This Week I Learned #8

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up”
— Charlie Munger


  • Wise: On learning. An interview with Barbara Oakley and Share Parrish of Farnam street.  Turns out our working memory is good enough to hold 4 items. They once thought it was 7. That was why phone numbers had 7 digits apparently. The only way to expand memory is through practice and repetition (memorizing + understanding goes hand in hand). After, you must sleep to get the learned material into your hippocampus so that your working memory can pull on the files. If you don't get good quality sleep then the files will never get logged and won't be able to be accessed by the working memory. So, all-nighters are a waste of time. They also ran tests on audio or visual learners. Turns out there are no differences. Just preferences but not an impact to one's ability to learn. It seems differences may be more the case for extroverts vs. introverts where extroverts like learning from others and introverts may prefer other means.


  • Healthy: Kevin Rose podcast with Serge Faguet, a serial entrepreneur and bio-hacker. On sleep: Consistency in time you go to bed is highly important for if you lack consistency in the area then you will actually lose out on that portion of the sleep cycle. So If you normally sleep at 9 but you sleep at 11pm the next day, you may miss out on your "deep sleep" cycle. This is before REM sleep and is actually considered more important to your body's ability to recover and regenerate for the next day. REM sleep is focused more on enhancing creativity. On my "to listen again" list.


  • Healthy: Just listened to an amazing podcast with Ben Greenfield and Joe Rogan. Various systems to consider implementing into my life to optimize physical and mental performance. Some I'll implement: anaerobic training (heavy/intense) in afternoons to help induce deep sleep for it's performance and recovery effects. Also, your body is in a better state to handle intense activities. Performing aerobic exercises in the mornings to help wake me up (while in fasted state), my personal experiments did host positive results for these. Coffee breaks your fast. But it depends on what fast effects you are trying to induce, circadian vs. biological. So many tidbits here to explore and experiment in my own life.


  • Healthy: I've been on a binge on sleep research. A podcast with the sleep doctor Matthew Walker. Athletes with under 6 hrs of sleep saw 60% increase in likelihood of injury, one major reason being the failure of stabilization muscles. With less sleep the stabilizers give way first. Sleep also is required to improve learning of new motor skills. Turns out if you practice the skills, get good quality sleep and come back the next day your skills have improved by 20-30%. Quality sleep is about 7 - 9 hrs. If you sleep 6 hrs or less then time to physical exhaustion increases by 30%. Under 7 hrs results in objective impermanence in brain. If you read on an ipad for an hour your melatonin releases will be delayed by 3 hrs when compared to reading a book with dim lights. Individuals who can function normally with under 6 hours of sleep are under 1% of the population.


  • Healthy: I explored cold showers in my earlier learning. But I used to do them in the morning and felt it put me to sleep. Turns out, cold showers are great for helping induce deep sleep because lowering your body temperature allows you to sleep better. Now cold showers are a night time regiment. Will see how this experiment turns out. 


  • Wealthy: A quote on investing in what the crowd does: "You chose the bank job. That's a sure thing. You're gonna die in that cubicle. I choose to sail the seas of consequence." - David Lee Roth, Van Halen vocalist, in response to envious comments from high school friends at reunion


  • Wise: With a nation that averages working 240 hours more per year than North America, South Korea is looking to impose a 52 hour week limit on work. There are also discussions of limiting mandatory drinking events from going three rounds until 1am to cutting it to 7/8pm. This has actually been the case with my family members in Seoul. With 500+ work-related suicides per year and reported work hours putting the country in the top 3 most worked countries in the world this is a required change. Working longer just is never an answer.

Daniel LeeTWIL