Timeline.

Thoughts about what I've come across.
  • Sacred & Profane

    19 October 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Matt Taibbi about the state journalism and the polarization of our politics. They discuss the controversy over Steve Bannon at the New Yorker Festival, monetizing the Trump phenomenon, the Jamal Kashoggi murder, the Kavanaugh hearing, the Rolling Stone reporting on the UVA rape case, the viability of a political center, the 2020 Presidential election, the Russia investigation, our vanishing attention span, and other topics.

    Listen to the episode

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    18 October 2018

     

         

    I finally took the time to listen to this (surprisingly short) classic of a book. The story is very well written and amazingly timeless (it's from 1865). There are many references to this book and it was nice listening to the original.

    "It tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children.[2] It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre.[2][3] Its narrative course, structure, characters, and imagery have been enormously influential[3] in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre."

  • Exit Strategy

    17 October 2018

     

         

    This is the final installment of the murderbot diaries. It brings back the story to the beginning and involves more murdering and feelings, many feelings that Murderbot didn't want to feel.

  • It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

    11 October 2018

     

         

    Why not 5 stars you may ask, aren't you a fan of the Basecamp guys? Yes I am, and that is the main problem. Most of what is in the book is already said on their blog or in Rework already.

    But nonetheless it's a great reminder of how to run a calm company. A company that doesn't induce stress, one that grows slowly (or not at all), one that is profitable, one that is a great place to work. In my review I will take a second swing at the book (this time I listened to it as an audiobook) and get some more detailed notes down.

    Read the full review (TBD)

  • method: Adam Lowry & Eric Ryan

    10 October 2018

      

    How I Built This

    In the late 1990s, Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan took on the notion that "green doesn't clean" by setting out to make soap that could clean a bathtub without harming the environment. Adam started experimenting with baking soda, vinegar, and scented oils, while Eric worked on making sleek bottles that looked good on a kitchen counter. Just a few years later, Adam and Eric were selling Method cleaning products in stores throughout the country, after a bold gamble got them on the shelves of Target.

    For one reason or the other, this episode inspired me less than others. Maybe because of the business approach (emptying credit cards) or maybe because I didn't feel what problem they were solving. They did bring more people into buying green, so that is good.

    Listen to the episode

  • AI alignment problem

    07 October 2018

      

    80000 hours

    This episode takes a deep (like 3 hours long) dive into AI and how we can make sure that we make AI that won't kill us (through competence, not perse malice). Here are some things I learned:

    • Paul believes in a relatively slow takeoff of AI, but that already 'dumb' AI (i.e. machine/reinforcement learning) will have widespread impacts.
    • One of the things he mentions here is that you only need 'reptile' intelligence for many tasks. We humans are very smart and smart because we can do diverse things. But arranging an energy grid, playing chess, etc are things a very specialised AI can already do. Many jobs, or parts of jobs, will soon be done cheaper by AI systems.
    • Listening to the podcast made me a bit more positive about the possibility of developing AI in a beneficial way. Paul proposes practical experiments that are being done and can be done in the future. We still have lots of work to do, but it looks like he knows what the concrete problems/experiments are for the coming years.

    Listen to the episode

  • Moneyland

    07 October 2018

      

    Planet Money

    I thoroughly enjoy listening to Planet Money and this episode was no exception. Much of the money (8% or more) is hidden away from the rest of the world. Untaxed, unaccountable. In this story a short look inside the black box.

    Listen to the episode

  • Can This Man Stop a Trade War?

    06 October 2018

      

    Freakonomics

    Stephen Dubner has been able to get quite some big names on his podcast. And today he speaks to no other than the WTO president.

    Although nothing much revolutionary was said I learned a bit more about what the WTO does and I'm glad to know that it's still functioning. Tarifs are really strange things and cooperation seems, to me, to be the key to getting ahead. And discourse, and being open to criticism.

    Listen to the episode

  • Samin Nosrat - Master Creative, Master Teacher

    06 October 2018

      

    Tim Ferriss

    Samin Nosrat is a writer, chef, and teacher who is masterful at turning complexity into simplicity. Her first book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, is a New York Times bestseller. Samin has been called “The next Julia Child” by NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and she has been cooking professionally since 2000.

    This episode is about much more than cooking. It’s about the creative process, creative highs and lows (and how to push through those lows), rejection, vulnerability, and much more.

    Listen to the episode

  • Nuclear Doomsday Machines

    06 October 2018

      

    80000 hours

    We are on the Titanic, going at full speed on a moonless night into iceberg waters. Have we hit the iceberg yet, and made it inevitable that we will go down? We don’t know. …. there’s no way to prove it. It is definitely not a waste for some of us to keep trying to explore to see if there’s a way out.
    - Daniel Ellsberg

    Wow, what an episode. As many others, Daniel states that we're still at high risk of a nuclear war. One new thing I learned was that the amount of warheads is magnitudes too high and that the military industrial complex might be responsible for this (by bad economic/business incentives). Let's hope we won't blow ourselves up anytime soon.

    Listen to the episode

  • Ethics of Infinity

    05 October 2018

      

    80000 hours

    Always be clear in your communication. Many people aren't and that leads to two interpretations of what you've said. One that is charitable by your followers who see in it what they want. And the other negatively by the outgroup. This can only lead to more division.

    The podcast goes further to discuss infinite ethics which was interesting but seems less practical to me than other topics discussed in the 80000 hours podcasts.

    Listen to the episode

  • Ethics of Infinity

    05 October 2018

      

    The Knowledge Project

    Atul Gawande teaches once again that very simple processes can be the key to ding great things. I loved his books and I encourage you to read The Checklist Manifesto and Being Mortal.

    Atul Gawande is one of the most impressive individuals I’ve had the pleasure to interview. He’s one of the world’s top surgeons, a researcher, a prolific writer at The New Yorker, a multiple time best-selling author, and a husband and father to boot.

    Listen to the episode

  • Sacred & Profane

    05 October 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris gets together with Bill Maher and Larry Charles to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their film “Religulous.” They discuss religion, politics, comedy, and other dangerous topics.

    One interesting thing about the documentary is that it's still relevant today. Try making one about bitcoin now and see how relevant it stays. Or one about jumpstyle some years back. Religion is quite ridiculous and opinions are only slowly changing (we of course want/need religion for the conform that it brings, but in my opinion it isn't helping much in bringing us closer and towards more knowledge).

    Listen to the episode

  • The Trust Battery

    04 October 2018

      

    The Knowledge Project

    Shane interviews the founder and CEO of Shopify, Tobi Lütke. Shopify is the largest ecommerce platform that allows people to easily set up online storefronts to sell everything from jewelry to surfing lessons.

    Some lessons from the episode are:

    • Tobi believes that games have thought him much about running a company. That there is transfer learning between games like Factorio and planning resources for your company.
    • Much of the advice about building a start-up company is about primary markets. Places where employees leave after 1 or 2 years. Tobi argues that in secondary markets, you build for the long term. Thus you can also invest more in the person (vs the skills) and in their training.
    • There are three kinds of processes. There’s a kind of process that makes things that were previously impossible to do, possible. That’s good. Then there’s a kind of process that makes something that was previously possible significantly simpler, which is also good. And then there’s everything else. I bet you 99.9% of all process that exists in corporate America is the third category, which is actually just telling people to behave slightly different from what common sense tells them to do.
    • The Trust Battery. You see the trust between you and people (colleagues for instance) as a battery. When someone joins the company the battery is already half full (they were selected etc). And over time if they prove themselves the battery goes up to 90%. At this moment you check less work and know you can rely om them more and more. Of course it also works the other way around. Great metaphore.
    • The Trust Battery. You see the trust between you and people (colleagues for instance) as a battery. When someone joins the company the battery is already half full (they were selected etc). And over time if they prove themselves the battery goes up to 90%. At this moment you check less work and know you can rely om them more and more. Of course it also works the other way around. Great metaphore.

    Listen to the episode

  • How To Keep it Simple While Scaling Big

    03 October 2018

      

    Masters of Scale

    Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom knows: You can scale big with a simple idea (and a tiny team!) — but only if you catch the prevailing winds. The simple photo app tapped the right trends and dodged needless complexities. The result? 30M users in 18 months (and 1B today). Plus, a $1B sale of a 13-person company.

    What are you doing better than anyone else? What can you focus on? I've heard the story of Instagram before and if I had to pick one word it should be FOCUS. Or again (see a few podcasts below), you do you!

    Listen to the episode

  • How To Build Trust Fast

    02 October 2018

      

    Masters of Scale

    When Daniel Ek founded Spotify, he did what no disruptor had done before: He worked WITH the industry he was trying to reinvent. By hacking shortcuts to trust with all his constituencies (users included), Ek built long-term relationships – and a 140M-user strong music-streaming platform.

    Next to the ideas about trust, another one I picked up (and also heard mention before on the Knowledge Project) is that you can make something that is competing with free. Spotify was better, more user friendly, better equiped to help you listen to music than Napster and the like. And that is what makes people pay for it each month. Maybe the same can be said about Starbucks vs coffee at the office. It does coffee (and 3rd living space) much better than your experience at the office.

    Listen to the episode

  • Bobbi Brown Cosmetics: Bobbi Brown

    01 October 2018

      

    How I Built This

    Bobbi Brown started out as a makeup artist in New York City, but hated the gaudy color palette of the 1980s. She eventually shook up the industry by introducing "nude makeup" with neutral colors and a natural tone. In 1995, Estée Lauder acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Bobbi remained there for 22 years, until she realized the brand was no longer the one she had built.

    Another great woman who has built a mega brand (of course not one I knew of before listening to the episode). The one lesson I take away is to do your own thing, be unique, be different, and be outstanding. Bobbi's thing was "nude makeup", it may sound boring but it had an audience, a market, an appeal. What is mine? What is yours?

    Listen to the episode

  • Cisco Systems & Urban Decay: Sandy Lerner

    30 September 2018

      

    How I Built This

    In the pre-Internet 1970's, Sandy Lerner was part of a loosely-knit group of programmers that was trying to get computers to talk to each other. Eventually, she and Len Bosack launched Cisco Systems, making the routing technology that helped forge the plumbing of the Internet. But when things turned sour at the company, she was forced to leave, giving her the chance to start something entirely new: an edgy line of cosmetics called Urban Decay.

    A great episode with a very driven entrepreneur. It's about building something because she wanted to improve the world and the rest came. It is also about her struggle with the VC and about on the one hand not giving in, and also knowing when to let go.

    Listen to the episode

  • How to Invest with Clear Thinking

    29 September 2018

      

    Tim Ferriss

    Howard Marks is co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment firm with more than $120 billion in assets. He is the author of the new book Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side, and his previous book on investing, The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, was a critically acclaimed bestseller.

    There is a lot of wisdom about systems thinking in this episode. Some shoutouts to Thinking: Fast and Slow and overall good advice. Howard is a value investor, yet his advise can be read more broadly. He also thinks that we are on the last sprint of this economic cycle and I wonder what will happen when it breaks (I give it a max of 2 years).

    Listen to the episode

  • Here's Why You're Not an Elite Athlete

    28 September 2018

      

    Freakonomics

    There are a lot of factors that go into greatness, many of which are not obvious. A variety of Olympic and professional athletes tell us how they made it and what they sacrificed to get there. And if you can identify the sport most likely to get a kid into a top college — well then, touché!

    There is a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into becoming great at a sport. What I found interesting is that here, more than in other fields, you also need some talent. And talent can be your length, the way your muscle fibres are structured, etc. And that money can be a limiting factor in how you will express that talent. If your parents can't drive you to a game somewhere in another state, you will have less practice than another kid. Ps. Fencing is the sport of choice if you want to have the highest chance of sports scholarship success.

    Listen to the episode

  • The Edge of Humanity

    27 September 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about his new book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. They discuss the importance of meditation for his intellectual life, the primacy of stories, the need to revise our fundamental assumptions about human civilization, the threats to liberal democracy, a world without work, universal basic income, the virtues of nationalism, the implications of AI and automation, and other topics.

    The new/interesting thing I took away from this conversation is that Harari sees nationalism as a good construct. He argues that in the first time in history we can fight/die/serve a country. Before you served your family, your tribe, and no one more. He argues that the step from village to country is larger than from country to humanity. I hop he is true and that concepts like effective altruism are successful.

    Read my reviews of Sapiens and Homo Deus (TBD?)

    Listen to the episode

  • Safe Space

    26 September 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    Sam and Jonathan Haidt discuss the hostility to free speech that has grown more common among young adults, recent moral panics on campus, the role of intentions in ethical life, the economy of prestige in “call out” culture, how we should define bigotry, systemic racism, the paradox of progress, and other topics.

    What worries me most is the tribalism and how many people are afraid of the world. They don't want to be exposed to other ideas because they are afraid what it will do to them. And although the fear is understandable, the non-tolerance for free speech is unbelievable and in my opinion very much destructive.

    Listen to the episode

  • The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan

    26 September 2018

     

         

    I've liked the Robert Langdon series for quite some years now. This book is no exception. It is a puzzle story and Robert finds himself in the middle of the action again.

    What I liked even more is that it examines some great themes that I've been thinking about. These include religions, AI, the orgin of life, our future. I won't spoil much more here, but go read it.

    Read the full review

  • The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan

    18 September 2018

     

         

    How does or food system work? And how can we make better choices of we're more informed about what we eat. These are some of the questions Michael Pollan answers in this very well written book.

    Go on a journey of three different meals and prepare to learn a lot.

    Read the full review

  • Life 3.0 - Max Tegmark

    17 September 2018

     

         

    Where will AI technology go? How can we develop it in a beneficial way? And what is all that can go wrong?

    These are just some of the questions in Life 3.0. Tegmark shows of his deep knowledge of his field and excites the reader with both his realism and optimism for our future.

    Read the full review

  • All Systems Red // Artificial Condition // Rogue Protocol

    09 September 2018

     

         

    Over the last few weeks I've been listening to the first three installments of the Murderbot Diaries. They all are novellas of around 150 pages and are fun and entertaining. You follow along with a SecUnit which has become consciousness (it hacked it's governing module). You watch some series together, make friends with ART, and do some murdering (to protect humans of course).

    Visit Martha Wells' website to see if there are more installments!

  • Who Needs Consciousness?

    09 September 2018

      

    Article

    I was forward this article by a friend of mine a while back. And yesterday I finally read it. It was insightful and here are my notes/summary of the article

    • Consciousness is a Darwinian adaptation and evolved by natural selection
    • It gave some advantage by having a subjective experience instead of going through the motions
    • Explanations are about long-term thinking (e.g. hunting), or social environments
    • There are six pitfalls Dawkins warns about
    1. Definitions and the tyranny of language
      • Cognition: Process of perceiving, processing, and storing information
      • *E.g. the response of plants to light
      • Consciousness: Immediate awareness of thought, memory or sensation
      • There isn't necessary connection between cognition and consciousness
      • Animal welfare: psychological health (emotions), physical health (body)
      • * We cross a shaky bridge (metaphore) when going from scientific data (physical) to what we think animals experience (psychological)
    2. Thinking that there is only one 'argument from analogy'
      • There are many ways to cross the bridge
      • Some see the way animals express pain (physiological) as analogus to how we do it and infer that they experience (psychological) it the same way, but others might not be convinced by those arguments
      • Some thinking physiological expressions are important, others cognitive abilities, others the similarities in brain structures, or language
      • This might have to do with 3 different levels of consciousness you can be describing
        1. Phenomenal consciousness: experience of seeing, hearing, feeling pain, etc.
        2. Access consciousness: experience of thinking about or reporting a mental state in present or past (memory)
        3. Monitoring and self-consciousness: experience of thinking about one's own actions and their effect and if necessary modifying them
      • For different levels, you might need/want different bridges (e.g. for the latter two you would maybe need language)
    3. Assuming that 'choice' and 'preference' imply consciousness
      • E.g. Both people and rats drink more water when deprived before
      • We experience water as better in those first gulps/glasses
      • Because rats follow the same drinking pattern (more first), they experience the same pleasure
      • Alas, plants do the same thing. A dodder plant chooses to entangle more nutritious plants over others
      • Listen to this Radiolab podcast for more.
      • A way out of this pitfall is to divide choice in two categories
        1. Fixed innate responses (the plant)
        2. Choices that involve learning to perform arbitrary actions in order to obtain goals (e.g. pulling a lever for food)
    4. Assuming that autonomic responses imply consciousness
      • In humans there are 3 systems that underly emotions
        1. The cognitive/verbal
        2. The autonomic (e.g. heart rate)
        3. The behavioural/expressive
      • We reason by analogy that if we see 2) and 3), animals are also experiencing (consciousness) 1).
      • But, these are not always correlated (e.g. going quickly from fear to excitement can show the same outwardly)
      • "Let us look for consciousness not in the heart or the bloodstream or the rectum but in the brain where it surely belongs."
    5. Assuming that complexity of behaviour implies cognition
      • The Social Intellect theory (Humphrey, 1976) argues that social systems are so complex it demands conscious evaluation
      • Alas, simple computer algorithms are showing that complexity is not actually needed
      • "There is no complex cognition, no need even for memory of the behaviour..."
    6. Assuming that only cognitively complex organisms are conscious
      • "You don't need to be very clever to feel pain or hunger or fear."
      • (and the other way around) Animals with fewer cognitive abilities might still posess consciousness
    • Animal welfare implications
      • Dawkins ends the article by stating that the confusion about definitions troubles the water when discussing animal welfare. I think this article helps with clearing some of that up and although it (or any other article to date) solves why we have consciousness (and who with us), it is helpful.

    Read the article

  • Digital Humanism

    04 September 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    In conversation with Jaron Lanier a very interesting topic is discussed. He states that information should not be free. He argues that when paid for it is better in many cases. And that paid services align the incentives in a better way. Think about Spotify and how it has won over Napster/Limewire etc. It should be easy/convenient for people, but not per se free. This is, I think, also why Netflix has been such a success and I know friends who used to download series now consuming all of that via Netflix.

    Listen to the episode

  • David Roodman - Research, prison, crime

    03 September 2018

      

    80000 hours

    In the interview with David Roodman we get a look into the effect of incarceration on crime. Hint, there is, in most cases, no link. The program of three strikes and out has little to no deterrence effect.

    "Then there are the after-effects, and this is where it gets most complicated. Being in prison you could imagine, could reduce the amount of crime you commit afterwards. Maybe you learn to read, or you’re helped off of your drug problem, or you’re scared straight by the experience. But it’s also easy to imagine that being in prison just makes things worse. That you’re more alienated from society, that you’re closer friends with other criminals, and you learn from their techniques, or you have less ability to get a real job because you’re marked as a felon."

    Listen to the episode

  • The Power Of Design

    02 September 2018

      

    TED Radio Hour

    When designing a product (like Queal) you want to think about both the rational and emotional needs. The rational part is about what people need (and want). The emotional part is about what gets them of their butts. About what engages them. A product needs emotional momentum.

    The founder of Nest speaks about having a beginner mindset. How can we experience the world better?

    Architecture is about symbols. Ones that are recognizable and ones that are new. The pendulum broke when social media and internet came around. Now you can even 'test' buildings on social media.

    We design ourselves too. Black beard, the pirate, was one of the first. He used the well-known symbols on his flag to get others to surrender without a fight. The greatest designers are great dreamers.

    Animals are also great designers. The natural world is full of awesome design. Biomimicery is the concept of taking innovation inspired by nature. An example is the acoustic camera at airports (the one you stand in with your arms up), this was taken from echolocation (bats).

    Listen to the episode

  • Why You Shouldn't Open a Restaurant

    01 September 2018

      

    Freakonomics

    As the title says, it's best not to open a restaurant. Steven talks with Kenji Lopez-Alt (a food scientist and critic). They discuss some of the aspects that you face when opening a restaurant, many of which are not foreseen. And again, don't open a restaurant.

    Listen to the episode

  • How to Be Happy

    30 August 2018

      

    Freakonomics

    Why are we happy and how can we have more of it? As discussed in an earlier episode, it shouldn't all be about GDP.

    "We have the paradox that income per person rises in the United States, but happiness does not. And it’s not that that’s because humans are humans. It’s because the U.S. is falling behind other countries, because we are not pursuing dimensions of happiness that are extremely important: our physical health, the mental health in our community, the social support, the honesty in government. And this is weighing down American well-being."

    Nordic countries have happier people, and that because they have these factors. They have more purpose, fewer working hours, and great social support.

    Listen to the episode

  • Drew Houston - The Billionaire Founder of Dropbox

    29 August 2018

      

    Tim Ferriss<

    Tim interviews Drew Houston about his life and extracts many lessons on building a business and how to be a good manager. It was an enjoyable episode. As always there are good stories and life lessons to be extracted.

    They mentioned quite some books and here are a few I might have already wrote something about:

    Listen to the episode

  • Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet

    28 August 2018

      

    Freakonomics

    The environmentalists say we’re doomed if we don’t drastically reduce consumption. The technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just about any problem. A debate that’s been around for decades has become a shouting match. Is anyone right?

    The podcast looks at the wizards (technology, progress, let's solve it) and prophets (environmentalists, doom, we need to reduce). Charles Mann has written a book about this: The Wizard and the Prophet. And that reminded me of this article (which is from another author).

    Listen to the episode

  • Thinking About Thinking

    25 August 2018

      

    The Knowledge Project

    Shane interviews Tyler Cowen, who writes a blog called Marginal Revolution. And has written the book Average is Over

    Tyler is quite the interesting guest and they philosophise about what the future will bring. And how (of course) there will be no middle class like we know it today.

    Listen to the episode

  • Navigating Sex and Gender

    22 August 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    Sam speaks with Martie Haselton. The conversation defines quite some terms related to gender/sex. It provided few new bits of information for me, especially after listening to the Radiolab episodes at the beginning of the summer.

    One thing that I did take away is that it's still very good that people have honest conversations about these topics and that identity politics and erronious conclusions is something we should be wary about.

    Listen to the episode

  • Story Behind The Numbers

    21 August 2018

      

    TED Radio Hour

    Is the world getting better or not? That is the central question of this episode. You hear the positive perspective from Steven Pinker (Better Angels of our Nature), and more pessimistic views of Tyler Cowen (Average is Over).

    GDP is also covered and it's proposed that we use something 'better' to measure wealth/welfare. This is coined the Social Progress Index/framework. It takes into account 1) basic needs, 2) building blocks for improvement, 3) ability to reach goals.

    Listen to the episode

  • How To Kill Your Bad Ideas

    22 August 2018

      

    Masters of Scale

    Reid interviews Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga and a few other technology companies. The key take-away is to kill your bad ideas, but pursue your big idea relentless.

    Separate a bad idea from a winning one. Use metrics to do this. And always keep involved with the details (e.g. Elon Musk) so you don't lose touch with what is/should be happening.

    Listen to the episode

  • Why We Choke Under Pressure

    09 August 2018

      

    Freakonomics

    Choking under pressure can be the result of thinking too much. We try and control everything and thereby forget/confuse our body that is doing most things on auto-pilot (at least for a professional). And that auto-pilot is what you're training before.

    For creative tasks, a monetary reward is not the thing you want to be giving people. A high (more money) incentive led to the worst outcome in some experiments.

    How to get better (and not choke), deliberate practice. More about that in Peak by Anders Ericsson.

    Listen to the episode

  • The Bad Show

    30 July 2018

      

    Radiolab

    Hmm I don't seem to have any of the Radiolab episodes here yet. But please do check out their website. I also loved their episodes around the theme 'Gonads' (gender/sex/identity).

    We all do bad things (right?). One thing that is highlighted is that obedience (as thought in all psy introductory classes) is really about what people feel they ought to do (so not blindly following the experimenter, but doing it from an internal feeling too). We do something that is bad/painful to help/make sacrifices too (i.e. the same bias/heuristic can be positive too).

    Is Fritz Haber good or bad? He invented ammonia. This has fed the world ever since (it's used widely in agriculture). But he also invented chlorine gas (used in WW1). And later CyclonB was used in WW2 concentration camps, based on his inventions. What do you think?

    And do reasons for (bad) behaviour matter? The last part of the episode is about the Green River killer. Why did he do it? What was the meaning?

    Listen to the episode

  • Steve Madden: Steve Madden

    30 July 2018

      

    How I Built This

    Steve started his entrepreneurial journey by learning from others. He was mentored by another person in the shoe business. But after a while he was eager to spread his wings and be his own boss.

    Steve Maddon participated in the pump & dump schemes as portrait in Wolf of Wall Street. He stated that the boiler room depictions in the movie were true to life. He eventually spent time in jail and did quite some drugs around that period.

    One nugget from the episode was that he found a different market (audience) for his product than expected. He was targetting people his age but found that younger kids bought the shoes. The same goes for where he craved respect (the industry people) and later found it from others.

    Guy always asks the entrepreneurs "Was it luck or talent?". Steve answer was about windows of opportunity. You've got to grasp those. So (as always) it's a combination.

    Listen to the episode

  • The Psychology of Money

    27 July 2018

      

    Article

    In investing there can be people with no background, with no study, who can outperform others who's job it is to do financial work. Someone who just saves every month can have more money in the bank than an investment banker who spends it all.

    "Managing money isn't necessarily about what you know; it's about how you behave."

    Here are twenty biases, flaws, and mental fallacies.

    • Earned success and deserved failure fallacy: A tendency to underestimate the role of luck and risk, and a failure to recognize that luck and risk are different sides of the same coin.
    • Cost avoidance syndrome: A failure to identify the true costs of a situation, with too much emphasis on financial costs while ignoring the emotional price that must be paid to win a reward.
    • Rich man in the car paradox. The paradox of wealth is that people tend to want it to signal to others that they should be liked and admired.
    • A tendency to adjust to current circumstances in a way that makes forecasting your future desires and actions difficult, resulting in the inability to capture long-term compounding rewards that come from current decisions.
    • Anchored-to-your-own-history bias: Your personal experiences make up maybe 0.00000001% of what’s happened in the world but maybe 80% of how you think the world works.
    • Historians are Prophets fallacy: Not seeing the irony that history is the study of surprises and changes while using it as a guide to the future. An overreliance on past data as a signal to future conditions in a field where innovation and change is the lifeblood of progress.
    • The seduction of pessimism in a world where optimism is the most reasonable stance.
    • Underappreciating the power of compounding, driven by the tendency to intuitively think about exponential growth in linear terms.
    • Attachment to social proof in a field that demands contrarian thinking to achieve above-average results.
    • An appeal to academia in a field that is governed not by clean rules but loose and unpredictable trends.
    • The social utility of money coming at the direct expense of growing money; wealth is what you don’t see.
    • A tendency toward action in a field where the first rule of compounding is to never interrupt it unnecessarily.
    • Underestimating the need for room for error, not just financially but mentally and physically.
    • A tendency to be influenced by the actions of other people who are playing a different financial game than you are.
    • An attachment to financial entertainment due to the fact that money is emotional, and emotions are revved up by argument, extreme views, flashing lights, and threats to your wellbeing.

    If there’s a common denominator in these, it’s a preference for humility, adaptability, long time horizons, and skepticism of popularity around anything involving money. Which can be summed up as: Be prepared to roll with the punches.

    Read the article

  • On B2B2C Business Models

    27 July 2018

      

    Article

    This article is about B2B2C companies, but I actually expected it to be about Channel partnerships / other ways of doing B2B2C.

    "B2B2C is where your company sells a product/service to a business, gaining customers and/or data from that business that you get to keep and use. And where, most importantly, that group of customers becomes untethered from the middle B — at some point, they recognize that YOU (the first B!) are the product they use."

    "...well-structured set of business deals led to lots of downstream consumers with no per-customer acquisition cost."

    • B2B2C is easiest to sell when Business A does NOT want to be in the business you are offering
    • Don’t tickle the bear — optimize for early clients first, as keeping track of “what can I do with differently-acquired groups of customers” is unwieldy.
    • Give > Get: a logical time to “flex” end-customer ownership is when you are able to contribute more to Business A than you receive from Business A.
    • The “exhaust” of a B2B2C business is either customers or their data. It’s essential that end customers identify as customers of your Business B if you have a plan to count them as yours (and the same applies to data).
    • A signed contract is just the beginning of the sale.

    Read the article

  • How To Live Life On Your Own Terms

    24 July 2018

      

    Tim Ferriss

    “I’m pretty oblivious to a lot of things intentionally. I don’t want to be influenced that much.” - Jason Fried

    I'm a fan of Jason Fried (and DHH) of Basecamp fame. I use Basecamp daily and love how they look at business. Rework is my most re-read business book to date. Here are some of my notes from the episode.

    • Jason doesn't follow dogma. He doesn't follow news, or industry news. He therefore needs to busy himself by developing his own (original) ideas.
    • He has no goals, no planning (personally), he just goes where he needs to go. (I have become more accustomed to this idea over the past years, but still like to make goals to give direction. I think his direction/mission/vision may be more internalized, or that he really has none, which may be a more 'budda' way of living).
    • "Comparison is the death of joy"
    • So how does he make good decisions? For Basecamp it means they have 6 week cycles (with 2 weeks of down/thinking-time in between.
    • He has no expectations. Say your goal was 21% growth last year, and you only have 20%, you may be very dissapointed. This is crazy, it's all in your heard. He argues that intrinsic motivation is much better.
    • This aligns with the ideas from Triggers, about doing your best, that is good enough. And also makes me think of the concept of 'circle of control'. This is also mentioned in Triggers7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
    • Jason uses the example of running that triggered him to think this way. He was first trying to beat a certain time. But he got frustrated every time he didn't make that. So he just let go, he put his focus on enjoying running and doing his best. I like that he then didn't go on to say that he achieved the original goal, no he just enjoyed running.
    • Jason tries to have as little anxiety as possible in his life. So he doesn't read news online, he does read the IRL newspaper once a day.
    • He argues that life is not that complicated. We make it that way. He mentions Seeking Wisdom (book I haven't read). And argues that we make it complex as a sport for ourselves (i.e. to keep ourselves busy).
    • They also touch upon Stoicism (philosphy) and mention A Guide to the Good Life which is a great introduction to Stoicism. Negative visualisation, confronting fear head on instead of letting it linger in the background of your mind.
    • "Make something for yourself, and find others like you." (great business advice) (but don't forget to tell the others)
    • Jason doesn't commit to things far away in the future. He thinks Warren Buffet does the same. He likes to have no hassle. And you can easily commit to something far away, but when it comes you still pay the costs (e.g. time). When telling someone no (e.g. a speaking engagement in the future) he is honest about why he won't do it, people appreciate that and accept it.
    • People protect their money, they should do the same with their time. This is a learned skill.
    • When hiring people Jason (read: Basecamp) looks at if they are great writers. It shows great communication skills and is important for many people, even designers. It shows how they can present themselves to the world. And much of that presentation is in written for these days.
    • If he could teach a course it would be about writing. It would teach iteration, something we do in real life (e.g. the iterations of this post or webite) and which isn't really thought in school. He would let people write a long essay (a few pages), then write a shorter version (a few times) to teach the relevant skills.

    Listen to the episode

  • Globalism on the Brink

    23 July 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    Sam Harris speaks with political analyst Ian Bremmer. What I took away from the conversation is a better understanding of the worries about globalism and some of the troubling times we're facing.

    • There are legitimate concerns from 'them/the other side'. This refers to the worries that many people on the (extreme) right voice, but also something that is on the mind of the average person. What about immigration, what about globalism? What about jobs? And not all concerns are valid (jobs are lost to automation). But we must understand before we can start solving the problem.
    • In the conversation they define globalism as the political idea of free trade and global security. Ian argues that this in essence is a good idea.
    • Globalisation is the real-world implementation of this idea. This is the economic impact and also can be considered as something that lifts all boats.
    • Cosmopolitan is defined as someone who feels like he/she is a citizen of the world. The opposite is identity politics (which Sam earlier argued that Ezra Klein and others on the left and many on the right are engaging in). Facebook is responsible for quite a lot of the polarization and us-them divide.
    • Ian argues, and I agree, that cellphones are also to blame. He uses an example of going to jury duty and there was no interaction amongst the (very diverse) New Yorkers that were there (200+ people, watching a training video). From the same experience 6 years ago he still was in contact with some people.
    • People (the 'them' from before) have legit concerns around globalisation. The costs for Germany for the immigrants that they take on are actually great. Turkey, Jordan and many African countries are also facing the high costs of caring for refugees. I think that we can argue that it's our duty to do so, but I also understand that not everyone sees it this way and that change is almost always received in a negative way.
    • Other legitimate concerns are around crime (higher for migrant communities), bad integration (which also means less intelligence for police), radicalism, and fear of outsiders from the community that is seeing change. Ian also mentions that Trump grew up in a white neighbourhood that saw much diversification over his youth.
    • In today's discourse there is no room for complexity and nuance.
    • Ian also mentioned the automation which made me think of Humans Need Not Apply - Jerry Kaplan
    • With automation Ian thinks that many developing countries will have significant problems with many people who won't have a job. America will be ok, he thinks, it's rich enough. China will be able to give people 'bullshit' jobs (I heard the term sowhere else). But countries like India, Tunis and others won't be able to do th is.
    • Ian thinks that UBI is interesting, but he would like to see a more complete model that includes things like job training.
    • Wealth inequality is too high (see Guardian article). People feel that they have no opportunities. Healthcare is becoming more expensive. Schooling in America is failing. And there is little political discourse on the national level. He believe that redistribution is something that is happening on the local level and through philanthropy (but of course you want this to happen on the national level).
    • One example of a country that is still thriving is Japan. But this example is quite different from other countries because of the ageing population and little immigration. This example, unfortunately, is also therefore used by alt-right groups to justify their viewpoints.
    • Ian believes that the trade war is only a dispute and that America has more to lose. China is making their own Marshall plan (Belt and Road initiative, explainer video). It's more transactional than the US version decades ago. But for the US to thrive they should keep friendly with their allies (read: EU).

    Listen to the episode

  • Groen in glas

    15 July 2018

     

        

    I read this book over the weekend at Lotte. And it's about growing plants in glass. I've made a few ones and hope that they will stay alive over the coming weeks/years. Here is a translated excerpt.

    "Green in glass is for everyone who loves plants and green in the house. Plants in a bottle - both 'open' and 'closed' - form an eye-catcher in your interior. Green blogger Judith Baehner shows in her book what forms of terrariums there are and how you organize and maintain them. With the many step by step photos everyone can get started."

  • The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. - Neal Stephenson

    30 June 2018

     

         

    Neal Stephenson is well known for his sci-fi books. Some are deep into the tech world, and 'Dodo' was a step away from there. It featured witches, time-travel and more shenanigans. I enjoyed the (long) book, but it veared of course quite a few times for me. The narrative was long and sometimes I think it could have established what he wanted with less fluff.

    Nonetheless it was a great book that had a strong narrative and was as cohesive as it could be with time-travel in the mix. There is even some 'hard' science with regards to quantum states so that's interesting too.

    Read the full review (TBD)

  • Public Commitment 2018 Update

    10 July 2018

      

    Floris Wolswijk

    I've updated my goals for this year. In the blog post I reflect on how the year has been going and what my plans are for Q3 and Q4.

    I'm happy with where my life is at the moment. I'm working actively on my fitness goals. I could make more time for writing and still want to spend less time doing 'useless' things like watching YouTube.

    Read the blog

  • Freeing the Hostages

    10 July 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    Sam Harris speaks with FBI negotiator Chris Voss. In the conversation they touch upon different topics related to hostage situations and how to resolve them.

    • When you open up communication with the bad guys, you always learn information (e.g. the way they speak, or they reveal with how many they are).
    • Following the money is easy and can lead to you catching the whole gang instead of just a few.
    • If captured, humanise yourself (let them say your name to get you to move)
    • Kidnapping is way more common in non-western countries (e.g. about 3000 in Mexico per year).
    • Use the 'fear of loss' heuristic as named by Kahneman (see Thinking: Fast and Slow)
    • Copy/mirror the language the other person is using (even outside hostage situations)
    • Deception will only give you short-term gains, so never use it.
    • Profit in most cases isn't made in the headline number, but in the way you get it (e.g. 1000 dollar days for FBI operators are good, but not if you only have 1 per month, then you better can do more 500 dollar days without travel time)
    • Anger, like deception, also never gives you long-term success.

    Listen to the episode

  • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

    09 July 2018

      

    Series

    I started rewatching this series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It's very educative and inspiring. I've made some notes for myself. I will add to these in the future and sometimes post again that I've watched another (few) episode(s).

    Read my notes

  • Never Underestimate Your First Idea

    08 July 2018

      

    Masters of Scale

    Reid Hoffman interviews Ev Williams from Twitter, Blogger, and Medium. He has always had one driving idea behind his ventures. He wasn't that successful in the beginning (or at all back then), but he had perseverance. And he had a big idea, of spreading ideas. That is what made him continue and thrive.

    “There is great stuff in the minds out there in the world, and the Internet is this big machine that connects them.”

    Listen to the episode

  • Effective Altruism Discussion Evening #4

    04 July 2018

      

    Effective Altruism

    During the evening we learned about why factory farming is bad (animal suffering, environment, human suffering). We discussed the ways that people are tackling the problem. Both with regard to our consumption, the conditions in the factory farms, and to offering alternatives. One of my biggest takeaways is that we won’t easily (or at all) change people’s behaviour, but that institutional change may be able to nudge a lot of people into making better choices.

    More notes from the evening

    Be there at the next meetup

  • Chicken Salad Chick: Stacy Brown

    03 July 2018

      

    How I Built This

    What if you could take such a simple, and maybe even niche, concept as chicken salad (sandwiches) and make that into a $75M business? That is what Stacy Brown did. It took a lot of courage, conviction, perseverance, and guts.

    Although the story of a chicken salad company didn't sound inspiring, I found the story very moving. Stacy went through a lot of things and she persevered. From last minute investments to the tragic story of her husbands fight with cancer. Listen and be inspired.

    Listen to the episode

  • Dictators, Immigration, #metoo, and Other Imponderables

    02 July 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    "In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Masha Gessen about Vladimir Putin, the problem of gouging public opinion in Russia, Trump’s fondness for dictators, the challenges of immigration, comparisons between Christian and Muslim intolerance, “fake news” and the health of journalism, the #MeToo movement, and other topics"

    What struck me as particularly interesting is that Masha mentions that there really is no public opinion in Russia. She has to reiterate that a few times before Sam hears it. She means to say that people there really don't have an opinion and just follow exactly what the media says they should think. That is pretty crazy. How is that here? How much are we influenced or are we capable of forming our own opinions? (I hope we do (still) have that ability).

    Masha also calls Sam out on a switch and bait. He compares the attitudes of Christian Americans and all Muslims on homosexuality. He says the former would never kill a person over that, but the latter would (i.e. almost all of the would find it ok if someone was killed because they were gay). But that is excluding the millions of Christians around the world who would kill a homosexual. And while that is very bad too, it shows that Muslims aren't the only ones with hateful/wrong views.

    Listen to the episode

  • Cal Fussman Corners Tim Ferriss

    02 July 2018

      

    Tim Ferriss

    This interview took a deep dive into the history of Tim Ferriss. It showed how the pieces from an early age made the Tim of today possible.

    One lesson is: Get an audience, then sell a product. That way you risk less (e.g. having 100 books without readers). And it also allows you to validate the idea beforehand.

    Tim tried different things, but all had a purpose in mind. He was relentless in trying. He kept calling, emailing and showing up and doing the work.

    Listen to the episode

  • The Network Man

    02 July 2018

      

    Article

    This article is about Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. And how he goes about his life.

    He starts his dinners with a list of things to discuss. That is an excellent way to see what you both want to get out of the conversation and for things to linger before you talk about them.

    He is an 'ubernode', he is more connected that almost anyone in the world. One of the reasons is that his vision is so clear. "His project is to build a better world, whose outlines are much clearer to him than to most people."

    "“How can I be helpful?” All his activities are in the service of the same cause: to make it possible for more people to operate the way he does."

    The rest of the article talks about his life, how he sees the world and what is goals are.

    He mentions Peter Thiel (PayPal, and very controversial). And also notes that Snowcrash (TBD) had a significant influence on him.

    "He told me that in Silicon Valley prestige is not especially important, which means that there is an assumed equivalence between numerically measurable performance and social value."

    "Hoffman was especially good at finding some degree of moderation in relations with the world as it exists, without abandoning aggressive behavior."

    "There was no middle class, then there was a middle class, now we’re back where we started—it’s hollowed out. I don’t see where the middle class is going to come from. You’ll start seeing more conversation about a guaranteed income. Right now, there’s an absolute belief that markets can solve everything—software can."

    "Once network effects really kick in, they create a powerful barrier to entry for potential rivals: the more effort you’ve put into your identity on Facebook or LinkedIn or YouTube, the more difficult it becomes for you to switch to a competitor." (for more, see Zero to One (TBD))

    Read the article

  • Effective Altruism Global X Netherlands

    1 July 2018

      

    Effective Altruism

    During the EAGx in The Netherlands I enjoyed being together with others who are changing the world with the EA mindset. I presented around combining EA with entrepreneurship and went to a few workshops myself too. Mental health was one of the topics of interest that evening and some people are taking active steps towards addressing that cause area.

    The Event

    Be there at the next Rotterdam meetup

  • The Happy Body - Aniela & Jerzy Gregorek

    30 June 2018

     

         

    I first heard about this book via an interview on the Tim Ferriss podcast. Jerzy Gregorek is a well-known trainer and weightlifter. The book is full of tips around making a stronger body. He states that it all boils down to flexibility, strength and speed. And that the latter informs/helps the first two.

    The book is good in so far as that it has good exercises and comes from a good place of knowledge. The writing, formatting and testimonials aren't that well done.

    Read the full review

  • Tara Mac Aulay - Fixing without asking permission

    30 June 2018

      

    80000 hours

    This was a great interview about the role of operations within the Effective Altruism community. Tara shows how she has made vast improvements by applying her mindset. From saving millions at a hospital to now leading one of the EA organisations.

    "You don’t need permission. You don’t need to be allowed to do something that’s not in your job description. If you think that it’s gonna make your company or your organization more successful and more efficient, you can often just go and do it."

    Listen to the episode

  • The entropic brain: A theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs

    27 June 2018

      

    Article

    "Based on neuroimaging data with psilocybin, a classic psychedelic drug,it is argued that the defining feature of “primary states” is elevated entropy (disorder) in certain aspects of brain function."

    "This entropy suppression furnishes normalwaking consciousness with a constrained quality and associated metacognitive functions, including reality-testing and self-awareness."

    "Entry into primary states depends on a collapse of the normally highly organized activity within the default-mode network (DMN) and a decoupling between the DMN and the medial temporal lobes(which are normally significantly coupled."

    I forgot how I got linked to this article, but I find it to provide an interesting look into our consciousness. I only superficially understand what is written. Feel free to discuss the paper with me if you know more.

    Read the article

  • Andrew Chen - How startups die from their addiction to paid marketing

    27 June 2018

      

    Article

    Startups that grow can fool themselves about the Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC). When spending goes up it becomes harder to track, not easier. You may be able to acquire customers at a profit, but not with the overhead you have in the company.

    There is a Paid Marketing Local Max (the max amount you can spend that is smart to do). You must understand each channel by itself, not lump everything together. When you grow, the CAC may go up. The virality of your first customers is much higher than consequent ones.

    The ads themselves become less effective over time. They grow stale, people have seen them before. And there is (more) competition as time goes by.

    "The new generation of ad platforms makes it possible to scale revenue to new heights, but without profitability."

    "So for those of you who are thinking about going all-in on paid marketing, I challenge you to go deeper on that strategy. Perhaps cap your paid acquisition at 30-40% of TOF. Instead, where can you innovate?"

    So, think smarter and in many cases don't put all your eggs in the Paid Acquisition basket!

    Read the article

  • Tim Ferriss Goes to Maximum Security Prison

    27 June 2018

      

    Tim Ferriss

    A moving interview with 3 inmates in a Maximum Security Prison. Tim talks with them about the work they are doing with Defy Ventures. They are becoming entrepreneurs (Entrepreneurs in Training, EIT) and they are working from the inside (literally) to make the prison system and life afterwards better.

    I love how Tim is doing his best to speak to different people and how he is spreading the work of Defy Ventures. I'm not aware of similar programs in The Netherlands, but I would very strongly encourage it.

    Another episode with the founder of Defy, Catherine Hoke. And also read from the perspective of Brad Felt (Venture Capitalist).

    Listen to the episode

  • John Doerr - Why the secret to success is setting the right goals

    27 June 2018

      

    TED Talk

    Renowned venture capitalist John Doerr explains how we can use 'Objectives and Key Results' as a system to aim for, and reach, better goals. We can use them to be accountable, to know what we're working towards, and to better communicate with others in our team or the wider world.

    This talk reminds me of The Effective Executive (TBD). I think the commonality is that you do what you measure, and in many cases we measure nothing.

    Watch the TED Talk

  • Being Mortal - Atul Gawande

    26 June 2018

     

         

    What does it mean to live into old age? This is the central question I think that Atul Gawande poses. It's not perse about dying (though it of course also is), it's about the process towards it. He tells amazing stories of people who are becoming old. He takes us on a journey of how we've cared for them, and where we can improve. The book confronts us with our mortality.

    At around the same time as reading this book, I became aware that Gawande has been chosen to lead the health care company founded/financed by Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, and Jamie Dimon (of Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JPMorgan Chase). I'm very interested to see where this will take him, and his amazing view on life. (Techcrunch, Forbes, Statnews).

    Read the full review

  • Hannah Fry - Is life really that complex?

    25 June 2018

      

    TED Talk

    We can explain many things in life. From the really small, to the really big. From the movement of a ball, to the movement of galaxies. But we're not very good at explaining what lies in between, the complex. Hannah Fry argues that with new techniques we will be able to do so. And with that we may be able to predict the behaviour of crowds, or predict how the stock market will move.

    I find it fascinating to see how this thinking connects disparate fields and will give us more insight into who we are. There is more on this in Deep Simplicity (TBD) and The Quark and the Jaguar (TBD).

    Watch the TED Talk

  • Liz Lambert - The Unstoppable Hotelier

    21 June 2018

      

    Tim Ferriss

    An interview with Liz Lambert and her journey through building her hotel. It's a story of perseverance, of believing in herself and her mission. At the same time also a story about enjoying the journey. About the journey being the destination. And believing that happiness can be found right there. The podcast is also about how she used design to make life better for others.

    Listen to the episode

  • Lululemon Athletica

    21 June 2018

      

    How I Built This

    The story of Chip Wilson and how he built one of the largest apparel companies in the world. One of the lessons is that he was keen on watching the trends and moving with them (or stepping out when he couldn't). He wasn't a yoga person, but he definitely was a fabric and fashion person. He built his team, and tried to make them excel.

    Listen to the episode

  • Universal Basic Income

    19 June 2018

      

    Sam Harris

    Sam Harris speaks with Andrew Yang about Universal Basic Income (TBD). It once again presents more information that convinces me that this is a good idea. It highlights some places where it has already been implemented and how it helps both financially as mentally (and allows people to do more meaningful work).

    They also touch upon some criticism of UBI. The funding is addressed, and shown to be possible and some of the positive side-effects may even be cheaper than our current system. People will not become sloths and do nothing all day if they get a guaranteed income. This income probably is also below the poverty line and many people can/should/will do additional jobs.

    One other point, not always highlighted, is that we just don't have jobs for many people any more. Many college graduates aren't finding jobs. Many people have left the workforce entirely. And this is all before the real AI automation will start. The top 5 jobs (e.g. trucking, working in retail) will be automated away. And yes there will be some new jobs but don't tell me a truck driver will easily become the new fleet coordinator.

    This podcast has given me more information to think about UBI and has added to my positive attitude towards the idea.

    Listen to the episode

  • The Paper Menagerie - Ken Liu

    20 June 2018

     

         

    I first learned about Ken Liu as translator of the Three Body Problem (and the two other books in the triology). His short stories are a mix of hard sci-fi (think: consciousnesses drifting around space) to moving stories of immigrants who've come from China to the US. I can highly recommend this collection of his short stories.

    Read the full review (TBD)

  • The Green Pill

    14 June 2018

      

    Ezra Klein

    Ezra Klein interviews Melanie Joy about why we eat meat. It's a very interesting conversation that touches about some of our deepest routed beliefs. Joy defines the 'normal' way of eating as Carnism and that gives a new perspective to see the world through. I still find it difficult to think of what to best tell my meat eating friends. One of the good points made was that everyone really wants to do good. Many people just don't think about the suffering related to their consumption. I do the same when eating eggs. And on a positive note, veganism as a movement is growing rapidly. Trying your best is really how we should judge ourselves (and possibly others), and making progress (speaking for myself) is what will move things in the right direction.

    Listen to the episode

  • Effective Altruism Intro #19

    13 June 2018

      

    Effective Altruism

    In this fourteenth meetup we again gave some people a peak into the EA kitchen. We discussed charities, why some are neglected, what role our psychology and the 'attractiveness' of charities play. In the end I hope the participants are able to find more information on 80000hours.org to further shape their careers.

    Be there at the next meetup

  • The Undoing Project - Michael Lewis

    13 June 2018

     

         

    Michael Lewis follows the story of two psychologists who have changed the world. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky lay bare our heuristics, biases and challenge the 'econ' model of mankind. Take a journey through their lives, discover their past and own hidden motives.

    Read the full review (TBD)

  • How to Succeed in High-Stress Situations

    12 June 2018

      

    Tim Ferriss

    This hour of the Tim Ferriss Show is a commentated reading of The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. Tim offers some of his own unique perspective. I took away some reminders of Stoic philosophy. One of them is to enjoy the struggle/obstacle/journey/life. To embrace what is coming to you and to be present to enjoy the experience.

    Listen to the episode

  • The Elephant in the Brain - Kevin Simler & Robin Hanson

    18 May 2018

     

         

    You don't talk about the elephant in the room. Nor do you talk about the hidden motives that drive your everyday life. In this riveting book you take a deep dive into the science of why we conceal motives from ourselves (and others). Then it's applied to various areas in life, from school to medicine. You won't look at any person or system the same after reading this book.

    Read the full review (TBD)