Ideas worth thinking about
“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”
― Werner Heisenberg, Nobel Prize winner in Physics and pioneer of quantum mechanics
Source: Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
On Healthy Eating
Dr. David L. Katz, a renowned preventive medicine specialist, attempts to answer every question you may have on healthy eating.
Big idea: The optimal diet for longevity is made up of whole, minimal processed foods, mostly plants, and plain water. Focus on foods, not nutrients.
Source: Mark Bittman and David L.Katz.The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right. Grub Street. (20 min read)
On Bad Decisions
Wilt Chamberlain, one of the greatest basketball players in history, and a Stanford University psychologist, on why we make bad decisions, even when we know better.
Big idea: Popular opinion suggests that we make bad decisions because of our beliefs or cognitive biases. But peer pressure often leads to bad decision-making.
Source: Mayo Oshin. The Chamberlain Effect: Why We Make Bad Decisions, Even When We Know Better. (7 min read)
On Organising Emails
A study of over 85,000 attempts to sort and find emails revealed findings on the efficiency of organising emails in our inbox.
Big idea: Organising emails using folders is a waste of time. Using the search function is a much more efficient use of your time.
Source: Whittaker et al (2011). Am I wasting my time organizing email?. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – Proceedings.
On Speaking the Truth
“Life is short and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher
Source: The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1
Mental model of the week
What is a mental model?
A mental model is an explanation in our mind of how things work in reality. It’s a worldview that shapes how we think and understand the world.
The more mental models you have in your mind, the better your ability to think in new ways, solve difficult problems, and make better decisions in everyday life.
Great thinkers, problem-solvers, and decision-makers rely on a wide variety of mental models to simplify complexity and spot opportunities most people don’t see.
Mental models are imperfect, but useful to train your brain to think better.
What is inversion?
Inversion is a mental model used to avoid mistakes and uncover solutions to difficult problems by solving problems in inverse form.
It originates from the 19th-century German mathematician, Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, who made important scientific contributions by using the strategy “invert, always invert.”(loosely translated from ‘man muss immer umkehren.’)
How do I use it?
Step 1: Identify the opposite of your problem.
For example, let’s say you want to build healthy relationships. Consider the question: “How can I build toxic relationships?”
Step 2: Brainstorm solutions to the opposite problem.
For example, one way to build toxic relationships is to criticize others and dismiss their opinions.
Step 3: Avoid solutions to the opposite problem.
In our example, by avoiding different ways to build toxic relationships you can improve the odds of building healthy ones.
Key takeaway: Instead of focusing on being right, focus on being less wrong.
Word of the day: TSUNDOKU (Japanese). Buying books and not reading them; letting books pile up on shelves. (Source)
Thank you for reading,
Your Brain Food Chef
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