Bias to Action

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Quality matters

“Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius: You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while, there will be a hit, and people will say: ‘How did he do it? He must be a genius!’”

- Gian-Carlo Rota

Quantity doesn’t beat quality when it comes to strategic awareness. Keep in mind a small list of problems that you are particularly looking to answer. Richard Feynman had twelve; you can probably make do with that. Everything else can be let go or is just akin to entertainment. As Adam Robinson is fond of noting - beyond a certain point, you don’t get smarter the more pieces of information you have; you only feel smarter.

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