How My Son Learned to Read When We Stopped Trying to Teach Him

We were homeschooling and our son was six years old.  He had a good vocabulary and comprehension of ideas beyond many kids his age.  We knew reading would open up the world to him, we knew he'd like it, and we knew he was very capable of doing it.  But he didn't. We tried flashcards.  We tried…


Episode 19: Michael Malice on Writing, Batman, and North Korea

Author, TV personality, and rabble-rouser Michael Malice joins me to discuss what it was like to have award winning graphic novelist Harvey Pekar write a book about him, why he quit a lucrative career to be a writer (even though he doesn't love writing), the experience of self-publishing a "true"…


On Dismissing Ideas Out of Hand

I fully believe some ideas, arguments, and propositions are not worth spending time on.  I don't think it makes a person more noble or a better intellect to entertain all ideas with equal weight and never dismiss any.  Primarily because it's not possible.  We all have limited time and mental…


Writing and I Might Need to Get Counseling

I've developed a complicated relationship with writing. I've been blogging every day since February, and prior to that had been blogging anywhere from 2-7 times per week over the past three years.  The surprising thing about writing regularly as a discipline is how much my relationship to the…


Time for Entrepreneurship to Replace Schooling

Software is eating the world. Those words, popularized by the creator of the first web browser and now venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, describe the present and foretell the future. First it was industry and ever more advanced machines. Once machines became programmable, software became the most…


5 Reasons to Take a Crappy Job

If you want to be really good at whatever you do I recommend getting some crappy* work experience while you are young.  Mop floors, work a cash register, haul junk, install drywall, dig ditches, clean bathrooms, or some kind of job that has no pre-existing skill requirement. Let's not get too…


The Two Things That Trump Talent

One of the big secrets in the professional world is that talent is not the most valuable thing to clients, employers, coworkers, and investors.  I've written before about a skill that beats talent every time.  I'm going to expand on that a little bit today.  A combination of two traits will win out…


The Advantages of Having a Family While Running a Business

What better motivation is there to succeed, use time wisely, and not feel defeated? It's no secret that being an entrepreneur is stressful and time consuming.  It requires not just physical but immense mental energy and brings pretty severe emotional swings.  Sometimes it involves emails or phone…


Episode 18: Peter Leeson on the Economic Explanation of Everything

Economist Pete Leeson believes everything can be explained using the economic assumption of rational behavior. He is a prolific academic and his work covers a wide variety of fascinating and sometimes bizarre phenomena - from insect trials to witch burning, piracy, and everything in between - and…


Father's Day is a Little Weird for Me

I’m sitting alone in a bar in Austin at 10:30 AM on a rainy Sunday. Waiting for a little bit of bacon, waffles, and diced red potatoes. It’s Father’s Day. I’ve already had more than enough coffee, so water is my sole companion as I wait. I’m tired. I just finished a day of being “on”, participating…