The Knowledge Project #18: Naval Ravikant: The Angel Philosopher on Investing, Making Decisions, Happiness and the Meaning of Life

Full podcast here.

  • I’m trying to get away from this concept about being in a specific place at a specific time. I want to break away from this idea of 9-5 or 40,60, 80 hours a week. It all feels like a straight jacket. (3:57) 

  • A really good book costs $10 or $20 and can change your life. It’s not something I believe in saving money on. I never viewed it as an expense. It’s an investment. (6:30)

  • These days I find myself rereading as much or more as reading new books. (7:10)

  • Book recommendations: Seven Brief Lessons on PhysicsSapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and Rene Girard’s Mimetic Theory. (8:34) 

  • Book recommendations: Tools for TitansStories of Your Life and OthersThe Lessons of HistoryGod’s Debris: A Thought Experiment, and The Undercover Economist. (9:34) 

  • Books recommendations: Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track, and Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. (12:06) 

  • Book recommendations: The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emergeand The Three Body Problem. (13:33) 

  • Usually, big habit changes come when it is strong, desired motivators attached to them. (20:20)

  • What helped him stop drinking alcohol: I started a daily workout regimen in the morning. If you workout in the morning you can’t stay up late and drink. The daily workout serves as a checkpoint. This thing I do every morning is now harder because I drank last night. 24-hour feedback loop. (24:26)

  • Saying I don't have time is just another way of saying it is not a priority. (27:15) 

  • Happiness is about the absence of desire. The more present I am the more and content I will be. (31:14) 

  • Core value: Honesty. I want to be able to just be me. I don't want to be in an environment around people where I have to watch what I say. (39:04) 

  • Anger is a hot coal that you hold in your hand while waiting to throw it at somebody. (40:29)

  • Praise specifically, criticize generally. —Warren Buffett (42:42) 

  • The reality is life is a single-player game. You are born alone. You die alone. All of your interpretations are alone. You are gone in 3 generations. Nobody cares. Before you showed up nobody cared. It's all single-player....all the important scorecards are internal. (51:06) 

  • The tools for learning are abundant (and infinite). It is the desire to learn that is incredibly scarce. (1:06:01)

  • Angel bets are great because they have nonlinear outcomes in the positive but the downsides is capped to 1x. You can make 10000x on the upside. (1:25:34)