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Book Recommendations

Definitely Gregory Hays.

The Power of Reinforcement

Thanks, Luke! I've always enjoyed this sequence. (It's funny that I was tempted to include a note that I would've been happier if you contributed to the sequence more often, but let's stick with the praise for now. :-)

Be Happier

For heterosexual men, one reason to exhibit conspicuous consumption is the dating game. :-) And for everyone else, I think the Halo Effect is quite a good reason as well especially for clothes. But focus on experiences of course, just don't go into a complete extreme.

Doing "Nothing"

Interesting, I always only considered the opportunity costs of an activity, but not the consequences of not doing it. Thanks.

Rational philosophies

Stoicism is very applicable, I recently skimmed/read The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy and I recommend it for those curious whether it is practically viable.

Some blog posts for those curious before katydee writes her post:

1) Stoicism 101 by Ryan Holiday

2) How I became a Stoic over at Boing Boing

3) On the Shortness of Life: An Introduction to Seneca

My Algorithm for Beating Procrastination

Hey Luke, what is your opinion on symbols/rituals? If we pick a simple example, the gym, what if you put a Under Armour compression shirt...Would that put you in the 'athletic' mindset? In the compression shirt scenario, you either 1) really unhappy how you look (immediate contrasting with your ideal state + competing with yourself/fit guy advertising compression shirt) 2) just ok, but you probably want to look better, hence the desire to go the gym (same as one) 3) looking great -> success spiral -> continue.

The rationalist's checklist

Here's the HBR article by Kahneman et al.

I highly recommend The Checklist Manifesto and I have thought about implementing it in my daily life similar to your outline for daily activities that, as it is shown, sometimes just because some activities are so obvious they sometimes tend to be neglected and forgotten. I also like to have a particular checklist for the day as it is very easy for me to drift into doing irrelevant tasks and looking at an empty/partial checklist you get a disturbing feeling similar to the way of beating procrastination just by starting something and having that feeling of incompleteness.

I'm planning to use a checklist when I go back to the gym as I tend to always leave a bit earlier and skip some of the exercises I want to get done.

The promise of connected science

Here's Michael Nielsen TED talk on open science and the need for scientists to 'embrace new tools for collaboration'

http://bit.ly/usz8pr

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