#4 / On First Principles, Not Being Wrong, Managing Time, and more.

This newsletter is meant to be a carefully crafted recommendations of interesting things on the Internet, delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday.

Welcome to The Swipe File.

My goal is to continue to provide you with a hand-picked selection of ideas, books, and thought-provoking stuff to read, watch, and listen, but also mix in other compelling, inspirational, and fun material. I'm excited to try out a few ideas and hope I can count on your continuous support!

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Read, Listen, Watch

Samyak Ramteke

First Principles: How to Think for Yourself

First principles provide a really good way to think for yourself. First principles is all about understanding the basics and fundamentals and thinking from there to develop great ideas. Read more

Amy Porterfield

How to Know If Your Idea is Profitable

Jumping into a business model without first understanding whether or not it’s profitable is a fool’s game. In this episode, Amy Porterfield gives the framework needed to measure profit-generating potential — before putting tons of time and money on the line. Listen here

Jordan Ellenberg

How Not to be Wrong

How Not to Be Wrong explains the mathematics behind some of simplest day-to-day thinking, but it is more than that. Ellenberg goes into more complex decisions people make. He deals with cutting-edge thinking about subjects like prime numbers, extra dimensions, and relative infinities. A non-mathematician (like, myself) might get a little lost along the way, but even if you don’t feel like following him all the way to the bottom of things like Fano planes, 24-dimensional spheres, and Condorcet’s paradox, after he goes really deep he always comes back to make sure you’re still with him. For example, Ellenberg explains many misconceptions about lotteries and whether or not they can be mathematically beaten.

Ellenberg uses mathematics to examine real-world issues ranging from the loving of straight lines in the reporting of obesity to the game theory of missing flights, from the relevance to digestion of regression to the mean to the counter-intuitive Berkson’s paradox. It is obviously one of the must reads as its about mathematics. Entrepreneurs have to face mathematics in their everyday lives and this books gives practical ideas and explanation of mathematical philosophy to the readers. Read this book

Ali Abdaal

How to Manage Your Time

Key Takeaways:

  • "I don't have time to do stuff". BS. Truth is that, at any given moment, you are doing what you most want to be doing. You are always in control of your own time. If you don't have the time to do something, it just means it is not a priority.

  • Work expands to fill the time that we allocate to it. This is called Parkinson's law. Knowing this, the advice would be to leverage artificial deadlines. Dates are powerful. Use them.

  • Think about plans and activities in a "hell yes or no" maxim. Your default answer to any plan should be a "no" unless you feel actively excited about it. The hell yes or no maxim will help you fill your calendar only with plans you feel enthusiastic to do.


Austin Kleon

What to say about someone’s art when you have nothing nice to say

This is interesting. Kleon shares what he does when you don’t know what to say. Read more

Overheard on Twitter

Things I Learned this Week

Good Writers Dissect Ideas

Writing is the act of dissecting ideas and putting them back together again. In middle school, the smartest kid in my class used to take computers apart and put them back together again in order to learn how they work. That’s what thinking is too. The best way to understand an idea is to pull it apart and put it back together again, which you do by writing.

Thanks for reading,