This is page is part of my almanac.
Learning from the Best in the World
There’s a difference between your friend telling you something and someone who’s spent their life studying something. It’s fascinating when a true expert can tell you about something that you haven’t…
- Online Learning. The Floating University was a Yale class that aimed to provide a liberal arts education in 12 hours. I don’t think they quite hit their goal but the lectures are pretty great.
- On Debate. A few years ago there was a lot of debate on the topic of free speech and renaming monuments. I wrote a piece about how scholars at Yale have thought about free speech and created a useful framework for free speech on campus.
- Man-Computer Symbiosis. In 2016, I wrote about how computers and people work together and how computers and people work together to solve hard problems. Gary Kasparov gave a great presentation on how computers and humans can partner together to beat both the best human players OR the best computers. Kasparov also did a great write up of his thoughts in the New York Review of books.
- Blockchain. I finally understand a little bit about blockchain! Professor David Yermack, head of the Finance Department at NYU gave a great overview of the technology. In brief, blockchain changes the way we trust each other.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is an incredibly powerful tool. To understand how it works, there’s an explanation for kids that’s pretty good for adults. Alfred Spector, the former head of Google Research, gives an insightful speech on the opportunities and perils of Artificial Intelligence. Also, take a look at the TED talks by Pete Haas (my friend from Yale) and Cathy O’Neil (author of Weapons of Math Destruction) to see where we should be suspicious of AI.
- Google Searching. Daniel Russell is Google’s Senior Research Scientist for Search Quality and User Happiness. In short, he’s the guy at Google who makes sure you can find what you want. He has a book, TedX video on searching, and a summary of his experience Adventures in Teaching People How to Search
- Be Vulnerable to Build Stronger Connections with Friends: Brene Brown has a great recording of her seminar The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage. It’s a great follow up to her other work that I love. First you might want to check out her animated shorts on Empathy and Blame that are taken from her presentation at the Royal Society of the Arts. She also gave some great TED talks on The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame.
- Trigger Yourself to Stay on Track. Marshall Goldsmith wrote a great book called Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts — Becoming the Person You Want to Be. He talks about how we react to our environment more frequently and powerfully than we’d like to admit. So Goldsmith places triggers in the environment each day to help drive progress on key goals. I’ve been doing this for about a year and it’s really life changing. If you’d like to try it yourself you can take his basic survey at Ask Me Every.
- Writing. At Yale, there’s a famous century-old class called Daily Themes. It’s a simple but powerful class where everyone writes an essay each day. My friend Aaron Gertler has some great information on the class including some writing prompts.