We all desire control over the work we have to do and in exchange agree to being held responsible for it. That is the implicit agreement for provision of human labor. Ideally, we would all like to be held responsible for only those outcomes that we can directly control. Yet…

Credit: Pixabay

As recently as 2008, Malcolm Gladwell advised us to follow the 10000-hour rule. This article is not about whether 10000 hours are enough to become an expert. This is also not about learning hacks to cut down on the hours without compromising on the desired proficiency. I’ve little idea about…

Credit: Prophsee Journals

Between 2009 and 2013, I ran five editions of the Mumbai marathon. For each year, my preparation would start three months prior. I would draw up a schedule that had a weekly upping of the mileage, cresting with a long weekend run. This would continue until a couple of weeks…

Credit: Beth Kanter

Updating beliefs to accurately reflect the world happens best through direct experience. Fire is hot. Best way to know this is to touch a naked flame. But we do not get the chance to learn everything directly. We learn a lot more via the communicated experiences of others. It is…

Credit: Juan Rumimpunu

When I was an undergrad, my roommate was someone I thought of as a pessimist. M was great company but he was in the habit of presenting the rest of us with the worst-case scenario. This particularly chafed a group of eighteen year olds when anything exciting was in the…

Wikimedia Commons

In 1897, something unprecedented was unfolding. Here’s an account of it from the National Park Service website belonging to the US Department of the Interior:

On July 17th, 1897, the steamship Portland docked in Seattle from St Michael, Alaska, carrying 68 prospectors and what newspapers said was “a ton of…

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

In an interview on The Knowledge Project, Seth Godin defines sunk costs as a gift from your former self to your present self that you don’t have any use for. …

Over this weekend, as the world witnesses the first human spaceflight mission in a reused rocket, it is a good time to consider the value of defining a problem well. When it comes to solving problems, the commonsensical view may be guided by the accepted problem definition. What we have…

Creator: Yourdon Edward | Credit: Ed Yourdon

Picture Vince Gilligan, the showrunner of Breaking Bad, and his team of writers huddled up at the beginning of a season. Vince pulls out a thick notebook in a binder and distributes copies to those around the writers’ table.

“These are the locked-down specs for Season 4! There’s the set-up…

Two systems at different temperatures eventually attain the same temperature when exposed to each other. In doing so, the systems approach a state of thermal equilibrium. This movement toward equilibrium is spontaneous and continuous.

Sometimes, however, we may not desire equilibrium if the groups are set up for different objectives…

Satyajit Rout

Mental models, technology, self-improvement, and things in between

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