Columbia science professor on the pursuit of knowledge.
I love this talk. Stuart Firestein argues there’s a misconception in how we think about the way science works. He presents a new analogy — the ripple in the water. Moreover, he talks about “high-quality ignorance” and the reality that the more you know, the more you don’t.
If you’re a curious person, I think you’ll find this very comforting.
Richard Feynman on the nature of the question “why.”
I love so many things about this video. Richard Feynman is asked “what is the meaning of the force between magnets?” Clearly irritated, he goes on to rant about the difficulty of answering the question “why.” It’s a great discussion of the challenge of managing and leveraging assumptions in communication.
In this talk he’s both funny and full of insight. How do you develop a great mind? “What you’ve gotta do from this point forward is stuff your head with more different things from various fields, hygienically speaking.” How do you become a great writer? According to Bradbury, write one short story every week for an entire year — you’ll be dissatisfied every time, but also a bit better.
Lots of lessons to take from this talk. Discovered it via Explore by Maria Popova.
Kevin Spacey on the arbitrary distinctions between different forms of cinematic storytelling.
He asserts a really cogent perspective on film. It’s particularly interesting in the context of what’s happening in the industry today. That is to say, with distribution shifting to online streaming, it calls into question the distinctions between a TV show and a movie, which for example, largely had to do with their respective means of distribution which, once distinct, are converging.
I’m not sure why more people don’t love this movie. Perhaps it’s dizzying. Whatever the case, it really resonates with me. The tricky and fantastic thing about Cloud Atlas begins with it’s structural differences from other movies. Instead of having Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, and the cast each assigned a character to play, the Wachowski’s give every cast member a “soul” to play. The movie depicts 5 different stories — each set in different time periods from the stone age, to the imperial age, to the present, etc. In each of these stories, the souls take on different characters, of varying importance. That is to say, in one story, the soul played by Tom Hanks is the main character, a doctor, while in another he’s a tertiary character, a gangster. While the characters and settings change, the personalities of the souls shine through constant. And with that structure, the Wachowski’s are able to not only relate 5 entertaining stories, but, moreover, have the devices to powerfully suggest a number of philosophical ideas.
I realize that all sounds complicated. The easiest way to understand it is to watch it. Which I recommend.
This movie is incredibly entertaining. The performances are compelling, there are awesome action scenes, and lots of funny moments. On this basis, there is reason enough to recommend this movie. Beyond these basics, though, there’s even more reason to like this film. First, Tarantino seems to want to challenge — and mess with — the audience. He is comfortable defying typical narrative structure and Hollywood convention and the result is delightful. Second, the movie, which came out at the same time as Lincoln, conveys a powerful message about slavery. While the topic is discussed explicitly in Lincoln, the gruesome treatment of slaves in Django confers the same point but in an implicit manner which, I felt, had greater potency.
An awesome read. Kessler offers his “12 rules” for entrepreneurs and, I’d say, who wins in business. His tone is frank and the prose are easy to read. The hypotheses are original and ring true. Moreover, he gives fantastic historical examples which are reason alone to read this book. Highly recommend.
Enjoyable to read, the best thing about the book is the anecdotes. It does a great job of illustrating points and a cautionary tale of how many entrepreneur/VC relationships go. Komisar also offers great perspective on how to think about what you want. The book won’t blow your mind though.
I read that this was a classic book on principles of design thinking and that it was pragmatically written so that it could be easily consumed and referenced. I found all these things to be true. Further, Krug has a fantastic tone and is extremely honest.
An awesome bio of Jeff Bezos that takes us across all stages of his journey from youth to recent-present. It covers the struggles of Amazon in depth, and that along makes it worth reading. Bezos’ tale is a more calculated one than the average startup story.
A great book. Jackson, an early employee, get’s into the granularity of how things happened in a rare way. Instead of the typical ambiguity that accompanies many stories of the early days of startups, he recounts everything from dress code to email lists to marketing budget.
My favorite movie. Kevin Spacey is, as always, awesome. Moreover, the narrative defies the audience’s expectations fantastically. I’m sure the director took great pleasure the first time he observed the audience watching the movie. At risk of giving anything away, I don’t want to say more :)
Christensen takes management principles and repurposes them for our personal lives. Offers new frameworks in each chapter for evaluating success in your life. Probably the best of it’s kind in this way.