Wisereads Vol. 14 — Meditations, Brian Chesky's new playbook, and more

Last week, we shared The Art of Money Getting, a classic in the self-help genre. This week, we’re excited to feature another timeless work: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. 

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, this week's Wisereads edition is more streamlined than usual. But don't worry: normal programming resumes next week.

Most highlighted Articles of the week


OpenAI’s Misalignment and Microsoft’s Gain

Ben Thompson · Stratechery

“Much of the discussion on tech Twitter over the weekend has been shock that a board would incinerate so much value... Here’s the reality of the matter, though: whether or not you agree with the Sutskever/Shear tribe, the board’s charter and responsibility is not to make money. This is not a for-profit corporation with a fiduciary duty to its shareholders... From that perspective the board is in fact doing its job, as counterintuitive as that may seem.”


A coder considers the waning days of the craft

James Somers · The New Yorker

“When I got into programming, it was because computers felt like a form of magic. The machine gave you powers but required you to study its arcane secrets—to learn a spell language. This took a particular cast of mind. I felt selected. I devoted myself to tedium, to careful thinking, and to the accumulation of obscure knowledge. Then, one day, it became possible to achieve many of the same ends without the thinking and without the knowledge.”


Working with problems

Seth Godin · Seth's Blog

“Here are a few thoughts on the ones that won’t go away: First, is it a problem or a situation? Problems, by definition, have solutions. You might not like the cost of the solution, the trade-offs it leads to, or the time and effort it takes, but problems have solutions. On the other hand, situations don’t. Situations are simply things we need to live with.”

Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week


Brian Chesky's new playbook

Lenny's Podcast

“The more in the details I am, the more time I have on my hands. That's a paradox... Here's what I found. If you decide to be in the details and get very, very hands-on like I did, it might be a lot more work for about one to two years... But once we turned the corner, suddenly everyone started rowing in the same direction. Suddenly I didn't have to be in meetings anymore and people would do what I wanted them to do if I wasn't there... And so that became our culture.”

Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week


If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?

Tim Ferris

“Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer without a clear list of priorities... There should never be more than two mission-critical items to complete each day... If you are stuck trying to decide between multiple items that all seem crucial, as happens to all of us, look at each in turn and ask yourself, If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?”

Most highlighted PDF of the week

AI: The Coming Revolution

Sri Viswanath, Vibhor Khanna, Yijia Liang

“In our lifetime, we expect AI to become more accessible, scalable, and useful so that anyone can leverage its power. We predict that top coding language will be natural languages (i.e. English), as AI makes it easier for more people to program, debug, and deploy software. The power of AI has the potential to move from data centers to your mobile phone, giving everyone the ability to become an AI user. Training AI with private data sets could unlock new capabilities from healthcare to retail. Finally, we expect research to continue innovating AI models, making them more intelligent and capable.”

Hand-picked book of the week

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius


Marcus Aurelius

“If thou workest at that which is before thee, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract thee, but keeping thy divine part pure, as if thou shouldst be bound to give it back immediately; if thou holdest to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with thy present activity according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which thou utterest, thou wilt live happy. And there is no man who is able to prevent this.”

We're excited to offer Meditations through Standard Ebooks. If you haven’t already, explore their collection of high quality, carefully formatted, accessible, open source, and free public domain ebooks here.

Handpicked RSS feed of the week

Nick Wignall

The Friendly Mind

From Emotional Endurance: “Difficult work is often difficult precisely because it involves tolerating some emotional discomfort and doing the work anyway. If your emotional endurance is low, you won’t be able to follow-through on (or sometimes even start) much of the most important work of your life.”