Month: March 2014

Betting on the Future

By the people who run the Long Now Foundation, and used by the likes of Warren Buffett. I like the Rules. Some favorite bets–

That last bet is only for $1000. Worth it.

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Willpower that drains

I read something about willpower, but I don’t remember where. I told my friend Sam about it. This author that I cannot recall said that you have a finite amount of it at the start of the day, and any small amount of expenditure will diminish it. That includes the willpower spent not checking your phone, or not checking Facebook. Sam countered that his willpower is bolstered when he accomplishes something as in “I went for a run this morning and now I have the willpower later on not to eat like shit.” I’ve felt similarly.
So we made the distinction between active and passive expenditures. Successfully finishing something is of a different character than the endless small obstacle of not doing something. There’s no triumph, no boost of confidence. It’s draining. The suggestion made by that thing I read was to remove those drains on willpower–go without your phone, block Facebook, make the expenditure of willpower only available to the task at hand. Remove yourself from distractions when you have to do the things you don’t want to do.┬áNow all I have to do is find that link, but first I have to check my email again.

If you want to look like a goon in public, but also be amazing

Mandel_11.jpg.CROP.article920-largeSpeed read! I’ve been using spreeder.com, which is not the classiest interface book does it pretty right. You have to pay very close attention to what you’re reading, and can’t get distracted by looking at your phone etc.

Spreeder and comparable apps relying on a technology called RSVP, Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, which makes reading seem more like watching a gif, or “listening with your eyes”. So when you’re reading in a coffee shop, you stare at a single spot on your phone, not moving, totally engrossed. The newer, fancier, much discussed Spritz has some science on where your eyes should focus on a word for quickest comprehension (where Spreeder just centers the words presented), but they don’t seem to be available to the common man yet. And I want to use it so much on iBooks on my iPad, but no one has that unless I rip the DRM off of the books I purchased (and ugh sigh). I think I’ll buy Velocity for my iPhone, which seems to work with Pocket so I can use it offline for articles. Try it! How fast are you? I’m up to 475 wpm!