The Science Behind Excellence is Known; Why Isn’t, then, Everyone an Expert?

In the mid-1980s Daniel Chambliss, a sociology professor from Hamilton College, endeavored to demystify excellence, defined by him as ”consistent superiority of performance.” His quest lead him to study “competitive swimming” as it offered unambiguous measures of performance (races won, fastest swim). Obviously, it’d be a lot harder to rank pianists, actors, and writers. Over the next six years, he tracked, interviewed, and analyzed around one hundred and twenty swimmers of various levels of ability.


Why Trends Matter (And Numbers Don't)

If you follow the news, the proposition that world is getting better would sound almost laughable. How could that even be? There are cases of horrific violence every day; climate change, already a terrifying problem, is getting aggravated by a rising middle-class; and, abject poverty is still widespread. The good news is our pessimism is unfounded. In nearly every metric of human betterment, we have made a remarkable progress over the last decades.



Want to Finish Your Side-project? Start by Getting Something on the Screen

Before Tom Wolfe wrote his masterworks, he was an ordinary writer who got plagued with writer’s block now and then. On an Esquire magazine assignment on California’s custom cars, he was convinced—and later admitted to his editor—that he wouldn’t be able to get the story done by himself. Byron Dobell, his editor, who desperately needed something, asked him to just write up his notes in a letter to him. Wolfe just did that. He started the letter with “Dear Byron”, and when he finished it, it ran forty-nine pages. Next morning, he submitted it to his editor, who was expecting much editorial work before publishing it. Instead, he just erased the salutation and ran the piece.


The Futility of Bitcoin's 'Digital Gold' Vision

A few days back, Bitcoin crossed the $15,000 mark. In just two months it has more than tripled its price, proving that sceptics were naive all the way long. There has also been a decided shift in the perception of Bitcoin: from a revolutionising currency to a store of value. People might still be optimistic about its practical utility, but it’s difficult to treat a currency with such wild movements as…well…a currency. There’s little sense in using Bitcoin to buy things when you can expect it to buy thrice as much in a few weeks more, much less in accepting it when it’s prone to crash, fees are ridiculously high, and verifying transactions takes forever.