Memory Repository 🧠

@MemoryRepository | Pharmacy Student 💊 Digital Garden | Productivity | Studying | Writing | PKM | Life | I deposit bits of knowledge, learnings and memories into this memory repository. #100Days

Culture vs Strategy in Performance

Reading time: 1 min

A lecture I recently attended noted the following:

Organisational culture is x8 more influential than strategy in performance variance.

Perhaps this demonstrates that attitude towards studying is more important than the strategy of studying.

Studies have indicated that some study methods are more time-effective than others at committing items to memory. I wonder if studies have been done to indicate any cause or correlation between attitude towards academics and academic outcome. I'd like to think there is and I haven't looked them up yet.

I would like to think attitude is important in success in life as well.

Upon further inspection of the x8 statistic, I couldn't find a source to back it up. Brilliant.

Did a bit of reading on this "Corporate culture and organizational performance"; don't think it discusses strategy though.

NFTs and blockchains for vaccines

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The application of NFTs and blockchains to vaccines is certainly an interesting concept.

Readily keeping track of logistics, storage conditions, manufacturing quality, identifying unregistered/counterfeit vaccines, adverse reactions and distributing information across healthcare providers and health authorities via this technology would likely result in better safety and efficacy for the end users of the vaccines.

Modifying and delivering faulty information would be more readily visible.

Some companies and health systems seem to already have piloted this.

I wonder what the implications and consequences of this are. Should do further reading.

Write down your readings if you think they are potentially anywhere remotely useful

A reflection. Reading time: 1 min

I realize that I occasionally discuss gratitude in my writing, but never really went into details about what benefits it brings. There's a statement (and associated statistic/study) floating around indicating that consistent gratitude will raise happiness to the same degree of doubling income.

I wanted to look into this today but I forgot the source and am having trouble finding the relevant statistics and conclusions from a reliable source.

Note down what you read, or at least the source, as long as you think it'll be anywhere remotely useful in your future.

(For future self to look into.)

Extension thought: Increase the number of events you take part in to lengthen perception of time

Reading time: 1 min

Based on the logic that we perceive time based on our memory of events, we might be able to slow our perception of time (at least for our future selves when we look back) by:

  • Engaging in more events
  • Doing more in life

This is limited by our memory of those events, so as an extension:

  • Capturing events and memories as 'permanent memories' via writing, pictures, videos, recordings, etc. (and backing them up as appropriate)

Although, this might make time fly by more quickly for your present self by committing to too much.

This should be done without overburdening yourself.

Did the pass year pass quickly or slowly?

Reading time: 1 min

To some extent, we perceive how quickly time passes in accordance with the number of significant events that occurred to us or the number of significant events we participated in.

During COVID-19, some may perceive the past year to have passed slowly due to numerous significant events or hardships encountered.

Some may perceive the past year to have passed quickly due to few significant events occurring after social distancing measures became accepted as a reality.

I wonder what others think.

We perceive decades to pass faster as we age, but only until our 50s

Reading time: 1 min

We often hear about how time seems to pass more quickly as we age.

This study, "Age effects in perception of time" suggests that the older we get, the faster we perceive the most recent 10 years of our life passed, but only up until our 50s.

Some theories for why this is include:

  1. Each passing year contributes to a smaller fraction of our life. As a child, each year consists of a large proportion of our life, whereas when we're older, each year contributes only to a small fraction of our life.
  2. We perceive time in accordance with our memory of the events of that period of our life. More memorable events occur when we are younger, whereas life in our senior years are more monotonous. This makes events later in our life less memorable, and therefore we perceive it as less events happening, and therefore time passes more quickly. (And also, our memory deteriorates as we age.)

A footnote that I forgot about - Why it's important to write down your thoughts

Reading time: 1 min

I had a footnote to add to this post: "Surround yourself with inducers, not inhibitors", explaining with further examples and related comments.

But I forgot what I was going to add.

It was a thought I had while still in my waking phase and I didn't capture it immediately.

Capturing your thoughts and ideas is oh so important. It allows your future self to use them.

Related notes:

(Listed was down for a few minutes?)

Surround yourself with inducers, not inhibitors

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In pharmacology (pharmacokinetics specifically), different medicines (or foods) can affect how we metabolise drugs that enter our body. Drugs can 'inhibit' or 'induce' an enzyme to increase the rate at which a drug is metabolised, where inhibitors slow or prevent metabolism, while inducers increase the number of enzymes present or the activity of the enzymes, overall increasing the rate of metabolism.

I find this concept highly applicable to the people we surround ourselves with. They can be inhibitors, inducers, or neither for productivity, achieving goals, happiness, doing projects and trying new things.

Surround yourself with people who would support you with what you want to do or achieve (whether joining you on something or just offering encouragement), never with those who would inhibit.

Foods: Looking at you, grapefruit.

Delayed Gratification vs Intentional Resting

Reading time: 1-2 min

Delayed gratification can be defined as resisting an immediate reward with a view towards acquiring a greater or more valuable reward in the future. So much can be said about delayed gratification and it's ramifications for relative success later in life.

However, although delayed gratification is generally desirable for our future selves, it's difficult to consistently and persistently pursue this practice. We procrastinate, rest, play and seek immediate reward to relieve ourselves of the lack of reward and to motivate ourselves to continue with our work and to pursue our goals.

This is one of the reasons in which progress indicators are important, as they offer a little immediate reward for your efforts. You get some delight from seeing that you're digesting your work at a reasonable pace, and that your efforts are contributing to the end goal. (This is why when working and studying, you should reward yourself intermittently. It helps with motivation.) However, this practice does directly clash with pursuing delayed gratification.

Intentional rest (ahem, procrastination), does have its benefits sometimes, from keeping yourself rested and healthy to actually being productive, as counter-intuitive as it sounds.

A balance must be struck between delayed gratification and intentional rest and reward to maximise our success and gratification both for our present and future selves.

What is the preferred knowledge accumulation direction? Breadth vs Depth

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What knowledge style is preferred in our current and future world? Breadth of knowledge across a wide range of subjects and topics, or depth of knowledge within one particular subject?

The library of knowledge within our brains cannot be fully comprehensive (as of this point in time). Our time is limited and the time we have to learn and commit things to our memory is limited. Humans also readily forget. This therefore limits our choice for what we learn; we can never have full breadth and depth.

Which is preferred by others? One in particular, or a mix between the two? If a mix, in what ratio?

(To future self)
I wonder what the implications are for each choice. How would either benefit ourselves and those around us? What 'emergent' properties can come from a mix between the two?

Life after COVID-19, and antimicrobial resistance

Reading time: 1-2 min

This particular pandemic was arguably different from prior ones due to the accessibility of work and communication technology, allowing for once-difficult or limited arrangements such as 'work or learn from home' to become more widely accepted and accessible.

To what extent will we undo these arrangements and the acceptability of these arrangements at the first sight of COVID-19 becoming negligible globally?

We place ourselves in densely populated spaces to work, to socialize, to live life, etc. It could be argued that the same actions are what cultivates new infectious disease. This rate of new infectious disease generation and spread is unsustainable- we cannot create new antimicrobial agents (think antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals...) to combat this more quickly than we generate antimicrobial resistance, where microorganisms (some of which make us sick) develop resistance to our ultimate weapon against them.

This argument comes from the slow rate of novel antimicrobial agent generation, and how quickly microorganisms generate resistance. Within just a few months or years after creating and using a new antimicrobial drug, resistance tends to arise.

Our best option to slow this down would be to change our social behaviours and life arrangements to limit the generation and spread of infectious disease, thereby decreasing our reliance on antimicrobial agents, slowing the spread of resistance. Would such arrangements be accepted in our near future?

Side note: In an article I read some time ago, a survey noted that a lot of people would rather quit their job than to give up flexible working arrangements. Very interesting.

Project sustainability and life sustainability

Reading time: 1 min

We concern ourselves with the sustainability of our projects. We should put the same amount of concern on our life practices. Both internally and externally, our actions require energy. Physically within our body, and externally in the environment. Our mental energy counts too (we mentally become tired as well as physically).

We strain ourselves to the limit, straining our bodies, draining the physical and mental resources contained with us, while draining the resources in our environment around us- many of our activities nowadays require electricity or another source of energy.

We should put more concern on how our actions affect our health and the environment, for when advances related to this becomes increasingly the case, each of us will be drawing more energy than ever from ever-increasing productivity, and drawing energy for longer than ever before with our increasing life and health longevity.

Translation: I want to live on this planet for a long time to come; there's no Earth v2 or Self v2 (Mars is not Earth v2). I am certain there are others who would want the same.

Aligning the values of your current self with your future self

Aligning the values of your current self with the values of your future self. This is a difficult thing to do.

Our current self will undoubtedly try to meet our immediate wants and needs, rather than putting them off to meet the wants and needs of our future self. See delayed gratification. For example, we might procrastinate and spend time on entertainment rather than studying for an exam coming up.

But perhaps that’s the wrong way of thinking- your future self should align values with your past self. Your future self should appreciate the break time your past self got, to recover and prepare for the next burst of work. But that’s also difficult, given that life and the environment we're in changes. Our values change over time, and therefore the values our future selves hold are unlikely to perfectly align with that of our older selves. Furthermore, we cannot predict the future, and hence cannot perfectly align the values of our current selves with that of our future selves.

Perhaps neither of these are the correct way of thinking. Rather, the most important thing is that our current selves are being intentional with our actions, such that our immediate-future and far-future selves would not regret it.

I've been looping Library Of Ruina - Children of the City constantly this week.

Extension thought (for my future self):
Studying vs playing at university

How long does it take to feel better after grinning?

Reading time: 1 min

We can smile and grin to induce positive emotions and feel better.

I felt down while taking a shower and reminded myself of this. I attempted it and felt better almost immediately. Definitely within 10 seconds.

Perhaps it's a placebo; I expected this outcome (me shifting towards more positive emotions) and therefore my body shifted towards more positive emotions. Perhaps it's actually effective this quickly.

However, placebo or not, I don't think it matters. My mood did (subjectively) improve.

(To my future self)
I should do some research into this.

Exam time musings: People sleep later near or during exams; Alarms for lazy selves

Another interesting observation. Reading time: 1 min

Exam Time Sleep Schedules

I observe that students tend to sleep later during exam period. Even students who have the best, healthiest sleep schedules (under normal circumstances) will shift their sleep schedule back by a bit, likely to generate a bit more time to study.

I also do this, despite knowing that doing so is taking a time debt with huge interest.

Perhaps our perceived marginal benefit from taking this time debt to have more time to use during exam time at the cost of time from our future selves is greater than the marginal benefit from not doing this.

How we should set alarms

We should set alarms according to most lazy, tired version of our future selves, to maximise our sleep time rather than to attempt to wake at an over-optimistic early alarm. We'll likely end up snoozing it, wasting time with low quality sleep, unlikely to fill our rest needs.

Still working on pushing sleep schedule back... although I woke later today, unfortunately. Tired. I snoozed my alarm.

I jump from a task manager to a time blocker when completely overburdened

Reading time: 1 min

Interesting observation (on a practice that incidentally occurred again yesterday):

I jump to Sorted3 (a task manager with daily time blocking functionality) instead of using Things 3 (purely a task manager) when I become overburdened.

This might be reflective of the need to block out my time to maximise working efficiency.

Or that my Things 3 projects and tasks list/date assignment becomes completely cluttered and disorganized, probably as a direct reflection of how much I'm working on right now.

I've completely lost track of time with my constant sleep timezone switching during the last two weeks. Resetting now. (Successfully) pushing my sleep schedule back by 1-2 hours a day, back to reasonable circadian rhythm timing.