366 days, 616 posts and 15,144 spam comments later, I am happy and proud to announce that Lone Gunman is now one year old (founded on February 29th 2008, I suppose it’s not even that, is it?).
LG has evolved into something completely different to what I had first envisaged and the whole experience of writing here for the past year has been fantastic: one of the most rewarding online experiences of my life and something I hope to continue doing far into the future.
After learning more about the topics I love because of this site, I have wanted to review the past year’s posts. With that said I present: The Best Stuff I’ve Read on the Internet in the Last 366 Days, or, more succinctly, Year One in Review.
Items definitely not to miss are highlighted (probably not through an RSS feed reader). [LG] denotes my original post.
First, the three most-revisited links of the past year: Wikipedia’s list of common misconceptions [LG], list of logical fallacies [LG], and list of cognitive biases [LG]: three links will change how you think.
- When considering any job, career, or form of professional advancement, it’s a good idea to really think about whether it’s the right thing to do at that moment in your life. These words from the Johnsen Lab, Duke University, are particularly poignant at helping you decide that [LG] (Decided to travel? If not, here are two reasons why maybe you should).
- If you’re fretting about more existential matters, Po Bonson may be able to help with his advice on helping you discover what you should do with your life? [LG].
- Three people infinitely qualified to do so gave further advice: Tim O’Reilly on how we shouldn’t ‘follow the money’ but should instead work on stuff that matters (and what that means) [LG], author Elizabeth Gilbert on what it takes to do what you love [LG], and Paul Graham expands on the theme with his missive on how to do what you love [LG].
- If this is the right time for you and you’re lucky enough to know what you want to do, the CEO of Ooga Labs implores you to reconsider your choice of a regular ‘cube’ job and give serious thought to startup work (or at least SME work) [LG].
- Sometimes, of course, it’s not always best or possible to think about what to do for a living, and instead to look at your ideal lifestyle and reverse engineer your life around that [LG].
- So you’ve decided on startups? Then you’ll want to peruse Y Combinator’s Startup Library [LG] and Startup Wiki’s compilation of the best Ask Y Combinator posts [LG].
- At this point you may also want to spruce up your CV [LG]; take heed of the 50 habits of the highly successful [LG]; and read up on business using the personal MBA book list [LG], the books that were classed as ‘startup bibles’ [LG], and what may very well be the best book ever written for entrepreneurs [LG].
- Startup advice abounds on the internet, but these are the articles that I found to be particularly good:
- 7 lies we tell ourselves, stopping us starting our own business [LG].
- 17 startup mistakes from serial entrepreneur John Osher [LG].
- Don’t use a bad economy as an excuse, either, and this on how to raise some money for startup companies [LG],
- These 4 simple steps to up your odds of success [LG] may come in handy.
- And this learned advice on being a consultant [LG] is well worth your time.
- Reiterated advice from a number of entrepreneurs: ideas are worth nothing… execute it! [LG],
- But remember, it’s not just the great idea that works, but also the better ideas—and know when to quit [LG]!
Economics and Finance
- My number one find in this section: The Library of Economics and Liberty [LG]. Excellent!
- These 10 links for a better understanding of today’s financial crisis do exactly that [LG].
- The smartest financial advice comes from a list compiled by 40 financial ‘greats’ [LG], but Warren Buffett’s 10 ways to get rich [LG] is equally worthwhile.
- David Swensen’s investment strategy [LG] is as good as you can get.
- And this bit of trivia from The FT’s Undercover Economist may well change how I buy gifts [LG].
- Raul Gutierrez compiled a list of lies he’s told his 3 year old [LG]. On the topic of parenting, McSweeneys transcribed some amusing parental conversations [LG], and a couple profiled in The New York Times discuss the problems associated with what would be my ideal parenting model [LG]. The ongoing project, 1001 rules for my unborn son [LG] really is fantastic, too.
- Depressingly, I didn’t progress far in terms of the fear hierarchy [LG] (still between 13 and 17).
- Peggy McIntosh wrote about the invisible privileges of being white [LG], and then people extended the meme to the invisible male and female privileges.
- One of the most haunting, yet beautiful, photo essays had to be Phillip Toledano’s Days with My Father [LG].
- I admit it: I’m a nerd. I discovered Rands in Repose’s Nerd Handbook—this will now be given to every prospective girlfriend [LG].
- Always wanting to learn, I found this list of how-to sites helpful, along with The Independent’s list of 20 things everyone needs to know [LG] (written by experts in each field), and Popular Mechanics’ 100 things a man should know [LG].
- Equally interesting was what Tucker Max believes every educated people should know [LG].
Books Reading is always a pleasure and during the past 12 months I’ve done a lot of it. These posts influenced my reading habits (and Amazon wish list) tremendously:
- The Modern Library conducted a poll to find the 100 best fiction and non-fiction books of the 20th century [LG].
- Time took a more draconian stance by telling us what the 100 best novels were between 1923 and 2005 [LG].
- Martin Seymour-Smith told us not what books are good, but what were influential [LG].
- Last year I managed to read a few of the books that changed lives [LG].
- At this point book lists were appearing everywhere. It started to get out of hand, so I compiled a list of book lists, and started to purge my literary clutter [LG].
- At some point soon I will list and rate the 28/30 books I read in 2008, making recommendations. I will link to it here.
Zen Mastery I decided to pursue Zen-through-minimalism. These were either inspiring or useful:
- Quotes and proverbs are clichéd but sometimes they do inspire change. Fight Club’s 8 rules to live by [LG] did just that, as did the WSJ’s Jason Zweig when he took a novel look at ‘wealth’ [LG] and Warren Buffett when he redefined success [LG].
- Some of the best advice I read I used in many ways other than intended.
- When I heard that Dave Bruno aimed to own 100 items or less [LG] (and I was envious) I realised that I needed to declutter.
- Sometimes the simple things make a big difference, like putting pen-to-paper to draw a personal Love-Growth-Cash triangle [LG].
- When it came to constant inspiration and motivation, the top 50 productivity blogs [LG] and some of the other top productivity and personal development blogs [LG] came in handy.
Intelligence Research into intelligence and its correlates was plentiful, these articles catching my eye specifically:
- The good news for those with high IQs: there’s a correlation between that and high sperm quality [LG] (in addition to many other health benefits) and a longer life [LG].
- This is awful news considering that poverty may have an adverse effect on intelligence [LG] (and thus health and longevity).
- The discovery of a correlation between IQ and atheism caused quite a furore [LG].
- Of course, we may all be getting less intelligent anyway (or at least confusing correlation with causation).
- Nevertheless, I attempted to take advantage of what intellect I do have with some ‘mental’ maths and advanced memory techniques [LG].
Writing and Speaking Two things I strive to improve.
- Paul Brians’ Common Errors in English [LG] was consulted often , as was Kurt Vonnegut’s advice to writers [LG].
- I’ve always wanted to start writing a novel (maybe for NaNoWriMo?) and I’m sure that when I eventually do, the snowflake method of novel writing [LG] will come in handy.
- On speaking in public, The Humanity Initiative has a collection of the best commencement speeches of all time [LG], and Ira Glass shares his secrets of powerful storytelling.
- Presentations—when required—are integral to the success of your talk. LifeHack started a ‘Presentation Masterclass‘ [LG] and I learnt from the best after watching the entrants for 2008’s Best Presentation Contest [LG].
Most Popular Post: LHC First Beam, a collection of links from the morning of the LHC’s first beam.