Charles Chu, Medium

Charles Chu


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Past articles by Charles:

Why the 15-Hour Workweek Never Happened – Notes on Changing Your Life –

A 1930 economist predicted a shift to a 15-hour workweek by the 21st century, but people still work just as much now as then. It’s all about status and the difference between needs and wants. → Read More

Mental Models, Dragonfloxes, and How to Think Real Good

A lot has been said recently about mental models. If you are at all interested in clear thinking and decision-making, the term seems to show up everywhere. The most famous proponent of the concept is… → Read More

How to Learn Anything: The Sonmez 10-Step System – The Polymath Project –

Learning how to learn is one of the most important skills you can learn. Yet, nobody knows how to do it. → Read More

E.O. Wilson on the Upside of Introversion, the Limits of IQ, and Where Ideas Really Come From

E.O. Wilson, also known as the “the father of sociobology”, is one of the world’s most esteemed and controversial scientists. → Read More

Gene Wolfe: A Science Fiction Legend on the Future-Altering Technologies We Forgot to Invent

That’s too bad, because Neil Gaiman calls him “the finest living male American writer of SF and fantasy” and “possibly the finest living American writer.” Wolfe has won many of speculative fiction’s… → Read More

The Burden of Privilege: How An Elite Education Can Ruin Opportunity

Every says elite education opens doors. But does it? → Read More


Small Choices Can Change the World

I bring you the bank of the Mississippi River. I hand you a shovel. “Your job,” I say, “is to change the flow of this river. You are only allowed to use this shovel.” Could you do it? → Read More


Picasso's Napkin and the Myth of the Overnight Success

The Myth of the Overnight Success comes from an information asymmetry: you see the victorious result, but not all the work that went into the creation of that result. But before you think, "Great, so instead of an overnight success, now I have to work for a decade for something that may or may not happen. Thanks a bunch," there are ways to make everything you do a success. → Read More


In Defense of Amateurs

The word amateur doesn’t get a lot of love these days. When we hear “amateur,” we think of a dabbler — someone unskilled and undisciplined who flutters from one hobby to another. The word amateur used to have a different meaning, though. → Read More

Bird or Frog? Freeman Dyson on the Two Types of Thinkers

Is focusing on one thing the only way to do something well? I, for one, am suspicious of such easy answers. Personally, I’m a dabbler. I’ve never had much luck finding my “passion” or “purpose”; my… → Read More