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Aloha! Welcome to this week's digest. This week is a very special "Fire & Ice" edition, as we explore centuries-old philosophical wisdom and listening to shame. Enjoy!

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TDD TL;DR
  • BLOG POST - Farnam Street: The Best of Goethe’s Aphorisms by Shane Parrish - A lovely listicle brimming with philosophical wisdom.
     
  • VIDEO - TED: Listening to Shame by Brene Brown - A vivid reminder of the disconnect between our internal monologues about vulnerability and shame (scary! painful!) vs. the external reality (admired! builds trust and connection!).

"To live in a great idea means to treat the impossible as though it were possible. It is just the same with a strong character; and when an idea and a character meet, things arise which fill the world with wonder for thousands of years." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
 
OTHER INTRIGUING CONTENT

RESEARCH

PODCASTS
  • Hardcore History: Supernova in the East I (Thank you Saul for sharing!)
     
  • The Knowledge Project: Putting Your Intuition on Ice with Daniel Kahneman - "The circumstances that make people happy, and the circumstances that make them satisfied with their life, are not the same. Happiness is mostly social, it's being with people you love who love you back... Life satisfaction is much more conventional, it is to be successful. So it's money, education, prestige, that sort of thing..."
     
  • Reboot: The Shoulds of the Past & the Anxieties of the Future with Shizu Okusa - "I think we spend our 20's and our 30's in different developmental stages. We spend our 20's developing a sense of an adulthood independent from, or in opposition to, or in accordance with our parents and the family structure that we grew up with. And as we enter our 30's, we start to ask ourselves this larger question: 'Who the fuck am I, independent of all these things?' And unfortunately, the answer doesn't come from some coach on a podcast conversation."

ARTICLES
  • Massive Science: Scientific knowledge is drowning in a flood of research
     
  • The New Yorker: The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web (Thank you Samantha for sharing!) - "The revelation of the Wood Wide Web’s existence, and the increased understanding of its functions, raises big questions—about where species begin and end; about whether a forest might be better imagined as a single superorganism, rather than a grouping of independent individualistic ones; and about what trading, sharing, or even friendship might mean among plants."
     
  • Aeon: To make laziness work for you, put some effort into it - "Adepts of this kind of strategic idleness use their ‘idle’ moments, among others, to observe life, gather inspiration, maintain perspective, sidestep nonsense and pettiness, reduce inefficiency and half-living, and conserve health and stamina for truly important tasks and problems. Idleness can amount to laziness, but it can also be the most intelligent way of working. Time is a very strange thing, and not at all linear: sometimes, the best way of using it is to waste it."

BLOG POSTS
SHAMELESS PLUGS
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (AKA I have a lot to learn from you)

Kristy, replying to The NY Times: Eat Less Red Meat, Scientists Said. Now Some Believe That Was Bad Advice
: Interesting read on the red meat article, and I like that you didn't use to fully refute old studies! All we know is maybe. Another angle to red meat is environmental causes. There are people are swerving off Beyond Meat / Impossible Meat cause it's unhealthy... when its purpose isn't to be a healthier burger (I'd rather have the bland Boca Burgers in that case), but to be a more environmentally sustainable and compassionate choice. Vegetarians want their junk food too haha. I personally didn't like the taste but appreciate the option being out there.

Ryan, replying to The NY Times: Eat Less Red Meat, Scientists Said. Now Some Believe That Was Bad Advice: There are some exogenous considerations about the researcher highlighted by a few sources related to his ties. I don't have much of a horse in the race, and with something like this you'll often unearth dirt on anyone writing on either side of this. In addition to his ties, some researchers take issue with this study's approach and previously this researcher, Johnston, published a study critiquing the low-evidence in sugar intake guidelines, which also came under heat from peers based on the both the methodology (GRADE, same as the red meat study) and the selective bias of data.

 
BEST OF WHAT I CONSUMED THIS WEEK

BLOG POST - Farnam Street: The Best of Goethe’s Aphorisms by Shane Parrish - A lovely listicle brimming with philosophical wisdom.

What do I do now?: Pick one aphorism and decide how you want to live within it this week. What will you do differently? What actions must you take to live up to it? Why is it important enough to you to make these changes?


Complement with 52 key learnings in 52 weeks of 2016 (TD Digest summary).

My highlights:
  • #20. It is a great error to take oneself for more than one is, or for less than one is worth.
     
  • #34. A man is really alive only when he delights in the good-will of others.
     
  • #124. One need only grow old to become gentler in one’s judgments. I see no fault committed which I could not have committed myself.
     
  • #134. The most foolish of all errors is for clever young men to believe that they forfeit their originality in recognizing a truth which has already been recognized by others.
     
  • #162. There are people who make no mistakes because they never wish to do anything worth doing.
     
  • #239. To live in a great idea means to treat the impossible as though it were possible. It is just the same with a strong character; and when an idea and a character meet, things arise which fill the world with wonder for thousands of years.
     
  • #324. It is not enough to know, we must also apply; it is not enough to will, we must also do.
     
  • #554. A man must cling to the belief that the incomprehensible is comprehensible; otherwise he would not try to fathom it.
MOST FAVORITE FROM THE PAST

VIDEO
- TED: Listening to Shame by Brene Brown - A vivid reminder of the disconnect between our internal monologues about vulnerability and shame (scary! painful!) vs. the external reality (admired! builds trust and connection!).

What do I do now?: This week, if / when internal monologues arise about vulnerability and shame, simply note them down. First, seek to understand. What thoughts arise? What stories are being told to you, by you? How valid are the thoughts, stories, and concerns about shame and vulnerability? Is there data to prove them right / wrong / other?

Complement with Taming Your Gremlin (TD Digest summary).

My highlights:
  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.
     
  • Shame drives two big tapes. "Never good enough", and if you can talk it out of that one, "Who do you think you are?"
     
  • When we reach out and be vulnerable, we get the shit beat out of us.
     
  • If we are going to find our way back to each other, vulnerability is going to be that path.
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