Breakfast Notes #65 (Helsinki, Tradition, Back Pain)

Breakfast Notes #65 (Helsinki, Tradition, Back Pain)
Photo by Jaakko Kemppainen / Unsplash

Hello friends,

Here is the 65th serving of the Breakfast Notes.

The Helsinki Bus Station Theory might change your life.

I wrote an essay explaining why I visit this every year and make the case why you should too.

  • Tradition is Smarter Than You Think.  In The Secret of Our Success, Joseph Henrich posits that cultural evolution is often much wiser and more useful than we like to give it credit for. ‘Operating over generations as individuals unconsciously attend to and learn from more successful, prestigious, and healthier members of their communities, this evolutionary process generates cultural adaptations.’ Henrich uses cassava, a humble root vegetable, to demonstrate how the culturally adapted Amazonians never suffered from cyanide poisoning, thanks to their inherited traditions of processing the vegetable. No Amazonian knew why they had to wash or boil the cassava in a certain way, but they knew intuitively that following the ritual would save their lives. The point worth considering is that traditions are subject to blind evolutionary pressure that will improve outcomes but often, those practising it cannot deconstruct the specific optimising feature.
  • The Ultimate Guide To Fixing Your Backpain.  Backpain sucks. It is osteoporosis for office workers. This article delves deep into the different options that could mitigate that annoying sore. What’s the best option? (Lucky for you, it’s not visiting the Chiropractor) The McGill Big Three or the ATG Method. As a certified PT and amateur athlete, I can certify that these exercises make you fitter and nimbler, and more importantly, these methods are non-invasive.
  • How Changi Airport Came To Be. When the mid-70s rolled around,  Paya Lebar Airport was near its maximum capacity. Singapore needed a bigger airport. The intuitive answer was to expand Paya Lebar Airport and add another few runways. Lee Kuan Yew made the bold call to spend $1.5B, twice the original budget to relocate. Why? In his own words, "I felt then that Paya Lebar had inherent disadvantages. It was located near the city centre. The expansion would be limited. Worse, noise and air pollution would worsen because the flight path footprint was already over our city centre.” To ensure Singapore’s burgeoning air traffic affected no Singaporean’s sleep, Changi Airport was born.  LKY was also a great leader because he optimised for thelong term and often made the hard call (at his own personal risk).
  • What is The Best Art?  The legendary Rick Rubin produced the best metal, rap, AND pop albums of all time, back when those worlds didn't intersect. He was the common thread across these genres.  Here is how he answers the question I posed earlier. “The Best Art is open enough that the artist gets an experience when they make it, and the audience gets an experience when they listen to it. They both don’t leave the same. “

Visualization Of The Week

When people question Charles Barkley about his 'incomplete' resume of never winning a championship, this is what he said:

I got my shot at Michael Jordan.

I gave it all I had.

I did the best that I could.

I sleep good at night about what I accomplished in sports.

This is how you make sure comparison does not steal your joy.

May The Sun Shine Upon Your Face,


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