From the Web
Massive link dump this week…
Leo’s BASIC Running Program – I laughed when I saw this one.
A List of Personal Development Blogs by PluginID – Yours truly also makes the list
Study Hacks Review of The Little Book of Productivity – Cal writes a thorough review dissecting my latest e-book. His thoughts are interesting and mostly positive, while avoiding a sales pitch. I think it’s definitely worth a read if you were considering getting the book, but wanted a more objective opinion.
“Value” Investing with People – Value investing is a school of investment thought (with such practitioners as Warren Buffet) that focuses on identifying great companies when they have a low or reasonable price. Ben Casnocha takes an interesting twist focusing on investing in relationships with the same idea. Trying to befriend the celebrity or CEO when they are already famous isn’t as useful as befriending the rising stars, who will still remember you when they become important. Plus, you meet more interesting people when you consciously avoid the selection biases most people use.
From the Archives
The Art of the Finish – Cal Newport’s fantastic guest article on this website. The main idea: productivity isn’t doing tasks, it’s getting projects finished. Unless your productivity system is geared with completion in mind, you’ll end up spinning your wheels.
Plus: My search feature doesn’t suck anymore. Check out the search function in the sidebar, powered by Google. Now if you’re looking for an article, or just don’t want to scroll through the archives, you can find exactly what you want.
From the Shelf
The standard economic theory, that we are all rational, utility-maximizing creatures is wrong. Dan Ariely shows many of the pitfalls of human reasoning, and shows how we are far from rational. However, this irrationality is predictable, and humans often make systematic mistakes when making decisions.
I enjoy the subject of cognitive biases, so much of this research wasn’t new to me. However, there were a few new ideas, and many more experiments showing our human pitfalls. One disadvantage of books like these is they focus more on our human failings than solutions to those failings. I think that perspective is necessary (you can’t fix what you don’t understand), but it does leave you with more questions than answers, once the book is concluded.
I already wrote an entry on what I think was the most interesting chapter in the book.
If you haven’t read much on cognitive biases before, this is a good place to start.