in 9999 unique NFTs on the Solana blockchain. The country even has a constitution, flag, currency, and Gods.
[Read More about Decentralized Country]
I'm currently reading a book called Superhuman by Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself by Tynan, which I found from a recommendation by Derek Sivers. It is a small yet great book explaining practical applications, tips, and philosophies on creating and sustaining the habits you want. If you've enjoyed Atomic Habits by James Clear, this is a great supplementary read and you would definitely enjoy it.
[Check out the book on Amazon]
My favourite quote so far from the book is:
“Our brains are designed for efficiency, which sometimes expresses itself as laziness.”
🎵 What I'm listening to
I'm exploring a lot of Ambient music lately for focused work and have enjoyed a track called Japanese Onsen by New Bliss. It is a 3-hour track with flute, piano, koto music and is perfect for studying, working or even meditating
[Listen on YouTube]
Huge shoutout to Shaun Gold from YouTopian Journey, who has been a supporter of 10+1 Things from the start. YouTopian Journey is the world's first graphic novel for self-help and provides weekly motivation and wisdom to help you become mentally stronger and realize your potential.
[Check out YouTopian Journey]
That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
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See you next week!
Quote of the Week
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”
~ Carl Sagan