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On Coconut Flowers and Antifragility

This post was first sent to my newsletter on July 4th, 2021.
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Moss Rose

Mummy calls it a Mysore Gulob,
Abby calls it Chinese Gulab,
while I, in honour of all the hard work Abby puts in (and the natural pot she’s made for it), call it my coconut flower.
It’s a Moss Rose, (Portulaca grandiflora.)

Click the section headers to wander off to the original articles.

My notes on Antifragile

I spent a ton of time on this.
Because I did not just want my beloved Antifragile to be only an annual read.
This series reinforces whatever I’ve learnt and done, with the book so far.
From the book’s prologue …

Wind extinguishes a candle and energizes fire.

Likewise with randomness, uncertainty, chaos: you want to use them, not hide from them. You want to be the fire and wish for the wind. This summarizes this author’s nonmeek attitude to randomness and uncertainty.

We just don’t want to just survive uncertainty, to just about make it. We want to survive uncertainty and, in addition—like a certain class of aggressive Roman Stoics—have the last word. The mission is how to domesticate, even dominate, even conquer, the unseen, the opaque, and the inexplicable.

How?


The Feynman Learning Technique on Farnam Street

Shane starts with the familiar aspects of the popular technique used for learning things, and then amps it up to 11.

If you’re after a way to supercharge your learning and become smarter, the Feynman Technique might just be the best way to learn absolutely anything. Devised by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, it leverages the power of teaching for better learning.

The Feynman Learning Technique is a great method to develop mastery over sets of information. Once you do, the knowledge becomes a powerful tool at your disposal. But as Feynman himself showed, being willing and able to question your knowledge and the knowledge of others is how you keep improving. Learning is a journey.


The best writing advice from Colson Whitehead’s 60 Minutes interview

If you’re going to listen to anyone about the process of writing, Colson Whitehead is a pretty good choice: the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient won back-to-back Pulitzers for his novels The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, making him the only writer to win that prize for consecutive novels in history.

Write for yourself, because time is short.

[I write] really for me, which sounds very selfish. Should I have written a zombie novel? It made perfect sense to me. I grew up loving horror movies and then horror fiction. Is that something I should be doing as a literary author? I don’t know . . . if it gives me pleasure, if it’s exciting, you know, our time on earth is pretty short. I should be doing what I feel like I should be doing.


Hope you enjoyed this edition. Until next time …


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