Six Links: Healthcare, Emotions, Thoughts

5 Questions to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills” by Ameet Ranadive:

A persuasive message is making an argument which attempts to convince us to believe certain things or act in certain ways. The argument’s goal is to convince us to believe a particular conclusion. The author or speaker wants you to believe the conclusion based on a number of statements called reasons. The basic structure of an argument is ‘this, because of that.’ This refers to the conclusion, and that refers to the reasons. 

Psychopaths Have Feelings: Can They Learn How to Use Them?” by Arielle Baskin-Sommers:

There is now substantial evidence that psychopaths can in fact experience emotions – but only under the right circumstances. And they can display normal emotional responses – when the emotion is part of their goal, or when they are invited to respond to perceptually simple basic shapes or single objects. Yet their reactions to the same stimuli are deficient when their attention is focused on an alternative goal or to a complex situation. This means that, while psychopaths are capable of experiencing and displaying emotions in some situations, what confounds them is complexity.

As We May Think” by Vannevar Bush:

Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and, to coin one at random, “memex” will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.

Amazon is single-handedly disrupting the whole economy” by Roger McNamee & Chloe Aiello:

Amazon is not just disrupting industries, it is single-handedly disrupting the whole economy, according to Elevation Partners co-founder Roger McNamee, commenting on the apparent deal between Amazon’s cloud business and Cerner, one of the world’s biggest health tech companies. Amazon has been looking for a way into the health-care industry.

The Harajuku Moment” by Chad Fowler:

A few years ago, sitting in the July heat on a wall in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, I came to a conclusion: I had let myself be a loser. At least, I had let myself become a partial loser. I was fat and unhappy. My skin looked grey. I was slowly killing myself. I was obese. I made excuses to myself and others. I used my success in other areas as a justification: I just wasn’t a fitness guy. It was bullshit.

The Breakout Tech Company Of 2017” by Semil Shah:

For a while, on this blog, I attempted to pick one startup for that year which truly “broke out” of its shell. Dialing back the clock, one could say 2011 was Uber and Airbnb; in 2012, I wrote about Stripe; in 2013, I wrote about Snap; in 2014, I prematurely said there were none but then backtracked when Slack exploded; in 2015, I didn’t write one, and in 2016, my thesis was the big tech incumbents would grow even more powerful from the web’s and mobile’s network effects that startups wouldn’t even have the chance.

Six Links: Knowledge, Data, Abuse

Here’s the second installment of Six Links! I’ve been neglecting Thought Distiller far too much lately; consulting, unknown to most, is in fact a seasonal business that is light in the summer and heavy in the winter. So with a lot of work in the pipeline for this holiday season, I thought I’d at least carve…

The Contours of Memory

Roy Batty, Rutger Hauer’s character in Blade Runner, dies after giving one of the most famous monologues in modern history: I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like…

Extending the Peter Principle for General Competence

The Peter Principle is a management concept posited by University of Southern California professor Laurence J. Peter in the late 1960s. The principle states that employees get promoted based on performance in their current roles, rather than on their qualifications relevant to their intended roles. Therefore, employees stop being promoted only when they become ineffective in…

Request for Startup: Machine Vision for Haircuts

I recently got a haircut and one thing I’m always struck by is the inconsistency of quality. Even if I’m going to the same barber or hairdresser for successive haircuts, I still face a risk of getting a subpar haircut. That realization got me to thinking about whether something could be done to fix haircuts.…

Six Links: Contracts, Options, Brevity

I’ve decided to try a new format of blog post today; I wanted to share some of the more interesting things I’ve been reading, emphasizing those that I believe other people are not likely to be reading. In some sense, I’m trying to curate signal in the midst of all of the overwhelming noise in…

Why Escapist Fantasies Are So Compelling

I spent the last month writing a lot about work and careers, and I want to get away from that a bit to better fulfill the promise of this blog: Connecting and condensing the world’s most useful information, not all of which is about careerism, obviously. So today, we’ll discuss why people seek out escapist…

The Easy Way to become an Expert-Generalist

I often think about what skills people need to succeed in their careers. And this generally leads me to inquire whether educational institutions teach their charges the right skillsets in order to prepare them for an increasingly uncertain world. By and large, I think most fail on this count. The average grade school or university…

How Deciders Prevent Dilution of Vision

In June, I wrote about why leaders in many situations would be better off acting as benevolent dictators. I remarked in that post that, “when decisions are made by committee or consensus, debates slow down progress and the vision that drives things forward is diluted by too many voices.” I wanted to flesh this out…

Let’s talk about the Apple Keynote

This is my first Tuesday post ever, deviating from my normal post days of Mondays and Thursdays. I’ve decided to try a variable publishing schedule if I miss one of my regular days but have a good idea later. So here goes! I was deeply underwhelmed by the Apple Keynote this year, and have been…