There’s a difference between your friend telling you something and hearing it from someone who’s spent their life studying it. Here are some of my experts and classes to learn from:
- 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.
- Working with Computers. When Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov, you’d think he would have thrown in the towel on computer chess. Instead, he thought about how computers and people can work together. He gave a TED talk about how computers and machines can work together to beat the best computers and the best machines. Kasparov also wrote up his thoughts 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). Dr. Spector is the former head of Google research and been in AI for decades. He was also one of the first people to see the modern use of Deep Learning at Google. He has an insightful talk on The Opportunities and Perils of Data Science.
- 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 teaches people how to search. 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: My favorite self-help recording is Brene Brown’s seminar The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage. To get a taste of Brene, check out her animated shorts on Empathy and Blame from this presentation. 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.