Improving the Details - Deepstash

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One man's 10-year experiment to record every moment

Improving the Details

Lifelogging helps the process of examining the small things, the tiny changes one can make in one's life to improve the daily experience.

These small improvements may not be revolutionary, but they elevate the overall life satisfaction.

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Testing the longevity of bacteria

In 2014, scientists started a 500-year experiment to determine the longevity of bacteria.

The experiment consists of 800 glass vials containing either Chroococcidiopsis or Bacillus subtilis that has been hermetically sealed with a flame.

Similar experiments
  • Scientists have been studying how different fertilizers affect the particular crops grown in the same fields year after years since 1843.
  • Agricultural scientists have been carrying out a corn-breeding study since 1896.
  • In 1879, a botanist buried 20 glass bottles of 50 seeds to be dug up at regular intervals and tested for viability.
The long-term plan

For the 500-year experiment to succeed, scientists are supposed to test the dried bacteria for viability and DNA damage every other year for the first 24 years and then every quarter-century for the next 475.

The team left a USB stick with instructions as well as a hard copy on paper. As neither is foolproof, the team asks that researchers will at each 25-year point copy the instructions, so they remain linguistically and technologically up to date.

Holmes practices mindfulness

Mindfulness means focusing on only one problem or activity at a time.

Our brain cannot do two things at once. “What we believe is multi-tasking is really the brain switching quickly from one task to the next.” 

A study points out that those who are multi-taskers are less efficient.

Organize Your Brain Attic to remember more

The “brain attic” is Holmes’s analogy for the human mind and how we store information.  Just consuming information leads to mental clutter that gets difficult to access when you need it.

We are more likely to remember something if we connect it to a sensory experience or previous action, like writing or connecting memories to smells or sounds.

Take a brain break if you want to be more creative

Holmes plays the violin, because it takes him out of his thinking mind and places him in a purely physical state.

“Taking mental holidays can be incredibly productive for creativity", even something as simple as taking a walk in the park during your lunch break instead of eating at your desk.

Rejection is normal

It's impossible to please everyone. And rejection is a way to figure out who’s compatible with whom: getting axed from a social group gives you space to find folks that are a little more your speed. 

You’ll more likely find people who genuinely like you for you, without having to adjust your personality to someone else’s to be accepted.

It’s okay to feel pain

When we get rejected, our brains register an emotional chemical response so strong, it can physically hurt. 

We go through almost the same stages as if we were grieving (self-blame, trying to win back our rejecter because we hate being disliked, and feeling like a failure). These feelings are healthy and normal, so long as you don’t end up dwelling on them.

It’s not (totally) your fault

Rejection is personal, and it’s easy to start questioning your self-worth when someone makes it clear they don’t like you. 

But for the most part, being disliked is a matter of mutual compatibility. Keep in mind that likability has a lot to do with what you bring to someone else’s table, whether or not you realize it.