Scott H Young

Friday Links 08-05-02


From the Web

Self-Discipline Matters, Except When You’re Motivated – Cal Newport points to new studies that have been done in the study of procrastination. The article points to research claiming that self-discipline is like a fuel, that is drained when you perform tasks that require willpower. The exception, however, is when you are motivated internally to perform the task. For readers of this blog, I don’t think this will come as a surprise, but it’s nice to see solid research giving clear answer.

Should You Study the Best, or the Slightly Better? – Skip to the bottom paragraph where Ben says:

There are many successful CEOs and it’d be smarter, it seems to me, to find someone who is doing a little bit better than you (ie, 3-5 years ahead in terms of progress), and study that person.

Instead, we flock to read Welch and Trump and Gerstner, thinking that their experiences can help us understand our own. Worse yet, people fork over thousands of dollars just to hear Donald Trump speak in-person at a Learning Annex conference or whatever. I couldn’t think of a worse way to invest professional development money.

This is one of the reasons I love the blogging community. Instead of getting ideas from a crowd of experts, you get ideas from people who are in the process of solving problems themselves. Experts are often so removed from the realities of a beginner, that their advice may not be as useful to someone starting out.

From the Archives

How to Read 70+ Books in a Year – The last four months has seen my reading volume take a nosedive. I partially attribute this to taking on a far busier schedule, part of it can also be blamed on recently having read through several, dense 1000+ page books. With courses finished, I’m hoping to recapture my former book-lust.

From the Shelf

Lila – This book is the sequel to Robert Pirsig’s book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I’m still trying to wrap my head around a few of his concepts, but the ideas are interesting. Pirsig is great at breaking down highly intellectual problems into components that are easily understood.

Upcoming News

I’m in the middle of working on a book that will highlight some of the best articles I’ve written in the past two years. With over 500 posts, I can’t expect many new readers to search through an archive of that size. As a result, I’m picking my favorite articles and putting them into a book, which should be much easier to read.

I’m planning on releasing the book as an ebook and as a paperback/hardcover book through Lulu. The ebook version will be completely free, while the paperback/hardcover will be sold at the cost of producing it. I’m not expecting to make a dime off this project, but hopefully the people who enjoy this website will find some value in reading through the best posts written here.

Plus for everyone who has been nagging me to get some of my writing onto dead trees, this will be the first chance to own a hard copy.


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2 Responses to “Friday Links 08-05-02”

  1. Mugil says:

    “With over 500 posts, I can’t expect many new readers to search through an archive of that size.”

    Categories would help a lot.

  2. Scott Young says:

    Mugil,

    I used to have categories for the website. I’ve since found that it is incredibly difficult to categorize much of what I write about. Although some of it easily fits into a category, much sits in a sort of “middle ground” which isn’t easy to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

    I might be adding tagging functionality sometime later, but that would be a significant project to go back and tag everything I’ve written.

    -Scott

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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