Weekly I/O #12

Weekly I/O is a project where I share my learning Input/Output. Every Sunday, I write an email newsletter with five things I discovered and learned that week.

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The below is extracted from the email sent on Feb 14, 2021.

1. “I will never feel bad for things I said, but I feel bad that people get upset.”


I can’t find the exact original source but this quote should be from Dave Chappelle, one of my favorite stand-up comedians. This quote is about how he, as a stand-up comedian, think about political correctness. He won’t apologize for what he said that may offend people, but he will apologize to those who get offended.

We can always deconstruct an action into its intention behind and its impact. Nowadays political correctness seems to focus mainly on the impact (or we should say the outcome), but not on intention. Public figures apologize because people feel offended by their words regardless of the intention.

This unpopular opinion can be a little bit extreme, but I think, IDEALLY, people don’t have to apologize if they don’t have bad intentions in those cases. Yes, we should understand each other more to know what may offend some people. However, before we have the chance to understand each other more, our default reaction should be forgiveness. We should learn forgiveness first before teaching everyone why we may feel offended by something other people find innocuous.

2. Three Levels of mint-giving: How to increase tips by 23 percent?

Article: How Restaurant Servers Increased Tips by 23 Percent (Without Changing Service)

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, they describe after-dinner mint can be used to dramatically increase a waiter’s tips.

The researchers divided the diners into four groups.

The first group of diners got no mints.

The second group had the waiters including mints with the check without mentioning it. The tips grew by 3% over the no mints group.

The third group had waiters bring out two mints per person by hand separate from the check and then say, “Would anybody like some mints before they leave?” This grew tips by 14%.

The final group had waiters bring out the check along with a few more mints. A short time later the waiter comes back with more mints, letting the customers know they had brought out some more mints just in case they wanted the extras. For this group, waiters saw an increase of 23% in tips.

Why the strategy in the final groups works so well? The reasons are reciprocity, personalization, and unexpectedness. These reasons are quite self-explanatory but you can look up more details in their paper.

3. “First delight, then instruct.” — Karl Friedrich Schinkel


Karl Friedrich Schinkel, a Prussian architect, city planner, and painter, on how to teach so people learn.

4. Focus on “just-in-time” information instead of “just-in-case” information.

Book: The 4-Hour Workweek

The author Tim Ferriss adopted a low-information diet, which is about avoiding unnecessary information absorption such as news, email, and social media. Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if we will forget it before we have a chance to apply it.

He said that he used to have the habit of reading a book or site to prepare for an event weeks or months in the future, and he would then need to reread the same material when the deadline for action was closer, which is redundant.

Therefore, he thinks we should mainly follow our recent to-do list and fill in the information gaps as we go through the todos. Focus on “just-in-time” important information instead of “just-in-case” information.

5. “Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate.” — Dave Barry


Long meetings are social events.

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Cheng-Wei Hu | 胡程維

Cheng-Wei Hu | 胡程維

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