If you want better outputs, use better/new inputs.
So I’m just beginning to read Atlas Shrugged. Why? I’m actually developing an interest in governance, particularly as it pertains to economic issues. This week I watched on CSPAN a plenary session of a Federalist Society meeting that featured a panel of two law-school professors, Steve Forbes and a labor union representative. (Did I really just write that sentence?) It was really interesting, particularly as it highlighted the fact that two smart people can look at the same historical events and pick exact opposite reasons as the causal factors. Anyway I am trying to shrug off the most shrill and sensational voices in politics and instead gain a real understanding of conservative economic philosophy. Atlas Shrugged checks in at an intimidating 1000+ pages of small type, but I keep telling myself I’ve plowed through Shogun 10 times, so I can do it.
On the chess front, I’ve lucked* onto a squad for February’s US Amateur Team East that could compete on the top boards. So I better get my books on. To that end I’ve ordered an endgame book and an opening book, and constructed a study/practice plan to be in top shape by the time I hit Parsippany. Good inputs + hard work = better play.
*Actually it’s not luck. The key is to know Boston Blitz assistant manager Matt Phelps.