Adapting to Today

Photo by kylie De Guia / Unsplash

#1 Education in the 21st Century (Source: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century)

Lesson 1: We don't know what the labor market will look like in the near future.

Past: Basic structure of the labor market was somewhat predictable for the near future

"If you lived in China in 1018, you knew that by 1050 the Song Empire might collapse, the Khitans might invade from the north, and plagues might kill millions. However, it was clear to you that even in 1050 most people would still work as farmers and weavers."

21st Century: Technology changes humans (themselves)

"But today it is more difficult than ever before, because once technology enables us to engineer bodies, brains and minds, we can no longer be certain about anything – including things that previously seemed fixed and eternal."

Takeaway:

  1. Focus on emotional intelligence and adaptability threshold more than anything else. Most students, take classes ranging from STEM to the social sciences for several hours a week. So why not at least spend an hour on increasing our adaptability threshold and improving our emotional intelligence.
  2. The downside with unilaterally focussing your time on predetermined skills is that the pace at which automation is taking place is very rapid. You might learn a particular coding language or a software program only to find out that AI can do it better than you in a few years.

Lesson 2: Change in mindset - From cramming information to the abundance problem

Past: Information spread slowly across the world

"In the past this (cramming information) made sense, because information was scarce, and even the slow trickle of existing information was repeatedly blocked by censorship. If you lived, say, in a small provincial town in Mexico in 1800, it was difficult for you to know much about the wider world."

21st Century: Hyper-awareness era

"In contrast, in the twenty-first century we are flooded by enormous amounts of information, and even the censors don’t try to block it. Instead, they are busy spreading misinformation or distracting us with irrelevancies."

Takeaway:

Priming ourselves to use technology with intention rather than getting into an infintite loop due to online reccomendation systems —  see #5 and  noise-free intention.

#2 Naval & Joe Rogan Podcast

Personal Takeaways:

  1. One cannot get financial freedom from trading time for money — you have to own equity in a business — either by investing or building.
  2. In a world where there is infinite leverage through coding, the internet, and software, making the smallest right judgment can give you an unbelievable amount of return. There is an army of robots that are waiting to multiply the results of even the smallest right judgment you make. Focus on making a few hight quality decisions!
  3. Modern struggle - how to fight against really smart researchers trying to hook you onto social media and 24 X 7 breaking news, even people of sound mind can easily get overwhelmed and lose focus.
  4. Meditate — the art of doing nothing and sitting with your thoughts.
  5. Three paths to financial freedom:

 👨‍💻 Work hard to get to a certain level of income and living below your means.

 🧘 Desiring the bare minimum.

 ❤️ Loving what you do so much that money and attention don't matter.

#3 Paul Krugman's MasterClass on Economics and Society

I'm not someone who easily gets swayed into taking online courses but this one was exceptional. No individual online course has helped me better understand fundamental economic issues more than this!

The Babysitting economy — Krugman's special analogy (source: The Return of Depression Economics)

Consider an economy consisting of four parent couples (with children) having two coupons each. Each couple can get one coupon from another couple by offering babysitting services to them while they go out and enjoy. Now imagine a case where all four couples want to save up to get more coupons. No couple wants to demand babysitting services and every couple wants to supply their babysitting services. In this case, the economy goes through a demand-led recession. Krugman explains how this recession can be dealt with by printing more coupons.

#4 Tweet I'm thinking about

An amazing example of how Statistics and Probabilistic thinking can be used to tell different stories!

#5 The one thing all smart people agree on ( and why the pandemic hasn't necessarily made things better?)

Limit information intake and disconnect (NOTE: This is not the same as isolating)

If you're thinking the pandemic has given you enough alone time to just sit with your thoughts and disconnect, you might be confusing what it means to disconnect with isolation. Disconnecting doesn't mean no-human interaction, it just means observing your mind while not exposing it to any information for a while — that also includes, digital information or digital interactions with others, things that the pandemic has actually given us in abundance.

Stillness is the key - Ryan Holiday

"A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention."

Naval Ravikant

"The Problem of modern society is of abundance not scarcity."

Hell Yeah or No: what's worth doing - Derek Silvers

"All the best, happiest, and most creatively productive times in my life have something in common: being disconnected."

The modern struggle everyone is subconsciously aware of:

Our monkey minds are always carving to give attention. The digital world (including productive work from home) puts infinite things in front of us, receiving the attention.

The best form of exercise for the mind:

No wifi. No social media. No distractions. Just sit, go for a walk, or exercise. This is not something only artists should do! Just like you put so much effort into exercising your physical body, you need to exercise your mind as well — by doing nothing and observing your thoughts.

How being disconnected has helped me?

🤔 Being honest about what matters to me the most

What combination of the three below do I want to optimize my life around?

(1) Money: working as hard as possible to be able to have a certain lifestyle.

(2) Freedom: The ability to do what I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want.

(3) Impact: Trying to have a positive impact on the lives of as many people as I can.

❌ Learning to say no to everything else, but the thing that matters

It's so easy to get lost in thought and get distracted from the work that really matters to me that I need a regular reminder — and that's where disconnecting helps. It allows me to disconnect my mind from the latest Netflix show, the meetings I have to attend, the excel assignment I have to complete, and the plans I have to make . I am able to just sit still or walk and see what matters and what doesn't objecitvely.

Personal Takeaway: Disconnecting without isolating


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Aryan Khanna

Aryan Khanna