What have your favorite posts been on here? Why? What's been most useful to you?
I got a really nice mix of opinions yesterday (though there seems to a strong undercurrent on history, practical interventions, and maybe some more "narratives" instead of abstract pieces) -- now I'd really like to hear about your favorite pieces from the past, either series or specifically.
I'm going to go back and select a number of pieces that were pretty good and edit them to be something coherent and better. I really want to step my quality level up and do really great by you. This blog has long been a source of inspiration and a great way to connect with people, but I want to take it to the next level and really deliver stuff that's outstanding on all fronts.
All feedback super appreciated. Especially doubly true if you're on email and don't normally comment; the opinions of people who regularly obviously matter a lot to me, but if you're normally quiet -- your opinion matters to me too and I'd love to hear it.
So... What have your favorite posts been on here? Why? What's been most useful to you?
Any feedback on what you'd like to see going forwards?
Major changes are coming.
Thanks for reading here. I appreciate it. You'll be excited to see what comes next. Any feedback on what you'd like?
Not a usual blog post, but I'm enjoying this drink so much that I have to recommend it.
Raw cocoa powder actually has no sugar in it -- surprising. It's pretty bitter.
It also has a chemical composition quite similar, but slightly different from caffeine. I read on other sites that the come-down from it is easier than caffeine -- I don't know, because I do both in a day.
But it is a stimulant, definitely, and it's delicious.
Stevia is a non-carbohydrate sweetener.
If your life sucks, this might be why -
Are you getting caught up in stupid details and missing the big picture?
Yesterday, I wrote What’s your time worth? “Can you keep the change and I can leave?”
What's the point of that post?
You can often trade off a small amount of money to get out of short annoying situations.
A rant? Absolutely not - it's a principled stand against the corruption and malaise in publishing. Guaranteed to be interesting and engaging, please share with everyone relevant that you know -
I finished Robert Ringer's "Winning Through Intimidation" and started reading Yukio Mishima's "The Samurai Ethic of Modern Japan." It's an introduction to and analysis of Hagakure. Hagakure's a 17th Century work on bushido and Japanese samurai ethics and living - I've got some excerpts of it here - "Excerpts from Hagakure, Chapter 1."
Reading Mishima, I realize something about the difference between Japanese and American superheroes and fictional characters.
At the most desperate moments, American fictional heroes tend to win by discarding their training and going with instinct and feelings. You see the hero who was beaten down and whose plans failed, who now "lets go" and thus wins.
At the most desperate moments, Japanese fictional characters win by unleashing and realizing the effects of their training.
A hallmark of Japanese fiction is the hero going through a long training period, but then not quite mastering his skill. Then, at his most desperate moment, the training kicks in to the full extent, and he wins.
I. This post outlines Patrick McKenzie - a brilliant technologist and entrepreneur - how he's done such amazing things and learned so much, and why he's getting drastically underpaid and how it's his own fault. This post will be most valuable for technologists who underestimate themselves and undervalue themselves.
II. Hacker News is the best tech community on the internet, and patio11 - Patrick McKenzie - is the best contributor there. I don't even think that's controversial, I think it would be near universally agreed by the HN crowd that Patrick has made as many or more important contributions as anyone.
If you're from Hacker News, you know Patrick already. But for my readers that don't know him, let me give you a quick overview.
III. Patrick is a multi-faceted genius, and I don't throw the word genius around casually.
Patrick McKenzie is many things - he's an expatriate to Japan, he's a talented coder, tester, metrics/split-testing/analytics user, a great writer, extremely modest and helpful. He can recruit people, evaluate talent, and manage people well. He understands ROI very well and is good at purchasing advertising. He's good at customer service. Outsourcing. Automation. Coding. Ecommerce.
Much respect to Yifei Zhang and James Pan for collaborating on the new layout - excellent dudes both.
One of the great enjoyments from blogging is you get to correspond with really insightful people.
That's Shanna. She wants to kick off a discussion on Priming, and I'm really grateful she contributed for our thinking benefit. Enjoy -
I'm reading Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. At one point he talks about priming.
He cites a couple of studies. In the first, undergrads are given a few word jumbles and asked to create sentences with them. Included in the exercise are lists like tired, old, Florida, achy, etc. The researchers then measured the speed of the undergrads as they were leaving the office going back down the hall out of the office. Everyone moved more slowly after they were exposed to triggers about old age.
Making your first trip to East or Southeast Asia? Wondering where to go?
Okay, I've spent significant time in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. I can weigh in on those places for you. I haven't been to Macau, Laos, Burma, the Philippines, North Korea, or Indonesia yet - of them, I've heard great things about the Philippines and Indonesia in particular, but I can't comment.
So, some thoughts about every country -
Japan - Still the crown jewel of Asia, Japan has something for everyone. There's ancient and hyper-modern culture mixed all together. There's amazing technology, high levels of development, basically nonexistent crime, ridiculously high standards of quality and hygiene, and the people are friendly and polite. English isn't widely spoken, but the Japanese take being good hosts seriously and you'll be fine in any major city. You can find quite literally anything here - amazing camping and mountains and forests and oceans, or hyper-developed space-age districts in cities.
The downside of Japan - It's fucking expensive. Like, really really expensive. I hate spending money on eating and sleeping - every dollar I put into basic "staying alive" stuff is less money to be invested in commerce or philanthropy, or learning, or having unique experiences that are more interesting than... well, eating and sleeping. Yet, eating and sleeping is brutally expensive here. If you're not a veteran traveler and don't have friends here, you'll be hard pressed to spend less than $100/day in Japan. If you slum it hard, you can maybe get down to $50/day. Everything's ridiculously expensive, ranging from 400% to 2,000% higher than still-developing countries in Asia.