👋 Hello!

This is a collection of pieces that subtly influence me in small ways. They pile up, eventually sprouting into beliefs and projects that hopefully fit together to help me solve the puzzle.

A quick intro

If you just want the good stuff, check these out: The cognitive bias cheat sheet, my beliefs, people and books that have changed the way I think, the book I’m writing, a friendly and diverse community called Fruitful, a private journaling community called 750 Words, a weird comic about happiness based on the myth of Sisyphus, my central philosophy for how to live in a chaotic world titled Live like a hydra, my life story by week, and my email list for news.

Recent things added to the pile

Favorite quotes

New ones added to the top as I run across them.
Added to the Dialogue pile.
Part of the A book-in-progress project.

Oakland schools are struggling

A 1–pager outlining evidence of the problem, diverse perspectives, and existing initiatives that attempt to address the problems.
Added to the Dialogue pile.

The Green New Deal is a 1-Pager for America

It's meant to spark a conversation, so let's talk about it!
Added to the Dialogue, Critical Thinking, and Policy piles.
Part of the Fruitful project.

Guidelines for Fruitful Dialogue

A work-in-progress. Feedback encouraged.
Added to the Dialogue pile.
Part of the Fruitful project.

History of my name

A lot of people ask me if Buster is my real name. Here's the answer.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

The definition of “emotional labor” has changed

The original meaning was about the work of hiding emotions from your job.
From Annaliese Griffin.
Added to the Fuzzy pile.

The Beginning of a Fruitful Dialogue

Things we’ve seen and learned 10 days into the formation of a new friendly and diverse space on the internet.
Added to the Dialogue pile.
Part of the Fruitful project.

The Hippocratic Oath

A pleasant oath to remember our humanity.
From Wikipedia.
Added to the Health and Negative space piles.
Added to the Dialogue pile.
Part of the Fruitful project.
Added to the Dialogue and Government piles.
Part of the Fruitful project.

30 fundamentals

Lots of things I agree with in John Nerst's 30 Fundamentals.
Added to the Rules to live by pile.

Equilibriums and Limits: a better way to look at most every political issue

Understand the difference between equilibriums and limits.
Added to the Dialogue pile.

History of my beliefs (so far)

My beliefs are constantly changing, and so are the tools I use to share them.
Added to the Meta and Self-tracking piles.
Part of the Codex vitae project.

Sarah Mei’s thread about the negative space of technology

Every technology has both upsides and downsides.
From Sarah Mei.
Added to the Negative space pile.

A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley

Stories from many prominent Silicon Valley personalities and their parenting strategies around technology.
From Nellie Bowles.
Added to the Parenting pile.

Is Screen Time Bad for Kids’ Brains?

Lots of good questions, but no conclusive evidence that it's bad for kid brains. Other than maybe that there is no really causal story between technology and kid brains.
From Benedict Carey.
Added to the Parenting pile.

Parenting the Fortnite Addict

A pretty good introduction to the many questions parents ask when it comes to letting their kids play Fortnight. It makes cases for both sides.
Added to the Parenting and Game Theory piles.

Monopoly’s Anti-Capitalist, Socialist Roots as a Teaching Game at Wharton

Games can and have been used as very effective educational tools.
From Wharton Learning Lab.
Added to the Parenting and Game Theory piles.

A Parenting Paradox: How Kids Manage To Be 'All Joy And No Fun'

An interview with an author who wrote a book about how being a parent doesn't necessarily make you happier once you disentangle the difference between joy and fun.
From Jennifer Senior.
Added to the Parenting pile.

There's Nothing Virtuous About Finding Common Ground

An emphatic case about finding common ground with moral issues.
From Tayari Jones.
Added to the Dialogue pile.

quantum realism

The idea that the world is the output, or shadow, of a different reality.
Added to the Nature of reality pile.

The Elephants

Using accountability as the primary tool for self-improvement is well-articulated here.
From Nick Crocker.
Added to the Behavior Change and Rules to live by piles.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

A form of cognitive behavioral therapy that acknowledges the problems our reactions create.
From Wikipedia.
Added to the Critical Thinking pile.

poetic naturalism

A way to talk about the world that strives to be accurate and still able to talk about things that we can't talk about accurately.
From Sean-Carroll.
Added to the Nature of reality pile.

optionality

To have options.
Added to the Antifragile pile.

Hume's Fork

There are only two kinds of information: matters of fact and relations of ideas.
From Wikipedia.
Added to the Critical Thinking pile.

Wikipedia's list of cognitive biases

The infamous Wikipedia page that is super difficult to read.
From Wikipedia.
Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.

First Post

Just a fuzzy test.
Added to the Fuzzy pile.

42: Dig deeper

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

A rational person's 1-minute guide to why rational thinking often fails to persuade people

Read this if you think learning about biases will make you more persuasive.
Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.

41: Seek endarkenment

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection and Negative space piles.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

A classic. But one that has earned the reputation.
From Stephen Covey.
Added to the Dialogue and Rules to live by piles.

Cognitive bias cheat sheet, simplified

Follow-up on the original, trying to boil it down some more.
Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.

Strangers to Ourselves

I read this book in my mid-20s and it might be, alongside Fooled by Randomness, one of the first books that got me obsessed with cognitive biases.
From Timothy D. Wilson.
Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.

Cognitive bias cheat sheet

Original full analysis of 200+ cognitive biases.
Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.

Codex Vitae - Better Humans

Tony adapted the codex project to his coaching program and made some great improvements to it.
From Tony Stubblebine.
Added to the Self-tracking pile.
Part of the Codex vitae project.

40: Mind the loops

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection and Systems thinking piles.

Systems Thinking For Kids

I figure if I can explain it to kids, then I'd understand it myself.
Added to the Systems thinking pile.

39: Make wiggle room

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

Self-coaching experiment results

First 9 participants.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

Better than meditation

Private journaling is a better alternative to meditation.
Added to the Mindfulness pile.

Universe ↔ soloverse

Each of us has an entire universe stored in our heads, and I call that the soloverse.
Added to the Internal Mental Space pile.

3-lane product development

My take on product development process.
Added to the Product management pile.

The Technology

A sort of winding manifesto for building technology products.
From Paul Buchheit.
Added to the Product management pile.
Added to the Self-reflection and Quality time piles.

How I track my life

The most important thing to track is quality time.
Added to the Behavior Change, Quality time, and Technology piles.

Smarter than smart

There are 2 ways to be smart.
Added to the Critical Thinking pile.

The concept of a person

The most important interface ever developed.
Added to the Internal Mental Space pile.

Make better resolutions

Consider the environment that your resolutions are made in.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

Make your own @horse_ebooks

Long live @horse_ebooks!
Added to the Technology and Artificial Intelligence piles.

Managing my internet rage

Getting super angry isn’t as fun as it used to be.
Added to the Dialogue pile.

Live like a hydra

Thoughts on how to get stronger when things are chaotic.
Added to the Antifragile, Behavior Change, and Self-tracking piles.

What's your life change score?

The higher, the more difficult it might be.
Added to the Self-tracking pile.

The death bed game

He/she who dies with the most death bed points, wins.
Added to the Death and Self-tracking piles.

Know Thy Umwelt

I find a German word to help me articulate the idea of our internal mental copy of the universe.
Added to the Internal Mental Space pile.

37: More kiloslogs

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

Celebrate your next death day

I just passed the mid-point.
Added to the Death pile.

If I lived 100 times

Predicting the year of my death.
Added to the Death and Critical Thinking piles.
Added to the Self-tracking pile.

Three cognitive biases walk into a bar...

Sometimes they can cancel each other out.
Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.
Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

Are your habits tiny or huge?

Hint: there are no tiny habits.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

The game of life

With 4 levels.
Added to the Motivation pile.

Our filters

The only way we see things.
Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.

The long slog

Different modes of work.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

$1 for you (conclusion)

Reflections on the experiment.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

"Anything is possible."

As long as you have infinite time and resources.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

Codex Vitae

A book that captures everything that you think is worth knowing about your life. Doesn't have to be a real book.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.
Part of the Codex vitae project.

A/B fit

Quality doesn’t exist as a stand-alone attribute. Only fitness does.
Added to the Critical Thinking pile.

Zoomed out

My father passed away 19 years ago today.
Added to the Vulnerability pile.

Behavior change is belief change

Are we what we repeatedly do?
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

Who you are vs who you want to be

My first glimpse of IFS (Internal Family Systems).
Added to the Internal Mental Space pile.

Look, look, look

Robin Sloan's Fish tap-essay / manifesto about returning to things we love.
Added to the Observation pile.

$1 for you

Help me stop complaining.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

The "I don't want to" habit

Addressing our inner voices.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

Tweet fearlessly

My reaction to the more careful social-media personas emerging when the internet started becoming professional.
Added to the Vulnerability pile.

A friendly safety reminder

Nothing is safe.
Added to the Vulnerability pile.
Added to the Health pile.

Why 'Just Do It' is bullshit

Because everything isn't possible.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

A duck bears no grudges

The post I wrote when we closed down Habit Labs.
Added to the Behavior Change pile.

36: Talk it out

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

What I’ve learned taking photos every day at 8:36 p.m.

I’ve learned that there is beauty in the impossible, in the unfinishable, in the imperfect. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be boring, and to let other people know you’re boring.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.
Part of the 8:36pm project.

35: Love the struggle

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

Why Wasn't I Consulted?

The web is a customer service medium more than anything else.
From Paul Ford.
Added to the Product management and Technology piles.

34: Cultivate the core

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

33: Frugal to the max

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

32: No problem

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

31: Double down

My year in review.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.
Added to the Self-reflection pile.

Man Versus Himself

A novel I wrote about an 89-year old man who is CEO of 2 companies and gets stabbed in the eye.
Added to the Death pile.