Kevin Simler


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Kevin Simler is a writer and software engineer currently living in Brooklyn, NY. He's worked for ten years as a programmer, product designer, and engineering director, and continues to advise startups about technology, leadership, and recruiting.

Average rating: 4.05 · 3,422 ratings · 373 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
The Elephant in the Brain: ...

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4.05 avg rating — 3,422 ratings — published 2017 — 7 editions
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“Now, your skill as a speaker can manifest itself in a variety of ways. You might simply have encyclopedic knowledge about many topics. Or you might be intelligent, able to deduce new facts and explanations on the fly. Or you might have sharp eyes and ears, able to notice things that other people miss. Or you might be plugged into valuable sources of information, always on top of the latest news, gossip, and trends. But listeners may not particularly care how you’re able to impress, as long as you’re consistently able to do so. If you’re a reliable source of new information, you’re likely to make a good teammate, especially as the team faces unforeseeable situations in the future. In other words, listeners care less about the tools you share with them; they’re really salivating over your backpack.”
Kevin Simler, The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life

“But for most trees, height is all about getting more sun. A forest is an intensely competitive place, and sunlight is a scarce but critical resource. And even when you’re a redwood, the tallest of all tree species, you still have to worry about getting enough sun because you’re in a forest of other redwoods. Often a species’ most important competitor is itself. Thus the redwood is locked in an evolutionary arms race—or in this case, a “height race”—with itself. It grows tall because other redwoods are tall, and if it doesn’t throw most of its effort into growing upward as fast as possible, it will literally wither and die in the shadows of its rivals.”
Kevin Simler, The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life

“do well to turn Matthew 7:1 on its head: “Judge freely, and accept that you too will be judged.”
Kevin Simler, The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life

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