Author: Ian Stewart (Ian Stewart)

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The Highest Form of Disagreement

The Atlantic has a good read on being charitable with the people we disagree with. In a nutshell, leaving behind the straw man and weak man versions of an argument we often construct. Instead, building up a steel man version of that argument.  It reminds me of investor Charlie Munger’s advice on “having an opinion.” I’m...

What I learned about building habits from 30 days of exercise

As of this morning, I’ve done some sort of bodyweight exercise for 30 days straight. It’s been mostly push-ups, with some chin-up training, dips, and squats, mixing it up with lighter and heavier days so I don’t over exert myself.   I use the Todoist app to remind myself to do this (and some other...

The Checklist Manifesto

I’ve been catching up with Shane Parrish’s Knowledge Project Podcast recently. It’s really good. I was happy to hear his guest for February’s edition, Naval Ravikant, mention The Checklist Manifesto as an example of book with a great idea that should have been just a blog post. Why? Because it already is a blog post. Or,...

The “Golden Age” Fallacy

This is an easy fallacy to find oneself falling into: looking at the evils or wrongs of the day and thinking to yourself, “things are getting worse! It used to be better!” I think it’s especially easy to fall into if you’re a parent, or if you follow politics, or you follow the news in...

The empathy of Sherlock Holmes?

This older article in Aeon looks at the science of empathy with Sherlock Holmes as a guide. The ability to see the world from another set of eyes, to experience things vicariously, at multiple levels, is training ground for such feats of imagination and reason that allow a Holmes to solve almost any crime, an Einstein...

Bob Dylan’s 2016 Nobel Prize Lecture

This lecture starts out a little stiff but it takes off when Dylan begins to share his understanding of three “grammar school” texts — Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Odyssey — that have influenced his work. His voice becomes almost sing song at times. A few phrases and words from...

Marcella Hazan’s The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

I’ve made three recipes from here so far and they’ve all been amazing. I wish I’d bought my copy new instead of used — this copy is kind of dingy — but at the same time I like that I have a battle tested edition. Looking forward to putting it to further tests.

The science of compassion

Here’s an article from 2012 in the New York Times on how compassion affects our behavior and what behaviors might make us more compassionate: Compassion Made Easy. It’s a quick read with a small trick at the end that could make you more compassionate.

Chicken with two lemons

I made Marcella Hazan’s chicken with two lemons for dinner this evening. It was ridiculously moist. I’ll definitely make it again though next time I think I’ll be a little more careful about getting it completely dry before roasting. Perhaps even throwing the chicken in the freezer for five or ten minutes beforehand to wick away the...

Reading the news in 2017

Is advertising getting more pervasive on the web? It’s hard to tell without data at hand but I’ve been seeing more and more things like the following screenshot. Three ads for one paragraph of content on my screen. Never mind the two persistent banners I don’t want to interact with. As a bonus, when I...