Tuesday links (5/30/17): Using Emotions to Generate Momentum

Q&A with entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant. “I learned a very important lesson which was that most of our suffering comes from avoidance.” (Killing Buddha)

Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on Vietnam’s Unhealed Wounds. Their 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series “The Vietnam War” will air in September. (NY Times)

This one was really interesting. Using emotion to generate momentum in your work. Some tips include (1) creating deliverables you can reach in minutes rather than hours or days to keep yourself excited about small achievements, and (2) how procrastinating on your one big, intimidating project can lead to getting other small, worthwhile tasks done. (Praxis)

Monday Links (5/29/17), including how not to raise a spoiled brat

Cool view into Nashville’s newfound love for hockey as their Predators start the Stanley Cup Finals vs. the Penguins tonight. A die-hard fan on bandwagon fans: “We need that. We need all of it. Everyone. Because the knowledge comes after the passion. And then when you get the knowledge you get more and more passion. And yeah, some people are going to roll their eyes, but so what? It’s so much fun to introduce people to this sport and see them get excited.” (The Ringer)

As a counterbalance, police precincts are starting to use body camera recordings to show some of the positive actions officers take on the job. “We wanted to show the different side of law enforcement…It depicts the officers as human, the human side of the badge.” (NY Times)

How not to raise a spoiled brat. “His explanation comes in four parts. First, spoiled children have few chores or other responsibilities. Second, they tend not to have many rules, and if there are any, parents don’t enforce them. Third, those parents tend to smooth every path in front of their children, while watching their every move. It’s not just helicopter parenting, it’s snowplow driving. Only the fourth part—the provision of above average amounts of material possessions and expensive experiences—requires some money.” Vanguard founder John Bogle: “By the time he was a parent he didn’t need his kids to earn money, but he felt that they needed the experience of working for someone else. ‘They were all trying to get high sales of the day at County Seat,’ he recalls of his children’s time at the now defunct clothing chain. ‘You learn that it is not always easy. You learn that sometimes bosses can be mean. That sometimes the customer is totally wrong and you have to pretend he’s right.'” (Town and Country Mag)


Links: Sunday, 5/28/17

For these Philly librarians, drug tourists and overdose drills are part of the job. “While other libraries practice fire drills, McPherson began overdose drills: Who stays with the victim? Who calls 911? Who ushers out the kids? Who waits for an ambulance?” (philly.com)

Did Disney ruin Pixar? “Theme-park rides are premised on an awareness of the theme in question, and young parkgoers are less likely to be familiar with movies that are more than a decade old. If you want them clamoring to experience Toy Story Midway Mania, they’ll need a Toy Story 4. Cars Land could use a Cars 3, and Finding Nemo–associated rides were due a Finding Dory.” (The Atlantic)

In the last 15 years, the number of US residents playing golf has fallen by -30%, though TV viewership of pro golf tournaments has remained stable. (Bloomberg)

Links: Saturday, 5/27/17

Some good, simple advice in this personal finance column: ‘Divorce wiped me out financially. Here’s how I bounced back.’ (USA Today)

This will be an interesting trend to follow in the coming years: A new study suggests electric cars will become cheaper than petrol cars within a decade. (Independent)

Valedictorians go on to lead successful lives but rarely put a dent in the universe. “It seems that the traits that set one up for exceptional success in high school and college — ‘self-discipline, conscientiousness and the ability to comply with rules’ — are not the same traits that lead individuals to start disruptive companies or make shocking breakthroughs.” (CNBC)

Links: Friday, 5/26/17

An extreme example looking at the comparison of the two ways you can spend your money: on experiences, or on stuff. “People do not accurately forecast the economic benefits of experiential purchases.” (Forbes)

Confirmation bias: why you should seek out discomfiting evidence“The desire to be right and the desire to have been right are two desires, and the sooner we separate them the better off we are. The desire to be right is the thirst for truth…The desire to have been right, on the other hand, is the pride that goeth before a fall.” (Farnam Street)

Farming the world: China’s epic race to avoid a food crisis.It takes about 1 acre (half a hectare) to feed the average U.S. consumer. China only has about 0.2 acres of arable land per citizen, including fields degraded by pollution.” (Bloomberg)

Links: Thursday, 5/25/17

Facts are not the antidote for doubt. Facts won’t enlighten a mind that does not want to be changed, but doubt can surrender to experience. However, experience only happens when a person is willing to seek the right answer. (Seth Godin)

To get luckier, realize success is mostly luck. “I live by the mantra, ‘Never fail due to a lack of effort because hard work requires no skill.’ It’s a reminder to STOP making excuses when something seems too daunting to tackle. There’ve been too many instances when I didn’t start something because I felt I lacked the skills necessary to succeed. I’ve regretted each non-action.” (Financial Samurai)

Your team is brainstorming all wrong. There are flaws to the traditional brainstorming method of getting a team together to shout out ideas while reiterating that no idea is too crazy and ensuring not to criticize any idea initially. (Harvard Business Review)

Links: Wednesday, 5/24/17

Megan McArdle on what she sees as a conservative living inside Trump’s Washington. “I’m not saying that Inside the Beltway is smart and the rest of the country is dumb; distance offers perspective. But that perspective comes at the expense of detail, and often those details change the picture considerably. Outsiders know things that insiders don’t, such as what’s happening in the world beyond 495. But the insiders know some things too, and those things also matter.” (Bloomberg)

This was eye-opening: Truck drivers talk about why they do it.There are 1.7 million men and women working as long-haul drivers in the country. Yet truckers — high up in their cabs — are literally out of view for most Americans…trucking, which was once among the best-paying such jobs, has become low-wage, grinding, unhealthy work.” (NY Times)

Terrific, quick story featuring the recently passed Roger Moore. (Ken Shabby, Twitter)

Links: Tuesday, 5/23/17

Transcript of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s speech just before a fourth Confederate statue was removed from the city. “There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth…Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city…Can you look into that young girl’s eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too?” (The Pulse)

America’s most expensive cities are running out of room“What happens next depends on whether voters and their elected officials rewrite zoning rules to allow denser construction, said Romem, particularly in neighborhoods currently limited to single-family homes.” (Bloomberg)

Your small, heartwarming tale for today: How North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora saved a UNC med student’s graduation. (The News & Observer)

Links: Monday, 5/22/17

The Washington Post is breaking new ground in revamping its business model for a digital age. “Our industry had suffered due to the internet, but the internet also brought gifts, and we should recognize that. It made distribution free, which gave us the opportunity to be a national and even international news organization, and we should recognize and take advantage of that.” (NY Times)

To age better, eat better. “What is hard to overstate is the importance of eating healthily and mindfully through life, but the good news is that benefits begin as soon as the improved diet does.” (Harvard News)

For those in need of some new book reading material: 15 summer reading recommendations plus a dozen new paperback releases. (Seattle Times)

Links: Sunday, 5/21/17

Takeaways from a 1-week social media fast. “As the week went on, it was more and more evident that it wasn’t so much social media as the phone that was the problem. Even now, a few days after the conclusion of my experiment, I’m leaving my phone at home when I go out or across the room when I’m doing something.” Also, “Not a single person noticed that I had stopped using social media…For me, this reinforced that social media is actually not a good way to ‘stay connected with friends.'” (Kottke)

Simple rule: Never hire someone unless they raise the average. This is the hiring standard of Jim Koch at Boston Beer Company: “When you hire someone new you are either improving your company or degrading it. There is no middle. If you keep hiring really good people and raising the average it sets an example for everyone else. When we are hiring, we are hiring the person, their traits and behaviors and motivations. We very rarely hire for experience, education, and resume.” (Intelligent Fanatics)

‘Instagram won’t stop showing me the Mother’s Day photos I don’t want to see.’I’ve learned this week just how stubborn an algorithm can be. But can an algorithm really be stubborn? No, it’s not sentient. But despite programmers’ best efforts, an algorithm can never be wholly intuitive either.” (Gizmodo)