If you could take a look inside my brain, this is what you’d find:
Some books I’ve read or am reading.
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
- Seeking wisdom from Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevlin
- Awareness by Anthony De Mello
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Bhagavad Gita by H.D. Goswami
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Edwin Bryant
- Zero to One by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel
- A Dozen Lessons for Entrepreneurs by Tren Griffin
- Anthem by Ayn Rand
- make it stick, The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel
- The Tell-Tale Brain by V.S. Ramachandran
- An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales by Oliver Sacks
- Howard’s Gift by Eric Sinoway
- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
- Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
- Rebirth by Kamal Ravikant
- Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
- The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- The Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer
- The Venture Hacks Bible
- The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Blank
- The Mythical Man Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
- Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
- The Art of Living by Epictetus
- Antifragile by Nicholas Nassim Taleb
- Skin in the Game by Nicholas Nassim Taleb
- About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper
- The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
- The Sciences of the Artificial by Dr. Herbert Simon
- Mastery by Robert Greene
- Alchemy by Rory Sutherland
- Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman, Ralph Leighton, and Edward Hutchings
- Shoedog by Phil Knight
- In Over Our Heads by Robert Kegan
- Thinking in Systems, a primer by Donella H. Meadows
- Good Math: A Geek’s Guide to the Beauty of Numbers, Logic, and Computation by Mark C. Chu-Carroll
- A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine
- Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World by Rene Girard
- From Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin
- Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark
- The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova
- Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse
- Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Koncienda
- The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman
- The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
- Letters from a Stoic by Seneca
- Polymath by Peter Burke
- The Way to Love by Anthony De Mello
- An Invitation to the Great Game by Adam Robinson
- Charlie Munger, The Complete Investor by Tren Griffin
- The Essays of Warren Buffet by Lawrence A. Cunningham
- Pioneering Portfolio Management by David F. Swensen
- The One Device by Brian Merchant
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- The Wisdom of Finance by Mihir A. Desai
- Do The Work by Steven Pressfield
- Draft No. 4 by John McPhee
- Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan
- The Way to Love by Anthony De Mello
Reading lists I reference:
- Patrick Collison
- Kanwar Sahdra
- Nabeel Qureshi
- Maggie Appleton
- Patrick O’ Shaughnessy
- Geoffrey Miller
- Derek Sivers
- Jack Dorsey
- Naval Ravikant // (p2)
- Keith Rabois
- Mine Safety Disclosures
- Maksim Stepanenko
- Tools of Titans
- Matthew Strom
Why I read
One of my favorite quotes is, “If I have seen farther than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” by Sir Issac Newton.
Books allow me to stand “on the shoulders of giants.”
How I read
I started to love reading once I found books I couldn’t put down. My goal is not to finish a book, it is to simply read. When I get bored I move to something else. Eventually, I finish a book. Sometimes, I don’t.
The following blogs produce the highest quality content consistently.
- Farnam Street
- Kwokchain by Kevin Kwok
- Remains of the Day by Eugene Wei
- Stratetechery by Ben Thompson
- Investor’s Field Guide
- Collaborative Fund
- Siddha Performance by Kapil Gupta
- Wait But Why
- Patrick Brodie
- Melting Asphalt
- Mine Safety Disclosures
- Slava Akhmechet
- Kinetic Energy Ventures
- 25IQ by Tren Griffin
- Stratechery by Ben Thompson
- Less Wrong
- Solving for Patterns
- Luca Dellanna
- Nabeel Qureshi
- The Diff by Byrne Hobart
- Quanta Magazine
The following podcasts produce the highest quality content consistently. I learn best by listening, connecting ideas, then teaching.
- The Knowledge Project – Farnam Street
- Invest Like the Best – Patrick O’ Shaughnessy
- The Tim Ferriss Show – Tim Ferriss
- The Portal – Eric Weinstein
- Naval – Naval Ravikant
Some people I learn from.
- Naval Ravikant
- Derek Sivers
- Josh Wolfe
- Patrick Collison
- Chamath Palihapitiya
- Morgan Housel
- Erik Kennedy
- Patrick O’ Shaughnessy
- Peter Thiel
- Zack Kanter
- Adam Robinson
- Kapil Gupta
- Stephen Wolfram
- Josh Waitzkin
- Paul Graham
- Charlie Munger
- Graham Duncan
- Eric Weinstein
- Robert Sapolsky
- Seth Godin
Questions I like to ask myself
I ask myself these questions to recalibrate in times of high or low emotion.
- “If I love myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?” – From Love Yourself by Kamal Ravikant
- “How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” – From Jerry Colonna
- “What would you do if you knew you will fail? – From Seth Godin
- Will I care about this tomorrow? In 5 years? In 10 years?
- What am I not seeing? Why can’t I see it?
- What conversation am I avoiding? From Zack Kanter
- Under what circumstances would I do that? from Adam Robinson
- What would you need to see to be proved wrong? (anti-confirmation bias) from Adam Robinson
Questions taken from Jeff Bezos’ commencement speech (src):
- How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?
- Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
- Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?
- Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?
- Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?
- Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize?
- Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?
- Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?
- When it’s tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?
- Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?
- Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?
Note to self
Guiding principles and observations. Adopted from many sources.
- Be present.
- Be grateful.
- All conflict is internal conflict.
- Communication is hard, be non-violent.
- Life is a single-player game.
- Happiness is the moment when you feel nothing is missing.
- Do things with less emotion.
- Independent thinking starts with independent learning.
- Being busy isn’t the same as being productive.
- Do things you love with people you enjoy being around.
Most applicable to ambitious young people interested in technology.
- An Honest Year as a Dropout by Jeremy Cai
- The Gospel According to Peter Thiel
- Y Combinator’s career planning guide for people in the technology industry
- Marc Andreessen’s guide to career planning
- Naval Ravikant’s guide to choosing your first job in tech
- Hunter S. Thompson’s letter on finding your purpose and living a meaningful life.
- Nick DeWilde’s blog
- Bill Gurley’s talk at UT: Runnin’ down a dream: how to succeed and thrive in a career you love.
- The trouble with optionality by Mihir A. Desai
- How to be successful by Sam Altman
- Warren Buffet defines ‘success’
- Warren Buffet on the David Rubenstein show
- Infinite games by Graham Duncan
- How to get rich (without getting lucky) by Naval Ravikant
If you enjoyed these, see all of the quotes listed here.
“The views you adopt about yourself, and how quickly you’re willing to rethink them, profoundly affect the way you lead your life.”by Pedro Franceschi
“Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.”by John Maynard Keynes
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”by Albert Einstein
“If you don’t get what you want, it’s a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.”by Rudyard Kipling
“Civilization is in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow. For the truth is the greatest weapon we have.”By H.G. Wells
“We dreamed big without thinking it might be possible.”By Chris Martin
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. All progress, therefore, depends upon the unreasonable man.”By George Bernard Shaw
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”by Howard Thurman
Motivation is at least as important as method for the serious thinker, Shockley believed…the essential element for successful work in any field was “the will to think”. This was a phrase he learned from the nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi and never forgot. “In these four words,” Shockley wrote later, “[Fermi] distilled the essence of a very significant insight: A competent thinker will be reluctant to commit himself to the effort that tedious and precise thinking demands — he will lack ‘the will to think’ — unless he has the conviction that something worthwhile will be done with the results of his efforts.” The discipline of competent thinking is important throughout life…by William Shockley
“But what a path it has been! I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. But it was right that it should be so; my eyes and heart acclaim it. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace, to hear Om again, to sleep deeply again and to awaken refreshed again. I had to become a fool again in order to find Atman in myself. I had to sin in order to live again. Whither will my path lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it.”Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
“I would beg of you to listen to what I have to say, freeing yourself for this hour at least from the background in which you have been brought up, with its traditions and prejudices, and think simply and directly about the many human problems. “
“To have this profound revolution, you must become fully conscious of the structure which you have created about yourself and in which you are now caught. That is, we have now certain values, ideals, beliefs, which act as a net to hold the mind, and by questioning and understanding all their significance, we shall realize how they have come into existence. Before you can act fully and truly, you must know the prison in which you are living, how it has been created; and in examining it without any self-defense you will find out for yourself its true significance, which no other can convey to you. Through your own awakening of intelligence, through your own suffering, you will discover the manner of true fulfillment.by Jiddu Krishnamurthi
“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”by Orson Welles
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”by Ira Glass
“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his commitment to excellence regardless of what he is doing and leaves it to others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”by Lawrence Pearsall Jacks
The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity, of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most average existence.
But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self; the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.”by David Whyte
Loneliness is essential to being human. Each of us comes into the world and eventually realizes that we are a separate person, alone. We travel through life alone and ultimately we die alone. Acknowledging and accepting this on a conscious level, and learning how to live our lives with some degree of grace and satisfaction is the human condition. Thus we all have some degree of existential loneliness. In this respect it is a ‘natural state’.By The Happy Philospher
These videos impacted me.
On Software Agents