I Made Up a Stoic Exercise

There are some electrons and photons moving around in really interesting patterns, and there’s the reaction they produce in my brain when I look at them. Maybe some sound waves. I don’t deny these things are amazing. Obviously!

In the physical world, you are constantly clashing with molecules large and small and hard and soft and brittle and strong. You run into brick walls, get punched in the face, swim in deep water, feel the breeze in your hair, and other things that are merely metaphors for larger things.

Read more "I Made Up a Stoic Exercise"

Discoverability for books is not enough — a case for better reading list tools

What’s the common thread? These are ways to help you organize the books you already know about. Whereas most book-related services only care about discoverability.

Here’s the problem with that. Any serious reader has plenty of books to last them a lifetime. Yes, it’s always good to discover new books, and there are always new books coming out that I want to know about. But in a world of information overload that pain pales in comparison to the difficulty of making sense out of the hundreds of books I have on my list.

Which of these books will I enjoy the most? Which are most relevant to me right now? Which are highly regarded by the people I respect? There are no easy answers to these questions. But existing offerings don’t even try.

Read more "Discoverability for books is not enough — a case for better reading list tools"

In 5 years, you’ll be wrong

We learn that a habit takes on average 66 days to form, that competence is a powerful intrinsic motivator, that people who have more 2-hour dinners with friends live longer, that adding “because” to an e-mail request makes it doubly likely to be granted, and that the most passionate employees are not those who “followed their passion” into a position but instead those who stuck around long enough to get good at what they do.

Read more "In 5 years, you’ll be wrong"