Links from Last Week

Nobody Cares How Hard You Work

Thank god someone said it! Because seriously. The American obsession with effort is crazy to me. I think this is exactly the mentality that leads to the Peter principle - we value effort and exahustion rather than outcomes. "Obvious he is better at his job than she is - look how hard he worked!" I was super happy the author made the connection to Weber's theory on Calvinism because this theory explains a lot of funny quirks in our culture, and doesn't get enough credit.

To reach creativity heaven, though, you’ll need a different approach—one that prioritizes doing the right things, not just lots of things.
— Oliver Burkeman

I forget where I found this. Somewhere in the depths of the interwebs. But it is great.

The single Best Interview Question You Can Ask

I like this question a lot. I've been doing a lot of interviewing (on both sides of the table) lately and more and more I've affirmed my belief that interviews are about finding out if you can work with a person more than about assessing their competence. I mean ability is important but really you are screening for things like internal motivation, attention to detail, work style etc. Particularly if you have a specific company culture you are very interested in maintaining or creating.

Aside from interviews I like it for talking to people! I am (was) terrible and anxious about small talk (click on the next link to find out more). So I collect interesting questions like this one. The usual "how old are you?" "where are you from?" "what do you do?" are 1. boooooring! and 2. frequently problematic. Beside questions like this quickly start conversations and get people engaged and interested. Perhaps later I will share a list of some of these gems.

19 Small Awards Anyone with Anxiety Deserves

In effective altruism meetings a lot of us talk about "doing the thing" as in needing to actively work on a problem or follow through with ideas and turn them into actions. There is also usually a lot of discussion about self-care as well as staying aware of mental states. As someone with anxiety I loved these graphics, because sometimes not over-thinking that vague moment takes a LOT of effort dang nab it! But this one in particular struck home for particularly good for the EA crowd.