Tweets: Observations

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Huge fan of having role models in life. It can also be clarifying to have anti role models — specific people you do *not* want to emulate.;

If you really understand something, you can: 1) explain it using a clear metaphor and 2) explain the strongest counter-argument to the idea.;
Keep your identity small and avoid nouns. It’s fine to be introverted or extroverted but it’s limiting to *identify* as “an introvert.” #WDS;
Are your friends (spending time with right people) the easiest route to self-improvement and a long, healthy life? Yes:;
Buy experiences, not things. Experiences = memories = happiness for years later, whereas we quickly adapt to *things*.;
Ask yourself: “What makes me angry?” It’s uncommon framing but can reveal a lot about one’s values, priorities, passions.;
How to Avoid Burnout: Marissa Mayer – You can’t have everything you want, so protect the things that really matter –;
Upside of taking a chance: we overestimate the value of what we have, underestimate the value of trying something new:;
Christmas: The day on which Americans give thanks to China for making our favorite toys, electronics, and clothes.;
“Competent” is often a better adjective than “smart” or “intelligent” when talking about a person because it forces specificity and context.;

The POTUS doesn’t “run the country.” Such phrasing overstates prez power in the political system, negates vast decentralization of country.;
I don’t get when ppl say they have “no regrets” in life. I understand “look forward, not backwards,” but still. Regret is a powerful teacher;
Some *say* they’d rather be well-respected than well-liked, but for most people I think the desire to be liked by others is overwhelming.;
A proximate reason a guy/gal marries: years of dating has led to neglect of friends, and with a breakup he fears being single AND friendless;
“Opposites attract” remains a popular expression, but so wrong. Studies show we prefer people who look like us, think like us, agree with us;
High IQ combined with high insecurity: a uniquely toxic one-two punch. (inspired by B. Horowitz blog post);
Some people can be passionate about the *process* of company building — what the company actually does is not as important.;
Classic trade-off when hiring: someone who’s inexperienced yet hungry vesus someone who’s experienced but not as much to prove.;
Some people work in non-profits because they’re not interested in money. But obsessing about money is what many non-profits have to do.;
Fundamental questions to ask of someone: What are you doing? And why are you doing it? (via LessWrong);
Andy Grove’s suggested way to discover your business’s key competitor: Imagine you had a gun with one bullet. At whose head would you point?;
If “public pensions” were popularly known as “government-employee pensions,” I suspect more people would become engaged / enraged.;
Bad salespeople talk your ear off. Good salespeople know to shut up and listen.;
It’s always helpful to specify times in the other person’s time zone, and it’s a must if you’re working for the person or are lower status.;
Appearing unimpressed or uninfluenced by someone who’s more successful is a common way people try to raise their own status.;
So much of writing is not writing the sentences themselves but organizing the sentences and paragraphs in a way that makes sense.;
Reading is not just about the content of the text. It’s allocating quiet time / space to think and reflect on the issues raised by the text.;
High capital costs, high switching costs, or huge network effects appear to be three reliable pillars of defensibility in tech businesses.;
In most contexts, when people hear “reform” they think “progress in the right direction,” regardless of specific details.;
Overheard: “The problem in education is that we have educators running the school systems. Pilots are not CEOs of the airline companies.”;
A lot of times it’s better to catch the end of a big wave than the peak of a small wave.;
Random writing thought: cut “very” in front of adverbs and adjectives. At times, perversely, it even weakens the next word.;
There’s nothing wrong w/ not being “passionate” about your 9-5 job if it gives you plenty time to pursue ur serious, hard-to-monetize hobby;
A litmus test for a good person in your life: can you be your truest and most natural self around him or her?;
Lists of numbered points where the total number is too pat (5, 10, 15, 20, etc) usually have more fluff than a list of points w/ an odd #.;
Preface an otherwise banal aphorism with “My father once taught me” and it becomes rich with generational credibility.;
When you’re giggling, you know you’re doing something right. (Surprisingly profound advice from a friend.);
If frequency with which you cite an education credential does not decrease over the course of your life, you’re not accomplishing very much.;
Sometimes we laugh because a joke is funny. Sometimes we laugh to show we’re smart enough to understand the joke in question.;
Litmus test for mood: impatience when listening to music. In a good mood, everything usually sounds good. Bad mood, always clicking “Next.”;
The airline you fly the most is the one you think is the worst.;
“That’s such a huge generalization!” is not a rebuttal against a generalization, nor is identifying a random exception.;
People who do not have a tidy, short answer to the question “What do you do?” are usually pretty interesting.;
An ideal: work all day with entrepreneurs, but have your meals (and twice-daily conversations) with journalists and academics.;
People too quickly assume that suffering, pain, and hardship “builds character.” Sometimes suffering is just….suffering.;
The hardest type of criticism to take is about self-perceived strengths. Yet this is the most important to hear.;
I’m amused by self-styled “busy” people. Busyness is as much a matter of identity as it is a reflection of time availability and schedule.;
Looking back on experiences, we remember the highest or lowest moment, and how they ended.;
Overheard: A key sign of maturity is realizing that *you* are not the baseline against which all opinions / behavior etc should be compared.;
If a woman tells me she loved / had a great time in high school, I can predict many things about her. (The converse is not true.);
One of the best ways to improve a friendship with person X is to become friends with X’s friends. I.e, have mutual friends.;
It’s strange that it’s easier to call someone geographically / physically closer to you, even though a phone call is a phone call.;
Why say “indefatigable” if you can say “tireless?” Short, punchy words are best.;
How many business brainstorming sessions include the phrase, “If we had scale…” Yes. Every idea is interesting at scale.;
We learn about who someone is by the choices they make when the choice isn’t obvious.;
Environmentalism is the leading secular religion.;
“Learn by doing” – doing something yourself is almost always the best way to learn something. Extremely simple yet so rarely followed.;
How many billion dollar companies started with the founder saying, “I want to start a billion dollar company.” My opinion: few.;
When we’re unsure of how we feel, we often try to convince ourselves by trying to convince someone else of the point.;
In an attempt to focus ourselves to make an important decision, we often overrate the stakes, causing unnecessary stress and add’l paralysis;
Self-understanding, like happiness, is never fully achieved. It’s an on-going pursuit and sometimes excessive explicit focus hurts the cause;
Why do we often say an essay or person is “smart”? When it/the person makes *us* feel smart. We love feeling like we “got it.”;
Intelligent people have a remarkable ability to rationalize irrational actions, to re-tell history to fit their preferred, comfy narrative.;
Formal school helps neuter your natural “what interests me” sensor b/c to succeed in school you cannot ask yourself that Q, you do as told.;
Smart is like vanilla ice cream. There are thousands of really smart people. I value eccentricity, weirdness, interestingness. Black swans.;
Most actively seek positivity and happiness. Another approach is to try to eliminate negativity and things that make you unhappy.;


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