#48 - Brian Christian on better living through the wisdom of computer science
Optimal shopping. Multi-armed bandit. Really great parallels between CS and life. Will be picking up the book.
Dissect Season 2: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
MBDTF: rightfully considered one of the greatest hip hop albums ever, even more so when put into context.
Teaching Tech Together
Learn by constructing mental models where you can put the facts related to the domain
The Dream Machine
How the modern computer came to be, courtesy of the visionary JCR Licklider. Incredible. None of this was an accident.
Peter Attia, M.D. -- How to Live a Longer, Higher Quality Life
Great actionable advice on health. Will definitely try and read more of Attia's work.
Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide
Thoroughly-cited and comprehensive baselines for health. Recommend to everyone.
Augmenting Long-term Memory
The paper that got me into Anki and spaced repetition. Has 10x'd my studying efficiency and retention.
Dissect Season 1: To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
Incredibly detailed analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly. Incredible music with a purpose
Putting Mental Models to Practice
Get the most out of using mental models by applying them deliberately.
#1212 - David Goggins
Crazy dedication coming from a very rough childhood. Listening to him will make you want to run through a wall.
The Psychology of Money
Really really good blog post about fallacies people commit with money and in life
355. Where Does Creativity Come From (and Why Do Schools Kill It Off)?
Creativity stems from early-life circumstances. How can these circumstances be replicated?
Lost and Founder
Extremely transparent and valuable perspective of a 15-year startup CEO who has been through it all.
How to Read Self Help
Treat self-help as craft. Only listen to practitioners. Test everything.
The Playlist of Awesome: Putting Perceptual Exposure to Practice
How to use perceptual exposure to improve your subconscious processing.
Where Jonathan Haidt things the American mind went wrong
What's wrong with safe spaces and how they're hurting more than they're helping this generation
285. There's a War on Sugar. Is it Justified?
Sugar is addictive and toxic. People generally support some type of regulation, but not an outright ban.
A Nuanced Take on Preventing Burnout
Don't get burnt out. It's not worth it. Scientific literature suggests how.
The Mental Model Fallacy
The mental model fallacy is that it’s worth it to read descriptions of mental models, written and aggregated by non-practitioners, in the pursuit of self-improvement and success.
#1189 - Alex Honnold
Alex Honnold is a big wall free solo climber. Good insight into the mind of someone who is crazy but also rational.
354. How to Be Creative
We need more field experience and tests on creativity to really get to the root of it.
Don't Take Generic Business Advice From VCs
VC's incentives are not the same as entrepreneurs', don't delude yourself into thinking that they are.
Chinese Businessmen: Superstition Doesn't Count
Chinese businessmen are superstitious yet still successful because maybe 'rationality' isn't all that.
Half memoir, half writing advice from one of the great modern fiction writers.
Rant/description of how some 'pop-psychology' results have been warped from the original studies. Some is a stretch, some is legitimate.
The Gambler Who Cracked the Horse-Racing Code
Incredible story about the sharks of horse betting
Show Your Work!
If you want people to see your work you have to put it in places where they can find it.
How Do We Learn? A Zine
ncase always publishes great stuff. We learn by making deep connections!
Mel Gibson and Dr. Neil Riordan
Discussion of mesenchymal stem cells and their incredible results. Only legal in Panama right now.
Surprising Implications of Treating Self-Help as Art
Developing technique in the wild is better than reading self-help.
#471: Using Mental Models to Make Better Decisions
Argument for using mental models to improve thought processes
How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Will Make You a Better Man
Gracie family member on the origins and modern usages of BJJ.
Annie Duke | How to Make Decisions Like a Poker Champ
Annie Duke (have heard her on other podcasts and have her book on my reading list) discusses the relative roles of decision quality and luck in producing life's outcomes.
353. How to Optimize Your Apology
Considerations when apologizing: don't wait, don't give context, apologize for actions not misunderstandings, identify your victim, express remorse, provide restitution.
Relatable and thought-provoking conversation about the true value of college today.
306 - Breaking Bad News
SPIKES system for breaking bad news: Setting Perception Invitiation Knowledge Emotions Strategy
Killing Your $1000 Grocery Bill
Price-consciousness when it comes to food is all about $/calorie
Will Storr on why you are not yourself
Nothing we own today is ours. This is sobering, but we can fix it.
The Inner Game of Tennis
Great insight into overcoming mental hurdles to perform better both in pressure and non-pressure situations. Your brain should be an asset not a liability. Good stuff.
#1022 - Eric Weinstein
Managing director at Thiel Capital. Really smart, wide-ranging discussion.
CRISPR/CAS9 gene editing is equal parts exciting and terrifying.
#387: Think Like a Poker Player to Make Better Decisions
Trust The Process. Poker-sourced advice is pretty similar to DFS.
#405: The Power of Team Captains
On the importance and misconceptions surrounding team captains in sports, and how the principles can be applied to the rest of life.
The Friendship Cure
5 great friends > many shallow ones
52: Cal Fussman | How To Ask Big Questions for Big Answers
Cal Fussman is a really good writer and interviewer. Good insight into his processes.
How to negotiate the long, slow, SaaS Ramp of Death
Interview covering the lifecycle, pitfalls, and possible solutions of starting and running a SaaS business
You 2.0: When Did Marriage Become So Hard?
Changing perspectives on long-term relationships have changed the nature of marriage.
The Bitter Regrets of a Useless Chinese Daughter
Bitingly relatable narrative on the experience of an Asian American
Here's Why All Your Projects Are Always Late--And What to Do About It
Projects, especially big ones, are always late. This is due to optimism bias, coordination neglect, the planning fallacy, and (in the case of government) planners not being around for consequences.
#382: The Secrets of Greater Endurance
Endurance is much much more elastic than you might think. It's also trainable!
#1213 - Dr. Andrew Weil
Combining 'scientific' and 'holistic' medicine. Interesting perspective.
The Chinese Businessman Paradox
The success of Chinese businessmen under 'poor' business practices should make us question accepted Western wisdom.
Chinese Businessmen: Maybe Strategy Matters
Strategy might matter for growing massive, but it is less important at small scales.
Coolest Things I Learned in 2018
Assorted snippets from the author of Monday Musings
The Lazarus Drug
Narcan and Naloxone have saved thousands of lives, but they might actually encourage dangerous drug use.
How to Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes or Less
Bud Winter designed a program in WWII to help fighter pilots sleep whenever, wherever. Relax physically then relax mentally.
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
Accounting of the partnership between Amos Tversky and Danny Kahnemanm, interwoven with their greatest hits both individually and as a pair. Equal parts informative, interesting, personal.
Keith Rabois - If You Can't Sell Them, Compete With Them
Mental models from an investor who has held senior positions at big companies.
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
How to drive behavior change: Direct the rider. Motivate the Elephant. Shape the path.
#377: 12 Rules for Life with Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson speaks more on his worldview and new book.
#1070 - Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson, champion of many people against 'neo-liberal' ideas, is quite persuasive and an engaging speaker.
The Surrender Experiment
A memoir about finding enlightenment through Buddhist meditation, and how that brought fortune to the other areas in the author's life. Well-told, but I wasn't able to fully get past my initial skepticism.
Memoir of a female plant biologist from Minnesota with a one-track mind for science. No BS.
The Backfire Effect - Part Four
The Backfire Effect has been memed beyond recognizability from its conception. Clears the air about what exactly it is and where exactly is has been and cannot be observed.
126: Matthew Walker | Unlocking the Power of Sleep
Really smart woman who took a pretty unconventional path of running underground poker games, lost it all, and has come back strong.
David Deutsch on the infinite reach of knowledge
Futurist and optimist. Humans are significant because we have knowledge.
Draft No. 4
Master-class on long-form nonfiction writing (books, newspaper articles), with personal narrative interspersed. Not super applicable to me (editors, publishers, etc.) but extremely well-written and engaging nontheless.
How Exercise May Help the Memory Grow Stronger
Exercise -> stronger synapses -> stronger memory, stronger brain actions
Quitting my job has been the best thing I've done for my career
Interesting account from a software developer who quit his job and how it helped his life.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Adapts the story of Harry Potter by attempting to explain wizardry through the scientific method. I don't think I was smart enough to read this.
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
A case for the five parts of learning and thinking critically: deep understanding, failure, questions, the flow of idea, and change. Plus a helpful mnemonic!
Is the FIRE Movement a Good Idea?
You need money so you don't have to worry about day-to-day living, but you may not want to actually retire early.
The Bad Show
Are bad and good black and white? How do you evaluate the gray area?
#434: Legendary Coach John Wooden's Secrets of Leadership
Takeaways from one of the most accomplished coaches ever.
How to Study: A Brief Guide
Summary of study tips from Philosophy + Computer Science professor at University of Buffalo
Google AI Chief Jeff Dean's ML System Architecture Blueprint
Lifestyle business, a counterpoint to VC-backed businesses.
337. How to Build a Smart City
City-scale growth and management is extremely intricate and difficult.
335. Does Doing Good Give You License to Be Bad?
It's inconclusive which way the seesaw of Corporate Social Responsibiliy vs. moral licensing tips.
Advice For First Time Founders
Answers from YC founders about three big startup questions
The Defining Decade
Mostly anecdotes and stories about how the 20s are high-stakes but not treated appropriately by people going through them. Entertaining read, not much actionable. Wish there was more data. Good reminders to get my ass into gear.
How to Kick Ass, With Mel Robbins
Life hacks and advice from author Mel Robbins.
Feedback Friday | How to Charge What You're Worth
Not much to see, just one resource and one nugget.
5 Psychology Terms You're Probably Misusing
Bystander apathy, hardwired brain, statistically reliable, personality type, and steep learning curve are all commonly misused.
#402: Why Honor Matters
What is honor? It still has a place as a part of civilization.
Nepotism: When Hiring the Best Just Won't Do
Nepotism is the practice of hiring family members who might not be qualified for the job. It has a long and checkered history.
Suze Orman: From Waitress to Personal Finance Wizard
Suze Orman is another example of stubbornness and hustle helping someone break into an industry.
Will Storr | Avoiding Self-Obsession in the Age of the Selfie
Don't compare yourself with other people. Evaluate against your own inner barometer.
Duana Welch | The Science of Jealousy and How to Manage It
Jealousy is rooted deeply into our psychology but there are ways to carve out the bad parts and leave the good.
#391: Micronutrients, Genetics, and Preventing Age-Related Diseases
Micronutrients are essential for health. Magnesium, folate, etc. Also goes into intermittent fasting.
How a background in improv and comedy prepared Dick Costolo to be a CEO in Silicon Valley
#388: Why Group Culture Is So Important to Success
Leaders create strong cultures by providing vision, purpose, and connection, freeing members to engage in "deep fun"
#384: What It Really Means to Be Self-Reliant
Self-reliance is maintaining sovereignty over oneself in a connected civilized world.
#380: How to Be Braver
What bravery really is and how to apply it.
Career Moats 101
Summary page of CommonCog's first year of writing on Career moats
Muscle Over Motor
Manual labor > electric labor for the able-bodied. Also need to consider opportunity cost of time
Thoughts on starting for the first time and starting over.
Why Are We Still Teaching Reading the Wrong Way?
Reading should be taught methodically beginning with phonics, not by putting books in front of kids and telling them to read.
Nina Jacobson: How to Make a Hit in Hollywood
Big failures can be handled by pushing forward and believing in your core values.
120: Molly Bloom | The One Who Makes the Rules Wins the Game
Really smart woman who took a pretty unconventional path of running underground poker games, lost it all, and has come back strong.
Collection of thoughts and questions about dealing with people.
SYSK Selects: How Grief Works
Grief isn't as easily described ('5 stages') or widespread as you might think
The Wisdom of No Escape
Series of Buddhist-centric talks about life given by Pema Chodron. Generally too hand-wavy for me but good reminders of how to behave and live. Not heavily religious.
The Social Skills Guidebook
Mostly common sense advice on how to navigate social situations. Honestly reassured me about my own social skills more than anything else.
Why Being a Perfectionist is An Obstacle (And How to Beat It)
You're a work in progress that will never be perfect. Accept that and keep getting better.
Ryan Michler | Why Man Is His Own Worst Enemy
Title misleading. Just a chat about processes that help you maintain sanity