“I want to learn to listen rather than to compulsively assume I know the answers to everything. I want to play with ideas, because I’m ok with being wrong. I want to instigate thought. I want to be a fool stumbling towards some sort of ecstasy. I guess what I’m really seeking is joy, isn’t it?”
Chad has written a few fairly popular pieces on reading, productivity, and not going paperless for places like Todoist & The Observer. He’s also had had writing referenced by LifeHacker, and published one book of poetry called Erectile Dysfunction: Stunted Poems of Stilted Emotions.
He says he’s a writer at heart, but has found a new voice in podcasting. His bookshelves are overly full because he more books than he has time to read—but despite his eagerness, he confesses that the true value comes from contemplation rather than consumption. That’s why he wrote Read Less, Learn More..
Some of his current favorite books are Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Between the World and Me, The Celestine Prophecy, & In Search of Lost Time.
Some of his favorite films are 8 1/2, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Great Dictator, & Dodes’ka-den.
He plays guitar, but he’s never been in a band. He used to have a terrible voice, but now he sing in the shower. Sometimes he draws, or paints. And he loves to play around with black and white photography.
In another life he might have been a criminal profiler, a jazz drummer, an architect, or a children’s book illustrator.
He doesn’t have personal social media accounts, preferring to put his time into the podcasts, and his writing.
October 9th, 2019 | 59 mins 41 secs
Chad and Stewart Alsop (from the Crazy Wisdom podcast) talk about the usefulness, the limits, and the dangers of technology tools like Google and Twitter. Does increasing our fluency with abstract concepts expand the breadth of our Google searches? Can we use Twitter as a learning tool rather than a toy for social validation? How do we cultivate nuance when the algorithms are optimized for spectacle? Do we have a social responsibility to contribute to the algorithms? How do outsiders contribute to society? Are technologists hacking the use of meditation and psychedelics while missing their numinous purposes? What role does our awareness of the observing self play in dealing with the passive nature of suggested content and ranked searches? Are we entering a time of conflict? Can we learn to think like viruses? Should technology be mimicking nature? How does comfort with nuance prepare us to deal with the conflicted nature of being human?
September 30th, 2019 | 1 hr 18 mins
conversation, debate, dialog, disagreement
Chad and Tom talk about whether there is a way to disagree well. Is there a way to disagree with someone but still have a good and valuable conversation? What are the ways that we continually fail at this? What can we do we improve? What is the disagreement hierarchy and what does it teach about weak forms of disagreement? How do we battle alternative facts? What is shared reality? Is there a way to seperate people from their arguements? How do we seperate humilty from attachment in our thinking? What were Rapoport's Rules? What does a strong arguemtns sound like?
September 23rd, 2019 | 1 hr 7 mins
science, string theory, synchronicity
Chad asks Lam: What if theoretical science could be used to explain strange occurrences? What are explanatory fictions and why do some of us find them too sticky to move past? Can string theory, M theory, & N theory be strung into an interesting concept of synchronicity? Is time really linear?
September 16th, 2019 | 1 hr 25 mins
conversation, daniel kahneman, david sedaris, journaling, mental haze, notes, thinking, weird studies, writing
Chad and Tom talk about connecting thoughts and why so often it feels as if there is something holding us back from deep thought. When considering the things we enjoy, it often feels as if others are able to craft intelligent ideas into fascinating writing and art while we feel that our thoughts are just out of grasp. Chad sets out a plan to strengthen his cognition through tools like walking, journaling, daydreaming, and scrap paper.
September 9th, 2019 | 1 hr 36 mins
Chad and Marc Ruiz talk about focusing on the work. Since his last visit Marc has finished several scripts and has found a collaborative community of writers on twitter. This lead to recieving some brutal notes, but taking criticism is part of the process. Sometimes there are things we are blind too, so we have to take our lumps and learn. This doesn't mean taking every suggestion, but rather accepting that strong and complex choices may divide.
September 2nd, 2019 | 1 hr 3 mins
Chad and Lam talk about do something syndrome, where we confuse busywork with deliberate practice. When action is our primary goal we burnout; our wheels start to smoke. We need for find a place where we are challenged, yet where we do not allow those challenges to become chores. When putting things out, our compass should not be validation or the desire to curate an image, because true satisfaction comes from making a statement; making the thing you want to see in the world.
August 29th, 2019 | 1 hr 30 mins
musical humanity and openness . digital vs analog . Imperfection . nostalgia
August 26th, 2019 | 1 hr 12 mins
marginal gains . getting specific . photo journalism . personal procedure manual
August 19th, 2019 | 1 hr 17 mins
dogstagram . anxiety and sleep apnea
August 12th, 2019 | 1 hr 11 mins
clarity from impactful work . sharpening the saw . the vulnerability of starting . relationships
August 7th, 2019 | 12 mins 58 secs
Ted Kennedy's eulogy of his brother Robert
August 5th, 2019 | 1 hr 43 mins
dreams vs reality . wanting to be remembered . some mistakes can't be fixed . craving what we don't have . how do virtual avatars effect us