Life is a process

By Jordan Michaelides
March 06, 2017


Image: Wired

Contrasts are a funny thing. Mark Twain said that “all life demands change, variety, contrast - else there is little zest to it”.

It was a recent video of another place I love, Hong Kong, and the photographer Michael Wolf that’s got me thinking about contrast again. 

I live in the CBD of Melbourne, so sometimes I just want to pack it all up and move to a plot of land in the country to relinquish the stress of life (Northern Victoria perhaps). But I often realise that when I have those opportunities for days on end, by the end of it I’m bored out of my mind. 

It seems that your mind is like a little desk. If you constantly pack it full of irrelevant crap like social media, you’ll never really appreciate the contrast. 

So what’s the tonic? Bore yourself whenever possible . Doing so ensures we’re always realising a) how good we have it and b) how much deep work we can actually achieve by making ourselves bored. 

Food for thought.

Life is a process

Brain Pickings recently came across an unpublished version of Bruce Lee’s philosophical work, through his daughter and the Bruce Lee Foundation. 

We’re constantly trying to battle with the fixed mindset thrown at us each day - buy that car, get those clothes, take a photo of that food. Lee’s work “In My Own Process” clearly articulates that life is just a process, you’re always learning, and always ignorant.

It’s a pity we don’t have Lee around in this modern era, I wonder what he’d think.

The Five Hour Rule

A rule or principle that I’m starting to realise is exceptionally common amongst great business leaders and investors, but uncommon amongst most people. Apart from the obvious examples (Musk, Buffet, Gates, Oprah), I’m noticing slowly through our Uncommon podcast interviews, and indeed through The Tim Ferriss Show, that brilliant people are taking at least one hour in their day to either; read, reflect or experiment. I’m emphasising the reading, for reflection and experimentation is not habitually necessary on a weekly basis.

So how can you implement? And how have I implemented it?

Every night I read for an hour (two years and counting), I also write in a journal for an hour once a week, and every six months I’m experimenting with two new “things” (tech, experience or skills). I would suggest that the reading 5 times a week is a non-negotiable . If you don’t enjoy reading, find books that will make you enjoy it and go from there - NEVER finish a book for the sake of it, move on to the next one. Start journaling once a week, you’d be shocked by how useful reflection is in coming to a decision - consuming is not always the answer. Try something new once a while - have a goal every six months to experiment with a new idea or skill, even if you don’t pursue it.

CRISPR the BioRocket

CRISPR is a gene-editing tool that was discovered a few years ago, and is starting to take off like a rocket. Every day in the science section of any good media publication, there’s something happening on CRISPR research.

So what’s the 411? What does it do? Well you can start with this podcast from RadioLab , it only goes for 50 minutes.

In short , this video and article from Gizmodo explains that CRISPR is essentially an immune defence mechanism that create RNAs of a certain virus, so that it can cut through the DNA of the virus - effectively killing it and preventing it from expanding. We can now accurately replicate this process in other cells, therefore acting as a gene editing tool.

CRISPR is the tool that can allow us to turn a small dog (chihuahua) into a bad-ass Great Dane.
If CRISPR and super intelligent & benevolent AI met in a bar, Homo Sapiens are officially screwed - no doubt.

So why is this important? We can effectively change the genome of a species, we can recreate extinct animals, and eventually perfect humans. Digitising the human genome (Human Longevity Inc) has been the biggest movement in biotechnology for the last ten years. I wonder now with if this is as comparable as the existence of artificial intelligence, but for biology. Oh, and Chinese and US scientists are now testing this on humans.

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Happy reading,