Todd William

Inspiration from Larry Winget

Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don't have a plan.
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Todd William

Inspiration from Ray Dalio

Imagine that in order to have a great life you have to cross a dangerous jungle. You can stay safe where you are and have an ordinary life, or you can risk crossing the jungle to have a terrific life. How would you approach that choice? Take a moment to think about it because it is the sort of choice that, in one form or another, we all have to make.
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Todd William

Four Powerful Paragraphs of Optimism from Vitaliy Katsenelson

When I step back and look at the past 100 years, I’m reassured by all the things that the U.S. and global economies survived: pandemics that wiped out a percentage of the global population, two “hot” world wars and a cold war, the disintegration of a superpower, plenty of other wars, a few nuclear plant meltdowns, economic collapses, terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, stock market crashes, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a slew of other bad things. Somehow our economy (and economies that were affected a lot more than ours) got through those things. Our will to survive is so much stronger than any adversity.
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Todd William

A Brief Thought Experiment ~ Pixels of Life

​A greyscale image has a byte of storage for every pixel, so every pixel can range in value from 0 (being completely black) to 255 (being completely white), totally 256 values. In a square photo that is 256 pixels tall by 256 pixels wide, there are a total of 65,536 pixels (256 x 256). Since each individual pixel can have one of 256 different values, the total number of possible combinations of images in this photo is 256^65536. The possible images therefore range from all black, to all white, with every other combination in between.
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Todd William

Ralph Waldo Emerson's 10 Most Inspiring Quotes

"Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."
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Todd William

A Brief Thought Experiment ~ Technology & Jobs

What if there were no longer enough jobs to support society?

One of the big fears of technological advancement is the displacement of workers. If humans create machines capable of replacing most jobs, a lot of people will end up out of work.

Yet history has shown that employment is not a zero sum game. Technology can displace a massive number of workers while simultaneously producing new opportunities. Less than 200 years ago over 80% of the employable population held jobs in agriculture. Thanks to technology and a lot of human ingenuity, that number has been reduced to well under 5%..

The Value of Efficiency

This is a good thing, not because displacing workers is favorable, but because making any process more efficient is a win for society. It is this reason why you can walk into a grocery market with a few bucks in hand and find more than enough options to feed yourself for the day. 

But we forget, because we're not after mere nourishment ~ that's beneath most of us. We buy items based on flavor, and thus, a few bucks doesn't cut it. 

Consider what it would take for you to produce some of the meals you regularly eat on a farm of your own

How many hours (more likely days) would it take for you to produce even a crappy version of eggs, bacon, toast, and orange juice. 

Make no mistake, technology will replace jobs. This is something that has continually occurred for centuries, and history has proven that not only should you be happy about it, but that you overlook how grateful you ought to be. 

Why? Because technology makes things more efficient, and that efficiency vastly improves the average quality of life for everyone, even those that lose jobs in the short term. 

What if it's Different This Time?

As the saying goes, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. What if technology really does eliminate the need for enough jobs for everyone. Suppose we're all fighting for a much smaller portion of working hours. What then? 

Perhaps we're not asking the right questions. 

If you knew that you'd earn a little less money in the future, but you'd only have to work 50% as much, would that necessarily be so problematic? 

Stretch it out a little further. If you knew that you could maintain close to the same quality of life while having to work only 1 hour a week instead of 40, wouldn't you jump at the chance? 

Maybe the right question should be what we're aiming for as a society.

Why is Employment even the Goal?

The folly is trying to measure everything by a static definition of what is "good". If your income dropped 10% but everything you buy gets 20% cheaper, this is a good thing - but not if you judge by income alone. 

Until the early 1900s, the 8 hour workday was not the norm. The average workers put in 12-14 hour days to make ends meet, and often worked 6 or 7 days of the week. 

You're asked to do a lot less today just to be average. 

But let's be honest. You don't compare yourself to people in history, you compare to those around you, so these benefits go completely unseen.


Our standards change with the technology we build. Why is working an 8 hour/day job so vital? 

We're so obsessed with trying to ensure that everyone can find employment that maybe we're shortchanging ourselves. What's really important in the big picture? 

The most important thing is time. We want as much time as possible to do the things we love doing. 

Maybe we should be aiming to maintain the same quality of life by having everyone work 4 hours a day, or even less. That seems to be a much better goal than ensuring everyone is working 40 hours a week. 

But that would require embracing technology in lieu of the possibly of job losses, something not everyone is ready to do.  

Are you?
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Todd William

The Power of Framing Questions

In the early 1980s cognitive psychologist Amos Tversky and his colleagues set out to study if the way a question was framed influenced the way people think.

They presented patients, medical students, and doctors with statistics about the effectiveness of surgery versus radiation therapy in treating cancer. 

The participants were given information about effectiveness and survival rates and asked which treatment they would prefer, but framed with two different perspectives. Think about what you would choose as you read the statistics.

CASE 1: Half the participants were provided the following data:

<> SURGERY: 90 percent of people who have undergone surgery survived the treatment, and 34 percent survived for at least five years afterward

<> RADIATION: 100 percent of people who have undergone radiation therapy survived the treatment, but only 22 percent who were still alive five years later

CASE 2: The other half were given the same information, but framed in terms of mortality rather than survival. They were provided the following data:

<> SURGERY: 10 percent of people who have undergone surgery died during the surgery, and 66 percent died within five years

<> RADIATION: None of the people who have undergone radiation therapy died during treatment, and 78 percent died within five years


You will notice that all patients were given the exact same set of statistics, just framed differently. The result had a remarkable effect on their decisions. 

With the survival frame (Case 1), only 25 percent preferred radiation. When the possibility of dying during surgery was highlighted (Case 2), radiation therapy was chosen 42 percent of the time, even at the cost of deceased long-term survival. 

What's more, even doctors with extensive training in these areas were as vulnerable to this framing bias and unable to judge based purely on the numbers. 

If merely framing a question can influence a doctor's thought process even within his own domain, what does that mean for the rest of who merely hope to make rational choices?

Source: The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar
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