Bit of a Tangent

010 | Flow states, optimal performance, and PhD hunter-gathering

August 12, 2019

A deep-dive into the Flow state. Gianluca and Jared discuss the physiology and psychology of being in “the zone,” and the decades of research behind this state of optimal cognitive and physical performance. They also trade hypotheses about how and why the Flow state may have evolved, using the model of cultural evolution within hunter-gatherer tribes. 



Flow psychology:

6 components of Flow:

Free soloing (a perfect example of a high-risk flow activity):

Anders Ericsson’s 10,000-hour theory:

[We couldn’t find the quote about abusing a tool]

Shower thoughts:

Origins of the term “silver bullet”:

An article discussing the McKinsey study on flow:

A brief primer on adrenaline, cortisol, and stress responses:

Big 5 personality traits:

Neuroticism and Flow:

Csikszentmihalyi's Flow Model:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (the Father of Flow):

Carl Jung:

Flow state and life satisfaction:

Hedonic adaptation:

The exploitation of Flow states in video game design:

Scott Alexander’s SlateStarCodex post which inspired Gianluca’s “PhD Hunter” idea:

Nobody on earth can build a pencil from scratch:

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