Eric Jorgensen's new book, "The Anthology of Balaji," follows the style of his mega-successful "Almanak of Naval Ravakant."
In this latest work, Jorgensen distills Balaji's wisdom on learning, information gathering, media interpretation, and building a future-shaping company.
This book is a must-read for those in or aspiring to be in the technology field, whether it's about building a business or simply being curious about future technologies.
It touches on various fields such as new medical technology, cryptocurrency, startups, 3D printing, and more. The book is packed with valuable lessons and highlights that I found particularly enlightening.
I'm eager to share some of the key takeaways and lessons from this book with you today, here in the highlights below and on the Nat’s Notes podcast.
And as always, if you want to listen to the audio, subscribe to the Nat’s Notes podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Apple, Amazon, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts by searching “Nat’s Notes.”
Readwise is my absolute favorite reading tool. I use it pretty much every day, and if you like books, you should be using it too.
Readwise is your knowledge hub for everything you read. It can automatically import your highlights from Kindle, Instapaper, Pocket, and even scan your highlights from physical books.
Then anytime you want to reference your favorite parts of a book, you can immediately search them on Readwise, or in any note-taking app you connect your Readwise to like Notion.
They also recently launched the Readwise Reader which is what I use for reading all articles now, since it has a fantastic built-in highlighting tool that makes it easy to see anything you loved from past articles you read.
This is honestly the best tool out there for getting more out of everything you read. And they’re offering readers of Nat’s Notes a 2 month free trial to check it out. Just go to readwise.io/nat to get started.
Here are my favorite highlights from the book.
“If the purpose of technology is to reduce scarcity, then the ultimate purpose of technology is to eliminate mortality.”
“Today, if you're a bad actor, you're banned from Uber or Airbnb within a few hours. These companies are accomplishing the goals of a regulated marketplace by banning bad actors and giving low ratings to poor quality actors, without coercion. We don't have to send the police to raid and shut down a bad hotel or throw somebody in jail for an expired taxi license. We achieve the same objectives in a better way.”
“The consumer economy actually creates a form of equality. At a massive, massive scale, you produce the same product for everybody. There's not that much difference between a topend smartphone and a low-end one… Every area the government touches sees prices inflate. That's due to regulations or subsidies, which impairs the increases of labor productivity from technology.”
“If the internet was programmable communication, crypto is programmable money. Before the internet, you needed a deal a with à telecom company to deploy information-transferring code. Before Bitcoin, you needed a deal with a bank to deploy value-transferring code.”
“People confuse genuine science (like Maxwell's equations) with "science" (like a paper that came out last week). Maxwell's equations have had countless trillions of independent replications. The study from last week might not even have shared a public data set. Yet we as a society are supposed to be basing large decisions on this one new study? Many people think "peer review" means "independent replication and confirmation of results." Peer review usually means months of delay while a few folks in your field write an email”
“People around you repeating the same idea may have gotten it from the same source. This fools our truth sensors, but popularity does not equal truth. There is no point debating someone who can't whip out plots, primary URLs, or raw data. Argue with signal sources, not signal repeaters. Many people do not reason forward from logical premises, but backward from social consequences””
“Typically people will put war reporting and reporting on Kim Kardashian at opposite ends of the media spectrum: "This is super serious, Pulitzer-prize stuff" versus "This is fun infotainment." I argue they're actually both infotainment at the same end of the spectrum, and the other end is news-youcan-use and tutorials. The difference is whether a piece of information is directly relevant to your life.”
“The first thing you look at personally each day shouldn't be random stories someone else picked. It should be carefully selected metrics you want to improve, like your health or hobbies.”
“Sacrificing your physical fitness or health will also impoverish your team in the medium run. You can tap into that short-term health sacrifice for only so long. In the same way that a short-term optimization in engineering means taking on technical debt, you are taking on physical debt if you are not working out and eating right each day.”
“You can't really learn something without using it. One day of immersion in a new language beats weeks of book learning. Learning with intent to use filters down information, and you can snap things into use immediately. That's why I think a purpose-driven life is good. You have a purpose, and you think often about what that purpose is.”
As always, if you want to listen to the full audio breakdown of the essay, subscribe to the Nat’s Notes podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Apple, Amazon, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts by searching “Nat’s Notes.”
I’ll be back next week with another wonderful book to share with you.