Things I’ve Learned

Taking care of a newborn is a lot of hard work without a lot of intellectual stimulation. As a result, I have gone deep into pod casts, audio books, and actual books. I’ve started writing a lot of posts about the things I’ve learned, but haven’t had time to finish them. For now, instead of trying to go deep on anything, I’ll list some of the tidbits I’ve learned (note since I’ve only heard them once, most of the below is probably only 75% accurate)

  • The word diabetes come from a Greek word that means “to pass” because people with diabetes need to pee so frequently
  • Some of the fundamental biological breakthroughs that led to crispr came from biologists studying the microbes used in different yogurts
  • Americans are WEIRD so a lot of things we think are universal truths in psychology are far from it. College graduates are also WEIRD, though the acronym doesn’t really reflect this.
  • When Walmart started their push to be greener, they didn’t advertise it to the general public. Even though they were being environmentally friendly in ways that helped their bottom line, they were concerned that broadcasting the initiative would make people doubt their every day low prices since “eco-friendly” is often seen as “expensive.”
  • We originate from two forms of early human beings: homosapiens and homo-something-that-starts-with-an-n. There happens to be a correlation between people that have larger % DNA from the latter and more severe cases of covid.
  • Thomas Jefferson had hoped that Lewis and Clarke would find big animals like lions, giant sloths, or mastadons on their expedition out West. This was in part because European naturalists at the time were claiming superiority over Americans due to the fact that European wildlife like bears were larger than their American counterparts. Ironically, while of course there were no giant sloths, lions, or mastodons, there were bears out West larger than European varieties.
  • String theory is out and entropic gravity is in.
  • Lord Byron (father of Ada Lovelace)’s wife was a well regarded painter. Unfortunately she was never admitted to the royal society because of her gender.
  • The word “like,” when used as an interjection, can mean multiple things in a sentence. Given that there are many other interjections that have fewer nay-sayers, etymologists believe that the aversion to like comes from the stigma against valley girls and the strong association between the two (gender bias strikes again!).

Some concepts that have in some way resonated with me, or given me pause/reason to think:

  • When holding conversations with people, try to ask yourself two questions: what did I learn, and how did the the other person feel?
  • Always save 10% of yourself, never fully give yourself to any moment or relationship.
  • Avoid the desire in conversations to relate others’ pain and experiences to yourself
  • You can imagine every question and answer have, in aggregate, a finite amount of space. The more space the question takes up, the less space you have for an answer. The fewer words/less space in the question, the more space available for an answer.

That’s all for now. Given that last point, what have you learned lately? Does any of the above spark interest or reactions for you?

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I'm a senior technical product manager who loves learning about systems and understanding how technical details impact users' experience.

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Leah Hurwich Adler

I'm a senior technical product manager who loves learning about systems and understanding how technical details impact users' experience.