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Week 2023#07: empirical knowledge
Knowledge gained through personal experience appears to be the most valuable
Among the birds, only pigeons and a few other species produce their own kind of milk.
I thought only mammals produce milk until I found this in a newspaper at the office.
“Linnupiim” (“Bird’s milk”) is a popular type of sweet sold in Poland and the Baltics.
I’ll never look at these sweets the same way again.
What I’ve learned
Do things and acquire knowledge through experience, rather than researching much upfront
While still in Germany, I was researching for multiple hours how exactly to resolve the circular dependency between Germany and Estonia when applying for citizenship.
In the end, hours of research did not yield an answer.
On Saturday I wrote two emails: one to the German embassy in Tallinn, trying to apply for a “release from German citizenship”. Another to the Estonian Police, asking for a document I need for that application.
On Monday, the answers to both of these emails told me exactly what I needed to know: “just apply for Estonian citizenship, you’ll get the necessary documents as part of the process and can then request what you need from the German embassy”.
The total amount of time spent on “just trying to apply”: around 15 minutes.
The total amount of time spent on “researching how to apply correctly”: around 4 hours, including multiple phone calls.
Researching has its place, as it helps you make better sense of things you have already experienced.
If you run a business and already had a few interactions with clients, then it makes sense to research how to improve future interactions.
But starting to research how to improve business interactions when you haven’t had a single one yet is…very time-consuming and appears to bring little benefit.
I know this is not a particularly deep insight, and certainly not an original one.
However, some things need to be experienced in order to comprehend and internalize them.
This experience of interacting with two states’ bureaucracies certainly has helped with internalizing and reinforcing a “just do it and see what happens” mindset.
Expectations vs Reality
The garage at Kotzebue 26 will be in good enough shape to rent it out (the floor has been redone): maybe! Taavi, the builder, is doing excellent work and went the extra mile to identify and fix the root cause of any extra moisture in the garage. We’ll see the result on Tuesday!
The next “Decode Estonian” workshop will be a success: yes! The group had really good energy, I could sense the lightbulbs appearing over people’s heads! Feedback was also great. Looking forward to running the next workshop!
I have clarity about how to proceed with “Talking To Strangers” in light of that project not really getting traction while the language classes do: yes! The clarity expressed itself in the form of killing the project. My mentor at the Incubator was not surprised. This kind of business needs a bigger time investment than I am willing to make while simultaneously working at Bolt.
Highlights of last week:
“Talking To Strangers” is not operational anymore,
At a birthday party on Saturday, I met another person who is taking a highly volatile future into account when making decisions in the present. Feels good to not be alone with this!
Bumping randomly into 7+ friends in and around Telliskivi on Saturday made me feel like I am very much a city person because these spontaneous social interactions were really fulfilling because they weren’t planned.