Charlotte’s Law

seanmaroniFiction

Also called Simon’s Ant, Charlotte’s Law suggests that the complexity of a system is a function of the environment. Read my article

P = F / A

seanmaroniEngineering

You can’t dilute force and expect the same impact. Everything has trade offs.

Falsifiability

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A characteristic of certain statements or beliefs defined as an inherent ability to be proven to be invalid.

Disorder Bias

seanmaroniSystems

System’s tend to minimize their energy and maximize their entropy over time.

Problem First Reasoning

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Keep the focus of an organization on solving a real problem. Don’t merry yourself to solutions, technologies, or methods that divert you from that problem.

Sequencing Principle

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The order of actions or elements in a given system will alter observed system dynamics.

Identity Distortion

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When someone deeply associates their self-identity with an idea they weaken their rationality filter in regards to that idea. Examples include politics and religion. Overcome via Outcome Dissociation.

Mean Regression

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If a transient variable is measured at an extreme, probability suggests it will be less extreme upon a second measurement.

Inversion

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The best way to solve a problem is often to invert it. Consider what you don’t want, then determine how to avoid the actions that cause what you don’t want.

Earned Value Capture

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The best way to get what you want is to deserve it. Create value in the manner you’d want the person creating what you consume to do.

Narrative Fallacy

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Humans cannot resist the temptation to string facts together with stories. We can connect anything together, regardless of real causal linkages. This results in a false sense of understanding.

Spectrum Thinking

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Almost nothing is black or white. Always consider how something fits on a spectrum, as all of reality is grey.

Intuition Fallacy

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You should not trust your intuition in areas you know little about. In these situations you should turn to mentors and books to learn what strategies are successful.

Emergence

seanmaroniBiology, Systems

Systems are unique because their sums can exhibit unexpected behaviors that are not present in the parts.

Loss of Freedom

seanmaroniStoicism

The two ways you can really lose your freedom are loss of time and loss of reaction.

Design Accountability

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Humans need accountability systems to fight against entropy. Design your physical environment and social ties in a way that creates consequences and incentives for your behaviors.

Communication Latency

seanmaroniRelationships

Often we delay hard conversations to avoid short term pain. A form of akrasia. Be a person who is willing and able to traverse hard topics that no one else will bring up. It is here that you can grow. [Article]

Trust Advantage

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The required amount of communication is inversely proportional to the level of pre-established trust between two parties. Trust as a result increases execution velocity.

Disarm with dispassion

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Sometimes you’ll need to deal with people that attempt to rattle you and place you on tilt. Turn this tactic against them by acting without emotional reactions. Once you break tranquility you’ve shown they won.

Prioritize freedom

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Efforts should be taken to maintain the ability to allocate your time as you like. Losing this degrades happiness.

Choose to be calm

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Anger and emotion do not generate useful solutions to problems. Choose to stay calm in all situations. This is the only way to have power over those situations and to work through them.

Solve problems relentlessly

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Once you have identified an impediment between you and your goals, you must not tolerate it. Evaporate it from your path with creativity, grit, and effort.

It is ultimately your fault

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When something goes wrong, do not blame others. Traffic did not make you late. You did not leave enough time to account for traffic. The customer is not dumb. You did a poor job explaining your service. Always find ways to reverse engineer a situation to determine how you could have taken proactive measures to avoid the negative situation.

Annealing

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Hard things, once encountered, allow you to handle harder things. This is true of both work and relationships. Ask the questions you don’t want to. Do what you are afraid of. Choose the hard path. The way to make a hard path an easy path is to consider it in the rearview.

Emergent Self-Interest

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In a functional society the pursuit of self interest generally benefits all. In the long run tricksters are exposed and their short term gains are redistributed. Those that channel the human drive to survive to create global usefulness tend to earn the most reward as a byproduct of these efforts.

Oxygen Mask Rule

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You cannot help others if you are living unsustainably. Always place your oxygen mask on your head before you help the person next to you. Otherwise in the long run you won’t be able to use useful to many people at all.

Evolution

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The inner drive to improve and adapt is the superpower of the human organism. Find environments, people, and work where you feel naturally in line with this fundamental law. Flow with the inner natural inclination of improvement.

Build in reality

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You have to be able to make things work in the real world. Ideas don’t matter. You must understand the fundamentals of your creative medium in order to do anything real.

Own Mistakes

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If you mess up, move on. Teach people what you learned and own up to what did not work. Mistakes are often signals to adjust your principles.

Everything is temporary

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Ultimately entropy will always win. Everything you are working on will go away. You will die. The few that knew you will also all die. Live vigorously anyway. [Article]

Murder Baby Hydras

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If something is not working, don’t keep it alive. Kill it and move on to something else that is more aligned with what you want.

Find what is true

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Be rigorous about finding what is true and what is not. Be very careful to not let old assumptions that are not longer true skew your thinking. Do what is required to build a realistic model of reality.

Time Scarcity

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Time is your only real resource. Employ it productively. Invest in enriching experiences. Use it to learn. Never waste it.

Homebrew your principles

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Don’t blindly accept the principles of the world around you. Use the good ones as inspiration but then build your own (in your own words) from scratch.

Think in systems

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Everything is connected. You must learn to think at the systems level in order to really understand the world.

Tranquility

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Seek to eliminate negative emotion from life. Don’t worry about what you can’t change. Focus on organizing your inner mind and don’t be reactionary.

Usefulness

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The degree to which you earn wealth is directly proportional to your usefulness to others. Focus on making valuable things and the rest will follow.