I love learning and reflecting upon what I’ve learned. Here’s a summary of what I learned in the 2010s decade. There are some big ideas I suspect to be true (but have no proof yet). And, here’s my moral code.
I like to read about a complex (and often ambiguous) topic and break it down into simple ideas without losing the nuance that’s essential for understanding it.
In that spirit, read about how money works. It covers the history of how money came to be and why the US dollar is the global reserve currency today. Even though the real use of money is to buy freedom, it is linked to entropy creation and generally accelerates the destruction of the environment.
Can our economy keep on growing? The short answer is no. That is perhaps why we’re rich but hopeless. But objectively speaking, the answer to “is the world getting better?” is a resounding yes on many metrics.
I’ve written a lot about progress. How do you make peace with the ambiguity of progress? I don’t know but I’ve made notes from the book “The Soul of the Marionette” and it says the same: we have progressed in knowledge and tech but not in morality.
Sometimes I ruminate about what life is, what modes are there for living, whether time in life is running out or whether the meaning of life is actually a sensible thing to think about. All this made me suspect that philosophy is nothing but politics.
I’m fascinated by our linear thinking even though the world is complex. This leads us to fall prey to many cognitive biases. If you’re a product person, you may enjoy my presentation on how cognitive biases lead to poorly designed products. Good mental models often help us rise and see-through our biases. To explore different mental models, I’m writing an entire book on mental models for startup founders.
PS: evolution explains pretty much everything we see around us.
Some other miscellaneous long form essays:
- How to become a leader in 10 hard steps
- Building mental immunity against depression and anxiety
- You cannot plan for happiness (but you can discover it)
- The metathinking approach to making big decisions
- The (de)centralization continuum
- How to create legal monopolies via network effects and economic moats
- The winner takes all fallacy and the structure of network effects
- Science of achieving goals
- Why people jump red lights