What I've made for you
Book notes—The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
OK personal development book. I wouldn't read it again. These short notes suffice as summary.
There is one particular habit that clicked, however:
Sharpen the saw
There's a famous (and often misattributed quote) going around which goes something like:
If I had four hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first two hours sharpening the axe.
Either way, the point stands: It's better to prepare and 'sharpen the axe,' rather than to waste strength swinging a dull one.
I think this analogy bears for many aspects of our lives.
Why brute-force your way through, when you could spend some minutes initially to save hours later?
This is what it means to work on, rather than work in.
Your second brain should actively grow and compound
As opposed to capturing a bunch of stuff that's just rotting in there.
You can use your notes to advance in life.
Or you can make it a collection of half-assed, half-baked highlights that you won't ever look at again.
A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
— Herbert Simon
Valuable nodes in a network become more valuable by virtue of being connected.
Rotting nodes infect other nodes.
They take away from them.
It's the weak link that breaks the chain.
Since writing is a tool for thinking, do you really want to reflect poor quality of thinking in your notes?
The amazing utility of ChatGPT
You've probably heard all about it by now, but I just could not shy away from mentioning it.
OpenAI has recently released ChatGPT. It's a chatbot-AI that generates marvellous responses to basically any query you can throw at it.
It's one of those things where you just... marvel at the progress humanity is making.
Whether good or bad, time will tell. But for now, we can use these tools to enhance our capabilities.
I've asked it to memorize questions and then later reflect upon ideas, given the questions. E.g., a question like "What if we inverted the idea?"—and it answers well.
I've found the tool to be a great assistant in deeper thinking. It's like a sparring partner that occasionally makes dumb suggestions, but can help you consider angles that you wouldn't otherwise.
For the last few days, I've had it open in a tab for easy access constantly.
It has, in many cases, replaced Google for me (but do fact-check it!).
Especially during programming or doing technical tasks.
It's easy to ask it
How do I do X on Linux?
I've gotten great answers so far, and it always explains why and how something works.
The best part is, if you need further clarity, you can keep asking it, as it remembers previous dialogue!
Premature optimization is the root of all evil.
— Donald Knuth