How Focus and Being Obsessively Productive Can Lead to Failure: The Mystery of the Floppy Bunny Ears

BEING OVERLY FOCUSED MAKES US MISS COOL THINGS In 1954, the researcher Lewis Thomas hit an impasse while studying rheumatic fever. He was injecting rabbits with an enzyme that should have mimicked the fever’s symptoms. Instead, he got something else:…

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Everyone With a Superpower Has a Part-Time Job

I’ll never forget what my CrossFit coach said one night when he decided to take the regular class before going home: “I’ve got to earn my supper.” I wanted to think that he looked the way he did because of…

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The Starr Report: How Daniel Kahneman Helped Me Win at CrossFit

WYSIATI: the focusing illusion! Because we overemphasize the information that’s in front of our face, we don’t even realize how little we know. It’s easy to say that others who have what we want are lucky, simply because we often…

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Why No One Likes Tourists

Large-scale endeavors require that we have an idea of what people will do—and it’s more nuanced than “be nice.” Take, for example, one of the best-known studies of economic cooperation: the Ultimatum Game. In this game, one player is given $100…

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Even when we have proof, we see what we want to see

As anyone who has ever favored one team over another knows, opponents have a habit of playing dirty and referees make plenty of unfair calls. But this happens on both sides. On November 23, 1951⁠, Dartmouth traveled to Palmer Stadium…

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Draw the rest of the fucking owl: On the unintended consequences of self-improvement’s privilege problem

Imagine, if you will, a book by Brad Pitt revealing his iron-clad technique for getting dates: Go to a place where women are Smile Think of all of the stories he’d have of getting dates with women by using this…

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Why We’re Not as Hardwired as We Think: All Think is Groupthink

To survive, reproduce, and flourish, species have to develop ecological adaptations to their environment. Humans have mastered the art of living in every possible climate and landscape on earth—provided we’re in groups. Our natural environment, the one we’ve evolved special…

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Why Your Boss Doesn’t Realize They’re an Asshole

Here’s part of the chapter “Our Greatest Strengths Are Our Greatest Weaknesses” by Gordon Livingston in the criminally under-read Too Late Smart, Too Soon Old: There are certain personality characteristics that are highly correlated with academic and professional success: dedication…

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The most underrated book on writing

Imagine lounging on a couch with a cup of tea and a real, physical book that you actually want to read. (In this scenario, you also have a few spare hours, your health, lots of money, and the climate has…

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Why does the United States lack a social safety net? Blame the Pilgrims

This originally appeared on Medium. Please go there and give me a clap! In 1534, King Henry VIII wanted a divorce. Because the Pope wouldn’t grant him one, Henry decided to leave the Catholic Church and create the Church of…

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