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Scott H Young


Last Build Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 18:37:40 +0000


I’m 29

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 18:37:40 +0000

Every year, on my birthday, I write an update on what happened in my life in the preceding twelve months. I’ve done this since my eighteenth birthday, so if you’re interested you can see how my life and views have changed over the last decade. Of course, if you’re not interested, I’ll be back to […]

Why You Should Be More Extreme

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:30:59 +0000

Trying too hard is stigmatized in our society. People don’t like it when someone goes too far when trying to accomplish something. This is unfortunate, because going too far is exactly what you need to do. Case in point: I recently started tracking calories. No, I’m not fat. No, I don’t think I am. But […]

Two Kinds of Difficulty

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:54:00 +0000

There are two reasons accomplishing something might be difficult. The first is intrinsic difficulty. Imagine you wanted to hold your breath for ten minutes straight. This is a challenging task because of the limitations of the human body. It’s exceptionally hard to do without intense training. The second is relative difficulty. Now imagine you wanted […]

Book Club: Sapiens, A Brief History of Time (July 2017)

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 14:43:58 +0000

James Clear and I discuss July’s book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. We cover the major themes in the book as well as the author’s thought provoking interpretation of human history, contemporary society, and beyond. If you would rather read the transcript, you can download it here. Below are some of the highlights: …on […]

Lesson #1: Capital Trumps Courage

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:33:08 +0000

This is the first lesson in a four-part series on identifying rare and valuable career skills and then putting in the work to get really good at them. We’ll only be posting the first lesson to the blog, so if you want to see the rest, you’ll have to join my newsletter. This first lesson […]

You Should Have More Spectacular Failures

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 17:06:26 +0000

Most advice is calibration. Eat less (because you’re inclined to overeat). Study more (because you’ll probably wait too long and cram right before the exam). Procrastinate less (because you’ll probably spend days stressing about trying to do the thing that if you just did it now, it wouldn’t be all that bad). I try to […]

Gri-Gri, Money and Bootstrapped Truths

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 17:02:05 +0000

Why does money have value? After all, if I went with some colorful feathers and tried to use them to purchase a hamburger, I’d get laughed right out of McDonald’s. Then, why do colorful pieces of paper and metal work instead? According to Yuval Harari in his book Sapiens, the answer is that the value […]

Book Club: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (June 2017)

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 18:21:45 +0000

Kalid Azad and I discuss June’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. We discuss the practical implications of the book as well as some of its loftier philosophical ambitions. If you would rather read the transcript, download it here. Below are some highlights: …on the analytical “knife” and what is created/destroyed in the […]

Do You Need Self-Discipline to Have Fun?

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:07:11 +0000

Hedonism is a school of thought that says maximizing one’s own pleasure is the ultimate goal in life. Originally stated by Aristippus, a student of Socrates, the term has become pejorative, usually referring to people who indulge excessively in sensory pleasures of food, drugs or sex. Most people don’t take hedonism seriously, or directly try […]

How Much Do You Really Understand?

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:48:19 +0000

How do you know when you understand something? This is trickier than it seems. Explanations are recursive. recursive. Recursion is the algorithmic equivalent of Matryoshka dolls. The same process nested inside itself again and again. This may sound complicated, but we use recursive processes all the time. recursive processes all the time. Consider trying to […]