As the year heads toward an end, what better way to reflect than to look back on the pieces that moved you.
Find below the 15 most read and shared articles published on Farnam Street in 2015, spanning everything from philosophy and psychology to mental models and understanding.
Thank you for joining me for another year on our intellectual and philosophical journey of discovery.
1. Carol Dweck: The Two Mindsets And The Power of Believing That You Can Improve
A summary of Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, which explores our two mindsets (fixed and growth) and how they impact not only our attitudes and learning but also our outcomes.
2. The Reasons We Work
It’s more complicated than money.
3. The Single Best Interview Question You Can Ask
“This question sounds easy because it’s straightforward. Actually, it’s very hard to answer. It’s intellectually difficult because the knowledge that everyone is taught in school is by definition agreed upon. And it’s psychologically difficult because anyone trying to answer must say something she knows to be unpopular.”
4. Albert Einstein on the Secret to Learning
“That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.”
5. Thinking About Thinking
This is the path, the rest is up to you.
6. Richard Feynman: The Difference Between Knowing the Name of Something and Knowing Something
The top people in the world understand that knowing the name of something doesn’t mean you understand it as Novel winner Richard Feynman explains in this article.
7. The Two Types of Knowledge
“In this world we have two kinds of knowledge. One is Planck knowledge, the people who really know. They’ve paid the dues, they have the aptitude. And then we’ve got chauffeur knowledge. They have learned the talk. They may have a big head of hair, they may have fine temper in the voice, they’ll make a hell of an impression.”
8. William Deresiewicz: How To Learn How To Think
An argument to spend more time thinking.
9. How Successful People Increase Productivity
“One thing that successful people do to increase productivity is they avoid to-do lists. These lists are rarely as effective as scheduling time.”
10. Academic Economics — Strengths and Weaknesses, after Considering Interdisciplinary Needs
This is the full text of Charlie Munger’s Herb Kay Memorial Lecture, ‘Academic Economics: Strengths and Weaknesses, after Considering Interdisciplinary Needs,’ at the University of California at Santa Barbara, 2003.
11. The Peter Principle and the Law of Crappy People
If you’ve ever worked in an organization, you’ve no doubt come across someone in senior management and asked yourself how they ever got promoted.
12. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed
We live in a world of scarce understanding and abundant information. We complain that we never have any free time yet we seek distraction. If work can’t distract us, we distract ourselves. We crave perpetual stimulation and motion. We’re so busy that our free time comes in 20 second bursts, just long enough for us to read the gist and assume we understand. If we are to synthesize learning and understanding we need time to think.
13. The Nine Primary Tactics Used to Influence Others
The number one thing to understand about influence is that people make decisions for their reasons, not yours.
14. Summer Reads for the Curious Mind
Out of the 44 books I read from January to June, here are the 7 that resonated with me the most
15. The Power of Full Engagement — Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr argue that energy, not time, is the key to managing performance.