in: Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends: July 28, 2023

“More Scrolling, More Marital Problems.” There’s been a lot of talk about the detrimental effects of excessive smartphone use among teens. Well, it looks like adults aren’t immune to the issue either. Particularly married adults. A recent survey from the Institute of Family Studies found that spouses in a marriage where one or both have excessive phone use are less satisfied with their relationship and worry more about potential divorce. The distractions of phone use are linked with less frequent sex and fewer date nights, activities that usually foster happier relationships. 

Kalahari Biltong. Biltong originated in South Africa. It’s similar to beef jerky, but made by air drying a whole cut of steak rather than cooking strips of meat. It can be fattier than jerky and is marinaded with vinegar and simple spices that allow the flavor of the meat itself to shine. A lot of the biltong I’ve tried kind of tastes like prosciutto. The thing I like most about biltong is its texture. Jerky can be too dry and chewy for my liking. Biltong’s texture is nice and soft. I’ve been enjoying Kalahari biltong lately; it’s tasty.

Fredkin’s Paradox. I’ve been thinking about a tweet (or I guess it’s an X now?) that @G_S_Bhogal included in a megathread about “40 useful concepts you should know”:

The more similar two choices seem, the less the decision should matter, yet the harder it is to choose between them. As a result, we often spend the most time on the decisions that matter least.

I encounter the Fredkin’s Paradox all the time in my life. What should I pick on the menu? Where should I go on vacation? What shirt should I buy? In my podcast about decision-making with Annie Duke, her solution to the Fredkin’s Paradox is to just flip a coin. If you’d be happy with either choice but are having a hard time picking which one to go with, let heads or tails decide.

“Mirage” by Jack Baird. Inspired in part by AoM, 20-something Jack Baird is embarking on a music career and recently dropped his first single: “Mirage.” Kate and I have both been digging the retro, synth pop sound. Great for cruising in your car while the sun is setting. Good luck in the music biz, Jack!

Quote of the Week

No enjoyment, however inconsiderable, is confined to the present moment. A man is happier for life from having made once an agreeable tour, or lived for any length of time among pleasant people, or enjoyed any considerable interval of innocent pleasure.

—Sydney Smith

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