The 5 most interesting things you've learnt - Jake's choice
What are the five most interesting things you've learnt about?
One ponderous Saturday morning, Jake, intellectual pioneer and one of 42courses' co-founders, posed this question to us. I don't know why it's not one of the 36 questions to fall in love because the answer will certainly tell you a lot about a person. In fact, it's quite daunting, when you think about it - so much so that our designer and our developer still haven't answered yet.
In the meantime, however, allow me to introduce you to Jake Courage. The five most interesting things he's learnt about are:
1) Stoicism - It's not all about putting on a brave face with a stiff upper lip (although that is part of it), stoicism is really a whole ideology that says virtue, or the "good life" is achieved through knowledge, not through things like pleasure or pain, which come and go.
That's pretty much everything you need to know about Jake, but we have this lovely list, so lets continue.
2) Behavioural Economics - Unlike conventional economics, this field operates on the understanding that humans are irrational, but closely studies how and why we do make choices, and how to influence those decisions.
3) Neuroplasticity - It's amazing that scientists are genuinely planning to populate Mars in the next 10 years, and yet the human brain remains mostly a confounding mystery. Until very recently, it was widely believed that your brain power, personality, preferences and prowess was made permanent by adulthood. Enter Neuroplasticity, which says not only that you can rewire your brain over the course of your whole life, but you can change almost every aspect of yourself, right down to whether you have a positive or negative outlook.
4) Meditation - Gone are the days when meditation was the preserve of Eastern cultures. Neuroscientists in the West have caught on and found meditation to be one of the most effective methods of training your brain, enhancing your productivity, helping you sleep better, and a myriad of other benefits. Counterintuitively, this is one activity that really packs a punch.
5) How central banks and the money supply system actually work - This is really the story of how humans learnt to trust each other on a mass scale because we all believe in this mega-myth we made up - money. In fact, belief is what actually gives a dollar its value, but it's each nation's central bank that determines the money supply and therefore the interest rate, inflation rate and, the interplay of currencies. I know you might be thinking "Jake, wtf dude, is this really one of the five most interesting things you've ever learnt?" but if you watch this video, or this one, or this one, I think you might start humming along to Jake's tune.