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.
Po Bronson writes on a number of fascinating topics. He wrote a great magazine article on how mindset applies to child rearing. It’s also a great and short introduction to the Mindset concept. The upshot from Po’s article is that you should praise children for how hard they try, not their innate qualities like how smart or pretty they are. Po expands upon this in the book Nurtureshock. He’s also wrote other great books like Nudist on the Late Shift where he convinces people to join the internet boom at the turn of the century and What Should I Do With My Life? Where he apologies and attempts to help people figure out what to do after the crash.
Powers of 10 is a fantastic video by Charles and Ray Eames on how big and small the universe is. It’s great for kids as well as adults.
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
I went to Yale. This video does a good job of explaining why i chose Yale. More than the content, the fact that students and recent graduates put this together on a their own shows the kind of creativity and ethos at the school. While you’re looking at videos, you should also take a look at this video where Harvard finally admits that Harvard Sucks.