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  • General James Mattis: Arm Yourself With Books
    How many situations will you face that have not already been experienced by someone else? Billions of people, thousands of years ... probably not too many. It’s been done. Luckily, sometimes those experiences are captured by history, and thus they become valuable tools for us to learn and prepare for similar situations. This is part of the central ethos of Farnam Street. In an email that went viral ...
  • The Minimum Effective Dose: Why Less is More
    "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry *** In pharmacology, the effective dose is the amount of a drug that produces the desired response in most patients. Determining the range for a drug, the difference between the minimum effective dose and the maximum tolerated dose is incredibly important. The Minimum Effective Dose (MED) ...
  • Mental Model: Hanlon’s Razor
    If you ever feel that the world is against you, you are not alone. We all have a tendency to assume that when anything goes wrong, the fault lies within some great conspiracy against us. A co-worker fails to give you a report in time? They must be trying to derail your career and beat you to a promotion. Your child drops and breaks an expensive ...
  • Philosopher Kahlil Gibran on The Tension Between Reason and the Silence Required for Thinking
    Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) published his masterpiece, The Prophet, in 1923. The work endures as a timeless meditation on the art of living. Gibran's thoughts on love and giving offer a glimpse into his genius. Reminding one of the struggle most of us have with the three marriages, Gibran illuminates the beautiful struggle that exists within all of us between reason and passion. Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon ...
  • Language: Why We Hear More Than Words
    It’s a classic complaint in relationships, especially romantic ones: "She said she was okay with me forgetting her birthday! Then why is she throwing dishes in the kitchen? Are the two things related? I wish I had a translator for my spouse. What is going on?" The answer: Extreme was right, communication is more than words. It’s how those words are said, the tone, the order ...
  • Let Go of the Learning Baggage
    We all want to learn better. That means retaining information, processing it, being able to use it when needed. More knowledge means better instincts; better insights into opportunities for both you and your organization. You will ultimately produce better work if you give yourself the space to learn. Yet often organizations get in the way of learning. How do we learn how to learn? Usually in school ...
  • How a Decision Journal Changed the Way I Make Decisions (Template Included)
    People often ask me how they can improve their ability to make decisions over time. This question makes a lot of sense. After all, in most knowledge organizations, your product is decisions. We all have a vested interest in getting better at decisions. As an entrepreneur, I live and die by my decisions. I'm not alone. In almost any organization, you are the result of your decisions. While good decisions ...
  • Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits, Honesty and More
    Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and co-founder of AngelList. He’s invested in more than 100 companies, including Uber, Twitter, Yammer, and many others. Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about early stage investing. Naval’s an incredibly deep thinker who challenges the status quo on so many things. In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about reading, habits, decision-making, mental models, and life. Just a heads up, this is the longest ...
  • Hunter S. Thompson’s Letter on Finding Your Purpose and Living a Meaningful Life
    In April of 1958, Hunter S. Thompson was 22 years old when he wrote this letter to his friend Hume Logan in response to a request for life advice. Thompson's letter, found in Letters of Note, offers some of the most thoughtful and profound advice I've ever come across. April 22, 1958 57 Perry Street New York City Dear Hume, You ask advice: ah, what a very human and very dangerous ...
  • The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything
    There are four simple steps to the Feynman Technique, which I'll explain below: Choose a Concept Teach it to a Toddler Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material Review and Simplify (optional) *** If you're not learning you're standing still. So what's the best way to learn new subjects and identify gaps in our existing knowledge? Two Types of Knowledge There are two types of knowledge and most ...
  • The Metagame: How Bill Belichick and Warren Buffett Play a Different Game
    The metagame is playing a different game than your competitors. A game they can't play. The metagame is a strategy that involves understanding the structural or unconscious reasons that things are the way they are. This is the strategy that Warren Buffett and Bill Belichick use to create an advantage. It's what smart managers like Ken Iverson do to get the best out of people. There is ...
  • The Science of Sleep: Regulating Emotions and the Twenty-four Hour Mind
    "Memory is never a precise duplicate of the original; instead, it is a continuing act of creation." *** Rosalind Cartwright is one of the leading sleep researchers in the world. Her unofficial title is Queen of Dreams. In The Twenty-four Hour Mind: The Role of Sleep and Dreaming in Our Emotional Lives, she looks back on the progress of sleep research and reminds us there is much left ...
  • Get Smart: Three Ways of Thinking to Make Better Decisions and Achieve Results
    "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." — Abraham Lincoln *** Your ability to think clearly determines the decisions you make and the actions you take. In Get Smart!: How to Think and Act Like the Most Successful and Highest-Paid People in Every Field, author Brian Tracy presents ten different ways of thinking that enable better decisions ...
  • Get More Done By Working Less
    In Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang argues that work and rest are not opposed but rather complementary to each other. "When we define ourselves by our work, by our dedication and effectiveness and willingness to go the extra mile," he writes, "then it's easy to see rest as the negation of all those things." Thus our cultural view of ...
  • The Narrative Fallacy and What You Can Do About It
    “These types of stories strike a deep chord: They give us deep, affecting reasons on which to hang our understanding of reality. They help us make sense of our own lives. And, most importantly, they frequently cause us to believe we can predict the future. The problem is, most of them are a sham.” *** The Narrative Fallacy A typical biography starts by describing the subject’s young life, trying ...
  • Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits, Honesty and More
    Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and co-founder of AngelList. He’s invested in more than 100 companies, including Uber, Twitter, Yammer, and many others. Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about early stage investing. Naval’s an incredibly deep thinker who challenges the status quo on so many things. In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about reading, habits, decision-making, mental models, and life. Just a heads up, this is the longest ...
  • General James Mattis: Arm Yourself With Books
    How many situations will you face that have not already been experienced by someone else? Billions of people, thousands of years ... probably not too many. It’s been done. Luckily, sometimes those experiences are captured by history, and thus they become valuable tools for us to learn and prepare for similar situations. This is part of the central ethos of Farnam Street. In an email that went viral ...
  • The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything
    There are four simple steps to the Feynman Technique, which I'll explain below: Choose a Concept Teach it to a Toddler Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material Review and Simplify (optional) *** If you're not learning you're standing still. So what's the best way to learn new subjects and identify gaps in our existing knowledge? Two Types of Knowledge There are two types of knowledge and most ...
  • Let Go of Self-Justification
    It can be startling and unsettling to confront how bad humans are at describing reality with any objective accuracy. Because of the way our brains work, how perceptions are distorted, the ambiguity of language, we seem forever destined to never really know this world we are living in. What are we to do? One answer is to accept that there is no one objective truth so ...
  • The Minimum Effective Dose: Why Less is More
    "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry *** In pharmacology, the effective dose is the amount of a drug that produces the desired response in most patients. Determining the range for a drug, the difference between the minimum effective dose and the maximum tolerated dose is incredibly important. The Minimum Effective Dose (MED) ...
  • The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything
    There are four simple steps to the Feynman Technique, which I'll explain below: Choose a Concept Teach it to a Toddler Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material Review and Simplify (optional) *** If you're not learning you're standing still. So what's the best way to learn new subjects and identify gaps in our existing knowledge? Two Types of Knowledge There are two types of knowledge and most ...
  • Hunter S. Thompson’s Letter on Finding Your Purpose and Living a Meaningful Life
    In April of 1958, Hunter S. Thompson was 22 years old when he wrote this letter to his friend Hume Logan in response to a request for life advice. Thompson's letter, found in Letters of Note, offers some of the most thoughtful and profound advice I've ever come across. April 22, 1958 57 Perry Street New York City Dear Hume, You ask advice: ah, what a very human and very dangerous ...
  • The Munger Operating System: How to Live a Life That Really Works
    In 2007, Charlie Munger gave the commencement address at USC Law School, opening his speech by saying, "Well, no doubt many of you are wondering why the speaker is so old. Well, the answer is obvious: He hasn’t died yet." Fortunately for us, Munger has kept on ticking. The commencement speech is an excellent response to the Big Question: How do we live a life that really works? It has so many of Munger's ...
  • Warren Buffett: The Three Things I Look For in a Person
    Students often go to visit Warren Buffett. And when they do, he often plays a little game on them. He asks each student to pick a classmate. Not just any classmate, but the classmate you would choose if you could have 10% of their earnings for the rest of their life. Which classmate would you pick and why? “Are you going to pick the one with the ...
  • The Buffett Formula: How To Get Smarter by Reading
    "The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more." — Charlie Munger "Go to bed smarter than when you woke up." — Charlie Munger Most people go through life not really getting any smarter. Why? They simply won't do the work required. It's easy to come home, sit on the couch, watch TV and zone out until bed time rolls around. But that's ...
  • What Books Would You Recommend Someone Read to Improve their General Knowledge of the World?
    Inspired by a reader's question to me, I thought I'd ask our followers on Facebook and Twitter for an answer to the question: What books would you recommend someone read to improve their general knowledge of the world. I must say the number and quality of the responses overwhelmed me. The box Amazon just delivered reminds me that I ordered 9 books off this list. Here is ...
  • The Top 3 Most Effective Ways to Take Notes While Reading
    *** Before you get started: Filter the book by reading the preface, index, table of contents, and inside jacket. This tells you where the author is going to take you and, importantly, the vocabulary they will use. There are three steps to effectively taking notes while reading: At the end of each chapter write a few bullet points that summarize what you've read and make it personal ...
  • Charlie Munger on Getting Rich, Wisdom, Focus, Fake Knowledge and More
    "In the chronicles of American financial history," writes David Clark in Tao of Charlie Munger: A Compilation of Quotes from Berkshire Hathaway's Vice Chairman on Life, Business, and the Pursuit of Wealth," Charlie Munger will be seen as the proverbial enigma wrapped in a paradox— he is both a mystery and a contradiction at the same time." On one hand, Munger received an elite education and it ...
  • A Short List of Books for Doing New Things
    Andrew Ng has quite the modern resume. He founded Coursera, a wonderful website that gives anyone with Internet access the ability to take high level university courses on almost any topic. He founded the Google Brain project at Google, their deep learning research project intended to help bring about better artificial intelligence. Now he's the Chief Scientist at Baidu Research. Ng is, unsurprisingly, devoted to reading and learning ...
  • Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits, Honesty and More
    Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and co-founder of AngelList. He’s invested in more than 100 companies, including Uber, Twitter, Yammer, and many others. Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about early stage investing. Naval’s an incredibly deep thinker who challenges the status quo on so many things. In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about reading, habits, decision-making, mental models, and life. Just a heads up, this is the longest ...