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20 Ways the World Got Better in 2019
- 88.8% of the world now has access to electricity
- Global literacy has climbed to 86.3%
- New HIV infection rates have reached an all time low
- 92.3% of the population now has access to potable water
- Cancer mortality rates have fallen by 15% (This number indicates that if a person is diagnosed with cancer, they are 15% less likely to die from it. That said, an increasing number of people are being diagnosed with cancer every year.)
Scientists can now predict at birth who will have academic success
- “Researchers looked at data from 5,000 students and found 2 factors that were strongly linked to academic success.”
- “The study, which looked at data from 5,000 children born in the UK between 1994 and 1996, found that among those who made it to University, about 47% of the children had a genetic predisposition for education but were from a poorer background. Tellingly, compare that to 62% of the kids who made it to University while having a low genetic predisposition for academics but had parents with money.”
- While I often get annoyed with the now-fashionable idea that aptitude is entirely a function of the amount of practice a person puts in, I also feel that upbringing generally plays a larger role than genetics in skill acquisition. Genes are not destiny.
Practice that seriously boosts my peace of mind: Morning Journaling
For several years, I wrote for ten minutes every morning. It was a stream of consciousness, no-filter mind dump. For some reason, I stopped doing it. I’ve started up again and can’t believe I ever took a break. It’s a wonderful way to begin the day. There is something very therapeutic and validating about creating something before starting work. And occasionally, some valuable thought or insight will find its way onto the page (Most of the time the writing is complete garbage, but that’s okay).
I’d highly recommend the practice to pretty much anyone.
I usually use a timer. It’s nice to have an externally imposed deadline for the cessation of the session, instead of wondering whether you’ve written for long enough.
Here are some excerpts from entries over the past week (Note: I often use the morning journal to vent and get my biggest frustrations on paper. I’m a lot happier than excerpts might suggest)
- “So often something that someone said is bothering me. Some random quote or statement or idea that I am unable to figure out, or that goes against my view of the way reality works, or that is implying reality works in some way that I don’t want it to. So often one of these little statements is gnawing away at my peace of mind.”
- “It’s strange, but it often seems as though we make progress in one area when we focus very deeply on making progress in another.”
- “What loop are you caught in? Might an extreme event be able to snap you out of it? Extreme experiences often lead to extreme growth.”
- “Saying the thing that you’ve been hesitant to say. The thing that has been on your mind for a while, but which you have been reluctant to express to another person. Getting this out is, I think, very healing.”
Great YouTube Channel: Jamie Harrison Guitar
- This guy makes some of the coolest instrumental covers out there.
Great excerpt from Adam Neumann’s wikipedia page (Neumann is a cofounder of the now infamous co-working company WeWork):
“The Wall Street Journal reported that Neumann had aspirations such as living forever, becoming the world’s first trillionaire, expanding WeWork to the planet Mars, becoming Israel’s prime minister, and becoming “president of the world”.”
Photo of the Week (Shot on the Oregon Coast)