Post #100: The Genre of Progress Literature

This is post #100 on Thought Distiller! I’m personally surprised; I had no idea the blog was so far along in terms of post count. Anyway, thanks for being a reader! Here’s a post that, by the end, I hope will lift your spirits. What’s wrong with the news? It often feels as if we’re…

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…

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 Modern Knowledge Worker is a Sprinter

In June of this year, Naval Ravikant (the founder of AngelList) tweeted an interesting insight: “Forty hour workweeks are a relic of the Industrial Age. Knowledge workers function like athletes – train and sprint, then rest and reassess.” That caught my attention because I regularly work anywhere from 45 to 80 hours a week, and…

Speaking the Right Dialect of a Lingua Franca

I’ve always had a fascination with “lingua francas.” Simply put, a lingua franca is a common language that enables communication between people or groups whose native tongues differ. For example, if businesspeople from England, India, the UAE, and Brazil wanted to negotiate a deal, the lingua franca would most likely be English. Indeed, English is…

Request for Restaurant Startup: Mexican Teppanyaki

I’ve been sitting on yet another restaurant idea for quite a while now. I have always been curious about the idea of “dinner theater.” Traditionally, dinner theater combines a restaurant meal with a staged play or musical. Sometimes the play is secondary to the meal or, other times, the play may be a major production with…

Confessions: Playing an Old Victorian Game

I recently learned about an interesting hobby that some people used to partake in during Queen Victoria’s reign and decided to try it out. In Victorian England, one pastime among friends and family was to jot down your “Confessions”— answers to semi-serious questions of taste and principle. I have taken the list of questions that…

Codex Vitae: Religion

While I’m not religious, I do think that understanding religion is important. Religion’s importance to me stems from the reason that it exists. As a species, humans are different from other creatures because of the fact that we alone seek causes for things. We seek to explain the world around us; to date, we have…