The 4 Hour Struggle

Entrepreneurial Philosophy by Matt Aaron

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Antifragile Reflections: Part 2 (real world applications)

In Part 1, I discussed the importance of incentives as explained in the book.

Today, I will highlight some key concepts from the book and how I have applied them to my life.

Data and Noise

"A very rarely discussed property of data: it is toxic in large quantities—even in moderate quantities."

Reading the newspaper everyday? You could be spending your time better. Why is the newspaper the exact same size (give or take a page or two) every day? On some days, more news happens than others, so a newspaper should reflect that. Somedays it could only be 1 page and others upwards of 100 pages.

Books read in August 2011 (chart)

On Mike Dariano

My reading theme for August was grab books off the table nearest the library check-out and as a result the books were largely pretty bad. My thoughts, from best to worst.

Unbroken: was probably the best book I've read all year. I enjoyed Hillenbrand's previous book, Seasbiscuit, except for it being a bit chewy on the part of the Jockey's lives. This book, like its protagonist, has no fat or excess. It would have been an incredible non-fiction book with the twists, turns, overall story, and the heroes and villains. After reading it I had a better understand of history and wish more of what was taught to me would have been taught like this. The inevitable movie version will be the best war movie since Saving Private Ryan and if done well it will be better. The story is that good.

In the Garden of Beasts: is the story of ambassador Dodd living in Hitler's Berlin. Both this and Unbroken are recent publications which makes now an excellent time to be reading about World War 2. If Unbroken excels in the telling of history this book does well in focusing its light on a small piece. There are probably many books about Germany and Hitler leading up to the invasion of Poland but probably none are as good as this.

The Buffalo Creek Disaster: is the story of the lawsuit following a 1972 coal dam failure that lifted water levels to over 30 feet and killed 125 people. The stories the victims tell of the disaster were the most difficult tragedies I've ever read. Somewhat striking to me, the book written by a the plaintiff's lead counsel, reads quickly though deliberately, a model for any lawyers writing books.

I'm Feeling Lucky: a story of the beginning days of Google. This book wasn't especially well written or compelling on its own. It's about the beginning years of a really incredible company and would probably have been the same story had any one of the first two-hundred people there written it. Very little content on the engineering about not much new about the Google culture.

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