Google Reader sweep

  1. A couple of thoughts about how to live better. Mostly it’s context. Design your world in advance to help you be as good as possible in the moment.
  2. One tip on how to live happier: every day write three good things that happened and why. I’ve been interested in adding something like this into a daily routine. Feels like a very low time investment for a lot of reward.
  3. Also, how to live longer (note particularly that feeling connected to others is super important.) (Another hint: fasting.) I’d like to live to 200. I’d settle for 100 if the world in 50 years is the same as today (but it’ll be twice as good, hence my goal of 200). Really, I’d just like to live until we can upload ourselves. Food-wise, fasting and calorie restriction sound like the surest bets; otherwise, active social life seems like a big one. I’ll think about this more when I’m back in a stable life.
  4. Compiling evidence that sitting is one of the things that is killing us the most: The AtlanticNY Times. To do: see how many studies these folks are all citing. The hypothesis is compelling: believable, actionable, and big payoffs.
  5. Why don’t Americans walk more? I found this interesting for a number of reasons. Pondering why “walking” has become something you think about doing instead of something you just do, talking with pedestrian modelers, and only a little bit of preaching to the choir about walkability.
  6. How do you decide what things to memorize, and what things to outsource memorization? Here’s one answer: will it help you survive the zombie apocalypse? I don’t buy it; there are plenty of things that I want to memorize that don’t pass this bar. For example, recipes: it is so much easier to cook something without looking at a paper every minute.
  7. Guy says he got back to 20/20 (and better) without glasses. I’m not super interested right now, because it becomes something he has to maintain, so it feels like a less perfect abstraction than just wearing contacts.
  8. How do you stay on top of the scientific literature? This is something I’ll have to get good at.
  9. Carl Bielefeldt at Stanford explains how meditation only recently has gained traction among non-monks.


Cheryl Cochran -

In response to #5:
I started reading this book not too long ago ( He spent the first couple of chapters talking about reasons that Americans do not walk any more. I can’t say it’s the most compelling read, but it’s a bit interesting.

I’ve lived in non-walkable areas of the city and I’ve hated it. I’m not sure if that stems from the fact that I didn’t drive until I was 21 or that it just makes me feel better to walk. People I know are sometimes astonished when they find out that I walk places 4 or 5 blocks or more from my home. There’s a lot of laziness abounding and it’s awful.

Dan -

I know! Totally does feel better! I wonder if there’s a way to point out to people “if you walk, you’ll feel a lot better.” Currently we only think about how driving gets us there faster.

About laziness: it’s an ingrained cultural laziness, though. I think it’s not so much deciding “I feel lazy so I will drive” as it is not even deciding.

Though I haven’t read that book (yet), so I don’t know.

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