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."
What's cyclothymia? It's a mild form of the docs used to call "manic-depression," but which they re-name periodically. Cyclothymics can actually function decently well, and as such often don't know they've got it. If you cycle through highs and lows, are particularly artistic, or that describes someone you love, then read this post in full and please comment with your own experience. I'm still learning, myself.
AN INTRODUCTION TO CYCLOTHYMIA
Knowing the term "Cyclothymia" would have been very helpful to me a few years ago. This essay is plain English and, if I've done a good job, might help people who associate with a cyclothymic relate better to them, and might help a cyclothymic manage themselves better and produce better.
I'm against the "medical-ization" of life. We need medical terms, but we need to be able to explain things in plain English without labeling. Labeling, by definition, drastically simplifies.
Cyclothymia is simple at its roots, simple enough for a plain discussion without medicalization. Here's how it works for me -
I've been applying to a few quantitative trading firms. My interviews so far have been coding and math puzzles, but I'm told that tomorrow's will involve mathematical finance. I have absolutely no background in that. What to do in a few hours of studying?
In college, I always felt there was something off about sitting through long lectures and taking methodical notes that were never referred back to, at least more than once before the exam. My solution then was to use a spaced repetition system (SRS) to make all the pertinent facts sticks. I talk a lot about spaced repetition systems--and their shortcomings--on my other blog. In this case though, the main issue is that I don't have time to create material for SRS anyway.
My strategy has been a mix of the following:
Is this chaotic flurry of learning good over a longer term? Well, I don't have time to answer tonight! But I will say this: I've felt like I'm doing better on math challenges than coding/algorithm ones. I've studied and worked with programming much more in the last few years, but it doesn't seem to compare with the massive amounts of quick, targeted math problems I did in high school--probably 100-200 problems per week. Those were mostly more basic than math olympiad problems, and I'd say the reason I didn't do better than I did in math competition is that I didn't do much of the less satisfying work of reading solutions for hard problems just outside of my range.