Knowing better (3): the best values

My values are the best that I know; I assume you feel the same. Changing them is hard – it takes some combination of (delete as appropriate)… experience / evidence / awareness / engagement with an argument / a strong feeling… …of / with / about … the flaws in our existing values / the way that something we think…

Variable speed

Rushing is usually a bad idea. We get flustered or anxious, we forget or ignore important things, and we often feel guilty about it afterwards. Rushing is usually a way to make up for a deficiency in your processes, and it’s generally best avoided whenever possible – by planning ahead, by setting off in good time and allowing slack, by…

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…

Safe from cows

Younger Son: “Dad, you’re supposed to be keeping me safe from the cows!” Me: “Well, how many times have they attacked you so far?” Thought unspoken: “Of course, the lack of cow attacks to date isn’t a reliable indicator of your safety.”* Maybe we were just lucky.** *Our distance from the herd and to the fence and a vague understanding…

One million copies sold

One million copies is a lot of anything, but should it influence your decision to buy a book? First thought: No it shouldn’t. Judging from the things that other people wear and watch and the ways they spend their time, a million people doing something should have no influence on whether I do it too. At best, they have totally…

7k

Happy to announce that we’ve made it past 7,000 views. Thanks for coming, and HT to the Tyler Cowen spike. See also:Build it up (buttercup)The Patience of a spider [7000; seven thousand]

McDonald’s miracles and me

McDonald’s gets a lot of stick, much of it deserved. But critics of McDonald’s are often blind to the value it adds – in large part because we never knew (or have forgotten) the context it emerged in. In the pre-McDonald’s era, I suspect more so than now, the quality of food and service available in local restaurants across small-town…

“I barely scratched the surface.”

“How was work today?” “Good, but it felt like I barely scratched the surface.” I imagine we’ll still be saying the same thing when we die. So – where will you scratch?

The Prize vs The Work

These things are prizes: Large amounts of money; Prestige; Medals and awards of all shapes and sizes; Universal recognition and adoration. It’s easy to focus on them, but they’re not the point, and in fact we feel like imposters if they’re given to us unearned and undeserved. As Adam Smith pointed out, we want “not only to be loved, but…

Thomas Hobbes and Fatboy Slim on arithmetic and getting things done

When a man Reasoneth, hee does nothing else but conceive a summe totall, from Addition of parcels; or conceive a Remainder, from Substraction of one summe from another: which (if it be done by Words,) is conceiving of the consequence of the names of all the parts, to the name of the whole; or from the names of the whole…