Fun with Kids Classes & Numbers, Monetary & Identity Deflation and Types of Meditation

Your weekly 5 things from the mind of Miles Lasater

Happy Saturday! Here are your 5 things from the mind of Miles for this week.

  1. 3D Printer and Synbio Class. I enjoyed the kids in a virtual class on 3d printing. Bemaker curates the printer and supplies and provides instruction, curriculum and mentorship. I’ve enjoyed starting with the construction of the machine, but the kids are impatient to start printing things. I’m doing the class for the kids - really! Also, I’m wondering if anyone knows of a good DIYBio or synbio activity or virtual class for elementary school age kids? Like iGEM but for younger students? Is miniPCR good?

  2. Inflation and Deflation. I’ve shared some arguments that inflation is a risk. On the deflation side, I read Price of Tomorrow which was a quick read (not sure if worth it?). It is good to understand in more detail the argument when economists say that “technology is deflationary”. The book covers territory you’ve likely heard about energy getting cheaper plus self driving cars, ecommerce and AI, VR and AR all driving towards lower cost models of getting our needs met. He argues that governments and central banks are pushing for inflation as that is the model we know. And it is somewhat working in holding back deflationary forces of technology. The book offers another reminder that we are taking an increasing amount of credit in the system to generate the same amount of economic growth. Pondering if the full argument holds together.

  3. Emily Oster. As you probably know, I’m a fan of using numbers to communicate about and think about risks. Even for potentially emotional subjects like kids or family, I think numbers have a place. That is why I have always appreciated Prof Oster’s work. If you haven’t read her newsletter on parenting, books on parenting or website on covid, go for it. 

  4. Types of Meditation. I got a bit bogged down in Loch Kelly’s book The Way of Effortless Mindfulness but really enjoyed hearing an interview with him on the Knowledge Project podcast. He reminds us that most people try to change their thoughts rather than changing the way they use their minds. (Content vs. context.)  He also elaborates on 5 levels or types of meditation (at ~min 57). Most mindfulness meditation programs stop at Level 2. He advocates that we can learn and teach these without a decade in the monastery.

  5. A Smaller Identity. One theory is that “The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you.” Fair enough. I also focus on the happiness effect. The smaller your identity the happier you will be. My wife correctly pointed out that this may be part of my identity :-) For me it is similar to having a growth mindset not just about skills but also about preferences. Like how I learned to love running and even… wait for it... occasionally chocolate.

Until next week,

Miles