5 min read

Today I Learned: React Lifecycle, Aggregation Theory, Decision Science, Milton Friedman, Psychedelics, and Yoga Meditation

Here is my round-up of all the things I learned today. This write-up serves 2 purposes.

  1. It allows me to share interesting links and topics that I have explored.
  2. It gives me a chance to simplify the information into a readable format.

React Lifecycle Methods

Over the last few weeks, I have been diligently studying and practicing react. For those who don't know what react is, you can think of it as a framework that uses Javascript (a computer programming language) to allow developers to create cool web applications (basically websites).

Today we learned about lifecycle methods!

The gist of this concept is that React applications have access to specific APIs (application programming interfaces) that give the developers more control over how their code should work.

There are 5 Lifecycle Methods I learned about:

  1. constructor()
  2. componentDidMount()
  3. componentDidChange()
  4. componentWillUnmount()
  5. render()

Each of these "methods" is run at different points during the "lifecycle" of the application – hence the name. For example, constructor() will get before components are created. This might happen immediately when an application is loaded for the first time.

componentDidMount() is different because it will run whenever a specific component is inserted into the DOM tree.

We follow a similar pattern for the rest of the methods. Generally speaking, you can think of these methods as a type of listener. It listens for something to happen, some condition to be met, and then it runs.

Aggregation Theory

I found out about this concept from Dan Romero!

The basic idea is this: The internet has changed how products are distributed and consumed. From what used to be a supply-side focus, companies are now focused on locking down the demand side (i.e. consumers). These companies are called "aggregators."

3 main characteristics of an aggregator:

  1. direct relationship with the user
  2. zero cost for serving users
  3. demand-driven with multiple market participants with decreasing overall CAC

An "aggregator" is a platform that aggregates users in one spot. It does so by providing the best user experience. This forces the supply-side (or people who want to get in front of consumers) to advertise, sell, and build with the aggregator.

This causes a reinforcing feedback loop. As more users come to the platform (because of the network effects), more businesses come on to sell to those users, and the excess revenue is used to improve the experience. The cycle goes on.

Aggregation theory is a convenient lens to use when thinking about internet-enabled businesses – even the ones on the cutting edge, like Opensea.

The shift from supplier to user focus has shown how much power consumers have nowadays. It also proves how having a dogged focus on user experience can be more than profitable.

Decision Science

To me, decision science is about understanding how and why people make the decisions they do. And using those insights to help them make better decisions.

I started with this video from Maya Shankar, Ph.D.

I took away 5 main ideas from this talk about important behavioural quirks we humans have and how those can be understood so that we can reach better outcomes (in the case of the video, better end-of-life care)

The Learnings

  1. People respond better when their social identities are explicitly called out and reinforced. (social identity priming)
  2. People tend to comply more often when they have a sense of autonomy or choice in whatever decision they are making. (user agency and control)
  3. People tend to like things they had a hand in making. (Ikea Effect)
  4. People's memory is not linear. They tend to remember only the most intense and the end of their experiences. (peak rule)
  5. People respond to messages differently depending on who is giving the message. (the messenger)

Other Thoughts

All of life is filled with different decisions and choice architecture. We make so many choices every day, and we rarely consider whether or not we're falling for our biases.

It is up to us to educate ourselves and learn about all these different quirks. That way, we can better understand the world around us.

Go to this site below to learn more.

The Decision Lab - Behavioral Science, Applied.
A behavioral design think tank, we apply decision science, digital innovation & lean methodologies to pressing problems in policy, business & social justice

Milton Friedman

I am no economics fiend, but Milton Friendman has some seriously cool ideas. I spent some time watching the first video of his 10-video course, which you can find below.

Some learnings:

  1. The US initially had no regulations around their markets in the past. Milton would like the era of unlimited free trade to come back.
  2. Less government involvement in markets means more individual freedom and prosperity.
  3. Markets should be the ultimate decider on what suppliers make and consumers buy.
  4. Price is king. It forces suppliers to innovate to keep their costs low and allows for competition among market participants.
  5. We want NO direction of economic activity from governments. Their role is merely enforcement.


Today I discovered a few websites that I found interesting. I am still thinking about my stance regarding these substances...

UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics
Exploring the potential of psychedelics for the betterment of all. Learn more about BCSP psychedelic research.
Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research
The Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Unit website provides information about or lab, current projects, future directions, and past achievements. Viewers can find media articles and academic publications pertaining to psychedelic research, psilocybin research, psilocybin studies, salvia research, f

The research around these molecules is fascinating. I am not sure what will happen regarding legalization, but we will see it in the short future.

Yoga Meditation

This video explains the process of meditation from a yogic perspective. It's probably the most concise and understandable resource I have seen yet!

That is all. I will continue to edit this post and add to it in the future. Still playing around with the format, so maybe things will change in the future.