Welcome to Farnam Street

Mastering The Best Of What Other People Have Already Figured Out

Farnam Street is devoted to helping you develop an understanding of how the world really works, make better decisions, and live a better life. We address such topics as mental models, decision making, learning, reading, and the art of living.

In a world full of noise, Farnam Street is a place where you can step back and think about time-tested ideas while asking yourself questions that lead to meaningful understanding. We cover ideas from science and the humanities that will not only expand your intellectual horizons but also help you connect ideas, think in multidisciplinary ways, and explore meaning.

Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, and run by Shane Parrish, we operate around the globe and have helped millions of people master the best of what other people have already figured out.

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Recent Articles

The Code of Hammurabi: The Best Rule To Manage Risk

November 21, 2017

Almost 4,000 years ago, King Hammurabi of Babylon, Mesopotamia, laid out one of the first sets of laws. Hammurabi’s Code is among the oldest translatable writings. It consists of 282 laws, most concerning punishment. Each law takes into account the perpetrator’s status. The code also includes the earliest known construction laws, designed to align the […]

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The Generalized Specialist: How Shakespeare, Da Vinci, and Kepler Excelled

November 14, 2017

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Do you ever ask kids this question? Did adults ask you this when you were a kid? Even if you managed to escape this question until high school, then by the time you got there, you were probably expected to be able to answer this […]

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Power Laws: How Nonlinear Relationships Amplify Results

November 06, 2017

Defining A Power Law Consider a person who begins weightlifting for the first time. During their initial sessions, they can lift only a small amount of weight. But as they invest more time, they find that for each training session, their strength increases a surprising amount. For a while, they make huge improvements. Eventually, however, […]

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