Updating the tree of life


Reminds me of the phenomenon that we don’t know what we don’t know, and don’t realize when we’re operating from outdated information we learned in school. (Is Pluto or is Pluto not a planet now, I can’t keep track 😂) Related to the shifting baseline of long scale observable changes.

I’m still not fully convinced viruses don’t belong on the tree of life — they feel like parasitic life. There are life forms that steal all their energy from other organisms and that rely on other species to reproduce. They contain genetic information, they have a reproductive method. Why can’t life be extra-cellular?



Bookmarked Warning: Your reality is out of date – The Boston Globe (

Mesofacts are the facts that change neither too quickly nor too slowly

Reminds me of the ecological phenomenon of shifting baselines (e.g. we killed the salmon slowly enough we don’t notice a huge change in our own lifetimes but the change in three lifetimes is massive).

These are tricky because you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know your facts need updating.

Same thing happens in my work: people remember the first way they learned to recycle. People will never let go of recycling by number even though we haven’t done that in over a decade – it’s intuitive and memorable – which makes it all the more important to work upstream and simply get rid of the numbers on plastic packaging, to cue a change in the facts.

Getting Shit Done

Fail Small, Not Big


“Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking, “I’ll get back on track tomorrow,” try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter.

Fail small, not big.”

— Gretchen Rubin

Via James Clear.