Plus a warning from 1994 about mass data collection by internet companies

Albert Einstein, young child on computer, trees in forest
Images by Jackie Ramirez, Ludovic Toinel, Casey Horner

This week I focus on artificial intelligence as it seems to keep finding its way into my favorite podcasts. Not that I have any expertise in the technical aspects, but instead hope we recognize the need for ethics to be part of the conversation.

AI Conversations with the Dead

Although I remain highly skeptical of the efficacy of speaking to dead historical figures through artificial intelligence, author and longevity researcher Sergey Young went on to the Rich Roll podcast and talked about AI projects currently in the works.

One such project he knows is AI technology to help us talk with, and more importantly, ask…

Plus, our brain processes short and long-term fatigue differently

Photos by Nathan Dumlao, Carson Arias, Jon Tyson

I stray slightly from my goal of trying to keep this series as a strictly factual information share simply because the last item led me to a deep conversation with a friend.

First, however, an actionable item on short vs. long-term fatigue and how Lego changed course to embrace their adult user population.

Recovering From Short and Long-Term Fatigue

This makes complete sense after reading about a study from the University of Birmingham, but recovering from short-term fatigue is easier than recovering from long-term fatigue. They were even able to detect these types of fatigue in two different parts of the brain.

The most actionable takeaway…

Plus, what I needed to hear about amateurism

sad person smiling, oil paint set, Chicago world fair photo
Photo by Sydney Sims, aisvri, Smithsonian Institution Archives

After hitting on a heavy, yet important, topic first, we then shift to some more lighthearted items. One includes a message I needed to hear, and am sure others do as well, and then close with multiple notes from the Chicago World’s Fair that was over a century ago.

Overworked to Death

A WHO report (rightfully) points out a major problem with “hustle culture.” Researchers found that people who work at least 55 hours a week are at a 35% increased risk of stroke and a 17% increased risk of dying from heart disease.

Given that heart disease is already the leading cause…

Is it more important than work history and skills?

Photos by The Creative Exchange, Jeswin Thomas, no one cares

How appropriate to have a section on lifelong learners in this ongoing series about interesting things I learn. Also included this week is a piece that gives hope to us environmentalists and a question about whether spending money on sleep aids or making better decisions is the key to better sleep health.

Hiring Lifelong Learners

Harvard Business Review published a piece about the importance of hiring people who have a process for learning and its relation to achieving a competitive advantage. The actual process in which they learn isn’t important because people learn differently, but what’s important is identifying and knowing your technique.

Study shows how people approach problems and why

Photos by Amr Taha™, Marcos Paulo Prado, Ratana Limnararat

I can finally share my thoughts on why more doesn’t always mean better and that rethinking what we mean by growth and productivity is necessary. After some light philosophy, we get to my newest note-taking practice and why public transportation fails those who need it most.

More Does Not Mean Better

This idea that productivity, improvement, and growth come from doing more and adding new things has weighed on me for a while now. At the end of last year, I kept thinking, why are people focused on adding things to their life or work instead of subtracting the things that aren’t worthwhile?

Well, I’m…

Plus, my new favorite metaphor about success

Photos by Estée Janssens, Marcus Cramer, Franco Mariuzza

As a self-learner and someone who cares about personal growth, topic three might just be my new favorite metaphor. First, however, some exciting news to share about a 4-day work week and a new type of green renewable energy.

Spain Testing 4-Day Workweek

This has me excited, hopeful, and very surprised. Spain’s government decided to pilot a program that supports businesses who make the switch to a 4-day, 32-hour workweek.

I’m excited because I’m a big supporter of trying new revolutionary things. I’m hopeful because we’ve already seen benefits when people spend less time at work and more time with family or doing things…

Why the future is in DNA and not robots

Photos by MD Duran, Gerd Altmann, REVOLT

In a rare occurrence, the first two topics this week are forward-looking instead of historical facts. Yet, the third topic on daydreaming is the one closest to my heart and the most impactful on my daily life.

Google Enters Higher Education

Google currently offers five different certifications on Coursera, a website that works with higher education institutions to offer online degrees, certifications, and continued education. Google has entered the higher education space with shorter-term and cheaper certification programs in:

  • Data Analytics
  • UX Design
  • IT Support
  • Project Management
  • IT Automation with Python

Their certifications can be earned in less than a year, costing a few…

Learn how you can get involved

Fernando tatis jr sports card on top of scattered baseball cards
Image from Author

There’s a chance you’ve seen a headline or two about sports cards. Specifically about cards sold at auction for ridiculous amounts. Earlier this month a Michael Jordan card sold for $1.4 million, and in August of last year a LeBron James rookie card sold for $1.8 million. eBay, the primary marketplace for sports cards, recently shared sports card sales grew by 142% on their site in 2020.

All of this is to say that sports cards have become a legitimate investment option. Sure, we saw the excitement of Robinhood, r/WallStreetBets, and Gamestop earlier this year. …

The future of NFT technology is fascinating

Image from Rarible

The world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) is growing at an unbelievable rate. Two months ago it would have been hard to find a single person in your circle who could tell you what NFT stood for, much less what a Non-Fungible Token is. Now, you can hardly go a few hours of scrolling on Twitter without seeing at least one mention of it.

For those who haven’t taken the dive to learn what an NFT is, a simple explanation is that it’s a verifiable piece of digital data. This data can take almost any form. Meaning, it can be an…

Biden can’t even unite his own party

Image from WikiCommons

During the 2020 Democratic Primary, Joe Biden tried to set himself apart in two distinct ways. He was the electable candidate, and the unity candidate. As people identify more and more with their political party and lob insults at those on the other side, Biden said he could bring the country together.

He double-downed on this promise of unity after winning the election. He would be a president for all Americans. In his acceptance speech, he gave credit to the broad coalition that helped elect him.

I’m proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse coalition…

Nick Baker

A writer with many interests.

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