The Box

“Here and now,” says the voice. It speaks with an assumed familiarity, as if it were the voice in my head, embodied. The voice emanates from the box itself. I am in the box, a simple dark cube, tall enough to stand inside, if I were standing. I can’t see my face or my hands. More
Sep 14 2020

Matt Ridley: How Innovation Works, Part 2

Innovation is the parent of prosperity
Naval interviews Matt Ridley, the author of The Red Queen and, recently, How Innovation Works. Also see Part 1. Innovation Famine I have a chapter towards the end of the book where I complain about the fact that we are living through an innovation famine, not an innovation feast—particularly in areas other than digital. More

How to Angel Invest, Part 2

A preview of our other podcast
We have another podcast called Spearhead, where we discuss startups and angel investing. This is a compilation of recent episodes. Also, see Part 1. Everybody Thinks They Already Have Good Judgment It takes years to know if you have good judgment For the past few episodes, we talked about why you should angel invest and how to get proprietary dealflow by building a brand. More

Groups Search for Consensus, Individuals Search for Truth

What society wants for you isn't what’s good for you
What’s considered to be true is fought over. Individuals search for truth but groups search for consensus—and society is the largest group. So the biggest problem we run into is this: What society wants for you is not always what’s good for you. Even smart, critical thinkers go along with many of society’s truths, knowing deep down they are lies.  Here’s a simple example: “Money won’t make you happy” More

The Path to Peace Is Truth

When self-improvement fails, work on discovering the truth
The search for peace is really the search for truth. Try to see the advantage of understanding things by discovering the truth rather than by practice. Let’s say I’m trying to quit smoking. There are techniques I can try, but they’re always painful and difficult. Often, a moment will come when I see myself in a new way that allows the habit to disappear by itself. More

Happiness Is Peace in Motion

Peace is happiness at rest
In some ways, modern life is more hectic than prehistoric times. Our sources of stress are more chronic. Let’s define stress. In physical terms, stress happens when something wants to be in two places at one time. If I apply pressure to both ends of an iron beam, I create stress on the beam because one part wants to be north and the other part wants to be south. More

Breaking Addiction Is Socially Unacceptable

Addiction enables artificial relationships and activities
If you drink alcohol or take some kind of drug regularly, try the following thought experiment.  What events do you most look forward to? I’ll bet they’re the ones where you get to drink or do drugs. You look forward to dinnertime, an upcoming party or bar-hopping with friends. To see how artificial it is, resolve to abstain from drinking or doing drugs the next time you go out. More