Double Crux, Camera for Memory and Speed Reading

Your weekly 5 things from the mind of Miles Lasater

Happy Saturday! Here are your 5 things from the mind of Miles for this week.

I’m taking a summer break the next few weeks. I’ll be back with you mid-July at the latest.

  1. Marc Tarpenning on My Podcast. Listen to Marc, the cofounder of Tesla and now venture capitalist, on my podcast. If you want to get a reminder email every time a podcast comes out, you can subscribe on the Startups for Good website. Marc and I discuss:

    1. Judging market timing (which research shows is a skill of repeat successful founders)

    2. Tech trends for founders to be watching

    3. Some learning from the clean tech space

    4. How to decipher unit economics in the early stages

    5. How to address safety with the quick Silicon Valley pace

    6. Venture capital risks that are worth taking including technology vs. science risk

  2. After Tax. As an investor, you probably care more about after tax returns than pre-tax returns. In fact, if you optimize for pre-tax returns and don’t take into account tax, you will make less money. Yet, investment managers report returns pre-tax. When I ask about this, I’m told it is too hard to calculate after-tax because everyone’s situation is different. But isn’t that what computers are for? Where is the software that can take into account your personal situation and apply it to the investment product to give you a personalized after-tax return? Or even sliders on websites that let you pick state and tax bracket? Is it because investors don’t demand it of financial services companies?

  3. Double Crux in the Wild. One of the most intriguing concepts from the Center for Applied Rationality is the Double Crux. (Basically, it is attempting to find the overlapping key claim in two people’s views on a topic. If you can find a better answer to that one claim, then one of you changes their mind about the topic.) I’ve done practice versions during training but yet to use it “in the wild”. I’m curious if you have any experience with it? How often are conditions right for such a discussion? 

  4. Camera as Memory Aid. I’m collecting ways that people use their smartphone camera as a memory aid. My wife taught me some of them like taking a picture of where you park.  And some seem obvious like taking a picture of a receipt.  Which ones are your favorite?

  5. Speed vs. Comprehension. How do you trade off speed of information processing with comprehension? Listening to a book at 3x speed results in loss of comprehension. But how much does it matter? On the other end of the spectrum, there is a too slow speed setting. I would argue that slightly faster than comfortable will increase focus and comprehension. The fastest I’ve ever read something is with the technique of a few words flashed to the screen at a time. It works best with adaptive speed that slows down for longer words or proper nouns. The best focus I’ve achieved is reading a digital book with each word highlighted as it is read to me. What is your experience with faster reading or listening? Any recommendations?

Illustration credit: CFAR

Until next time,

Miles