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Scott H Young



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Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:58:24 +0000

 



How Much Faster Can You Learn?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:58:24 +0000

Say you were to optimize everything you possibly could for a particular learning goal. You used the best time-management system, you picked exactly the right tasks that would drive learning improvement, you applied tremendous motivation and effort. How much faster could you learn something than the status quo would expect? The answer, of course, will […]



What’s Next?

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 19:59:39 +0000

Completing a big project or achieving a goal can lead to an unexpected experience. Part of you feels proud and satisfied—you did the thing you wanted to do. But another part of you can end up feeling totally lost. On the one hand, completing a hard-won project has given you the thing you set out […]



Choose Your Signal Wisely

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 19:39:47 +0000

Psychological research has demonstrated that human beings are particularly susceptible to what are called framing effects. These are differences in the way we respond to a situation, based on how it is framed for us, rather than on its substance. To take a particularly striking example, American physicians were presented with the following scenario: “The […]



Book Club: Godel, Escher, Bach (December 2017)

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 23:44:41 +0000

This month we read Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter.  This is a fantastically weird and wonderful book. At one level, the book is about a parallel between three people: Johann Sebastian Bach, Kurt Godel and M.C. Escher, in particular how their work in music, math and art manages to loop back on itself and […]



Discovering the Meta

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 18:02:03 +0000

One of my favorite early lessons in entrepreneurship was the idea of working “on” your business instead of merely working “in” your business. To see the distinction, imagine running a restaurant. Here, working “in” the business is clear. Make delicious food. Offer great service to your customers. Keep the place clean and inviting. Being able […]



Book Club: Average Is Over (November 2017)

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:51:54 +0000

Last month we read Average Is Over by Tyler Cowen. In this eye-opening book, renowned economist and bestselling author Tyler Cowen explains that high earners are taking ever more advantage of machine intelligence in data analysis and achieving ever-better results. Meanwhile, low earners who haven’t committed to learning, to making the most of new technologies, have […]



Know Your Competition

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:16:30 +0000

Almost all human accomplishments are, directly or indirectly, judged in competition with others. This is most directly true in domains such as sports or entertainment, where awards and trophies go to some, and not others. What matters here isn’t absolute performance, but relative performance. Absolute performance can often go up and up, yet because it […]



Are Successful People Just Putting in More Effort?

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 23:09:08 +0000

As someone who writes advice for a living, I’m always interested in the ways advice works, how it gets distorted and what the typical advice-receiver can do about it. Recently, I came across some research that suggests a new way advice-givers aren’t being totally honest with you: paternalistic advice bias. Here’s the abstract, from the […]



How Much Can You Possibly Learn?

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:59:51 +0000

How much can the brain store? We all know how much our computers and phones can store, if only because we occasionally get the pings of messages telling us we’ve taken too many photos or downloaded too many apps or movies and something has to be deleted to store more. The brain doesn’t seem to […]



Is Reading Blogs Like This One Keeping You From Improving Your Life?

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:32:19 +0000

One idea I’ve been pondering over lately is to what extent reading about self-improvement is a complement versus a substitute for taking self-improvement action. Complements and substitutes are terms that come from economics. A complement to a product is something you buy more of when you buy the product. Think popcorn and movies. The more […]