The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this.

When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.

The punch line is clear: people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through.

When your dreams are vague, it’s easy to rationalize little exceptions all day long and never get around to the specific things you need to do to succeed.

After [current habit], I will [new habit].


Austin in Udnie

2019: Things


  • Anna
  • Spiderman: Far From Home
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • The Accountant
  • Irrational Man


  • The Count of Monte Cristo 
  • The Smartest Guys in the Room
  • Talking to Strangers
  • Can’t Hurt Me
  • Sum
  • The Right Stuff
  • Wittgenstein’s Mistress


Oculus in Hunter

572 in Mononoke

If, as a result of reading this book you see that even a decision to consult a doctor is a serious and potentially risky one, that it requires some estimate of potential risks as well as potential benefits, you will have spent your time well.

Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi:

As to ascorbic acid, right from the beginning I felt that the medical profession misled the public. If you don’t take ascorbic acid with your food you get scurvy, so the medical profession said that if you don’t get scurvy you are all right. I think that this is a very grave error. Scurvy is not the first sign of the deficiency but a premortal syndrome, and for full health, you need much more, very much more. I am taking, myself, about 1g a day. This does not mean that this is really the optimum dose because we not know what full health really means and how much ascorbic acid you need for it. What I can tell you is that one can take any amount of ascorbic acid without the least danger.


Nevertheless, Congress loves these nonproductive redistributions of tax burden among taxpayers. Tax preferences – properly called “tax expenditures” by economists – are the vehicles for these dubious favors. It is easy to see why Congress loves tax preferences:

Suppose the Pentagon wanted to buy a new fighter plane. But instead of writing a $10 billion check to the manufacturer, the government just issued a $10 billion “weapons supply tax credit.” The plane would still get made. The company would get its money through the tax credit. And politicians would get to brag that they had cut taxes and reduced the size of government!

The virtue of the Milliman Index is that it includes out-of-pocket spending by families. The current debate on health reform typically focuses only on whether insurance premiums rise or fall, as if that were the proper metric for judging the affordability of health care. It is not. Total spending matters more.

Given the often clinically and morally compelling nature of health care as a commodity, one can think of a nation’s health system as just another tax system, operating side by side with the government’s tax system.


The first pilot said, “I was given a thousand rules for flying my plane.” The pilot said, “I was only given three rules.” The first pilot gloated, thinking he was given many more options, until his friend says, “My instructor told me the three things I should never do. All else is up to me.” This story captures the idea that it is better to know the few things that are really against the rules than to focus on the many things you think you should do.


There is strong evidence that the ratio between our individual successes and failures stays the same. Therefore, if you want more successes you’re going to have to be willing to live with more failures. Failure is the flip side of success, and you can’t have one without the other.



“Do you put symbolism in your writing?”

“Not if I can help it.”


Or they say, “I could write a book about that.” I doubt it. Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it’s because it is hard.