The Incomplete Guide to the Art of Discovery

A book by scientist J.E. Oliver on research and discoveries with thought on how to apply his approach more broadly.

ISBN-10: 0231076207

  • The Action Is on the Edge

    In plate tectonics, all of the interesting effects like mountain formation, earthquakes, happen on the edge of the plates. This is also a useful analogy for any field where the more interesting work happens on the bleeding edge.

  • Thinking Better Thoughts

    I remember when I first started working at Stripe I felt like the dumbest person in the room. I was amazed at how smart everyone seemed and the writing…gosh, the writing! If I wanted to be like that too, something needed to change.

  • Lecture - Creativity

    A lecture from Richard Hamming about creativity and how to cultivate it.

  • The Downside of First-Principles Thinking

    The problem with first-principles thinking is that you don’t know what you don’t know. You might end up deriving the same thing you could have read in a 101-level textbook. You might think you have a novel idea of a blockchain-powered utopia but it turns out it’s Georgism with extra steps.