A Principled Approach to Thinking

  1. Bad opinions can be very costly. Most people come up with opinions and there’s no cost to them.
  2. The consensus is often wrong. To make any money, you have to be right when they’re wrong.
  3. Stress-test your opinions by having the smartest people your can find.
  4. Don't care about others’ conclusions — only for the reasoning that led to these conclusions.

Human Being

“We've always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we've just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we've barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.― Cooper - Interstellar


In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them. ― Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not "true" because we're hungry for another kind of truth: the mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about someone who lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about oneself. --Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

No man ever "found" himself. "Finding" yourself is a pop culture lie. As a man, you can only "make" yourself. No amount of travel, drugs, music, weird clothing, and learning foreign languages will help you "find yourself". There is nothing to find, only to create.

“So is a billion dollars cool? He ponders the question carefully. “No, it’s not,” he says. “It’s not cool. I think being a wealthy member of the establishment is the antithesis of cool. Being a countercultural revolutionary is cool. So to the extent that you’ve made a billion dollars, you’ve probably become uncool.” -Sean Paker


"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." -Steve Jobs


The quality of the team working on the project and the quality of their engineering practices are far more important than the language. Rust and Haskell offer similar levels of language features to help people write good code but they have different trade offs. An above average team in one of these languages would outperform a below average team on the other.

Programming languages are languages, but only for a very restricted vocabulary that is not even close to what can be done on human languages. Also, being fluent in a human language involves not only reading and writing, but also talking. A word is an abstract concept given a definition in terms of other words. The equivalent of set of related words is an API in a programming language.

Natural languages are intended and optimized for speaking, and they inherently encourage ambiguity because conversation is an interactive process where one can request clarification. Programming languages are typically non-interactive and don't tolerate ambiguity at all. in a programming language every vocable is clearly defined when used, or you get an error. Words in natural languages are not really clearly defined. There is only a very small subset of words, people are not fighting over their definition.


Language is sometimes confused for thinking. That's a category error. Language is a tool to express, organize, store, and recall thoughts. It works for most types of thought, but not all. And there are other ways to express thoughts -- gestures, facial expressions, drawings, etc.

A key property of systems for expressing thoughts (especially language) is that, by encoding our transient thoughts into something else that can be observed and reasoned about, they make thinking reflective, recursive. They make it possible to think about our thoughts.

Do you believe that language directs the formulation of thoughts? For example, if we do not have native words for concepts, does it limit us? I think about this often as it applies to people of other languages, cultures, etc..that it expands us, in part, due to language expansion? Yes, language is an operating system for thinking. You can think more with language than without, not all languages are equal, and you can think even more in written language. - François Chollet


Skill is sometimes confused for intelligence. That's a category error. Intelligence is the ability to efficiently turn the resources at your disposal into new skills at arbitrary tasks. Intelligence is a conversion ratio between information (priors and experience) and skills. Because priors, experience, task-specific skill, and task novelty can all be formally quantified via algorithmic information theory, we can also quantify intelligence in this way.- François Chollet


“The cost of your good habits is in the present. The cost of your bad habits is in the future.” – James Clear

"think with a very long time horizon, act with great short-term urgency and effectiveness, success guaranteed.- Sam Altman"

you make more timeless music if you don't chase current trends -Hitmaker Frank Dukes


If people love your product, the tiniest announcements will get attention. If people don’t love your product, no amount of marketing effort will help. - Slava Akhmeche

In the startup world, all our pattern matching efforts are biases. Exceptions are the rule. Every successful Silicon Valley startup is an exception to a rule.- Neal Khosla

In a startup, absolutely nothing happens unless you make it happen -pmarca Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable. Learn how to sell. I don’t mean, learn how to sell someone a set of steak knives they don’t need — although I hear that can be quite an education by itself. I mean, learn how to convince people that something is in their best interest to do, even when they don’t realize it up front.