Bit of a Tangent

014 | The Art of Looking - Part 1 of ??

September 9, 2019

Jared and Gianluca try something new on this episode! We read passages from Robert Pirsig’s wonderful novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, reacting and discussing as we go! Along the way, we explored the limits of conceptual understanding (a.k.a. Shut up and taste the wine!), how the words we use to describe reality also end up defining it, limiting it or expanding it, and why cliches are so easy to dismiss and when they shouldn’t be (hint: your gran was right - there’s nothing a good night’s sleep won’t solve). We also discuss what it means to truly understand something, and how our intuitive sense of what is excellent can guide us to cook great food, write beautiful code, and be delightful people!


As a bonus, we drop some hints about an exciting upcoming episode, and at the end we each share the advice we’ve heard that has the highest impact with the fewest words!


Listener feedback can be recorded here:



Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig: 

The Stranger by Albert Camus: 

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: 

Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: 

The Philosopher’s Toolkit by Julian Baggini: 

Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh: 

The Cook & The Chef - Elon Musk’s Secret Sauce by Tim Urban: 

How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie: 

Michael Nielsen’s personal blog: 

Venture Stories podcast with Michael Nielsen: 

Tyler Cowen on The high-return activity of raising others’ aspirations:

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