Maker Mind

Make the most of your mind

#053 | July 23rd, 2020
Hi there! I'm Anne-Laure Le Cunff, the founder of Ness Labs. You are receiving this email because you signed up to Maker Mind, a weekly newsletter about mindful productivity. Thank you for being here. And if this email was forwarded to you, get your own ✨
Current mood: time for self-care. Artist: Sreejith P A.

Your future self.


Hi friends!

During the past few months, it felt as if living from day to day was the right thing to do. Too much uncertainty creates anxiety. But it looks like we may finally allow ourselves to think about the future again.

The future... Such a big word. Are we talking about 10 minutes from now? 10 months? 10 years? Is it about our personal goals or the future of the planet?

Turns out, you can apply much of the same principles whether you are pondering a tiny decision or making a big choice. Ultimately, each of our actions compounds and shapes the future.

This week, we will explore how you can bring your future self into the conversation when making decisions, and how to evaluate the validity and reliability of your mental models over the long term.

I also share some thoughts on GTP-3, the latest language predictor released by OpenAI, which in my opinion is impressive but nothing to be scared about.

Enjoy the read, and hit reply if you have any questions, feedback, or want to say hello!

p.s. do you have kids, or friends with kids? NASA has some cool space-related math problems for the little explorers! 🚀

Virtual meetup tomorrow. What are some high-return habits to incorporate into your life? Can we build a gym for our mind the same way we physically train our bodies? Register »

Brain food

Temporal discounting: the battle between present and future self
We tend to favour our present self at the expense of our future self. Our present self eats an extra piece of cake, skips a training session, drinks too much, stays up late, or procrastinates; our future self is left dealing with the consequences.

How to evaluate the validity and reliability of your mental models
While mental models are extremely useful to make decisions in times of uncertainty, they are still shortcuts—which can be harmful if we don’t take a step back to evaluate them.

GPT-3 and the future of human productivity
OpenAI launched the beta programme of GTP-3, the most powerful AI language model ever released to the public. Many people worry about a takeover of the entire human workforce, starting with knowledge workers. Should they?


Brain candy

How AI will rewire us (The Atlantic)
“For better and for worse, robots will alter humans’ capacity for altruism, love, and friendship.”

Being alone (Ankit Shah)
“Loneliness is usually framed around your relationships to others—community, friendship, family. But that’s not the whole picture.”

How Harvard’s star CS professor built an empire (The New Yorker)
“CS50 is one of Harvard College’s most popular courses; it’s also the only one that students can watch live, in high definition, from their dorms.”


Brain trust

A sneak peek into what's going on in the members area this week. Become a member to join in on the fun and support the newsletter!

  • Building a mental gym. Our next meetup is tomorrow! It will be all about implementing high-ROI habits, routines, and rituals into our lives. Join to share your strategies and learn from others. Register.
  • Tools for thought. We just created a new channel in the forums to discuss tools for thought. Whether you are a long-time user or just discovered a new app, you can now share your thinking stack with fellow members.
  • Community. Currently discussing “comparisonitis”, managing smartphone distraction, working in public, the writer's anxiety, and more. Join the conversation.
  • Mind Match. If you prefer 1:1 chats over group conversations, all members can fill this form to get matched with a fellow member for a virtual coffee chat.

I'm taking a proper break next week. No laptop—just great books, great food, and great naps. Which means no newsletter. See you on the other side!
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