Anxiety — 7 Takeaways No. 73


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1. “The real epidemic is anxiety”

Let’s end ageism – Ashton Applewhite – (TED/YouTube)

I forget how I stumbled on this video, but it’s fascinating, inspiring, funny, and well worth the watch. Applewhite addresses ageism, and how it manifests in so many different ways.

Ageism is the last acceptable prejudice.

She compares ageism to the many other “isms” of our day, drawing parallels and lessons from the similarities.

Do this: Watch. This one’s worth 11 minutes.

2. “Other people may not have my problems, but they have their own.”

Never feel jealous of someone with whom you wouldn’t want to trade lives – Mike Crittenden – (Blog)

We live in a comparison culture. The problem, of course, is that we rarely have the full picture with which to compare.

This dovetails with a thought I try to remember often:

Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle

Most importantly, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about.

Given how little we really know about others, comparing ourselves to them is unrealistic. You just don’t know the whole story.

Do this: Choose kindness over comparison.

3. “It seems obvious that the computer is reasoning.”

The Chinese Room Thinks – Alex Tabarrok – (Marginal Revolution blog, via Refind)

Is it obvious, though?

There’s a tremendous amount of both hype and misunderstanding around AI and Machine Learning. Most of the confusion comes from the fundamentals: the definitions of terms used. In the example above, what is “reasoning” anyway? Answers vary.

Nonetheless this short essay provides a fascinating variation on the Turing Test, known as the Chinese Room, and some pretty cool examples of current AI at work.

Do this: It’s worth understanding some of the basic concepts, as we’ll be seeing much more AI and ML in the future.

4. “The world is full of probabilities, not certainties.”

3-2-1: How to change someone’s mind, the balance between justice and compassion, and looking foolish – James Clear – (Newsletter)

The full quote:

Just because it didn’t work doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice.
The world is full of probabilities, not certainties.
Find a game where the probabilities favor you and keep taking shots.

My takeaway? This is what most folks mistake as “luck”.

Do this: Find the right game.

5. “The chief prevention against getting old is to remain astonished.”

103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known – Kevin Kelly – (Blog, via StoryThings)

Apparently, an annual birthday tradition for Kelly. This year he turned 70 and shares a bucket-load of wisdom. (I have plans for my 65th coming up later this year. Smile)

I’ve seen a few of them before. Many made me laugh. All are valuable and worth remembering.

Of course, he had me at:

Be a pro. Back up your back up. Have at least one physical backup and one backup in the cloud. Have more than one of each. How much would you pay to retrieve all your data, photos, notes, if you lost them? Backups are cheap compared to regrets.

Do this: Read the list. It’s totally worth it. (Then, perhaps, consider creating your own.)

6. “How much of what I believe is actually someone else’s belief?”

The Profile: The drone pilots who kill via remote control & the celebrity book stylists – Polina Pompliano – (Newsletter)

Once again, ignore the newsletter title (unless it sounds interesting to you), this is in Pompliano’s preamble.

… this likely stems from the fact that I’m consuming so much content that it’s easy to mistake someone else’s opinions for my own when I haven’t done the work of sitting with my thoughts.

This feels important. In fact, it feels like it accounts for so much of what’s happening these days.

Do this: Question what you believe.

7. “The reason we get distracted”

Virtual estate – Neal Freyman – (Morning Brew newsletter)

Another introduction/preamble catch. Quoting Nir Eyal:

90% of the time when we get distracted, it’s the result of internal triggers such as boredom, loneliness, uncertainty, and fatigue.

I feel this.

There’s an interesting Q&A with Eyal in the newsletter as well, discussing distractions, rewards, and his 2019 book Indistractable.

Do this: notice when you’re distracted and see if you can identify why.

What I’m Reading

In progress:


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