NCAA Bracket Haiku

Ignore it for months Now instant expert after Glance at two numbers


"Go Home Until Your Inbox is at Zero"

I'm giving a talk to a packed lecture hall.  It's about personal growth, career progress, how to build your future, start a company or something along those lines. I open by asking the audience a question, "How many of you have more than two or three unread emails sitting in your inbox?" The vast…


I Might Be Misunderstanding Odds in Poker (or maybe not?)

Last night was poker night, which is always great fun. I tend to be pretty bombastic and blab and trash talk the whole night, and at one point I said something to the effect of, "We have a lot more guys here tonight than usual, so I'm gonna have to adjust my strategy and play more aggressively."…


Ignorance is Easier

You can't handle the truth! That famous line from A Few Good Men is memorable and offensive.  Of course I can handle the truth!  I'm a curious, rational, truth-seeking person. Until it comes to myself. It's not that hard to be truth-seeking (or at least truth-open) about other people or the world…


Knowledge Judgement and Action Judgement

One of the most valuable and difficult to define attributes is judgement. Knowing how to read and react to a situation, when to say/not say things, and other "soft", social, and emotional intelligences.  I'm not sure if judgement can be taught to someone who lacks it.  Judgement can certainly get…


Cut Your Words in Half, Double Your Ideas

We run an exercise in the Praxis writing module where participants write a blog post, find the total word count, then go back and edit until it has half as many words as the first time through. I can't really think of any exceptions to when the final, halved draft is better than the original.  I've…


Why Intellectuals Should Leave Academia

Professors and teachers: The best way to increase the quality and engagement of students is to separate your instruction from accredited institutions. Don’t complain about low quality students; they’re not there for you and mostly don’t care about your ideas. They’re there for a piece of paper they…


Why Free Market Professors Don't Exit Academia

Whenever I talk with a free-market professor about the silliness of subsidized, cartelized, bureaucratized academia and how it devalues and stifles their work, it reminds me of the (apocryphal?) statement made by F.A. Hayek near the end of his life. Supposedly, he said, "I might be an anarchist if…


School Writing vs. Real Writing

Continuing on yesterday's theme. The entire education apparatus, from kindergarten through college, teaches skills relevant to how to succeed in academia, and nothing relevant to how to succeed in the free-market. Take writing as one example. In school, you write to criteria determined by others on…


What if Everyone Was Forced to go to Auto Mechanic School?

Imagine a world in which all kids were sent to auto mechanic school for the first few decades of life. Some percentage of them, those destined for a future with cars and mechanical problems, would love it.  It'd be a great fit for them.  They'd spend their time focused on the skills they enjoy and…