Greetings friends. This is the second edition of the Tuesday Goodreads & Links - a deeper dive into what I’m stumbling across on the internet. If you missed the Saturday post, I explored the shift in the nature of work towards managerial decision-focused work and the trend in later-in-life peak earnings.
There’s a lot of links because we’ve been locked down due to a Covid outbreak. I’ve been working on my book while also finishing a freelance consulting basics course which I’m offering for $49 to the next 20 people (launch price will be $149).
I just finished “Maybe You Should Talk To Someone,” Lori Gottlieb’s behind-the-scenes look at her life as a therapist. A fun and easy read that follows multiple patient’s lives as well as her own journey in therapy at the same time. A fun short read that taught me a lot about what it feels like to be a therapist.
Now reading: Recapture The Rapture by Jamie Wheal and Eleanor by David Michaelis
Ocean Vuong | On Being
Ocean is a professor at UMass, a poet, an immigrant from Vietnam, and grew up 15 minutes from where I grew up in Connecticut. His story and reflections are beautiful and I hope you get a chance to listen to this conversation.
Ali Abdaal | Reimagine Work
I had a conversation with Ali Abdaal about what he learned taking a year off from medicine, what he still worries about the answer to “what do you do?” and how he defines success after solving his “money issues”
Gabriel Leydon | Invest Like The Best
Podcast on what video games tell us about the future including digital economies, digital experiences, the future of work, and NFT.
Network State With Balaji Srinivasan | The Deep End
A new podcast from On Deck hosted by Marshall Kosloff. This should be a pretty good podcast. Loved the episode with Balaji and looking forward to more.
Ten Things Worth Reading
You can’t make this up
A prominent Conservative politician and close friend of Winston Churchill set up a bogus “summer school” in Scotland where he posed as a 16-year-old schoolboy and hired other teenagers to cane him, according to a new memoir.
#2 A style guide for a good jobs economy | Katie Bach
Katie is a former classmate and working with the Good Jobs Institute. This article covers a lot of the flaws the news and media fall into when covering work and the limitations of terms like “the future of work,” the myth of the “skills gap” (which I’ve written about here), and how hourly wages are misleading (because most hourly employees are not able to work 40 hours even if they wanted to).
#3 Is Software Reorganizing The World? | Balaji
Prescient article from 2013 talking about how digital will become our primary mode of connecting with others:
Yet this discrepancy between our cloud subculture and our physical surroundings will not endure indefinitely. Because the latest wave of technology is not just connecting us intellectually and emotionally with remote peers: it is also making us ever more mobile, ever more able to meet our peers in person.
#4 Are We Better Off? | Noah Smith
In other words, average Americans ARE better off than they were at the start of the neoliberal age. Don’t let anyone tell you living standards have gone down. But by the same token, Americans aren’t as MUCH better off as they could be, given how much the country has grown economically.
#5 No The Millennials Are Not Poorer | Nick Maggiulli
I emphasize this point because by overlooking it you can send the wrong message. By suggesting that all Millennials can’t get ahead, you are painting the entire generation as victims of unfair circumstances. This is true for some Millennials, but not all Millennials. The distinction is important because it influences how policy makers (who are mostly Baby Boomers) think about these issues.
#6 The New Productivity Revolution by Eli Dourado | City Journal
Is this slowdown due to a small number of crucial past innovations running their course? Do no Great Inventions remain to be discovered? Are we now doomed to eternal stagnation? Short answer: no. All it takes to see this is a visit to the technology frontier and a little imagination. But if there is no shortage of technological possibilities, why, then, is economic growth stagnating?
#7 DAOs and The Future of Work | Bankless
Great essay on early lessons from observing digital organizations in the wild
The crypto industry has a habit of stripping away the BS from things, in order to get right down to the essence of the matter. People who work for DOs are already home, so there’s no such thing as idle hands under work-hours. There aren’t any hours ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. DO’s find creative and innovative ways to compensate for output rather than regular hours.
#8 The Cooperation Economy | Packy McCormick
Packy makes the case for the emergence of dynamic teams to form in the creator economy with some shoutouts to the NBA for paving the way with the “player empowerment era”
#9 Remote Work Narrative Warfare | Epsilon Theory
Ben Hunt and Rusty Guinn always offer fascinating meta-perspectives on how narratives shift and turn “hot” - they predict the remote work conversation will shift into a clear two-sided debate over the coming weeks.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out:
But as office returns accelerate, some employees may want different options. A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News.
It appears there is no clear consensus among managers either:
There’s a popular meme that says “smart people are more susceptible to believing things they wish to be true.” Turns out this isn’t really the case: “susceptibility to fake news is driven more by lazy thinking than it is by partisan bias.”
Cargo Cult Science - Caltech Graduation Speech | Richard Feynman (1974)
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.
On Rejection | Joan Didion (1968)
Joan Didion reflects on being rejected from Stanford and how everything still turned out okay:
And of course none of it matters very much at all, none of these early successes, early failures. I wonder if we had better not find some way to let our children know this, some way to extricate our expectations from theirs, some way to let them work through their own rejections and sullen rebellions and interludes with golf pros, unassisted by anxious prompting from the wings. Finding one’s role at 17 is problem enough, without being handed somebody else’s script.
“What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow
Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.”
Tweet Of The Week
I talked with someone about this essay again and thought I’d resurface it here:
The benefit of a creative journey is the path itself. If you can find a creative journey you want to be on, then the opportunities that emerge will also be the ones you want to work on too.
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