Puzzle.blog

A Whole New World?

By Christian Staal

How would you re-design the world, if you didn’t know which century, country and family you would be born into? When you’re looking for moral answers to difficult problems, this question is useful, because it helps you look at the world objectively.

More:

A Theory of Justice (book) by John Rawls
The Moral Landscape (book) by Sam Harris

The Sunk Cost Fallacy

By Christian Staal

Humans hate losing, and we want our decisions to turn out well. Therefore, we sometimes overcommit to bad decisions. It’s often wiser to cut our losses. As Warren Buffet says: When you find yourself in a hole, it’s time to stop digging.

More:

Sunk cost (Wikipedia)

Think Like a Scientist: The Power of Testing

By Christian Staal

Testing is a powerful way to learn how well something works. You learn more from a day of testing, than from a year of speculation. This idea is one of the pillars of modern science, and a guiding principle in companies like Facebook. You can use this way of thinking in your own life: Instead of overthinking decisions, make small tests and course-correct along the way.

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The Black Swan: We Know Less About the Future Than We Think

By Christian Staal

A Black Swan is an event with the following characteristics:

  1. It’s unpredictable
  2. It carries an extreme impact
  3. It seems predictable after the fact (and people will find explanations that seem logical in hindsight, but weren’t obvious before the fact)

This makes us overconfident in our ability to predict the future. World War I, 9-11 and the rise of the Internet, are all examples of Black Swans.

More:
The Black Swan (book) by Nassim Taleb
Thinking, Fast and Slow (book) by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Christian Staal

You use two systems for thinking. System 1 is fast, automatic and unconscious (when you see 2 + 2, your brain automatically says 4). System 2 is slow, deliberate and taxing on your mental resources (if you see 22 x 17, you probably need to think to find the answer). System 1 makes thousands of unconscious decisions everyday – and most of them are fine. Sometimes, however, System 1 makes mistakes, which can lead to cognitive biases.

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“Crap, I’m thinking”

By Christian Staal

When you’re meditating, and realise that you’re lost in thought, it’s easy to get irritated. But this is not a moment of defeat: Becoming aware of your thoughts is the very goal of meditation.

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The Curse of Knowledge

By Christian Staal

The more you know about a subject, the harder it is to empathise with beginners. Once you know something, you don’t understand what it feels like not to know it. Therefore, many experts are bad teachers. If you’re talking to a novice about your field of expertise, remember that it’s probably harder to understand than you think it is.

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Finite and Infinite Games

By Christian Staal

Finite and infinite games is a way of looking at life. Finite games are traditional games like soccer and chess. Infinite games are like life, love and art. Finite games are about winning or losing; infinite games are about continuing to play. This metaphor is a reminder that life is not about winning or losing, but about creating a life worth living.

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Vulnerability is not enough

By Christian Staal

Vulnerability can be beautiful – but it’s not enough. If vulnerability is the only thing you have, you will come across as a victim or a loser. If you’re not vulnerable, you will come across as a smartass or a wannabe. Complementing vulnerability with bringing something else to the table, strikes the perfect balance: You’re awesome (since you’re contributing) and you’re relatable (since you’re vulnerable).

More:

Please… stop writing about how “vulnerable” you are (article) by Ramit Sethi
The Power of Vulnerability (Puzzle.blog)

The Power of Vulnerability

By Christian Staal

There’s nothing worse than a bragging person. If you want to connect with people, it’s more effective to share your struggles. Trying to make yourself look good, makes you look bad. This is true when it comes to writing, public speaking and conversations. Don’t be perfect, be vulnerable.

More:

The Power of Vulnerability (TED Talk) by Brene Brown

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