The Rise of Superman, by Steven Kotler

Amazon link Book website This book examines the extreme limits of human performance, delving into the world of action-adventure athletes who are redefining what is possible. It tells of big wave surfing, extreme free skiing, skateboarding, free solo rock climbing, base jumping, kayaking impossible rivers, etc. Kotler also examines the neuroscience behind the state of […]

How is your memory indexed?

My Facebook friends have heard me complain a few times that I have apparently exceeded my brain’s capacity to keep track of people. At Google, I have worked with hundreds of people, and it’s entirely embarrassing when one of them sees me at lunch or elsewhere on the Google campus and says “Hi Eric!” and […]

The Paradox of Self-Discipline

I was listening to the Fresh Air interview with Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide, and he mentioned an experiment that seems relevant to me right now. Lehrer describes the experiment in a Wall Street Journal article about New Year’s Resolutions: In one experiment, led by Baba Shiv at Stanford University, several dozen undergraduates […]

Thinking about easy

I’ve noticed a fundamental distortion in how I view the world: If I know the answer or how to do something, it’s easy. If I don’t, it’s hard. This is a distortion because this worldview devalues my accumulated experience and knowledge. It’s funny because I know how long it took me to learn what I’ve […]

Making things easy

Why was the iPod successful? It didn’t have the most features – I once bought an Archos Jukebox with many options unavailable on the iPod at the time. It certainly wasn’t price – I bought a Dell DJ for $100 less than a comparable iPod in 2005. The design and user experience, the sleekness and […]