Books & My Notes
Essays from around the web I keep coming back to:
Social Status Down: the Rabbit Hole by Kevin Simler – Melting Asphalt is one of my favorite blogs. The essays are dense with thought provoking topics that really resonate with me. This essay focuses on the roots of status signaling. The interplay of prestige and admiration were particularly interesting.
How to Get Lucky: Focus On The Fat Tails by Taylor Pearson – An excellent comparison between “normal” bell curved distribution and the fat tail 80/20 distribution. This essay is full of foundational principles for building any online brand.
Status As a Service by Eugene Wei – This essay is one of the more thought provoking I came across over the past year. Analyzing social networks from a perspective of how human status seeking behavior and our measurement of social capital has influenced their proliferation.
“Social capital is, in many ways, a leading indicator of financial capital, and so its nature bears greater scrutiny.”
Cities and Ambition by Paul Graham – Graham does an incredible job of articulating a topic that has always been on my mind but one that I never quite really understood how to express. Cities have unique personalities that are built by the people that live within them. No city’s personality is the same and you can have a personality clash with a particular city you live in.
“A city speaks to you mostly by accident—in things you see through windows, in conversations you overhear. It’s not something you have to seek out, but something you can’t turn off.”
Finding Your Own Voice by Steve Schlafman – A professional Coach and VC’s story on the importance of getting out there and a common challenge people face.
“This young man has so much knowledge to share with the world and could help others yet he isn’t using any digital tools to distribute and amplify his work.”
“I haven’t found my voice.”
Schlafman draws upon past experience as a coach to lay out several concepts for finding your voice.
Signaling: The Language Peacocks, Gazelles, and Humans All Speak by Farnam Street – I’ve come to enjoy Farnam Street and their focus on mental models. this particular essay covers human interaction and I enjoy re-reading this article after particularly difficult interactions with other people. It helps me approach tough conversations from a 30,000 foot perspective and I’ve found value in its ability to strengthen my personal relationships.
“We make choices that signal what we wish to convey.”
My Personal Moonshot by Tyler Cowen – The internet has made it possible for individuals to scale their access to the world in a momentous way. Cowen’s brief essay articulates his approach to building his career quickly by conducting activities that can have massive scale and provide synergies when combined. The takeaway, the internet makes successfully swinging for the fences much more possible.
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