Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize for Economics — becoming the first non-Economist to win that distinction. He summarized the field in a wonderful tome called Thinking Fast and Slow. The basic thrust of the book is that we have a number of unconscious heuristics and biases that drive our decision making — which work well MOST of the time but not ALL of the time. On a different note, Kahneman gave a fascinating TED talk about happiness that’s well worth watching. Kahnemann’s book is a fantastic tome but a little long for the people new to the field. If you want something that’s a little quicker on the topic, check out Dan Ariely’s books Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality. I wrote a few hundred words summarizing Ariely’s work on default settings as well. For more of a financial look at this, check out Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.
Only pay for things you use. When buying a subscription on an iPhone or App Store, they often default to auto-recurring. This means you can be paying for things forever and never use them. What I do is immediately turn off the recurring subscription. Then, when I need to use the subscribed service again, I renew it.
David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) is the current standard on life and time management. Almost everything that David recommends is powerful and useful. I find the most powerful tool to be the Weekly Review. I try to do one every Friday. I found the GTD methodology a bit overwhelming at first but found the Getting Started on the GTD Path extremely useful.
Neil Degrasse Tyson, head of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, is a fascinating human being. I’ve really enjoyed listening to his audiobook The Pluto Files and the course The Inexplicable Universe. But here’s a guy who is the head of the Planetarium and hosted the remake of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos who also puts on a Science/Comedy show that Abigail and I saw live! He also does a mean moonwalk.
I wrote about The Best Magazine Articles on Technology and they’re all pretty phenomenal. The articles I write about are:
- The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce by Tom Wolfe, Esquire Magazine, December 1983
- Secrets of the Little Blue Box by Ron Rosenbaum, Esquire, 10/1971
- Spacewar by Stewart Brand, Rolling Stone, 11/7/1972
- Inside The Deal That Made Bill Gates $350,000,000 by Bro Uttal, Fortune, 7/21/1984
- You’ve Got Blog by Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 11/13/2000