About David Bridgeland

Author, consultant, etc.

Public Notes


Recent Activity

  • David shared from A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America's Financial Disasters by Scott Reynolds Nelson
    Spanish doubloons, Mexican pesos, French 5-franc pieces, English guineas, and pennies all changed freely in the city. Credit was also available, if you were known in town. But a Boston dollar bill? Well, foreign money is hard to spend anywhere.
    Note: foreign money
  • David shared from A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America's Financial Disasters by Scott Reynolds Nelson
    With Napoleon in exile these unfinished monkey jackets filled warehouses in northern England: the worst had happened for the worsted trade.
    Note: Best sentence ever ?
  • David shared from A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America's Financial Disasters by Scott Reynolds Nelson
    Banks of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries were, to follow the metaphor suggested by Thomas Paine, pawnshops for promises.
    Note: pawnshops for promises
  • David shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    One reason that we look for villains is that we want them to be there. The alternative to villains who have done something wrong is a universe where bad things sometimes happen to people who don’t deserve them.
    Note: why we look for villains
  • David shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    In the wake of disasters, we engage in what Cato Institute scholar Walter Olson calls “blamestorming.”18 It’s just like “brainstorming” except that instead of crafting mission statements or new product names, we embark on a rapid-fire hunt for a culprit. Olson has in mind our tendency to search for a deep-pocketed corporate perpetrator whenever someone gets sick, but the general trend is ubiquitous, from politics to the PTA.
    Note: blamestorming
  • David shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    In Deep Survival, a stunning book about how people survive in extreme terrain, Laurence Gonzales writes about a phenomenon known in orienteering as “bending the map.”12 It’s summed up with a pithy quote from Edward Cornell: “Whenever you start looking at your map and saying something like, ‘Well, that lake could have dried up’ or, ‘That boulder could have moved,’ a red light should go on. You’re trying to make reality conform to your expectations rather than seeing what’s there.”
    Note: bending the map!
  • David shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    The phenomenon of depressed people having more accurate self-judgments is called “depressive realism.” A
    Note: depressive realism
  • David shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    Pretending everything is fine even when it’s not is so common that cognitive scientists have given it a name: the normalcy bias.
    Note: normalcy bias
  • David shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. We’d pull up with nine eighteen-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors—whether it was the girders couldn’t support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren’t big enough to move the gear through. The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider,...
    Note: the wisdom behind Van Halen's ban on brown M&Ms
  • David shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    Modern life has a lot of what you might call a “spell-check factor.” The complexity of modern society often works against us, but it also conspires to keep most of our mistakes from mattering. We all go through our lives making a constant string of mistakes, but because nothing bad happens, we’re barely even aware of them.
    Note: the spellcheck factor
(Sterling, VA USA)
David Bridgeland