Start With Top Life Regrets and Work Backwards

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I’m a proponent of reverse planning, i.e. deciding what you want and then working backwards until you get it. That’s one option for pursuing happiness, but it’s hard to do because people don’t know what they want. A better approach may be figuring out what went wrong and then doing the opposite. Regrets Considerable research […]

The Aphorism of Aphorisms

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I collect aphorisms, and there are many greats. But one distinguishes itself in both style and substance. It is better to want what you have than to have what you want. ~ The Proverbs Top of the list.

A Formula For Happiness

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I rarely read essays that I know to be in my top five of all time, but I just read one. I’ll include a funny quote from it here that’s rather unrelated to the content, but I encourage you to read the entire thing: This assumption actually has a name: the “Coolidge Effect,” named after […]

On The Dangers of Diet Soda

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People argue constantly about how dangerous diet soda is. The main arguments include: Aspartame is bad Man-made sweeteners are bad You shouldn’t drink anything that ants walk around Fake sugar tricks the body into thinking it’s real sugar Etc. All good points, but I think I can simplify. None is best If you are the […]

Engineer Around Your Weaknesses

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I have a friend named Andrew who used to play poker professionally. And when I say professionally, I mean he’s made hundreds of thousands of dollars doing it. One of the lessons he learned from that experience is the concept of figuring out what your natural tendencies are, and engineering around the weaknesses of those […]

Cancer is an Age Problem

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Most people think of Cancer as a disease in the same way they think of Malaria or Polio. They conceptualize it as something that happens to some people if you’re unlucky, and we’re searching for the cure. With cancer, that’s not the situation. Cancer is a byproduct of age. The more your cells replicate, the […]

Book Summaries

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I try to read a lot, and one of the main concepts of this site is capturing knowledge in a clear and consumable fashion. To that end, I’ve started a Reading Project where I capture the books I’ve read and distill them into concise summaries. Here’s my latest entry on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the […]

Being a Lifetime Intellectual Helps Prevent Dementia

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Lifetime intellectual enrichment might delay the onset of cognitive impairment and be used as a successful preventative intervention to reduce the impending dementia epidemic… ~ PSMag I fail to see how this is surprising. When you go into space your muscles atrophy because there is no gravity. And when you come back to earth you […]

The Problem With Superman’s Powers

Superman is my favorite superhero. Always has been. But lately—especially after seeing Man of Steel—I’ve had a major problem with the overall concept. In a word, the problem is radiation.

Backstage with Tool

My girl took me to see Tool for our 20th anniversary of being together. Despite Tool being my favorite band since…well, since I had a favorite band, it was my first time seeing them live. And she didn’t just get us tickets—she got the VIP package. I wasn’t overly enthused about the VIP thing, actually. […]

Lifelogging

I’m getting back into the idea of lifelogging. It marries two of my favorite things: productivity and metrics. For those not familiar, it’s basically a combination of metrics about your life. Here are some examples: Exercise Happiness Air quality Weight Diet This stuff can be captured manually, but part of the culture is finding the […]

The Duality of Truth and Happiness

I just saw the Lego Movie, and it was quite good. [ SPOILERS: Stop here if you’re worried about plot issues. ] So, like most modern “kid” films, there was an adult thread woven throughout the movie. This one was fairly simple, but powerful: Everyone is special—even when they’re not. All they have to do […]

Slaying It in 2014

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I don’t know what it is about 2014, but I’ve been killing it already this year. I’ve never been more organized at work, and the projects I have lined up for my team are super exciting. I’m making massive progress with my apartment (organization, getting a housekeeper, putting up art, etc.) I’ve produced more (and […]

Books I Read in 2013

I failed to read enough in 2013, and I intend to do better in 2014. I did, however, get to read a few great books, which I’ve listed below. Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace The Elements of Style (New Edition) Learning Node The entire GoT series Practical Vim Candide The Phoenix Project (Re-read) […]

Ricky Gervais’ Gift

Ricky Gervais has a gift. I’ve known about it for years, but until just now I could not articulate it. My introduction to him was with The Office. It remains my all-time favorite show, despite being followed by offerings like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc. The Office taught me more about human […]

From Evernote to Apple Notes

I’ve moved from Evernote to Apple Notes (and Reminders) for 2014. Here’s how I saw the notes landscape: Evernote Pros: Cross-platform, collaborative notes Cons: Complexity, paid, non-integrated Apple Notes / Reminders Pros: Integration, simplicity Cons: No collaboration, not cross-platform Anyway, I decided to go ahead with the switch after a conversation with @tbwolfe about it. […]

Merlin Mann on Life Planning

My narrative is that I’ve never known what’s coming next—I still don’t. I fell down the right set of stairs and have been surrounded by people who have picked me up and said, ‘Let’s try this again.’ It’s been one anxious block of uncertainty after another. ~ Merlin Mann This is a strong quote from […]

Wisdom in Peanuts

I was in a store with my childhood friend Andrew tonight, and I was looking through the glass at various beverages. I said, “I just don’t know which to get.” His reply was worth capture. Get yourself some salty peanuts and that’ll help you decide. On its surface, that’s a simple enough comment: salty peanuts […]

Creating Real Apps From Web Apps Using Fluid

Fluid is a great concept. You take your favorite web applications and turn them into actual Mac applications. This means you can do things like minimize them, fullscreen them, put them in the dock, launch them from your favorite launcher app, etc. The two apps I did it on are Feedly and Chartbeat. Consuming these […]

A Dream Timepiece

I have a Submariner. It’s always been my favorite watch. It was for 10 years before I owned one, and it remains so today. But there’s another watch that catches my eye whenever I see it: the Patek Philippe Calatrava Réf. 5227. Just flawless.

My Bucket List

I think it’s important to have a list of things you’re working towards, or things you’d like to accomplish. Some take this in an unhealthy direction, i.e. by saying they hope to do these amazing things before they die. I see it quite differently, instead saying these are things I’m going to do, and I […]

American Happiness

image from fineartamerica.com I wonder if anyone in America is truly happy. Well, that’s too strong: I wonder how many in America are truly happy. I feel much of what passes for happiness is actually a smiling veneer over a reluctance to think about the question–most likely because thinking about it causes depression. So I […]

Getting a Full Bodied Cup of Coffee From a Pour Over

I’ve been pretty into coffee for the last few years, and I’ve been experimenting with multiple ways of preparing a good cup. For the last couple of years I’ve been focused on the French Press, which is a fine method. Here you’re soaking the coffee in the hot water for approximately four (4) minutes, which […]

Replace To-do Lists With Calendar Placeholders

image from innovativelyorganized.com The alternative to the feckless to-do list is what I call “living in your calendar.” That means taking your tasks off the to-do list, estimating how much time each of them will consume, and transferring them to your calendar. (Don’t forget to leave time to process your email. And leave some empty […]