10 things that I liked in 2020

Written on 31 December 2020, 10:33am

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Last hours of the year, so it’s time for the periodic roundup of things that I enjoyed over the past 12 months. 2020 has been a really strange year, but not everything was bad.

  1. The scientific community for coming up with a vaccine in 2 days. You read that right, 2 days. Here’s for hope that this golden period of breakthroughs will have the same impact in the field of medicine as the Apollo moon landings had in the field of technology. Plus, after all this will be over, we will look back at 2020 and see it as a collective altitude training. Everything else will feel lighter and easier and we will be ready for bigger challenges.
  1. Apple Watch and the Airpods for helping me stick to a healthy routine. Just like the previous years.
  2. A place: Southern France. A wonderful, sunny place, full of history. To be visited again in 2021.
  3. A series: Better Call Saul. I know, it made this list also in 2018. Some things don’t change. Plus, this year we got to see Lalo. Tell me again!
  4. Liverpool FC for finally winning the Premier League. The first part of the year felt so good. So good that the rest of the year would not matter. But here we are still, with all the problems and top of the league again 🙂
  5. Philips Hue. For the long winter nights and because the lights influence the mood.
  6. A book: Andy Weir – Artemis. Quality stuff from the writer of The Martian. Had to take a day off to finish it. I loved the way it made me imagine humans living on the moon.
  7. The Starship. If the humans will set foot on Mars this century, it will be in a Starship. Hopefully this will happen during our lifetime.
  8. Reddit + Quora. The first one for keeping me informed, the other one for putting me to sleep 🙂
  9. Working from home. Because it magically gave an extra hour to all my working days. Here’s for hope that the ‘new normal’ will be nothing like the ‘old normal’.

Some notes after reading 2 books

Written on 26 December 2019, 05:45pm

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The subtle art of not giving a f*ck

In essence this is a book about focusing on the the things that really matter. But there are a few subtleties, as detailed by Mark here:

  1. Not giving a f*ck is not the same thing as being indifferent.
  2. Not giving a f*ck about something means that you do give a f*ck about something else, more important.
  3. We all have a limited number of f*cks to give. Prioritise!

On top of that, there are other gems that you can find in this book:

  • “it’s the mildly dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work to innovate and created”
  • “happiness comes from solving problems. The keyword here is ‘solving’ (…) happiness is a constant work-in-progress”
  • “healthy values are achieved internally. Bad values are generally reliant on external events”
  • “fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense”
  • “Many people might be to blame for your unhappiness, but nobody is ever responsible for your unhappiness but you”
  • “When we learn something we don’t go from ‘wrong’ to ‘right’. Rather, we go from ‘wrong’ to ‘slightly less wrong'”
  • “Certainty is the enemy of growth”
  • “Our brains are meaning machines”
  • “Work expands so as to fill up the time available for its completion” (the Parkinson law)

“If you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, do something – anything, really – and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself”

Mark Manson – The subtle art of not giving a f*ck

Thinking in bets: making smarter decisions when you don’t have all the facts

Poker is a game of decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. The primary goal in the game is to reduce uncertainty in order to make decisions easier for yourself. The secondary goal is to make the opponents’ decisions harder.

Poker players have to make multiple decisions with significant financial consequences in a compressed time frame. This makes the poker table a unique laboratory for studying decision-making.

Annie Duke – Thinking in bets

A few interesting concepts:

  • Resulting = equating the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome
  • Hindsight bias = the tendency, after an outcome is known, to see the outcome as having been inevitable.
  • Gambler’s fallacy = mistaken belief that if something happens more frequently than normal during a given period, it will happen less frequently in the future (or vice versa).

A few more notes:

  • All that matters is the quality of your decisions, not the outcome of your decisions.
  • Going first in any negotiation is bad. Even kids know that 🙂
  • “Chess is not a game. Chess is a well-defined form a computation”. Real life is not like that. Real life consists of bluffing, of little tactics of deception, of asking yourself what is the other man going to think I mean to do”
  • The quality of our lives is the sum of decision quality plus luck.
  • Getting comfortable with “I’m not sure” is a vital step to being a better decision-maker.

10 things that I liked in 2019

Written on 26 December 2019, 02:40pm

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1. Liverpool FC. I am supporting Liverpool since the legendary 2005 Istanbul CL final and watching them closely since 2012-2013. In 2019 they produced one of the best comebacks in the history of football, they won 3 trophies and, after winning the Club World Cup, they can claim they are the best football team on Earth.
Would absolutely love to see them also winning the Premier League trophy in May 2020.

2. A book: The subtle art of not giving a f*ck. It’s about focusing on the important things in life and stop giving f*cks about the rest. Some notes here.

3. Nintendo Switch. Because it can bring the family together in amazing ways during the long, winter evenings. And because it allows the players to actually move while playing (with games such as Just Dance, Fitness Boxing, etc)

4. Security. I know, it was also present in the 2018 list. But guess what, I am pretty sure it will still be present in 2020. I am working in this field and I am enjoying every minute of it. I built how2factor.info, I attended a great workshop and learned a lot from a lot of sources.

5. A blog: Daniel Miessler. Because of his energy, newsletter and writing style. Second close – John Gruber.

6. A person: Greta Thunberg. Because our way of living needs a change. And meaningful change needs a leader.
Second close – Elon Musk, after reading his biography.

7. A place: southern Spain. Because of their over 300 days of sun every year, friendly people, affordable living and great cuisine.

8. A device: the Apple Watch. Because it changes my well-being in a subtle, but massive way.

9. A series: Stranger Things. Because it’s about childhood, friendship, courage and the atmosphere brings back nostalgic memories.

10. A game: Heroes of Might and Magic III. Because I still enjoy playing it after 18 years…