Algorithms to Live By

Since I started riding the bus a few months ago, I’ve tried to use the time I would normally spend concentrating on driving on increasing my productivity instead. I read. I write. I listen to podcasts. Or I tackle my inbox.

This morning, I found myself combining a couple of tasks when I clicked from a WNYC email to the Note to Self podcast hosted by Manoush Zomorodi. In the podcast titled “6 Algorithms That Can Improve Your Life,” Zomorodi spoke with Brian Christian about some of the subjects in the book that he co-wrote with Tom Griffiths: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions.

The two discussed ways that mathematical and scientific algorithms can actually help improve how we live.

This episode is 20 minutes. If you don’t have that kind of time, I recommend listening to the first 291 seconds–Algorithm 1: Temporal Locality–to determine if you should take the time to organize and file that stack of papers on your desk. And if you have an extra 120 seconds, listen to the next discussion–Algorithm 2: The Search/Sort Trade-off–to see if you should bother organizing your email inbox.

Here’s the entire episode if you have 1243 seconds to listen:

And if I can tack on one more marketing take-away? Those links in emails work.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay