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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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The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish
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Now displaying: July, 2018
Jul 25, 2018

I have wanted to do this interview for a long time. On this episode, I am thrilled to have Annie Duke, former professional poker player and author of the new book, Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts.

Annie has a very interesting background that makes her uniquely qualified to speak about high-level decision making. As an author, speaker, world-class poker player, and academic in the fields of psychology and cognitive theory, Annie understands the intersection of luck, skill, and making decisions in uncertain, chaotic environments better than most people on the planet.

This is a whirlwind of an episode, and we cover all kinds of fascinating topics, including:

  • The strange circumstances that shifted Annie’s path from finishing a Ph.D. in linguistics to becoming a professional poker player
  • What it was like to be a female poker player in a predominantly male sport (especially before poker had become socially acceptable)
  • What drew Annie into such a high stakes, time-pressured environment and why she felt like poker was the perfect fit for her
  • How her graduate work in psychology informed the way she approached the game of poker — and helped her rack up wins
  • How she finds the signal in a very noisy stream of feedback
  • The big mistakes Annie noticed other players making that were stalling their progress in the game but allowed her to make giant leaps forward
  • The role that mental models played in her learning process (and which models Annie liked to lean on the most in a high stakes game)
  • The power of surrounding yourself with people that can help you expand your circle of competence — and how that made all the difference in Annie’s development as a player
  • Confirmatory and exploratory thought, and how one helps us to be “accurate” and one helps us to be “right.”
  • The secret pact you should be making with the people who are closest to you

And so much more.

This episode is just under two hours long, but there’s no fat in it. Annie delivers a masterclass in making the smartest decisions we can, even when our hubris insists otherwise. Do some finger stretches before hitting play, because you’re going to be taking some serious notes.

Please enjoy the interview!

***

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

Upgrade your thinking with the free FS weekly email digest called "brain food." Don't miss out, sign up at https://fs.blog/newsletter/

You do want to get smarter, don't you? Follow https://twitter.com/farnamstreet for mind-expanding content. 

 

Jul 11, 2018

On this episode of The Knowledge Project, I’m happy to have William MacAskill.

William is the co-founder and President of the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) and an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Oxford University. He is also the founder and president of 80,000 Hours, the co-founder and vice-president of Giving What We Can, and the author of Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference.

William’s work is primarily focused on encouraging people to use reason and evidence to find the best possible ways they can use their resources to make the biggest possible impact in the world.

We cover a lot of ground in this interview, including:

  • Why good intentions aren’t enough when giving to charity and how we can do better
  • How William's giving philosophy was formed and how it developed into The Centre for Effective Altruism
  • The best metrics to assess how good a charity is before donating a dime
  • How letting our emotions guide our charitable giving can lead to ineffective, and sometimes harmful outcomes.
  • How many charities today unknowingly reward low dollar donors and sell themselves short millions of dollars in potential donations
  • A powerful thought exercise to help you gain a different but valuable perspective about helping the poor and suffering in the world
  • The one cognitive bias William believes is the most damaging to any business, organization or individual
  • William’s foundational values that guide his day to day decisions and actions
  • William’s take on “radical honesty” and when honesty can be taken too far and is no longer constructive
  • William’s definition of success and the imaginary conversation he has with himself on his deathbed to make sure he’s on the right track (this is awesome)
  • The most common mistake William sees people make over and over (and the embarrassingly simple way to avoid making it)
  • And then to wrap up, I gave him a softball question: What is the purpose and meaning of life?

If you’ve wanted to make more of a positive impact in the world around you, this insightful interview will give you plenty to think about. Your resources are precious and should be optimized to improve the lives of those you help. I don’t know of a better person to guide you than William.

***

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

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

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

 

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