Did I research all this just to check if I'm crazy because it affects my focus?
I'm not saying I did. I'm not saying I didn't.
Thing 1 - Secret destroyer of productivity
It's noise. 🎧
I'll explain - and show you the receipts!
Increasing the noise by 10 dB
- reduces productivity by ~5%
- impairs cognitive function,
- but does not impair effort (!).
It finds that people don't realize how noise affects their work and thinking.
So they are also not willing to pay more money to work in a quiet place.
What's 10 dB anyway?
10 dB is a very faint sound level that many people can't hear.
But the dB scale is logarithmic so here are some other examples to paint a better picture.
10 dB - normal breathing, a pin dropping
20 dB - leaves rustling, whispering from 5 ft away
30 dB - whispering nearby, a quiet rural area
40 dB - a babbling brook, a quiet library
50 dB - light traffic, a refrigerator
60 dB - normal conversation, an electric toothbrush
70 dB - a shower, a dishwasher
80 dB - an alarm clock, garbage disposal
For every step to the next level, you lose an additional 5% of productivity, even if you put the same effort in.
You might wanna get some noise-cancellation headphones. 🎧
Thing 2 - The Possible Dark Side of AI?
Some quotes from Sam Altman (OpenAI CEO) to keep you up at night:
What I lose the most sleep over is the hypothetical idea that we already have done something really bad by launching ChatGPT. That maybe there was something hard and complicated in there that we didn’t understand and have now already kicked it off.
When we develop superintelligence, we’re likely to make some decisions that public market investors would view very strangely.
An A.I. that could design novel biological pathogens. An A.I. that could hack into computer systems. I think these are all scary.
I’m particularly worried that these models could be used for large-scale disinformation. Now that they’re getting better at writing computer code, they could be used for offensive cyberattacks.
The current worries that I have are that there are going to be disinformation problems or economic shocks, or something else at a level far beyond anything we’re prepared for, and that doesn’t require superintelligence.
Let's stop at this for now.
He's also said a bunch of super positive and hopeful things, like...
I think the world will get way wealthier, we’ll have a productivity boom and we will find a lot of new things to do.
Thing 3 - Passion vs values
Following your passion is a luxury. Following your values is a necessity.
Passion is a fickle magnet: it pulls you toward your current interests. Values are a steady compass: they point you toward a future purpose.
Passion brings immediate joy. Values provide lasting meaning.
- Adam Grant
Can values also bring you closer to living your passion?