20.51: Random Thoughts of the Week

ℹ️ This is not a newsletter, nor is it a weekly update one can expect to be delivered every Sunday. These are just random thoughts or ideas I come across and pin down during the week.

Things I’ve shared

If you organize your reading this way, your bookshelf won’t be arranged by genre like a typical bookstore. Rather than having sections sorted by author, you will instead have sections for addressing different problems, likely sorted by clusters of books in order that you encountered them.

If you’re a knowledge worker, think of training and improving as an athlete.

  • Tyler Cowen shared similar advice for reading. In this funny podcast he acknowledges that it took him 57 years to “learn how to read”, and also advocates for compounded reading. Here are some notes I took from the interview:

    • If you don’t like a book, immediately discard it.
    • Reading compounds: read a lot and connect disparate ideas.
    • Focus reading: start with a question in mind and read by trying to solve your own problem.
    • Read books in clusters: by author, by topic, by historical period…
    • Get into the author’s mind: wrap up with his YouTube videos, interviews…
    • Learn from topics that don’t interest you: pick “the best book on X” and despite you don’t like the topic, any “best on X” will be an amazing read.
  • I try to stay away from yearly recaps or resolutions, but this is somehow different. Plenty of thoughtful advice for a better life — my “resolution” would be to re-read it often throughout the year.

  • For unknown reasons, my minimalist side has accentuated recently. I liked Tips For a Better Life mentioning one of my favorite principles (Sturgeon’s Law) — an adage that states that most things are unimportant and ninety percent of everything is crap.

Things I was into

People do not remember what you say, they remember how you say it.

—— Donald Trump

Not that I consider Trump to be a role model… but I found his Netflix documentary to be quite interesting. I didn’t know about his background story, but what fascinated me the most was the way he understood how to bend reality to convey ideas.

Which brought me back to an interview with Daniel Ek and his obsession to optimize meetings. One does not think of meetings as something susceptible to optimization. But he realized that as an executive he spent most of his time in meetings. Hence the refining of these rituals was one of the most impactful things he could act on to boost his outcome.

Random thoughts

  • 🗳 How come electronic voting is not a thing? Our government is pushing for an election in a couple of months when, at the same time, they are also restraining almost all retail, restaurants, and other social activities. Am I the only one who thinks this is a contradiction in itself? Politicians are pushing for a self-serving election, putting the entire population at risk solely for its own benefit. Despite trying hard, I still don’t understand.
First published on December 20, 2020