On today's show, I talk with Scott Hambrick, the founder of Online Great Books, an organization that hosts virtual seminars for people who want to read the Great Books of Western Civilization. Scott talks about what makes the Great Books great, why they are so important, and how they contribute to living the Good Life. We also do a deep dive into Aristotle’s famous work on how to achieve happiness and live the best possible life.
My guest this week is Cal Newport, author of the New York Times Best-Selling book: A World Without email: Reimagining work in an Age of Digital Overload. Cal has heavily influenced me, and countless others, on the need to carve out large blocks of uninterrupted time to focus on Deep Work, that's meaningful, important strategic work that takes dedicated attention. One of the most important differentiating factors for our career is our ability to carve out this uninterrupted time and complete projects with long-term impact. And in this book, he shows us how to do that.
My guest this week is Scott Newstok, professor at Rhodes College and author of How to Think like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education. Scott’s book is ultimately about the craft of thinking and how to improve it.
In our conversation we address a very interesting question. How is it that Shakespeare, and his renaissance contemporaries were able to produce such incredible works? What was their education like and what can we learn from studying it? We also discuss what we've lost in education today and how we might begin to recover it.
This episode is a replay of one of the most popular episodes from last year. The guest is William B. Irvine, professor of philosophy at Wright State University and the author of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy and more recently, The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher’s Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer and More Resilient.
The topic of this week’s episode is Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. My guest is Jake Taylor, the Chief Executive Officer of Farnam Street Investments. Jake has been a previous guest on The Good Life as part of the Decision-Making Mastermind Group. Jake breaks down Warren Buffett's latest Letter to Berkshire Shareholders and helps us understand what we can learn. Jake is an incredibly knowledgeable investor, and he follows Berkshire carefully, so he's familiar with the company and he brings unique insight into interpreting Buffett's letter and his message to the investing community.
The topic of this week’s episode is walking, and my guest is Shane O’Mara, author of In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration. Shane is a professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin and he’s an expert on the physical, psychological and social benefits of walking. We talk about why walking is the trait that makes us “uniquely human” and what that means for us personally. And given that walking is the fundamental way we experience the world, Shane guides us on how to get more walking in our day and more benefit from each walk.
The topic this week is How to Keep Your Cool, and my guest is James Romm, a Professor of Classics at Bard and the author of the book, How to Keep your Cool: An Ancient Guide to Anger Management. This is James’ second appearance on The Good Life, he was a guest on episode #9 where he talked about Seneca.
Today’s guest is Massimo Pigliucci, a professor of Philosophy at the city College of New York. Massimo talks about why he thinks everyone should have a "philosophy of life" and we discus his new book, "How to Live a Good Life: A Guide to Choosing Your Personal Philosophy." Our discussion covers Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Aristotelianism, Epicureanism & Stoicism.
Our topic this week is Claude Shannon, a mathematician and engineer known as the Father of Information theory for his landmark paper "A Mathematical Theory of Communication", which he published in 1948. Shannon's seminal work and discoveries ushered in the digital age, and for that alone, his life is worthy of study, but Shannon also had this other remarkable quality to his life – a very playful and creative mind. Shannon was always curious, and he devoted his considerable intellect to a diverse range of activities and interests, that included juggling, unicycles, artificial intelligence, chess playing machines, wearable computers – he even built a chairlift on his property. He was both a mathematical and creative genius.
Our topic this week is the mystery and science behind streaks. Ben Cohen covers the NBA for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of “The Hot Hand.” We discuss the phenomena of the “hot hand” in basketball and a famous paper from the 1980s that claims the hot hand doesn’t exist. We also explore how the hot hand relates to Shakespeare’s plays, Rob Reiner’s movies, picking stocks, betting at the roulette table and even farming.