Circle Three 80 / Diamonds
I’ve spent dedicated time this year actively seeking advice on various things, when this week I came across Naval Ravikant’s quote in Reject Most Advice: “If you survey enough people, all of the advice will cancel to zero.”
I paused — there is a limit to helpful advice, where most advice should actually be rejected.
Derek Sivers adds “Asking advice should be like echolocation. Bounce ideas off of all of your surrounds, and listen to all the echoes to get the whole picture.”
I would generally agree. I’m experimenting with adding some longer commentary to pieces in Circle Three. Advice welcome!
brain bites: Psychology & Health
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Why we should make our ideas compete with each other
brain bites: Business & Investing
Liquid Modernity & Hill Climbing
brain bites: Technology
The New Gatekeepers by Benedict Evans
Lyric: Diamonds by Rihana
brain bites: psychology & health
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I’m a huge proponent of using technology to increase efficiency and democratize opportunities. Reading Brave New World again reminded me:
Be supportive of individual differences. The book presented a “society built for the happiness of the whole and not for the flourishing of the individual. While in theory it is pleasant, in practice it removes individual happiness for societal efficiency.”
We are full beings. The people of the brave new world are “adults intellectually and during work hours. Infants where feeling and desire are concerned.”
Why we should make our ideas compete with each other. From Brendan Stec, he explores memes, ideas, and how we might be at their mercy more than we think.
One of the best ways to prevent any one bad idea from taking over your mind is to not fight it directly. Instead, you introduce competition in the form of other ideas.
brain bites: business & investing
Liquid Modernity & Hill Climbing. Two related ideas from author Pete Davis at Harvard Commencement and from a Tim Ferriss interview with Naval Ravikant and Chris Dixon.
“Liquid Modernity” is the ability in modern life to avoid commitment to any place, community, or identity. But looking around, those who have left the hallway of choice, closed the door behind them, and hunkered down typically experience immense joy — not joy in the rush of novelty but joy in “those perfect Tuesday nights when you eat dinner with the friends you have known for a long time who you’ve made a commitment to.”
In Tim Ferriss’ interview, he asks Chris about hill climbing as a career metaphor: climbing the first hill only to realize that it’s important to take a step back to go to another hill that might in fact be far bigger. The solution Chris proposes is an exploration with exploitation: adding some randomness — “not randomness, not like literally randomness, but exploration. [People in their 20s] should go try a bunch of different things. See what’s the right hill. And also be willing to take a step back.”
Both of these get at how exploration and commitment can help climb the right hill (exploration) over the long term (commitment).
I think of crypto, everyone’s favorite internet monopoly money, which has lost a lot of hill-climbers over the past year. Many people were exploring the ‘crypto hill.’ Maybe these people have found a bigger, safer hill to climb. Maybe the headwinds or the risks proved too much. But the scale of the mountain hasn’t changed and a renewed commitment has brought the climbers remaining closer together.
Keep it Simple from KKR. The lengthy 2023 Outlook publish by KKR. Nothing particularly groundbreaking — inflation coming down along with earnings and balance sheets, etc — and the title says it all.
brain bites: technology
The New Gatekeepers by Benedict Evans. Lots of pretty charts and a comprehensive overview of the tech landscape. He doesn’t really take a side on what might happen, which I appreciate, but displays technological trends that make it hard to ignore the potential of the next decade across supply chain, advertising, mobile usage, and more. The streaming statistics around slide 50 were shocking.
And there’s some perspective offered around the recent tech layoffs.
Lyric: Diamonds by Rihanna
This isn’t a SBLVII halftime review, but Rihanna showed us why, after seven years, we all still listen to her songs. She’s a star.
I like the lyrics of Diamonds more than the song. Diamonds in the sky (aka stars) are aspirational, twinkling, and shining. In reality though, diamonds are forged underground under intense pressure.
Then once a diamond is formed, it can float up to become a star. Welcome back Rihanna.
Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Find light in the beautiful sea
I choose to be happy
You and I, you and I, we're like diamonds in the sky
You're a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy
When you hold me, I'm alive, we're like diamonds in the sky