Finally got around to Taleb's "Black Swan" on audio. Hadn't gone through it before because the core concept seems pretty obvious and straightforward, but it's actually packed with interesting stuff.
"Retroactive determinism," for instance, was a phrase just tossed out once and thrown away -- but it's a useful addition to a vocabulary.
It describes how things seem obvious in retrospect. You meet someone successful, so you credit their long work hours, or alternatively their laziness which makes them desire to find more efficient ways, their healthy diet, or their laid-back ways without focus on things like that.
Retroactive determinism says that people say things were automatic and obvious afterwards, but oftentimes what they say caused the event -- long hours, or laziness/efficiency combo -- might not be it at all, and probably isn't.
"Black Swan" is good. Recommended.
Loved Black Swan. Read it before I had to make any major life decisions - it taught me to try to minimize risk wherever possible (relationships, etc) so that I could take risks where I wanted to (relocation, career...)
From the reviews, it appears that the audiobook version of Black Swan is much inferior to the dead tree/ebook version. Not sure. The book is phenomenal, so reading it the second time would be beneficial as well.
Leaving places where everything is right "just because."
I just arrived in Beijing. The air is cold and crisp, the pace is fast, people are wearing suits and carrying briefcases and the general vibe here is I'm on a mission.
I hate cold weather except in small doses, and I haven't spent more than two weeks in a cold-weather place during a cold time of the year since... I don't know when, it's been a long time. A few years.
I forgot how the cold makes people move fast, crisp, not dally, not lounge about... it's refreshing. I feel like I'm in New York a little before Christmastime, which (shitty cold weather aside) is one of my favorite times in one of my favorite places in the world.
But let's about traveling (and life) mistakes. The biggest mistake I've made, by far, is leaving a place where I'm very happy or productive or I've got a good workflow. Occasionally, everything is just right somewhere... and when everything is just right, I'd recommend you milk it for all it's worth.
Many people say that if you cheat you’re only cheating yourself. I disagree. While there’s an element of truth to this it’s also an overstatement. Before we talk about when this rule doesn’t apply, however, let’s discuss a few situations in which it does.
The idea is that cheating is wrong primarily when it’s done out of laziness. Cheating can be ethical in many circumstances, however, when it frees up time or resources that could (and will be) better spent improving the world.
If you’re set on becoming a psychologist, and your history teacher tries forcing you to memorize dozens of dates from World War II it may be in your best interest to cheat.