For the past few days I've been trying to find a measurable definition for "energy levels". Not in terms of physics, but in terms of "Today I just don't have the energy to work.", or "I always get so sleepy after lunch and can't get anything done".
Everyone knows their energy levels fluctuate through the day, but that's not good enough. For Why programmers work at night, I wanted to find what these mythical energy levels are exactly.
The term I was looking for was "mental energy".
Excitement abounds! After days of fussing, I finally know what to search for!
Giddily I discovered research on mental energy is alive and busy. A lot of articles published in the last few years, all of them looking very relevant to what I'm interested in.
Out of some 20 interesting articles I found, only six had free pdf's available online. And of those, only two or three were easily available.
After numerous citation pages with nothing more than an abstract posted, I have culled my list down to four really great sounding articles with the total cost of $207. **$207 for 4 articles.**
- Sensitivity to Change in Cognitive Performance and Mood Measures of Energy and Fatigue in Response to Differing Doses of Caffeine or Breakfast - \\\\$86 for 19 pages
- Cognitive methods for assessing mental energy - \\\\$48 for 14 pages
- Mental Energy - \\\\$31 for 4 pages
- The Effects of Ginseng, Ephedrine, and Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood and Energy - \\\\$42 for 4 pages
$6.5 per page on average.
\\\\$6.5 per page!
I understand these publishers have small sales volumes, but this is beyond ridiculous. Who even buys these things? Universities?
That's nice I guess. But I'm not part of a university. I'm writing the book independently and on a shoe-string budget. But I am not welcome in the ivory tower of academia.
Keep this in mind next time you complain about the poor state of scientific reporting in the media.
Outsiders are not welcome.
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️