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Dave Cortright
Silicon Valley, CA
Coach · Advisor · Effective Altruist · Designer · Consultant· FI advocate · Environmental Conservationist · Vegan
Recent Activity
Here's a framework I use for A or B decisions. There are 3 scenarios: One is clearly better than the other. They are both about the same I'm not sure; more data is needed. 1 & 2 are easy. In the first case, choose the better one. In the second,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Info Tech for Non-Profits
It premiers at the end of June 2022. You can view the trailer on the official website: Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2022 at Designing This Life
Let's say you were invited to a Zoom meeting, but you only have the ID and the password. What do you do? You plug it into this handy template: zoommtg:// confno (XXX in the example above) is the meeting ID number (numbers only; no spaces). pwd (YYY) is the password.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2022 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
Every moment, you make choices in your actions. You are modeling for yourself and others what you consider to be proper, appropriate behavior in your given situation. Likewise, you observe others and their actions. They are modeling to you what they consider to be proper, appropriate behavior in their situation.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2022 at Designing This Life
Many modern phones support eSIMs, which makes getting your phone onto a network in another country super easy (barely an inconvenience). I used Airalo to buy a data plan for my recent trip to the UK. $10 for 3 GB of data (discounted to $7 with a coupon code). The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2022 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
In the 60s, the town of Rosteo, Pennsylvania has statistically significantly fewer heart attacks and heart disease than surrounding towns that on their surface looked identical. In fact they worked difficult blue-collar jobs, ate rich foods, and even smoked cigars. The one difference: Roseto was founded by recent Italian immigrants... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2022 at Designing This Life
A few years ago, I read this story about Ireland’s citizen assembly, and how an unlikely friendship catalyzed the legalization of same-sex marriage. It moved me to tears both when I originally read it, and when I just reread it this morning. 🥲 I think the big takeaway is that... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2022 at Designing This Life
In a meeting between the Dalai Lama and a group of American psychologists in 1990, one of the psychologists brought up the concept of negative self-talk. Since there are no words in Tibetan that translate into low self-esteem and self-loathing, it took quite a long time for the psychologists to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2022 at Designing This Life
For any event in your life, there is an acceptance gap. It is the time between the event happening and your acceptance of the event. [Note that acceptance does not mean approval.] Your death is a form of acceptance. So there may be some events for which you never quite... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2022 at Designing This Life
I wrote previously about not judging others. But why is judgment problematic? It isn't always. Judgment is a useful tool in many circumstances. But it really only works when you have a clearly defined perspective from which you are assessing the judgments. A judgment is always from one perspective, and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2022 at Designing This Life
One of the biggest perspective shifts I had to make in my spiritual deepening is to move from a place of judgment (this is good, that is bad, ok, awful, best, worst…) to a place of is-ness and acceptance. I can see that good and bad are stories that make... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2021 at Designing This Life
This is a nerdy analogy, but hey I'm a nerd 🤓 In the standard states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), an electron cloud surrounds a nucleus. The electrons and nucleus are essentially bonded with one another. In a plasma, there is so much heat and energy in the system, some... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2021 at Designing This Life
I’ve talked about Dunbar’s number before and how our modern society removes the relationship constraints that guided our ancestors to fit the model. One analogy for the different intimacy levels in relationships is the backer levels for a Kickstarter campaign. At the base level, you get some trivial recognition, like... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2021 at Designing This Life
An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are on a train in Scotland. The engineer looks out of the window, sees a black sheep standing in a field, and remarks, “How odd. All the sheep in Scotland are black!” “No, no, no!” says the physicist. “Only some Scottish sheep are... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2021 at Designing This Life
In places where you can't choose the typeface (font) of the text, you can use the alternate alphabets built into the Unicode text standard to create alternate looks. This online converter is a quick and easy way to turn plain text into alternate text. Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2021 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
As I've been researching and reflecting on the core of human existence, I believe three essential truths combine to explain why we act the way we do: Humans are social creatures. we are wired to connect. Thus, relationships are critically important. Our unique human superpower is to envision concepts that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2021 at Designing This Life
Change is difficult, especially when it involves our core beliefs. It is human nature to identify ourselves with our beliefs. But by doing so, we make changing our minds exponentially harder. I empathize with those in that scenario. It can feel like you will lose your existence if you let... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2021 at Designing This Life
Humans are social animals. As such, we are wired by evolution to want to help others in our tribe. But rather than having separate circuits in the brain for how to treat others vs. how to treat oneself, nature proved to be elegant and efficient: how we treat ourselves is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2021 at Designing This Life
James Carse published the book Finite and Infinite Games in 2006. It begins: There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play. Life... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2021 at Designing This Life
Small PDF is still my go-to online tool for compressing large PDF files. I noticed that to get to the compression tool, you need to scroll down and click a link first. Here's the direct link: Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2021 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
In my coaching course, we've learned the value of narratives (or archetypes) in helping people see things from a fresh perspective. And we learned about 3 common “meta-narratives” in our culture: performativity, the inner critic, and the island where it all works out. Looking more deeply at the commonalities, there... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2021 at Designing This Life
Everyone experiences emotions. However some of us cope with and manage our emotions better than others. This is not an innate ability. All humans have the capacity to self-regulate their emotions. But like any other skill, it takes practice and requires experienced teachers who can model and instruct on the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2021 at Designing This Life
I've previously mentioned the book Elephant in the Brain (e.g. here). It was eye-opening for me and I encourage everyone to read it. It lays out a strong case that the human superpower is our ability to deceive—both others but also ourselves. There is a developmental journey we humans take... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2021 at Designing This Life
One of my favorite parables is The Blind Men and the Elephant. It illustrates how any particular perspective can be accurate but incomplete. A real-world example of this is X-ray crystallography. To figure out what a particular crystalline molecule looks like, researchers bombard it with X-rays and observe the pattern... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2021 at Designing This Life
I am resonating with the idea that life is like a board game. I have full agency to make my move, then others in their turn can make their own moves. One can judge, cajole, manipulate or otherwise try to influence others in their choices, but ultimately each choice is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2021 at Designing This Life