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A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #9

Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar
Hello friends,
Welcome to another edition of my newsletter.
This week the UK recorded its highest ever temperature of 40°C. It was crazy hot and for the first time, there were forest fires and houses burnt as a result of this extreme temperature. There are people who still think this is not due to human activities but I think there is no denying the fact that increasing consumption is causing these high temperatures.
Consumption ↑ -> Use of energy ↑ -> Burning of fossil fuels ↑ -> CO2 in atmosphere ↑ -> Greenhouse effect ↑ -> Climate warming ↑ -> Climate disasters ↑ -> Humans die/suffer -> Consumption ↓
I am more worried about the future of our planet for our son rather than for myself.
On the brighter side, Tour de France finished with a bang this year. There was some really good sportsmanship shown between this year’s winner, Jonas Vingegaard and last year’s winner, Tadej Pogačar. Cycling for 21 days in the hot weather at almost 40 km/h is insanely demanding on the human body and hats off to all the riders who finished the tour.

🧠 AI Coding
Software is currently eating the world. There are more software engineers in the world than hardware engineers and sooner or later that will cause a problem. Without hardware innovation, the software cannot thrive.
But looking beyond that, there are now tools available that can actually code for you. So in the future, we may not even need software engineers.
There is OpenAI’s Codex and DeepMind’s AlphaCode. Both are incredible tools and worth trying.
For those familiar with software programming, GitHub must ring a bell. It’s the world’s most popular code-repository service. Basically, anyone who wants to share their code online can do that using GitHub. My GitHub repositories are here. And GitHub Copilot is the latest tool which uses OpenAI’s Codex to suggest code and entire functions in real-time, right from your editor.
The future is changing rapidly. Even software skills that are most coveted by humans will soon be replaced by AI.
But the important thing to remember is that with each human progress, we discard old knowledge and gain new knowledge. That means there will always be jobs, just not what we are used to 🙂.
🧰 The baloney detection kit
Necessary cognitive fortification against propaganda, pseudoscience, and general falsehood.
Carl Sagan wrote a chapter titled The Fine Art of Baloney Detection in his book The Demon-Haunted World which talks about fighting untruths and propaganda with this kit.
Through their training, scientists are equipped with what Sagan calls a “baloney detection kit” — a set of cognitive tools and techniques that fortify the mind against penetration by falsehoods
If you want to think rationally and see the flaws behind any reasoning, then this kit is very useful.
The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking – The Marginalian
Source - https://www.skeptic.com/skepticism-101/baloney-detection-kit-sandwich-infographic/
Source - https://www.skeptic.com/skepticism-101/baloney-detection-kit-sandwich-infographic/
⏱️ Productivity system
Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.
- David Allen
Recently, I watched Ali Abdaal’s video on his productivity system and found it very very interesting. I have incorporated a few of them into my life already and some I still need to do.
But the idea is to take things off your brain, put it outside, create a system to retrieve that thing, and then simply enjoy doing things rather than remembering things.
Key points from the video are as follows -
Layer Ron - organize your life
  • Calendar - Use it to schedule your time, plan events, remember birthdays, create tasks, etc.
  • To-do list - Use it to finish tasks every day and things you need to do.
  • File management - Use it to manage files, photos, important documents, etc.
  • Email - Use it as a 1-touch system. Put things from your email to your calendar, task manager, notes, or read-it-later apps. Unsubscribe emails that are seeking your attention or have unsubscribed in it.
Layer Hermione - capture new information
  • Kindle - Use it to read books, highlight sections
  • Read-it-later - Use it to read articles, blogs, and news later
  • Readwise - Use it to revisit and learn from your ebook & article highlights.
  • Notes - Use it to take notes from whatever you read, listen or watch.
Layer Dumbledore - make connections
  • Second brain - Use your productivity system for creativity rather than storage.
This is the part I am currently missing. I am using these systems for storage but not to generate new ideas. I hope someday that will happen.
💥 Midlife crisis
Around the age of 40, both men and women tend to descend into a crisis about getting old, running out of time to meet their goals, and questioning life choices.
If you don’t focus on the abilities that grow as you get older, you might perceive aging as an unmitigated loss, which will be a source of suffering. But you can work to avoid that fate by making two wise decisions about how to think about midlife.
I am inching towards my midlife, assuming I live till the age of 80, and a lot of questions keep cropping up in my mind. Thinking about our son’s future, the future of our planet, my career, my goals, retirement, health, etc. etc.
But embracing my age and the benefits it brings far outweighs the uncertainties.
I am sharing this article with the hope that people who are lost can regain their focus and choose to live a happy, peaceful and fulfiled life.
The first decision
Choose to focus on what age gives you, not what it has taken away.
The second decision
Choose subtraction, not addition.
Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. Please feel free to Buy me a coffee if you are enjoying what I am sharing.
Until we meet again next week, please take care, be kind, and care for your environment.
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Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar @amit_Sarkar007

Newsletters are the new form of blogging where instead of you coming to the blog, the blog comes to you. Every week I will aim to publish my newsletter to talk about things I have done, read, heard or watched. The idea behind this newsletter is to talk about my ordinary life in the hope that you might find something interesting in it.

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Bromley, Greater London, United Kingdom