Following are my Deep Questions podcast notes. This podcast has made Cal Newport’s ideas widely accessible. Without having to go through a decade’s worth of archive. Following are my notes. This is the only podcast that I listen to.
Cal Newport’s advice for the first job.
Recommended reading: Jordan Peterson’s lecture notes.
Be dependable. When you say that you will do something, do that thing. Else don’t say it.
Maintain quality. And the work you do there should be of the highest quality possible as per your standard.
People should be attributing you like someone who is: if you have said it will be done for sure, it will be done well.
As a result, you will notice that people will want you on their team. And you will enjoy great career capital.
Cal Newport’s advice on Speed Reading
It's better to slow down during critical explanations that are complex in nature or anything that's important for you to understand. Or important for your career. You really don’t want to run through those well-crafted sentences that the author has put huge effort into (effortless-looking writing takes more effort than otherwise).
Cal Newport’s Learning Advice
Each month (or quarterly) take a topic that you feel strongly about. Find well-written literature against it.
Also, merely reading isn’t enough. To understand it and work through it, you have to do deep work.
What fueled Scientific Revolution
People usually think the scientific revolution happened because of the cheap production of books due to the Guttenberg printing press. But in the book Amusing Ourselves To Death, he made the case that it's just half of the reason. The other half was technology the book is: effective distribution of knowledge. (Hehe, it's weird to think a book is a technology, why? because we are so used to it. I think this is what it means if technology is successful, its novelty behind the solution it provides that we later take for granted.)
Complex scientific theories and equations are expressed into hundreds of pages in a compact size. The ease of distribution of knowledge fulled the scientific revolution.
Deep Work and Ambition
People usually think deep work is a hindrance to their ambition. But deep work is the fuel that will actually produce ambitious results. Saying you don’t need to do deep work as you are ambitious is saying “I don’t need to have camel, I have my foot to go through the desert”.
Further reading. Deep Work book notes.