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The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish

The Knowledge Project takes you inside the heads of remarkable people to explore the frameworks and mental models you can use to make life more meaningful and productive. Learn more at https://fs.blog
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Jun 13, 2018

Since the popularity of Obstacle Course Racing, or OCR, has exploded onto the scene, there has been one woman who has dominated the sport: Amelia Boone.

Amelia ran her first race in 2011 after some prodding from a co-worker, and though she says she stumbled her way to an unimpressive finish, she was smitten. She has since amassed over  50 podiums and two dozen victories, including the Spartan Race World Championship in 2013, and the World's Toughest Mudder (three times!) in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Oh, and her 2014 victory came just eight weeks after major knee surgery.

Though she vehemently denies it, Amelia is superhuman.

This interview is a little different than others you may have heard on The Knowledge Project but no less fascinating.

We cover a wide variety of topics including habits, reading, self-reliance, and training.

Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • Why Amelia was drawn to obstacle racing even though running was something she despised
  • The complementary connection between her sport and her professional work and how racing has made her a more effective attorney
  • How Amelia fights physical and mental fatigue when most people quit (she even shares a story of how she dealt with a vacant support station halfway through a 100 mile race)
  • What she does to develop grit and resilience so she knows she can rely on herself when things get rough
  • Amelia’s “to-do list” trick that makes sure she’s productive — you’ll want to steal this
  • How a serious injury taught Amelia some of her most powerful lessons about who she is and what’s important to her
  • What Amelia’s parents did to teach her to be self-sufficient from a very young age
  • How she learned to deal with setbacks, and how careful she is with the language she uses when she speaks to herself when things go wrong
  • Why Amelia runs with a Sharpie and the same playlist she’s listened to for the past 5 years
  • How Amelia transformed herself from a casual weekend warrior to one of the most finely tuned athletes in the world

Whether you’re an athlete, a weekend jogger, or the only exercise you get is the leisure stroll from the couch to the refrigerator, there are lots of insights and plenty of inspiration waiting for you in this interview.

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

Upgrade your thinking with my free weekly email digest. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet)

May 25, 2018

On this episode of the Knowledge Project, I’m joined by the fascinating Dan Ariely. Dan just about does it all. He has delivered 6 TED talks with a combined 20 million views, he’s a multiple New York Times best-selling author, a widely published researcher, and the James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University.

For the better part of three decades, Dan has been immersed in researching why humans do some of the silly, irrational things we do. And yes, as much as we’d all like to be exempt, that includes you too.

In this captivating interview, we tackle a lot of interesting topics, including:

  • The three types of decisions that control our life and how understanding our biases can help us make smarter decisions
  • How our environment plays a big role in our decision making and the small changes we can make to automatically improve our outcomes
  • The “behavioural driven” bathroom scale Dan has been working on to revolutionize weight loss
  • Which of our irrational behaviors transfer across cultures and which ones are unique to certain parts of the world (for example, find out which country is the most honest)
  • The dishonesty spectrum and why we as humans insist on flirting with the line between “honest” and “dishonest”
  • 3 sneaky mental tricks Dan uses to avoid making ego-driven decisions
  • “Pluralistic ignorance” and how it dangerously affects our actions and inactions (As a bonus, Dan shares the hilarious way he demonstrates this concept to his students on their first day of class)
  • The rule Dan created specifically for people with spinach in their teeth
  • The difference between habits, rules, and rituals, and why they are critical to shaping us into who we want to be

This was a riveting discussion and one that easily could have gone for hours. If you’ve ever wondered how you’d respond in any of these eye-opening experiments, you have to listen to this interview. If you’re anything like me, you’ll learn something new about yourself, whether you want to or not.  

Enjoy!

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

Upgrade your thinking with my free weekly email digest. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet)

May 2, 2018

On this episode of the Knowledge Project Podcast, I chat with Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of the leading online payment processing company, Stripe. If you’ve purchased anything online recently, there’s a good chance that Stripe facilitated the transaction.

What is now an organization with over a thousand employees and handling tens of billions of dollars of online purchases every year, began as a small side experiment while Patrick and his brother John were going to college.  

During our conversation, Patrick shares the details of their unlikely journey and some of the hard-earned wisdom he picked up along the way. I hope you have something handy to write with because the nuggets per minute in this episode are off the charts. Patrick was so open and generous with his responses that I’m really excited for you to hear what he has to say.

Here are just a few of the things we cover:

  • The biggest (and most valuable) mistakes Patrick made in the early days of Stripe and how they helped him get better
  • The characteristics that Patrick looks for in a new hire to fit and contribute to the Stripe company culture
  • What compelled he and his brother to move forward with the early concept of Stripe, even though on paper it was doomed to fail from the start
  • The gaps Patrick saw in the market that dozens of other processing companies were missing — and how he capitalized on them
  • The lessons Patrick learned from scaling Stripe from two employees (he and his brother) to nearly 1,000 today
  • How he evaluates the upsides and potential dangers of speculative positions within the company
  • How his Irish upbringing influenced his ability to argue and disagree without taking offense (and how we can all be a little more “Irish”)
  • The power of finding the right peer group in your social and professional circles and how impactful and influential it can be in determining where you end up.
  • The 4 ways Patrick has modified his decision making process over the last 5 years and how it’s helped him develop as a person and as a business leader (this part alone is worth the listen)
  • Patrick’s unique approach to books and how he chooses what he’s going to spend his time reading

...life in Silicon Valley, Baumol’s cost disease, and so, so much more.

Patrick truly is one of the most warm, humble and down to earth people I’ve had the pleasure to speak with and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation together. I hope you will too!

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

My free weekly Brain Food digest helps you upgrade your thinking. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow Shane on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet)

Apr 10, 2018

Just when I start to think I’m using my time well and getting a lot done in my life, I meet someone like Barbara Oakley.

Barbara is a true polymath. She was a captain in the U.S. Army, a Russian translator on Soviet trawlers, a radio operator in the South Pole, an engineer, university professor, researcher and the author of 8 books.

Oh, and she is also the creator and instructor of Learning to Learn, the most popular Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ever(!), with over one million enrolled students.

In this fascinating interview, we cover many aspects of learning, including how to make it stick so we remember more and forget less, how to be more efficient so we learn more quickly, and how to remove that barriers that get in the way of effective learning.

Specifically, Barbara covers:

  • How she changed her brain from hating math and science to loving it so much she now teaches engineering to college students
  • What neuroscience can tell us about how to learn more effectively
  • The two modes of your brain and how that impacts what and how you learn
  • Why backing off can sometimes be the best thing you can do when learning something new
  • How to “chunk” your learning so new knowledge is woven into prior knowledge making it easily accessible
  • The best ways to develop new patterns of learning in our brains
  • How to practice a skill so you can blast through plateaus and improve more quickly
  • Her favorite tactic for dealing with procrastination so you can spend more time learning
  • The activities she recommends that rapidly increase neural connections like fertilizer on the brain
  • Whether memorization has a place in learning anymore, or simply a barrier to true understanding
  • The truth about “learning types” and how identifying as a visual or auditory learner might be setting yourself up for failure.

...and a whole lot more.

If you want to be the most efficient learner you can be, and have more fun doing it, you won’t want to miss this discussion.

 

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode and more go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

My free weekly Brain Food digest helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow Shane on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FarnamStreet/) to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Mar 13, 2018

Today, I’m joined by speaker, international executive and five-time author Margaret Heffernan. We discuss how to get the most out of our people, creating a thriving culture of trust and collaboration, and how to prevent potentially devastating “willful blindness.”

***

As former CEO of five successful businesses, Margaret Heffernan has been on the front lines observing the very human tendencies (selective blindness, conflict avoidance, and self sabotage to name a few) that cause managers and sometimes entire organizations to go astray.

She has since written five books and has spoken all over the world to warn, educate and instruct leaders to not only be aware of these tendencies, but how to weed them out of our companies, our business, and even our relationships.

In this conversation, we discuss many of the concepts she shares in her books, namely:

  • How to tap into the collective knowledge of your organization so problems are solved quickly, efficiently, and cooperatively.
  • The strange experiment Margaret ran to build “social capital” in one of her early businesses that transformed the way her employees treated and interacted with each other
  • How to build a culture that doesn’t create in-fighting and unhealthy competition within your organization, and how many companies today are missing the mark
  • One simple thing you can do as a leader to increase the buy-in, productivity and overall satisfaction of your team members (and it takes less than 30 seconds to do.)
  • The dangers of binary thinking and how Margaret catches herself from oversimplifying a situation.
  • Why arguing may be one of the purest forms of collaboration — and how to do it correctly.
  • How to identify the environment and context where you do your best work and how to best replicate it.
  • How “willful blindness” has caused catastrophic disasters in business, professional and personal relationships, and what we can do to avoid being another statistic
  • The wonderful advice Margaret gave to her kids when it came to choosing a career path

And much more.

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode and more go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

My free weekly Brain Food digest helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow Shane on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FarnamStreet/) to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Feb 21, 2018

When Pixar was dreaming up the idea for Inside Out, a film that would explore the roiling emotions inside the head of a young girl, they needed guidance from an expert. So they called Dacher Keltner.

Dacher is a psychologist at UC Berkeley who has dedicated his career to understanding how human emotion shapes the way we interact with the world, how we properly manage difficult or stressful situations, and ultimately, how we treat one another.

In fact, he refers to emotions as the “language of social living.” The more fluent we are in this language, the happier and more meaningful our lives can be.

We tackle a wide variety of topics in this conversation that I think you’ll really enjoy.

You’ll learn:

  • The three main drivers that determine your personal happiness and life satisfaction
  • Simple things you can do everyday to jumpstart the “feel good” reward center of your brain
  • The principle of “jen” and how we can use “high-jen behaviors” to bootstrap our own happiness
  • How to have more positive influence in our homes, at work and in our communities.
  • How to teach your kids to be more kind and empathetic in an increasingly self-centered world
  • What you can do to stay grounded and humble if you are in a position of power or authority
  • How to catch our own biases when we’re overly critical of another’s ideas (or overconfident in our own)

And much more. We could have spent an hour discussing any one of these points alone, but there was so much I wanted to cover. I’m certain you’ll find this episode well worth your time.

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode and more go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

My free weekly Brain Food digest helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow Shane on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FarnamStreet/) to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Jan 23, 2018

Michael Mauboussin returns for a fascinating encore interview on the Knowledge Project. We geek out on decision making, luck vs. skill, work life balance, and so much more.

***

Michael Mauboussin is back as a returning guest on the Knowledge Project!

He was actually the very first guest on the podcast when it was still very much an experiment. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to continue with the show. (If you missed his last interview, you can listen to it here, or if you’re a member of The Learning Community, you can download a transcript.)

Michael is one of my very favorite people to talk to, and I couldn’t wait to pick up right where we left off.

In this interview, Michael and I dive deep into some of the topics we care most about here at Farnam Street, including:

  • The concept of “base rates” and how they can help us make far better decisions and avoid the pain and consequences of making poor choices.
  • How to know where you land on the luck/skill continuum and why it matters
  • Michael’s advice on creating a systematic decision-making process in your organization to improve outcomes.
  • The two most important elements of any decision-making process
  • How to train your intuition to be one of your most powerful assets instead of a dangerous liability
  • The three tests Michael uses in his company to determine the health and financial stability of his environment
  • Why “algorithm aversion” is creating such headaches in many organizations and how to help your teams overcome it, so you can make more rapid progress
  • The most impactful books that he’s read since we last spoke, is reading habits, and the strategies he uses to get the most of every book
  • The importance of sleep in Michael's’ life to make sure his body and mind are running at peak efficiency
  • His greatest failures and what he learned from them
  • How Michael and his wife raised their kids and the unique parenting style they adopted
  • How Michael defines happiness and the decisions he makes to maximize the joy in his life

Any one of those insights alone is worth a listen, so I think you’re really going to enjoy this interview.

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode and more go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

Our free weekly email, Brain Food, helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow Shane on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FarnamStreet/) to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Jan 3, 2018

In this episode, we get negotiation coaching from Chris Voss, former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI.

***

Whether you’re buying a car, requesting a raise at work, or just deciding where to eat out with your spouse or partner, your negotiating skills will determine how pleased you are with the outcome.

Today, we have the special opportunity to learn some of the most effective tactics and strategies from a true master, Chris Voss.

Chris is the former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI and author of the excellent book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As Though Your Life Depended On It.

In this fascinating conversation, Chris shares how you can use the same techniques that have been field tested in some of the most high-stakes, pressure cooker situations, in your daily life.

If you want to become a better haggler, a better communicator, or a better listener, don’t miss this episode. It’s packed with actionable insights you can start using today to be more persuasive and grab hold of more of what you want in life.

Here are just a few things we cover:

  • What it really takes to be great at negotiating (most people approach it all wrong)
  • How to keep your emotions in check in a negotiation
  • The three different voices you use to connect with your counterpart and put them at ease
  • How many of us “take ourselves hostage” in a negotiation and ruin it before it starts
  • The biggest time-waster (and profit-killer) that plagues so many negotiations
  • The main problems with traditional negotiation techniques (BATNA etc) and how they’re leaving lots on the table
  • The “negotiation one-sheet” Chris uses before entering into any negotiation (and how you can use it to)
  • How to use an “accusations audit” when you’re structuring winning deals (this is brilliant)
  • One technique to get your counterpart to spill their guts when they’re trying to be tight-lipped. “Prospect theory” and how to use it to your advantage
  • Maximizing employee satisfaction in the hiring process so you get the best talent...and keep them!
  • How empathy saves time and makes you more likely to get what you want in a negotiation
  • The power of deference (and when to use it)
  • Chris’ go to tools that work best on all personality types, in nearly any situation
  • How intentionally getting the other party to say “no” substantially increases the success rate of a negotiation

And much more.

An edited transcript is available to members of the Farnam Street Learning Community or for purchase separately ($9).

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode and more go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

Our free weekly email, Brain Food, helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow Shane on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FarnamStreet/) to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Dec 14, 2017
The quality of your outcome depends on the quality of your questions.

Through asking the right questions we can spark innovation and creativity, gain deeper knowledge in the topics that are most important to us, and propel us forward in our personal and professional pursuits.

Yet very few of us do it well — if we do it at all.

My guest on the podcast today is Warren Berger — journalist, speaker, best selling author, and self-proclaimed questionologist.

His insightful book A More Beautiful Question shows how the world’s leading innovators, education leaders, creative thinkers, and red-hot start-ups ask game-changing questions to nurture creativity, solve problems, and create new possibilities.

In this episode, we discuss the importance of asking the right questions, why they’re critical to your success, and how you may be one great question away from a major breakthrough.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Warren manages the constant input and stimulation from online consumption when it’s time to create.
  • The small habits that pack the biggest punch and make the most difference in Warren’s life
  • What makes a question more or less effective
  • How to create a culture where questions are welcome and encouraged
  • Why answering all your kids’ questions may be doing them a disservice — and what to do instead
  • What “collaborative inquiry” is and how to use it to get the most out of your teams in the workplace
  • How Warren transformed one of his most painful failures into one of his most proud achievements
  • Why Warren insists that everyone is creative, and what we can do to fan the flames of our own creativity

If you think you could improve the quality (and frequency) of your questions to enhance key areas of your life, this is not a conversation you’ll want to miss.

For comprehensive show notes on this episode and more go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

Our free weekly email, Brain Food, helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow Shane on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farnamstreet) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FarnamStreet/) to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Nov 30, 2017

It seems that nowadays, aside from religion and politics, one of the most hotly debated topics is that of nutrition.

Should we eat high carb diets? Low carb? High fat? High protein? What about wheat or gluten? Should we eat meat or adopt a vegan diet?

There are as many opinions as there are people — and books, magazines and websites are overflowing with information showing you the “right” way to eat and exercise to lose weight.

But if “eating less and moving more” is all it takes to lose weight and enjoy a healthy lifestyle, why are so many of us fat and getting fatter?

In this episode, I chat with Gary Taubes, bestselling author of three books, The Case Against Sugar (2016), Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It (2011) and Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007).

We talk about the sharp rise of obesity and diabetes in America, the structural hurdles to effective nutrition research, and explore the common myth that a calorie is just a calorie.

Here are a few other things you’ll learn in this interview:

  • How diets shifted in the last century, and what impact it’s having on our bodies today.
  • Why a carb isn’t just a carb — and why you should know the difference
  • Is the sugar industry the new Big Tobacco?
  • What role genetics play in our health, and how much is under our control
  • Why humans are so attracted to sugar and how to break the habit
  • Gary’s suggestions to improve your health, drop body fat and feel terrific
  • The benefits of fasting and how you can try it out yourself

And a bunch more.

If you think at all about your health, give this podcast a listen. 

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode and more episodes go to https://www.fs.blog/podcast/

Our free weekly email helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.fs.blog/newsletter/

Follow Shane on twitter @farnamstreet and Facebook to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Nov 1, 2017

For decades, introversion was looked at as something to overcome, almost like an illness. The way to win in life was through charisma, outspokenness, and self-promotion.

Even now, in an increasingly noisy world, introverts may feel added pressure to take one of two paths: force themselves into more extroverted behavior, or become even more reserved and shrink back to themselves.

My guest Susan Cain says both paths are wrong and in fact, rob the world of the unique contributions introverts make when they choose to be true to themselves.

Susan knows what she’s talking about. A self-proclaimed introvert, she wrote the New York Times bestselling book, Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking and delivered one of the most popular TED talks ever delivered, with nearly 18 million views to date.

Whether you consider yourself an extrovert, an introvert, or an ambivert (those lucky bastards in the middle) you’ll find a ton of value in this interview.

 

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode and more episodes go to https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/the-knowledge-project/

Our free weekly email helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/newsletter/

Follow Shane on twitter @farnamstreet and Facebook to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Oct 11, 2017

Are you in love with your own ideas regardless of how good they are Would you like to make better decisions and fewer mistakes? Would you like to improve the most important relationships in your life?

These are just some of the topics I discuss with my guest, Ray Dalio.

Ray Dalio is the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, and is the author of the new book Principles: Life and Work. He is also a leading figure in the world of philanthropy, is an avid supporter of transcendental meditation, and has appeared on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Ray gave me over an hour and a half of his time, and I didn’t waste a minute of it. 

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2017/10/ray-dalio/

For more episodes go to https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/the-knowledge-project/

Our free weekly email helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/newsletter/

Follow Shane on twitter @farnamstreet and facebook to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Sep 21, 2017

Are you a giver or a taker? Have you ever struggled to find work/life balance? How do you build resilience in yourself, your team, or your children?

I tackle these topics and many more in this interview with my special guest, Adam Grant.

In this interview, we cover a lot, including:

  • How to tell if you are a giver or a taker (Spoiler: if you just told yourself you’re a giver, you might be in for a rude awakening)
  • How Adam filters down hundreds of ideas and opportunities to the select few he focuses on
  • How to tell if your business idea is a winner or a huge waste of time
  • Why “quick to start and slow to finish” is great advice for budding entrepreneurs
  • How to nurture creativity and resilience in your children (or team culture)
  • How to create positive competitive environments that bring out the best in people
  • Adam’s two core family values and how he instills them in his children
  • “Mental time travel” and how it can make you resilient to any challenge or obstacle
  • Why “how can I be more productive” is the wrong question to ask (and what to ask instead)
  • How Adam and I each address the topic of work/life balance

And so much more.

***

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2017/09/adam-grant/

For more episodes go to https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/the-knowledge-project/

Our free weekly email helps you get better results through intelligent preparation and offers great reading recommendations. Don't miss out, sign up at https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/newsletter/

Follow Shane on twitter @farnamstreet and Facebook to go to bed smarter than you woke up. 

Aug 9, 2017

In this wide-ranging interview physics major, philosopher, and professional heavyweight boxer Ed Latimore and Shane Parrish talk about boxing, tough love, entropy, the worst that can happen, coaching, and so much more. 

Jul 2, 2017

Marc Garneau (@MarcGarneau) is a Canadian politician, Engineer, and the Minister of Transport. This interview was recorded live in front of an audience in Montreal. As a bilingual country, you'll hear bits of French from the audience questions here and there but the interview is predominately in English.

In this interview, we discuss the future of transportation (including self-driving cars), infrastructure investments, space, what it means to be a liberal in 2017, how we — as citizens — can judge an elected politician, how he ensures he's getting accurate information in a political system and so much more. 

Enjoy this amazing conversation.

May 30, 2017

Rory Sutherland (@rorysutherland) is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Group, which is one of the largest advertising companies in the world. 

This interview was recorded live in London, England. 

Rory started the behavioral insights team and spends his days applying behavioral economics and evolutionary psychology to solve problems that conventionally advertising agencies haven't been able to solve. 

In this wide-ranging interview we talk about: how advertising agencies are solving airport security problems, what Silicon Valley misses; how to mess with self-driving cars, reading habits, decision making, the intersection of advertising and psychology, and so much more. 

Enjoy this amazing conversation.

Feb 27, 2017

Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and co-founder of AngelList. He’s invested in more than 100 companies, including Uber, Twitter, Yammer, and so many others. Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about early stage investing. Naval’s an incredibly deep thinker who challenges the status quo on so many things. He’s thought deeply about stuff that’s near and dear to us, like reading, habits, decision-making, and life. Just a heads up, this is the longest podcast I’ve ever done. Our conversation lasted over two hours. If you’re like me, you’re going to take a lot of notes.

Enjoy this amazing conversation.

Jan 5, 2017

This is one of 2 interviews that I conducted while visiting Greece this summer. Greek history is deep routed in many things as philosophy, democracy and culture and has laid the foundation of so much of what we know and how we live today. Today I speak with Aristotle Koskinas (@aristotlekoskin), a guide with Athens walking tours. He's one of the best guides you can find in Athens. In order to be a guide in Greece, an individual must complete a 2½ year program at the School of Tourist Guides in Greece - which is a state school under the Ministry of Development. Some of the courses in the curriculum include Ancient Greek history, Byzantine history, Prehistoric Archaeology, Mythology, Geology, history of Theater –and psychology of the tourist. Listen in for details on the history of Athens over the past 3000 years, the influence Greek culture has had across the world, and some insight on what surprises him meeting visitors from different countries.

Jan 5, 2017

The island of Santorini has not only has breathtaking views but also a fascinating history. Traces of its first inhabitants have been linked back to 4500 BC. In 1613 BC the most powerful volcanic event in the last 10,000 years took place – completely destroying all the islands within a 60 km radius. It has been estimated that 90 billion tons of molten rock was injected into the air, the sea swallowed the volcano, and a massive tsunami swept across the Aegean Sea. Along with the obvious devastation of nature, it is believed that the eruption also sealed the deal for the most civilized nation on the island at the time, the Minoans. Thanks to the thick layer of ash cause by the event, the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri was so well preserved that we are able to see how prosperous the area had once been with an elaborate drainage systems, multi-storied buildings, incredible wall paintings, furniture and vessels. The site has as much of a significant importance as does Pompeii. The island’s main volcanic rock, its mineral rich soil, and the amazing climate, has produced some incredibly unique wines. Santorini is known for some of the oldest vineyards in the world. And we know that wine is one of my favourite topics. On today’s podcast I speak with Panayiota Kalogeropoulou about Santorini’s wines. Panayiota is the Director at the Domaine Sigalas vineyard. Paris Sigalas, a mathematician with a goal to make his Santorini vineyard a world heritage site, focuses on grapes that thrive in Santorini (these include the Aidani, Athiri, Plantana – and the prime Greek grape Assyrtiko).

Nov 28, 2016

Samuel Arbesman (@arbesman) is a complexity scientist whose work focuses on the nature of scientific and technological change. Sam's also written two books that I love, The Half-Life of Facts and Overcomplicated

In this episode, Sam talks about:

  • Our relationship with technology
  • Whether art or science is more fundamental to humanity
  • How he defines success for himself
  • The difference between physics thinking and biological thinking
  • Why its better to learn things that change slowly
  • And much, much more!
Oct 24, 2016

On this episode, I’m happy to have Morgan Housel (@morganhousel).

Morgan is a partner at the Collaborative Fund. He’s a former columnist at the Motley Fool and a former columnist of the Wall Street Journal. His work has also been published in Time, USA Today, World Affairs, and Business Insider. You name it, he’s been there. Simply put, he’s one of the shining lights of the business press.

More than that, though, he’s one of the few people that I read all the time. As I’ve gotten to know him over the years, I can also tell you he’s an exceptional person.

We cover a lot in this interview, including:

  • What valets are really doing in your sports car once you hand over the keys
  • Morgan’s shocking discovery that his dream of becoming an investment banker wasn’t a good fit
  • The hilarious way Morgan was “not fired” from one of his earliest jobs
  • The three types of financial writing and the one Morgan finds most useful for readers
  • The brilliant method Morgan uses to keep his confirmation biases in check
  • When it’s ok to change your mind and when it’s important to double down on what you know
  • The teachers that most influenced Morgan’s life and what they did differently that made them so outstanding
  • The process Morgan uses to generate fresh ideas even when he feels like he’s exhausted them all
  • How he structures his daily routines around when he does his best thinking and writing

We even tackle a few of your questions, like what would he do if he knew there were no consequences, how life has changed since becoming a new father, and what’s on his bucket list.

You’re going to love getting to know Morgan. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Aug 30, 2016

On this episode of The Knowledge Project Podcast, I am so happy to have Pedro Domingos (@pmddomingos) who is a professor at the University of Washington.

Domingos is the leading researcher in machine learning and recently wrote an amazing book calledThe Master Algorithm. I was fortunate enough to have a long and fascinating conversation with him over dinner one night that lead to the recording of this episode. I think you’re going to love it.

In this conversation we explore:

  • The three sources from which all humans obtained their knowledge for thousands of years, and how a new fourth is changing everything.
  • How AI is finding its way into every sector of our lives, and what that means for future jobs and future opportunities
  • Why white collar jobs are easier to replace than blue collar jobs and what the workforce may look like in the near future
  • How a hedge fund recently placed an algorithm as a full voting member of their board of directors
  • The difference between traditional computer science and machine learning and how it will impact technology
  • The five major schools of machine learning and how they’re revolutionizing the way computers analyze information
  • How “robot scientists” could transform the way we make medical and scientific discoveries (one recently discovered a drug for malaria)
  • How machines might compete in professional sports and serve more entertainment purposes
  • The future of self-driving cars and how humans will learn to adapt to them as the technology improves
  • Pedro’s vision of the future of AI and human’s daily interaction with AI

If you use technology in any way, you’re going to be floored by this interview. Enjoy!

Jul 24, 2016

On this episode of The Knowledge Project, I talk about one of my favorite subjects with one of the most respected sommeliers in the world: Véronique Rivest.

After placing twice in the top 12 in 2007 and 2010, Véronique became the first woman to make the podium by taking second place at the world's best sommelier competition in Tokyo in March 2013. She's also the owner of Soif in Hull, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite wine bars.

On this episode we learn:

  • How Véronique self-directed her education in wine, and the steps she took to become one of the best in the world.
  • The three traits of every sommelier (the most important one actually has nothing to do with their knowledge of wine)
  • How to properly taste wine (including an on-air tasting where Véronique guides me through the three phases of wine tasting)
  • Tips and tricks for serving wine to enhance the experience
  • The twenty-minute rule that ensures you serve perfect wine, every time
  • How to tell if a bottle has been corked and why it matters
  • The first rule of a wine tasting, no matter how much or little you know about wine
  • How to hone your sense of taste to appreciate the subtleties that each wine has to offer
  • How to host a wine tasting party that will impress your guests

If you want to impress everyone at the table the next time you’re at a restaurant with friends, listen to what Véronique has to say in this episode. You’ll be a wine expert in no time.

 

May 16, 2016

Ryan Holiday is the author of a number of incredible books, including Trust Me I'm LyingThe Obstacle is the Way, and Ego is the Enemy. He also runs Brass Check, a premier book marketing agency responsible for dozens of New York Times bestsellers and tens of millions of books sold. In short, Ryan is the real deal.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What Stoicism is and how it differs from many of the mainstream “philosophies” you learn about in school
  • How Dr. Drew is partially responsible for putting Ryan on the Stoic path
  • How Stoicism has helped Ryan navigate some of the challenges he’s faced in his life
  • How Ryan juggles everything he has to do as a writer, a business owner, and consultant
  • The impact working with Robert Greene had on Ryan and how that experience influenced everything from his writing, how he does research, and even the kind of person he turned out to be
  • How Ryan uses the famous Notecard System he learned as a researcher for Robert Greene
  • Why Ryan insists on writing his thoughts longhand, and why copy and paste is almost a capital offense
  • The process Ryan uses to write a book and what the ideation, writing and editing stages look like
  • The brilliant way Ryan runs his consulting business, including how he charges clients and how he gracefully handles people looking for free advice

You're going to get so much out of this episode. Enjoy!

Mar 30, 2016

An inbetweenisode of sorts where Jeff Annello and I discuss whether we're too busy to pay attention to life - on whether we're too busy to live. If you want more of these let me know #tkp on twitter.

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