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Thinking, Fast and Slow

Am I a little embarrassed that it took me to long to read Thinking, Fast and Slow? Yes, yes I am. My excuse is that I savored this book over the course of several months, reading it, bit by bit, taking notes and trying to fully ingest each insight.

I can’t recommend this book enough if you have any interest whatsoever in learning about why we think the way we do, especially why and how our thinking fails us. One of the unfortunate outcomes of reading the book will be a nearly uncontrollable urge to pinpoint the errors in

The Story in the Science

I’m completely jealous of those who were able to attend the National Association of Science Writers conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Angela Herring, versatile science writer at Northeastern University who blogs here, was kind enough to post some notes here on the panel discussion on “Unearthing Narrative,” a panel discussion that kept popping up on my Twitter feed.

Here are four takeaway lessons she posted, noting that these come from panelist David Quammen, author of the forthcoming Spillover:

  • Be a Human Listener: When you’re the reporter, do your best to transcend the journalist-scientist relationship, get

What do the Zen Habits guy, Tony Robbins, Chris Guillebeau, Michael Hyatt and Dooce have in common?

Since I had so much fun posting about the humble beginnings of big blogs–and it was retweeted ad infinitum, I thought I’d try that once again.

Side note: the purpose of this blog entry is not to embarrass anybody or cause pain. The purpose of this is to hit people over the head with the fact that big names and heroes of the literary/self-help/Christian publishing/minimalism/travel hacking worlds do not emerge online as fully-formed entities. They begin, instead, with generic Typepad themes, mediocre head shots, and embarrassing font choices.

When you’re beginning any project and looking to subject leaders for

25 years ago today: the first printed words of Malcolm Gladwell

It’s a humble beginnings anniversary! In the spirit of looking at the early blogs of Tim Ferriss and Gretchen Rubin, let’s not forget about the wordsmiths of the world whose success predates the blogging era.  Specifically:

Malcolm Gladwell

You may know him as the former running champion and current staff writer at The New Yorker; you probably have a copy of Blink, The Tipping Point, and/or Outliers in your house. Next year, someone will give you a copy of David and Goliath, which by then will be on the nightstand of every high school coach and

Don’t Eat Fortune’s Cookie: How Michael Lewis Got So Lucky

Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, Liar’s Poker and a few other books, recently gave a speech at Princeton on, among other things, the role of luck in his success. Reading the full text of the speech, available here, or watching it is well worth the 13 minutes:


Long story short: unlike so many, Lewis actually recognizes and acknowledges the role that luck has played in his career. The most striking example is a dinner he attended while in graduate school, at which he sat next to the wife of an executive at Salomon Brothers; she later demanded that

Ready to get lucky?

Joan Didion

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.

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Can You Learn to be Lucky: Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others by Karla Starr

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