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Month / January 2019

Our Brain As A Recommendation Engine

If the idea of The Long Tail has taught us anything, it is that there is a group willing and able to support even the most obscure taste and curiosity. Products and services come in far more flavors than any of us can comprehend as an individual. But as a group, you might say there’s […]

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The Battle Of Competing Desires

The realm of our urges, dreams, and desires is riddled with a lot of fighting. It’s like a three-ring circus where, instead of trapeze and clowns, we have boxers pitted against one another in a never-ending series of 12-round matches. In one ring, our mind fights our body in a very unfair battle that underlies […]

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The Two Desires Behind What We Want

Yesterday’s article was developed through the wisdom of this week’s featured book: William B. Irvine’s On Desire: Why We Want The Things We Want. This is a topic that can make people squirm. Talking about what you want and why is a deeply personal thing. However, talking about what other people want and why is […]

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I Wish I Didn’t Want What I Want Sometimes

I want to understand the stories we tell ourselves. Actually, understanding is just the first part. I want to accept those stories, too, without skepticism or a correction. Then I could empathize, be more generous. Then I could give more and try harder. I could always try harder. For your sake and mine. Everyone tries […]

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The Best Book For Understanding Luck

Fooled By Randomness By Nassim Nicholas Taleb Rating: 10/10 Best Line #1: Clearly risk taking is necessary for large success—but it is also necessary for failure. Best Line #2: The only article Lady Fortuna has no control over is your behavior. Good luck. I want to start by thanking Shane Parrish and Josh Wolfe for […]

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Choose Your Risks. Ignore Your Rewards.

The more I read about probability and complexity, the more I respect the fact that risk isn’t something I can avoid. Risk is like oxygen, ever-present and necessary for life. Ever-present because even the safest position can be lost. Might be improbable but it’s still possible. Necessary because risk is the seed for value. Whether […]

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History Doesn’t Repeat. But Mistakes Do.

This week’s book is Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s first salvo against modernity, the 2004 classic Fooled By Randomness. I’ve read this book several times and it is still a difficult thing to parse into simple articles and broad reviews. Mostly because everything in this book continues to carry the sort of insight that stretches my thinking […]

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The First Book To Read To Become A Great Manager

High Output Management By Andrew S. Grove Rating: 10/10 Best Line #1: Training is, quite simply, one of the highest-leverage activities a manager can perform. Best Line #2: The old saying has it that when we promote our best salesman and make him a manager, we ruin a good salesman and get a bad manager. But if […]

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Who’s The Boss? The Ambiguous Organization

In this week’s feature book, High Output Management, the great CEO Andrew S. Grove dedicates a lengthy portion of text to an idea that I didn’t like for a long time. It involves what he refers to as “hybrid organizations”, aka “matrix organizations”, aka “places where you probably have two or more bosses.” Can you […]

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