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habits posts

Book Review: Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits is written so clearly that I have a hard time believing ‘James Clear’ isn’t a clever pen name. That clarity comes from experience and practice. His story about recovering from a major head injury and returning to sports is inspiring. His recovery is a big source of practical knowledge about how to build good habits. Before I read this, I thought of habits using the goal/discipline model. You start by setting a goal, then you apply discipline in doing something repeatedly to reach that goal.

How big should your identity be?

Arguments are best when they don’t engage either member’s identities. For this reason, Paul Graham says to keep your identity small. The title summarizes it well, but the why is important. If you are interested in the truth, then be prepared to follow arguments where they lead instead of letting the identity of the author interfere with your reasoning. For example, suppose two scientists are publicly debating the precise value of climate sensitivity, but one of the scientists is from Berkeley, where you also went.