I’m doing a 10 day silent meditation retreat.

Its going to be a bit intense.
 
Its hosted in western Massachusetts.
 
When you arrive your phone is put in quarantine.
 
Schedule is 4am wakeup, meditate until 9pm and then sleep. (with some small breaks for food)
 
No talking to fellow attendees.
 
No writing.
 
No reading.
 
No exercising.
 
Just me and my thoughts.
 
It’ll be interesting.
 
^Day 273/90 69 words

Theres no proof that lowering tax rates increases economic growth.

The truth is much more complicated than that.
 
In fact, there is a pretty easy argument to make that the opposite is true.
 
If you look at the average economic growth rate in the US its steadily gone down in the years since world war 2, with the largest growth rates being after the war. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth
 
At the same time, tax rates have also steadily gone down since world war 2.
 
So much so that back in 1963 for the top income tax bracket (~$400,000 + in income a year) the tax rate was 91%. Which is much lower now. https://www.scribd.com/doc/190499803/Fed-U-S-Federal-Individual-Income-Tax-Rates-History-1862-2013
 
So in fact you could make an argument that higher taxes lead to higher growth.
 
In fact, as we lowered taxes, growth seems to have stalled, not been stimulated.
 
But, there is the confounding factor of the US’s role in supplying the world post WW2 and the growth that creates.
 
The takeaway is that there isn’t an easy answer to how taxes affect growth.
 
^Day 272/90 196 words

Reddit bots are a good example for how we could filter the internet. 

For those that don’t know, a reddit bot will filter all posts and identify key phrases and then respond with a pre-written response. 

For example, if someone mentioned the holocaust, there is a bot that will respond with a 1000+ word post explaining the holocaust and controversies around it. 

 
This could be a model furor the whole internet. If you had annotations pop up on peoples posts when they are writing about difficult or controversial topics. 
^Day 271/90 94 words

To create an ideal morning I chained 10 habits together.

I used to have lazy mornings where I would often spend 30 minutes to an hour doing things that I didn’t actually get value from. These included browsing random news sites, browsing Facebook and snoozing my alarm.
 
The way I changed this is by identifying and tracking all the decision points. The points where I could either move on to the next step in my routine or stop and spend 5+ minutes on something non-valuable.
 
Now my morning habit chain looks like this:
1. Wakeup and shut off alarm.
2. Leave phone plugged in and head to bathroom to brush teeth + turn on light to wake self up.
3. Get dressed for running while leaving phone plugged in.
4. Meditate for 20 minutes.
5. Don’t read news between meditation and running.
6. Run
7. Don’t read news between running and showering.
8. Shower
9. don’t read news between shower and getting to work.
10. get to work.
 
It was key for me to identify and track the negative habits that I wanted to avoid. Only once I was aware of how this was happening and tracking it was I motivated enough to get through the whole chain.
 
Now its automatic.
 
^Day 270/90 215 words

The internet has led to lower quality information.

In general, it makes it harder to know what is or isn’t correct.
 
Back in the pre-internet dark ages, there was a well organized system for filtering information.
 
You could only get it through established news organizations like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, which existed on either side of the political spectrum, or through established publishing houses.
 
There was a strict filtering system.
 
And to be one of the filterers, you had to come up through an extensive educational system of hurdles and being in the right place at the right time.
 
Go to the right school, meet the right people, say the right things.
 
The internet broke that.
 
Now anyone can post anything and reach thousands or millions of people.
 
This means that you, as the reader, need to do a lot more work to figure out what is true and what isn’t.
 
So, while the internet has made it much easier to get all sorts of information, it also means that its much easier to be misled.
This doesn’t mean the internet is a bad thing, it just means that we now need to figure out how to create a new filtration system.
 
One that works at the scale of the internet.
 
^Day 269/90 221 words

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Words that you understand are viruses.

If you understand something that is said to you, you can’t un-hear it.
 
You might hear an idea that you didn’t want to be exposed to but it will burrow into your brain and bother you for days or even years.
 
These ideas can often change the person that you become.
 
And you don’t have a choice.
 
You have to intake that information.
 
Its a very insecure way to travel around this world.
 
Especially now that its harder and harder to tell what is and isn’t true.
 
Your actions could be influenced by a half truth.
 
Or by a very slick sales pitch.
 
Yet, our brains haven’t developed a defense for this.
 
Maybe its a good thing?
 
^Day 268/90 128 words

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Birds are much more efficient fliers than our human planes.

 Which goes to show how much room there is for improvement in planes.
How much we can still learn from the way that evolution shaped the mechanics around us.
There are countless areas where we can learn more by looking into the natural world.
Often the best way to solve a problem, is to stop and look at what nature has done.
^Day 267/90 77 words

Human brains haven’t changed in 10s of thousands of years.

This means that for all effective purposes, if Julius Caesar was transported from Rome to present times right after birth he would be able to grow up with no adjustement issues.

This shows the power of habits and learned knowledge.

The only thing differentiating us from the ancient Egyptians is our retained knowledge.

The things that we are able to teach ourselves to do. And, how quickly we can teach ourselves to do it.

If all knowledge disappeared, we’d be no better off than cave men.

^Day 266/90 106 words

The first cyborg human will have an unfair and unsurmountable advantage.

The difference in intelligence between a current genius and the average human is miniscule compared to the difference between an averge human’s intelligence and an ape.

The first cyborg will have a similar advantage with the average human now being the ape.

To make things worse, the cyborg will be able to extend this advantage constantly.

The growth will only be limited by resources and otherwise we can expect it to be exponential.

This means this cyborg will have the ability to walk around in human society and control anyone and anything.

Simply by knowing all human psychology techniques, having perfect recall and the ability to control emotions flawlessly.

You would not be able to tell when the cyborg is lying.

The cyborg will be able to do anything.

^Day 265/90 145 words

If you’re finding yourself rescheduling constantly you’re overcommitted.

I just planned out my week and it took me 30 minutes just to put everything on the calendar and make tradeoffs on which activities to do or not do.

I need to cut out some things.

Its better to focus on a few things well than doing everything poorly.

This is an exercise that I revisit every few months. The commitments add up slowly but surely. Each additional thing seems like a small addition, before you know it you’re swamped.

It will be a constant oscillation between too little and too much.

If you find yourself doing the same thing you do too.

^Day 264/90 117 words