Week in Review – July 30, 2017

A dramatization of our team at the hackathon

Hackathon

Bot framework, bot services, LUIS, and text sentiment

You can make a conversational chat bot in less than a week. It may not understand everything you say, but with some added intelligence, the bot can be very chappy!

Books

Some progress on Sapiens, and my reading list expanded

programming blogs from a YC post

Podcasts

Julia Galen on how to argue better and change your mind more

(from: The Ezra Klein Show)

The first half of this podcast contained some thought provoking ideas on arguments and point of view. Biases can influence the way we view ourselves and learning about biases can make us more worse at fixing our our biases. It was discussed how paradoxes lead us to develop deeper labeling of people and ideas. For example, you say you are of one camp, but you fall into the other camp for certain things. The more you associate with the other camp, the more people will think of you as in that camp. I don’t think this is that bad, but we need to realize we are not so simple creatures. Black and white does not always tell the story.

Casey Neistat

(from: The Tim Ferriss Show)

Two of my three inspirational people on a podcast (throw in Ryan Holiday, and it would be quite the show)
Make it count. Always motivational, Neistat inspires me to write more, create more, do more.

The stupidest thing people can do with their money

(from: Freakonomics Radio)

I do not listen to Freakonomics much anymore, but this episode caught my eye. On the Marketplace Morning Report episode from this Tuesday, they talked about the risks of more people moving to passively invested, low cost index funds. I wanted to learn more about the downsides (as I am onboard with the upsides), and by chance, this week’s Freak podcast was all about the topic! Dubner interviewed John (“Jack”) Bogle, the 88 year old and founder of Vanguard. Definitely worth a listen or two. The contrast between Bogle and Buffett is both similar and remarkable.

Odds and Ends

  • Went for a 10 mile run and made sure Strava was working this time before starting.
  • Edited Iceland Day 2 for half a day. Final video coming soon! Watch Day 1 (which is really day 2)
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Relax

Fox sleeping in a tree

Fox sleeping in a tree

Relax. Be mindful of my breathing and body positioning. Rest my muscles and let all tension melt away. Start at the top of my head and slowly scan down how I am holding each part of my body. Relax the mind and loosen the neck and shoulders, slow my heart rate, expand my stomach, stretch my legs, spread my toes, and open my mind.

Test Yourself

work harder blue neon sign

work harder blue neon sign

Over the next few days put your learning to the test. Along with over coming the fear of exposing yourself as an imposter, you will also attempt to keep you ego in check and build relationships with others. That sinking feeling you get when encountering a difficult social situation will be redirected to external action rather than receding inside yourself. Most importantly, you should remember to be yourself, live small, build up others, and keep learning. You’ll be great.

Passion

Person jumping on the beach

Person jumping on the beach

Passionate players will give it their all while winning, but play discouraged when losing big. Purposeful players will see the challenge as an opportunity to show determination, resolve, and sportsmanship. Displaying their grit to continue playing, even when all hope seems lost.

Passion inflates you. Purpose defines you.

Something New

Coin-operated binoculars overlooking a beach

Coin-operated binoculars overlooking a beach

While something may make sense in your head, you must work hard to have it click for others. Furthermore, you must create a space where others can feel safe in being vulnerable and asking questions. Don’t be angry someone doesn’t know certain things. Be happy you are able to teach them something new.

 

Bonus track: Something new at Somewhere New

Explore

Person ties their shoes on a bridge in a city

Person ties their shoes on a bridge in a city

Exploring a new city can be daunting at first. I knew little to nothing of how to get around and barely knew anyone here. I did all the research and tried to avoid routine for as long as possible to take advantage of all the opportunities. To expand my view of the surroundings I went on running tours of the area trying to uncover new places. This slower paced, in person exploration gave me a great feel for the city and where I wanted to venture next. Running out with no destination in mind, I used the few landmarks I knew to guide me back at the end of the day. Running, rather than driving connected me to the city first hand and exposed me to much of what the city has to offer. I noted restaurants, parks, concert venues, and trails to return to later. Physically exploring new areas instead of scrolling on a screen was a fruitful exercise, but I won’t let it stop. Build on my findings, explore more, and keep running.

Questions

Blue green "Ask more questions" framed poster

Blue green "Ask more questions" framed posterLearn to control your biases and impulses around others. Stop and ponder “What are you thinking about? What’s going through your head?” Keeping these thoughts in everyday life humanizes others and allow you to better understand that we are all people with complex histories and emotions. Prodding with simple questions like “What do you think about? What are you thinking about? What do you mean? What are you working on?” Ground conversation on an emotional level and foster deeper connection. This is the type of conversation which brings us together and stimulates growth. It’s not superficial, but thoughtful, on a level helping us come to a better understanding of ourselves and others.

Video of the day