A Year’s Worth of Reflections on Life and Work

I got to spend this past weekend at the Georgetown Class of 2017’s Commencement so that I could see a number of my good friends graduate. While there, I felt an echo of the same emotional whirlwind that gripped me during my own graduation one year ago. Leaving school is a confusing time. The path…

Rutger Bregman on Universal Basic Income

Today, instead of writing my own post, I’d like to share a talk by Rutger Bregman from TEDxMaastricht. Bregman is a 28-year-old historian and author who has published four books on history, economics, and philosophy. As an aside, I find it interesting how writing by “pop historians” like Bregman, Yuval Harari, and Nassim Taleb has…

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…

Request for Restaurant Startup: Wyrd

I grew up near New Brunswick, the college town that is home to four of Rutgers University’s campuses. And this past week, as I was standing on a street corner there, I thought about going into one of the popular bars in town. But as I stood there, I thought about how sad and awkward…

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…

The Principle of Least Interest, or Who has the Power in Relationships

I’ve done two investigations about dating and relationships in the past for Thought Distiller. The first was about the “trading up” phenomenon and the FOMO that dating apps engender in users. The second was about latent preferences and how we might not consciously be aware of what we want. Today’s post is about the principle of…

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…

Codex Vitae: Money

A friend of mine recently (as of Apr. 2017) asked me why I want what many people consider an egregious amount of money (i.e. 8 figures in net worth). I didn’t get around to answering her that particular day, but I would like to be clear about what the point of money is for me.…

Codex Vitae: A Book of Life

I’ve embarked on a fun new side project: creating a codex vitae, or a “book of life.” I’ve adapted this idea from Buster Benson, who was inspired by Robin Sloan’s novel Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. The quote from the book that inspired Benson is the following: “And this is the other treasure. Following in the Founder’s footsteps, every…

On Active Listening and Mental Fatigue

I’ve recently become interested in active listening due to some internal projects on the subject at work. People, especially today, mainly engage in passive listening. We hear the other person’s words but not their message. Mainly, we’re simply waiting for our turn to speak without even weighing the other person’s arguments, opinions, and points. This makes…