The Case for Dennis Rodman is one of the finest things on the entire internet.
If you hate statistics, you'll hate it.
If you can merely muddle through statistics -- you don't have to like them -- it's a set of essays where bombshell after bombshell of epiphany and mental models break through.
It looks at bias, naive and advanced statistics, hubris, winning, contributions to team efforts, resource usage, utilization, media, narratives, historical eras and change... it's sometimes meandering, sometimes laser-focused, highly aware of itself and its own potential flaws... it's a masterpiece.
You should probably read it, but that's not the point of this post.
No, the point of this post is actually prompted by reading a bunch of Taylor Pearson essays recently --
"But “actionable” is never going to dramatically upshift trajectory. Vision, recombinant ideation, is what does that. Being a dilettante, exploring a lot of different fields and I’m increasingly seeing, taking time off, is what does that. Good ideas come in the shower not the sweatshop.
There’s been a dramatic shift in resource scarcity that we still haven’t quite adjusted to. I still feel guilty and lazy when I take time off or block out time to think and plan even though in retrospect it’s consistently the most valuable thing I do."
From this post. Emphasis added by me. Warning: mild profanity.
I have no intention of using Rodman as an example for The Strategic Review or any future upcoming book. There's a decent shot I'll do a math series at TSR at some point, but the current Series (Toughness) runs through March, and the series after that is already half-written too, and neither are particularly math-y.
Roguelike had a lot of math in it, but my best candidates for next books are both not-at-all math heavy.
Really, by any definition of "working," by reading about Dennis Rodman I'm not working.
And yet, I can't help but feel that, so as long as I'm not neglecting core duties, re-reading that series about Rodman is a terrific usage of time that'll lead me to make many better decisions across my life.
Despite that, I have no way to account for this in terms of traditional productivity metrics.
A quandary. Oh well. Back to re-reading about The Worm.
Thanks for the mention, but more thanks for the Rodman link. Fascinating.I find Koch's work (particularly 80/20 and Star Principle) both get at the same theme that there are 2x opportunities and there are 10x opportunities and they are qualitatively different.The difference between the two is very clear in the Taleb quote: "I use courage and wisdom, not labor, to make money."
I just got a good email from a friend about emotions and biochemistry. It got me thinking.
Envy and schadenfreude are common emotions. People like seeing their opponents fail.
Is it possible to get over that? Would it be desirable to get over that?
I think envy and schadenfreude and hatred are usually a detriment to people feeling them. This is obvious enough when you're playing a positive sum game - because Positive Sum Games Don't Require Natural Talent, and have a near infinite opportunity for success. Disciplines like inventing, engineering, finance, entrepreneurship, mathematics, and the natural sciences work hand in hand. Every win by an inventor opens lots of doors for engineering, finance, entrepreneurship, math, and science. And indeed, for other inventors.
A lot of people mistake positive sum games - like the economy at large - for a zero sum game. They think that if you get money, they'll get less money. Of course, it doesn't work like that, as our exponentially growing standard of living shows. Even if someone loses a local conflict (to gain market share in a new technology, for instance) they can still go on to invent and innovate in a new field.
One of the top three questions I get when talking to people about unschooling is "How will he learn math?" I love this question. Being a number enthusiast myself, I get excited whenever I have an opportunity to point out how math is all around us. That's the pseudo answer. Math is all around us. But learning is a process. Realizing that our surroundings provide excellent opportunities to learn math is just the first step. Here's my three step learning process:
That's it! Once you get through with step 3, it could lead you to further research. A trip to the library or a google search for more examples and information could be the next steps. Or not. Maybe the 3 steps was enough to satisfy the math curiosity for this moment. Regardless, some learning happens.
But where is the math?
Chase loves to count things. He made me realize we could talk about numbers anywhere. The only thing holding back the math is our imagination. We count nuts and bolts, birds, parallel lines, marks on walls, shoes, vertical blinds, beans, people, cars, busses, you get the idea :) What fascinated me is how the simple concept of counting has lead to other math concepts. We now count sides on objects. That thing has 4 sides, its a square. Or a rectangle. This thing has 8 sides and he looks to me like, what is that?!? Octagon, I say. We went from basic counting to geometry. But it doesn't stop there.