Notebook

Welcome to my intellectual lab.

My notebook is where I develop my ideas in public. If my essays are finished paintings, these are my intellectual sketches. They’re a low-stakes place where I share ideas that are longer than a tweet, but too immature for a full-on essay.

My notebook is like a personal Wikipedia. There are two ways to navigate it. You can either surf between the recommendations at the bottom of each note or follow the infinite scroll below.

Latest note

The Stupid Test

Whenever you’re trying to solve a problem, ask yourself: “What answer am I missing because it seems too stupid?”

Intellectual Loneliness

I have a confession to make: I leave most parties early because I’d rather read a book.

Should You Write Every Day?

When I started working out, I hated it. I wanted to gain muscle but dreaded working out. Eventually, a friend got fed up with my laziness and told me what I needed to hear: “If you want to build the habit, go to the gym every single day without fail.”

People Don’t Actually Read

My friend Justin Murphy made a good point recently: “People overestimate how many books other people read.”

Lifting Alone

Gyms were once communal places. Nobody wore headphones. People helped each other out and talked between sets.

Thoughts on Free Will

My friend Chris Sparks says: “When it comes to creating your environment, assume you have free will. When it comes to living in it, assume you have no free will.”

The Paradoxes of Modern Life

The Paradox of Reading: The books you read will profoundly change you even though you’ll forget the vast majority of what you read.

What Networks Whisper

Every city changes you. San Francisco tells you to be powerful, LA tells you to be famous, Boston tells you to be smarter, and New York tells you to be richer.

The Jerry Seinfeld Guide to Writing

Writing and editing should be separate activities.

The Paradox of Abundance

Information abundance, like all markets of abundance, is bad for the average person but great for a small number of people.

Beer Mode and Coffee Mode

Creatives have two ways of working: beer mode and coffee mode.

The Perks of Niche Fame

There are two kinds of fame: Celebrity-Fame and Niche-Fame.

Punctuation is Music

If you want to improve your writing, match your punctuation to the mood.