The Moral Landscape (highlights)

My Kindle highlights from The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris. Human well-being entirely depends on events in the world and on states of the human brain. Consequently, there must be scientific truths to be known about it. The fact that we may not be able to resolve specific moral dilemmas does not suggest that all […]

Expect Less from Yourself

Changing your habits is hard. Most people know this at some level (see all of your New Year’s resolutions). The mistake we all tend to make is expecting too much from ourselves. When something inspires us to change our behavior for the better (like a motivational speaker or a new beginning), we have a surge […]

How I Became a “Morning Person”

I’ve been sleeping in since kindergarten. If there was somewhere to be in the morning, I was either slightly late or really late. Getting to school on time was a rarity and I was the worst paperboy my neighborhood had ever seen. As a grad student, my text history with my advisor was a long […]

Deep Work (highlights)

My Kindle highlights from Deep Work by Cal Newport Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate. A 2012 McKinsey study found that the average knowledge worker now spends more than […]

Physicist to Programmer: bottom-up vs. top-down learning

Two years ago I left a PhD in physics, joined a startup, and taught myself to be a software developer. I had to radically alter the way I learned and approached problems. An education in physics is very much a bottom-up approach. Before you can grasp the intricacies of electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and general relativity, […]

Why you Should Quit While You’re Ahead

‘”Quit while you’re ahead” is an effective strategy for forming new habits when it is applied locally rather than globally. I don’t mean quit a habit once you’re good at it, but quit practicing in specific instances while your enjoyment or satisfaction is high, e.g. stop writing while you still have momentum. There are psychological […]

How to Win Friends and Influence People (highlights)

My Kindle highlights from How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carenegie RULE 1 : Become genuinely interested in other people.RULE 2 : Smile.RULE 3 : Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.RULE 4 : Be a good listener. Encourage others to […]

The Lean Habit

A framework for building habits from the ground up Joining an early-stage startup was a turning point in my life. I joined SharpestMinds two years ago as a relatively ignorant PhD dropout. But, since then, I’ve gotten a crash course in startup culture and best practices and, in an effort to keep up with the […]

Rework (highlights)

My Kindle highlights from Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses. Start referring to your business plans as business guesses, your financial plans as financial guesses, and your strategic plans as strategic guesses. Now you can stop worrying about them as much. They […]