FTWW #7: Impermanence, meditation and GMOs

To all my intellectually curious friends, here are a few things that I’ve come across that I think you will enjoy immensely. A little bit of something for everyone.

So for those who wonder, here goes.

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” — Aldous Huxley

[MEDITATION] It has become a recent fancy of mine as a way to gain perspective, clarity of mind, focus and most importantly to slow down.

A recent Google Tech Talk on the “Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation” by Philippe Goldin, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University. Philippe’s NIH-funded clinical research focuses on functional neuroimaging investigations of cognitive-affective mechanisms in adults with anxiety disorders, and comparing the effects of mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

To get started, I downloaded the Headspace App, which has great AV content for learning how to practice mindfulness. In written form, I think Farnam Street put together a great starter guide from the book Sit Like a Buddha: A Pocket Guide to Meditation.

Further reading: Adorable animated mice explain meditation in 2 minutes; How good habits can make you happier; Why I love the nothingness inside a float tank;

[PHILOSOPHY] Here are a few interesting ideas that have crossed my path, which really made me evaluate how I think about aging, my career, my interactions with peers & friends, and dealing with obstacles. None of these are particularly earth shattering, but a good reminder of core values.

This too shall pass: a lesson in impermanence. The lesson of impermanence, if applied correctly, can limit the suffering of life; because one can just be in a moment — not clinging to good or running from bad — but experiencing both as they are, with nothing else but acceptance and equanimity.

Life with the internet and without. A video on how our interactions with our friends and loved ones have changed since smart phones. Can you recognized yourself? #LikeLife

The parable of the Mexican fisherman and the Investment Banker. I can’t say that I agree with the story completely, but good food for thought.

Further reading: Should children do philosophy? Ageism is deeply ingrained in our culture, but growing up is about experience and judgment — there is nothing you can do about it. The philosopher’s guide to growing up.

[CAREER] Always interesting to come across useful advice for furthering your career as opposed to the rehashed verbiage permeating the internet. The 1% of career advice that is actually useful.

But, I think Rory Vaden said it best: “You do what you have to do until you earn the right to do what you want to do.” In the Art of Manliness podcast, learn more about self-discipline and personal effectiveness. Waiting until you feel like doing something will result in mediocrity.

Further reading: Why telling kids to dream big is a big con; The Champion’s Blueprint and how to win before you start.

[GMOs] I’ve seen a lot of articles lately on GMOs arguing both the pros and cons. What are your thoughts on the topic? Seems to me like a bunch of vested interests on both sides with few facts for the layman to process.

GMOs — Another too big to fail system; another interesting article in the New York Times on one man’s quest to find out the truth on genetically modified crops. We can pull arguments from Nassim Taleb on why GMOs are probably not a good idea, however this is a bit out of context.

Slate put together a great long form piece exploring both sides of the story.

[TECH] More of a miscellaneous section, but whatever.

The AI Revolution: Our Immortality or Extinction. I love the stick-figure graphics, but apart from that, this article brings up some thought provoking ideas on the implications of humans creating intelligence above their own.

Have you ever thought about going online to listen to the sound being captured by an ear grown on someone’s arm? The body is obsolete: Stelarc’s radical experiments with alternate human forms.

Need an idea for a new book to read? Product Hunt has a solution for that too.