Alex's Notes

Pen and paper, thought and mind to the world.

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The Art of Business

An important business lesson I have recently internalized is that not every project is an art project that needs to achieve some higher purpose, but a straightforward end result that won’t explode on impact. This realization has increased my income, productivity, and made my art that much sweeter.

“Check your premises—If you seem to be confronting a contradiction, then at least one of your relevant beliefs is false.”

It is vital that words like “psychopath” and “narcissist” are reserved for those true chance encounters and are not lazily attributed to anybody who favors their position over your own.

To dilute such words can make you miss important cues and leave you in dangerous situations.

It’s not economical

is something we say to justify spending less of our own money to the expense of the actual economy.

Why not tip the delivery driver an extra $10 for saving you nearly an hour of your otherwise billable time?

Why not buy the {slightly more expensive but usable thing}?

“It’s not economical.”

It is not economical to cheapen the economy, which is the value people hold each other to.

Of course this is only true when your (billable) time is not worth much, which is why it has become “economical” to save rather than earn.

Now streaming

How does one have a life when there is so much still to build? For years nothing has mattered more than my software company, and I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel on where I need to go to get what I want. In pursuit of a quality that the first-movers of my market have ignored, the breakthrough moment with MD is hard to imagine but is on its way so long as I stick to the goal and build my way into the light. There are sites starting all over the web that should be on my software, but are not because I am still in the dust building something that will outlast and make an impact deeper than offering the shiniest tools. One day..

Now reading: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Read: November 2018

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Atlas Shrugged

by Ayn Rand

Completely enthralled by this book. Will report back soon.

Skin in the Game

Read: June 2018

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Skin in The Game

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

When I bought Skin in the Game by Nicholas Taleb, I didn’t fully understand what the book was about as I was more drawn to Taleb’s personality and witty insights from Twitter. But shortly after reading the most informative Preface of a book I’ve ever picked up, I realized what an important book Skin in the Game is for anybody who makes decisions or creates something in the modern world.

The basic idea of having Skin in the Game is that you have a personal investment tied to the outcome of an opinion, a business, and decisions over others; that if you are to make decisions that affect others, you are best and most fairly suited to do so where the results directly impact you.

Taleb illustrates these concepts brilliantly with examples ranging from the “politicians in the air-conditioned rooms” to looking deeper at the famous Golden Rule and why the Silver Rule may be a more robust way to treat others.

As of writing this (June 28, 2018) I’m about halfway through the book and know I will reread this many times in my life as the ideas are refreshingly new but have implications that will help you navigate the world in a more realistic and honest way.