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Ben Casnocha

A blog about entrepreneurship, books, current affairs, and intellectual life.

Last Build Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 23:08:41 PST


Impressions of Malaysia

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 23:08:41 PST

Malaysia is a country of 30 million people that co-anchors the SE Asian economy with Indonesia. It’s also a place known to have great food and friendly people. So I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit there for the … Continue reading

The Factor That Colors Happiness and Unhappiness the Most

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 23:15:20 PST

Is she enjoying the city she’s living in? Is he enjoying his job, his co-workers, his boss? How’s he feeling about life? The factor that has the most explanatory power, in my view, on questions having to do with personal happiness and … Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading

Sun, 13 Nov 2016 00:01:00 PST

Books and more books. 1. Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper. An incredibly engaging journalistic introduction to Bitcoin and blockchain, with cinematic storytelling about the people who pioneered the technology over the past 15 years. The book is about a year … Continue reading

Visiting Prison Again — With Defy Ventures

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 12:12:19 PDT

A few weeks ago, I continued my education on an issue I’m passionate about — criminal justice reform and the prison system — when I participated in a Defy Ventures event at a California maximum security prison. It was an incredibly powerful day. … Continue reading

Book Review: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:58:08 PDT

One of my favorite books of 2016: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. I feel a little sheepish joining the parade of praise — everyone in Silicon Valley seems to be reading the book. I’ve wandered into more … Continue reading

Book Notes: Tribe by Sebastian Junger

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 13:40:29 PDT

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger is a short book about how humans relate to each other and how modern society is pulling us away from our “tribal” roots. It touches on many topics related to community, war, … Continue reading

“There Are No Shortcuts”

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 22:41:41 PDT

A few months ago, President Obama gave a moving eulogy in honor of Beau Biden, the late son of Vice President Biden. Minutes 13-15 are emotional, as Obama’s voice cracks. And the words ring true. In the social media age, it’s not hard … Continue reading

When Giving Advice to Peers…

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 16:36:46 PDT

It’s hard to give advice to a peer or an especially prideful person of any sort. Advice giving can be interpreted as a power move, and if you don’t deliver the advice in the right way, the other person — a colleague, a … Continue reading

Haunting Photo of the Day

Fri, 19 Aug 2016 11:16:58 PDT

A five year old boy placed on an ambulance in Syria, after being pulled out of a bombed out house. NPR has a video of him being carried into the ambulance but the photo is almost more haunting. The eerie … Continue reading

Book Notes: The Road to Character

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 21:39:18 PDT

I’m a longtime lover of David Brooks’ columns and books. His most recent book, The Road to Character, resonated. It connects well with the themes I touch on in my essay Happy Ambition: Striving for Success, Avoiding Status Cocaine, and Prioritizing … Continue reading