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[VIC - 157] Succulents are weird!

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September 8 · Issue #157 · View online
Jeremy Hurst
Fall is here! And so is another VIC for your… ear… 🚶

Business & Money
Do you remember when you learned about phase shifts in elementary school science class? At some point, you learned about what happens to matter when it goes from solid to liquid to gas.
I don’t remember all of the details, but I do recall a few of the basics. For example, I remember that heat has something to do with the amount of energy in a system and how fast the molecules are moving.
Take ice for instance. If you take an ice cube out of the freezer, the cube will immediately start to absorb energy from the warmer air around it. That means the water molecules start vibrating faster and faster as they absorb more energy. When you reach 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), the bonds between molecules start to break apart as the ice melts into water.
The thing I find interesting about phase shifts like this is that they advertise themselves. If you can measure the amount of kinetic energy in the system, you can guess when the phase shift will occur.
From what I can tell, markets behave in a similar manner. During a trend, markets seem to have low volatility. When I think back about the last 8 years, a few hiccups notwithstanding, it’s been a steady climb higher. But over the last year, we’ve seen a ton of choppiness up and down.
Perhaps a secular shift is in store.
Human Progress
One of the things I love about the world of technology is that age is truly just a number. Not a day goes by without hearing about some 20-something-year-old creating some exciting new thing.
And while most people know this, even those that don’t work in tech, the idea does not seem to be fully embraced.
As I close in on 31, it’s natural to think about the facts of getting older. One thing that happens with most of us is that we want to be surrounded by people at a similar stage in life. People are getting married, starting to have kids, moving to the suburbs. It’s easy to start feeling left out if you aren’t doing the same.
But I would challenge that mode of thinking. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was to try finding a mentor that’s younger than me.
The common model of mentorship is to find someone older than you that has accomplished the sort of things you’d like to accomplish. And that’s all good and well.
But finding really admirable people that are younger than you might pay better dividends.
It’s that old Gretzky adage about skating to where the puck is going.
Philosophy
I read a post a while back called “One Big Thing.” It was about the power of reducing complexity. In it, the author writes about a thought experiment he once posed to a single male friend,
Imagine you had a list of 10 single women your age and you can only go on a date with 1 of them. However, you know nothing else about any of these women. Not what they look like. Not their personality. Nothing. If you could only have one piece of information on all of them (no photos), what would you ask for before making your decision?
The response he got was that his friend would want to know how often each woman went to the gym. Work out habits, he claimed, are indicative of many other positive attributes, like personal hygiene, motivation, and discipline.
I enjoyed the post and I like the idea of reducing complexity.
I bring this up because the last few weeks have been pretty busy. I’ve found myself working late into the night almost every night. And for some reason, these weeks have felt a bit different than other weeks. So, as I was walking the dog yesterday afternoon, I found myself asking a similar question related to reducing complexity. What one thing separates a good week from a bad one?
And I landed on a pretty simple answer. Planning. My weeks generally start on Sundays wherein I spend some time thinking about priorities for the upcoming week and how those should be mapped to each day. But the last few weekends have not had great planning sessions for one reason or another. I’m bucking the trend today to get back on track.
So I’ll pose the question to you: what one behavior would help you live a better life or make better decisions about how you spend your time?
My Latest Discovery
Succulents are super weird! Take a look at these things…
Look closer…
Apparently, you can snap off the leaves, put them on a bed of tiny pebbles, and they will sprout out these little alien-like leg looking things in an effort to birth a new plant.
Of course, Hana knew what she was doing when she started propagating these things, but I still think it’s weird!
Imagine if you could chop off a finger, leave it in a bowl of rocks, spray it with water for 6 weeks, only to come back to a baby in the bowl!
No reason to leave planet earth to look for extraterrestrials when they’re right here in my apartment!
It's A Wrap!
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