Cal Newport

For the more science-y among you, Cal Newport is a great resource for how to be happy and effective as a knowledge worker. His posts are grounded in social science.

His books are also great. So Good They Can’t Ignore You should be required reading for all college students.

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Crash Course: Study Skills

When I was a kid, installing a big computer program involved hours of tedious work involving a dozen or more floppy disks and a computer incapable of doing two things at once. Learning economics is sort of like this. The lectures are floppy disks, and between loading each one, you (the computer) have to think about what you’re getting in the lectures to integrate it into your brain. Study skills are about making this process more efficient–finding the best way to take information from books, videos, and lectures and internalize it.

The Study Skills playlist covers a good range of important topics. The host has his own YouTube channel that goes into greater depth.

The Crash Course YouTube channel is a useful resource in its own right (I really like the history and computer science playlists). I’ve only watched a few of their econ videos and was mostly impressed (nothing’s perfect, but my personal preferences lean towards Cowen and Tabbarok).

 

Excel: Excel is Fun

Excel is an essential tool for you to understand. The YouTube channel “Excel is Fun” is full of resources to help you learn Excel. Spreadsheets are a useful thinking tool that lets you leverage your brain to think about bigger issues more concretely.

Excel lets you keep track of things, express connections between different things, and automatically calculate and evaluate. If you hope to work in an office or laboratory after you graduate, you should probably have a basic competency with Excel or an equivalent spreadsheet program (e.g. Libre Calc, Google Sheets).