Wisereads Vol. 16 — Herbert Lui’s book on Creative Doing, Duolingo’s learning model, and more

Last week, we shared Walden by Henry David Thoreau. This week, we’re sharing a full copy of Creative Doing by Herbert Lui, a Holloway book on how to unblock your creative potential.

Keep reading to add to your Reader account below 👇

Most highlighted Articles of the week

GIF of a man made of retro computer keys

The Inside Story of Microsoft’s Partnership with OpenAI

Charles Duhigg · The New Yorker

The Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg wades into the dynamics of Microsoft's alliance with OpenAI, detailing the events surrounding Sam Altman's recent ousting and subsequent reinstatement. “It’s hard to say if the board members were more terrified of sentient computers or of Altman going rogue. In any case, they decided to go rogue themselves. And they targeted Altman with a misguided faith that Microsoft would accede to their uprising.”

Users > Ops > Dev

Code is run more than read

Facundo Olano · olano.dev

Argentinian software engineer Facundo Olano weighs the pros and cons of code optimized not just for maintenance, but also for operations, users, and profit. “[author > maintainer code] is clever and lazy code that turns into spaghetti and haunted forests, this is premature optimizations, this is only-carlos-can-touch-that-module, etc.”

Figure 1. Example of a Doctored Photograph Displaying a Viking Ship Ride.

52 things I learned in 2023

Tom Whitwell · Magnetic Notes on Medium

Magnetic Consultant Tom Whitwell shares an annual list of 52 fascinating learnings. This year's list includes: “Two street food stalls, in Bangkok and Singapore, have Michelin stars” and “40% of people shown a photoshopped image of themselves riding in a viking ship as a child claimed to remember the (fictional) incident.”

Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week

TED: Luis Von Ahn on How to Make Learning as Addictive as Social Media

How to Make Learning as Addictive as Social Media

Luis Von Ahn (TED)

Duolingo cofounder Luis Von Ahn explains how Duolingo uses streaks and nudges, paired with a feisty owl mascot, to encourage daily learning habits. “Smartphones come equipped with some of the most addictive drugs that humanity has ever engineered. TikTok, Instagram, mobile games. See, delivering education over a smartphone is like hoping that people will eat their broccoli, but right next to it, you put the most delicious dessert ever made.”

Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week

The Inside-Outside View

Most people suck at decision-making

Alex Brogan

Writer Alex Brogan, of the Faster Than Normal Newsletter, assembles yet another set of mental models including the Inside-Outside View: “We have a natural tendency to favour the inside view—our own independent solution to a problem that incorporates all of our hidden biases. To make better decisions, we should favour the outside view—one that incorporates the best available data” and the Luck Razor: “If stuck with 2 equal options, pick the one that feels like it will produce the most luck later down the line.”

Most highlighted PDF of the week

Can Generalist Foundation Models Outcompete Special-Purpose Tuning? Case Study in Medicine

Harsha Nori, Yin Tat Lee, Sheng Zhang, et al.

Microsoft researchers showcase "Medprompt," a technique enabling GPT-4 to surpass models fine tuned for medicine on the US Medical Licensing exam. “We find that prompting innovation can unlock deeper specialist capabilities and show that GPT-4 easily tops prior leading results for medical question-answering datasets.”

Hand-picked book of the week

Creative Doing by Herbert Lui

Creative Doing

Herbert Lui

Herbert Lui grew up a voracious reader, checking out fifty books at a time from the local library. As an adult, he focused his career on marketing and blogging. But that work was adjacent to his true creative dream: writing books.

Creative Doing is the book Lui wishes he had when he was taking the leap to creative work. A guide on crafting a daily practice, emphasizing process over product, it acknowledges that getting started can be the hardest part.

“Finding my creative purpose involved letting go of every impulse and habit that made me successful at my work projects, and shifting my focus away from results into the process. Process is about consistently making time and energy to practice every day, rather than intensely pursuing a creative project and then burning out, falling out of love with it, and becoming resentful. It’s about creating a lot of work that meets a standard I set for myself.”

We're excited to offer Creative Doing via our friends at Holloway, a boutique publisher of comprehensive guides for navigating the complexities of modern work. We invite you to delve into their collection of guides and consider supporting them by purchasing Creative Doing or another title, all at a special 30% off price for Wisereads readers. 🙏 All guides are available in the Holloway Reader and most also as an EPUB you can add to Reader.

Handpicked RSS feed of the week

Herbert Lui

Herbert Lui’s Blog

Herbert Lui also maintains a blog where he publishes snippets on creativity, marketing, and the human condition. From Make a map of memories: “A memory pays dividends every time you return to it. Collecting artifacts or evidence of them, and organizing them together, is like saving money and putting it into a bank account.”