Resource: 109 mental models from Farnham Street

Mental models are how we understand the world. Not only do they shape what we think and how we understand but they shape the connections and opportunities that we see. Mental models are how we simplify complexity, why we consider some things more relevant than others, and how we reason. A mental model is simply a representation of how something…

Staying fresh

Will require: Clarity of vision (and a worthwhile vision to begin with); Recognition of progress made; Acceptance of limits; Forgiveness for failures; Avoidance of (fatal) injury; Encouragement from others; Banter and ridiculousness; Experimentation and risk; Learning and growth; Goals of all shapes and sizes; Embrace of serendipity; Knowing what not to do – including what to stop; Good nutrition; Chocolate…

Gravity bites

Watching skate videos – try this one, or this one – is great. You can kind of imagine doing those tricks. Watching beginner “how to” skate videos – try this one – is fun too. You can definitely imagine doing those tricks: “So I just put my foot here, then I jump like this…” You can learn a lot from…

Astonishing wealth inequality graphic

Inequality isn’t my favourite hobby horse, mainly because: “Fair” and “equal [being / having the same]” are often (wrongly) assumed to be the same thing; “Equal [being / having the same]” and “[of] equal [worth]” also seem to get conflated; I don’t think that “equality [being / having the same]” for all people is possible or desirable, assuming that we’re…

New challenge, old challenge

I am pretty good at new challenges. Most of the time, I rise to them. I enjoy novelty. I like a challenge. It’s stimulating, creative work, and progress is rapid. I’m not so good at challenges that go on longer than I think they should – long enough that the the return on my effort starts to diminish, or that…

Matt Mullenweg’s hierarchy of improvements for video calls

In short, invest in this order: Quality of internet connection (line and router). Voice (Get a good microphone. He recommends this affordable headset or its two-eared sibling.) Lighting (“Makes even a normal webcam much better.”) Camera (a great webcam or something much more elaborate). More details on Cool Tools #235 – or on way more detail at the excellent distributed.blog…

Five in a row

You’ve started practising*, tried fifty, and hit some. Now keep going until you stick five in a row. Then ten. If you can do ten times in a row you’re a drop, skip and a jump away from being able to do it “reliably,” and mastery can’t be far behind. *I think it might be time for British English to…

Try 50

In the light of Jonny Giger, why not take that discouragingly difficult thing you’re trying to learn* and commit to attempting it fifty times in a row? I made it to fifty far faster than I expected, and ended up stopping at 105, with ten successes. *That piece of sporting/writing/culinary/musical/artistic/technical prowess.

Not easy but possible: Jonny Giger, repetition and persistence

It’s time to revisit the mother of skill – this time in the world of skateboarding. Jonny Giger is – according to some – the best flat ground skater in the world, and by any measure very, very good (here’s a good sample). What I like about JG is that he makes it look easy, but shows and tells us…

While the tea is hot

Here’s a workflow for the next time you can’t face a mundane / boring / difficult task: Prepare your workspace / turn on your computer Make a cup of tea Commit to doing the job for as long as the tea lasts, or as long as it’s hot You’ll probably stay longer than you think. See also: James Clear’s Temptation…