Notes from Carnegie’s autobiography

Notes from Carnegie’s autobiography:

  • Trains, then steel at the right time: Carnegie caught the whirlwind of dynamic, new and rapidly expanding industries.
  • What an operating system: Carnegie possessed huge confidence, was loyal to his employees, worked hard and made bold bets.
  • He was good-natured. He believed happiness is a choice. He treated self-improvement seriously, modeled Lincoln and tried to treat all men and women equally.
  • He believed in religion and didn’t judge, but condemned very strongly what he called “theologies” – excessive clinging to dogma – which he found useless and shallow.
  • He learned to debate when he was young. This taught him to focus intensely, because of the research involved in winning an argument.

A novel critique of the Catholic Church – by a Jesuit

The Catholic Church should outpace – or at least equal – Silicon Valley in providing services to those in need, according to The Jesuit Review. According to the magazine, the Church used to do this best, it should do this best, and it isn’t even competing anymore, so its poor results should be unsurprising.

Per the author:

None of the most innovative endeavors in any field where the Catholic Church competes—for we do compete, whether we are aware or not—come from us, whether that is in education (Khan Academy, Udacity, alt:school, One Laptop Per Child, Minerva Project, Harlem Children’s Zone), health care (Mayo Clinic, Sherpaa, Practice Fusion, Breakthrough), media (YouVersion, Wikipedia, social networking), development (International Justice Mission, the microfinance revolution, social venture firms like Acumen) or scientific research (Human Dx, M.I.T., Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab); the list goes on and on.

Further, that

pagans converted to Christianity en masse because it offered meaningful, tangible change to their quality of life and circumstances. This is not cheating; it is the church’s job. If we are beaten in the battle for world-healing, we should not be the least bit surprised we are being beaten in the battle for souls.

The full article is here.

How to play Munchkin with kids

Munchkin games rarely end quickly, because PVP attacks are easy in the end-game. Not to mention, PVP attacks feel mean when playing with young kids. These two sets of house rules remove PVP attacks and shorten the game.

These rules use the Marvel base set with one of the Marvel set expansions. The rules could be tweaked for other sets.

“Infinity Dungeons” Munchkin

Players tank up quickly, invading a series of dungeons to win infinity gems. Expect to die a lot in this version as successful risks are highly-rewarded.


  1. Separate all affiliation cards into a separate pile. Separate all monsters into a separate pile. Separate all infinity gems into a separate pile.
  2. Place 3 dungeon cards side by side, facedown. Next to the first dungeon card, play 5 facedown monster cards and three facedown infinity gems. Next to the second facedown dungeon card, play 4 facedown monster cards and 2 facedown infinity gems. Next to the final facedown dungeon card, place 3 facedown monster cards and one facedown infinity gem.
  3. Shuffle all the monster cards back into the door deck.
  4. Deal each player 4 treasure and 4 door cards, per the normal Munchkin rules.


Play Munchkin normally, but add these new rules:

  • Players cannot attack each other or interfere with combat in any way (they can steal levels, however)
  • Players start at level 4.
  • Dungeons are only used in boss fights (see below)
  • At the start of a player’s turn, he can decide to go into one of the three dungeons, flipping up the monster cards and the dungeon cards. All effects apply to the player and he must face the monsters alone. If he dies, all his gear is left in the dungeon, he loses the rest of his cards and powers and affiliation, and starts back at level 4. The dungeon and monster cards stay face-up. If the player wins, he gains the infinity gems and a level.
  • There is no level cap – players can keep ascending in level past level 10.
  • Portal cards that change the dungeon will replace the “boss dungeons.”

“Nova Death” Munchkin

You’re SHIELD soldiers attempting to rescue the Avengers from Avengers Mansion – but with a much higher level of difficulty, death is common. You’ll find it exceedingly difficult to be the first to reach level 10. 


  1. Separate into individual piles: all affiliation cards, all power cards, and all monsters lower than level 10.
  2. Separate all “go up a level cards” into a separate pile and remove from the game.
  3. Separate all allies who are, or have been members of the Avengers and remove them from the game.


Rules are the same as traditional Munchkin, with a few modifications:

  • Players cannot attack each other or interfere with combat in any way (they can steal levels, however).
  • Players cannot help each other.
  • Players start at level 4, and the winner is the first player to reach level 10.
  • To start, each player chooses one affiliation, and randomly draws a power.
  • Players can have a maximum of three powers, irrespective of rank. Random powers are assigned randomly at level 4, 5 and 6, whenever the player goes up a level.
  • Losing a battle results in permanent death.
  • Anytime a Wandering Monster card is drawn, draw three monsters from the low-level deck. The player must fight all three monsters. If he wins, he gets one treasure and one level, and if he loses, he dies.

Optional Rule:

  1. Remove half the item cards from the game beforehand.

Productivity Tools

  • Alfred – control everything from your keyboard
  • ColdTurkey – restrict websites to certain times of day.
  • SocialFixer – restrict your Facebook feed, cut out inflammatory virtue signaling

And some tricks:

“No screens in the bedroom” – tip from David Karp, founder of Tumblr. That goes for cell phones, too.

Preferences / Night Shift on the Mac > switches display preferences to maximize sleep