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Life Lessons

The article that changed my life

This whole thing is so obvious. I was shaking my head in self-loathing at what I’d just written. It was an article about why facts don’t change people’s minds. The insights in it were obvious to me. As a former rocket scientist, I had spent much of my life trying …

Your safety net is a straitjacket

One of the most popular posts I wrote last year was “Why I’m leaving academia.” In the post, I explained why I decided to resign my full professorship and make this year my last in academia. I’ve been a professor for 11 years. I have tenure, which comes with a …

Have you had enough?

We had had enough. More than enough. We were driving back from OK Omens, one of our favorite restaurants in Portland, after an amazing dinner outdoors. Since the pandemic, we don’t eat out much, and when we do, the dinner turns into a full-blown feast. During the drive home, we …

There’s an elephant in this room

Last week, I gave a virtual presentation at X, formerly known as Google X. The notoriously secretive company is known as the moonshot factory. It’s dedicated to researching and developing breakthrough technologies that bring radical solutions to enormous problems. X doesn’t innovate for Google. Its mission is to create the …

Development Alchemy + Aim