A big chunk of these thoughts are pure reflections on Naval's tweet storm on "How to Get Rich ....".

While I agree with almost all of it, there are some learning ideas there which I felt are derivative and not foundational, and can be broken down further. Some of these ideas are included, but I have distilled them further, to make a shorter list I can work with in the future. I am afraid she might not listen to me much when she grows up :-).

And on thing I think is ultra- important, but somehow missed out in the tweets.

And the reason I am writing this down is actually in the title. This is a short note-to-self. My kid's about to turn 1 in a few days, and I am too worried about all the shit there's in the world that she will have to face one day.

So here we go:

  1. Foundations of Logic - All math, all logic, all philosophy is ultimately derived from the building blocks of logic. Something as basic as the truth table. It helps you discern what's a hypothesis, what' truth, what's correlation and what's causation. This is very important because most human conflict arises from people's internal conflicts about what they 'believe' versus what's the undeniable, provable truth. "Provable" is an important qualifier - if something cannot be proven to others, it might just exist in your assumptions. It is fine, as long as you know that it's an assumption and not the truth.
  2. Self Awareness - This is the ultra-important thing that's missed out in the tweets. What I mean by self awareness is - being able to observer yourself from the outside. This allows you to critique your own motivations and decisions. It allows you to loosen up and remove yourself from the equations. It allows you to create symmetrical equations which are not inherently biased in your favor, in other words, clearly bigoted.  1 and 2 together will help her understand fairness, justice.
  3. Psychology - This is the outward-facing version of self awareness. Understanding the basics of psychology helps you understand other people. A combination of 1,2 and 3 actually works very well in persuasion. The most persuasive people need not be the best communicators (though it helps), but must, and I mean must, be able to create win-win deals - an unbiased, symmetrical equation with all (or most) corner cases tackled.
  4. Mathematics - As the building block of our universe - if you do not know math, then the knowledge of logic will remain hollow. Math is applied logic, and has a life of its own, and needs to be learnt for its own sake. It opens up the gates to statistics, programming, sciences, and increasingly pretty much everything via analytics.
  5. Programming - Its almost a life-skill now. But more than that, programming helped me think very clearly. What I mean is this - you can get away by giving half-baked instruction to a human and get away with it. If something doesn't work, it's hard to tell if the instructions were not good enough, or the instruction taker was an idiot. Not so with a computer. If your code doesn't work, no one will blame the OS. Your instructions need to be absolutely logically clear. Maybe this is the reason that programmers end up doing very well in business - they are used to thinking clearly.