Doing What You Love



Bar trivia-outdoor patio-impressionist style
Bar trivia, outdoor patio, impressionist style (Created with Midjourney)

Experiments are good because they provide information on what works and what doesn’t.

Over the past few months, I’ve tried different public writing approaches, including essays, op-ed style pieces, educational commentary, and everything in between.

While I learned a lot from the pieces I’ve written and enjoyed the feedback I’ve received, I didn’t feel like I found something that was particularly ‘me’.

One has to write and write and write to get a sense of their style.

I remembered something important during this exploratory process:

I had drifted from the initial reason I wanted to create in this space in the first place.

I’ve repeatedly asked myself, “What would I like to share with the world for a long time that wouldn’t get old?” The answer came back to trivia.

Trivia provides exposure to topics and information, encouraging people to see and think outside their own world and start learning more about things for themselves.

I had more fun learning how to make better trivia questions and puzzles, crafting cryptic trivia puzzles that forced people to learn outside their comfort zone, and sharing those with the world.

For those in the early times of this platform, it started as an extension of a cryptic trivia puzzle app I was creating, called Minket. After experimenting with the app, newsletter, and a brief YouTube stint, I realized that first, I was spreading myself too thin with too many new endeavors. Second, it was becoming more like work than something fun that I looked forward to doing. Last, I saw the limitations to the types of puzzles I wanted to create with the constraints I had placed on myself, which detracted from the quality and the work towards making these puzzles.

After much consideration, I am returning to fulfill that purpose.

So, I am doubling down on this thesis:

Trivia is how I can connect the world and build awe in the learning process.

This thesis is dependent on a couple of observations I’ve made:

1. People learn when they are having fun and learning something new.

  • In the early 1970s, Robert A. Rescorla and Allan R. Wagner studied how associations are made in learning processes based on classical conditioning, made famous by Ivan Pavlov and his experiments with dogs at the turn of the twentieth century. Out of that work, they developed a mathematical model of classical conditioning called the Rescorla-Wagner Model. This model illustrates that learning strength is based on several aspects, including salience and surprise.
  • Salience is how vital the information we come across is to our actions. Surprise is how much the information deviates from what we expect. Salience is tricky because people use different types of information at different times. However, I can play with surprise from the aspect of awe, where new information is presented engagingly. This is where I plan to use trivia as a tool—creating awe.

2. I want to foster longitudinal and multidisciplinary learning.

  • From every critical event in history, there is an opportunity to delve deeper and add to the simple explanations we are often taught in an educational setting. As I’ve said in previous writings, I don’t want to break the news or give immediate takes on the news because a lot of our insight comes from time and thoughtful assessment of events and things we learn, adding to the mosaic of the human experience.
  • I’ve also written about the necessity of getting disciplines out of their silos and building towards what E.O. Wilson called Consilience, the blending of the sciences, humanities, and the mind to discover and reinforce essential insights. Siloed education leads to a fear of other disciplines that prevents important ideas from being developed. Now more than ever, I think what the late Charlie Munger calls ‘Worldly Wisdom’ is needed. I realized that I was creating a product of that in Minket and didn’t have the words then to put it together then, so I want to investigate this idea further.

Over the past year, I’ve learned over and over that you have to cultivate the opportunities to do what you want to do and make it easy on yourself to do so because the world will not be doing you any favors. This goes for any endeavor you want to pursue. If you want to work out, you don’t start with a marathon. If you want to be a filmmaker, you don’t set out to create ‘Titanic’. You start where you are and build towards your dreams.

The changes:

  • The newsletter will return to its original name: Minket, which is short for ‘Mind Market’.
  • Minket will be released on Mondays, starting next week.

Each week:

  • I will have a cryptic trivia puzzle and release the answers the following week.
  • You can send me the answers to the week’s puzzles here, and I will post the names of the first ten people who get it right in the next puzzle.
  • I will also have an audio version of the puzzle for those who prefer that medium.
  • I’ll continue to share interesting things I’m watching, reading, or listening to, as well as a reflective question.

If you liked my other forms of writing, I’ll be writing and sharing random things from time to time on my site, More Chaotic.

If you believe in what I am trying to do and would love to support Minket, please consider making a pledge.

I plan to keep the primary platform free and may add an additional paid subscription model where I provide more puzzles and other good stuff. We’ll see. One step at a time.

I hope you can feel my excitement. At the end of the day, this is another experiment, after all, as the only thing that is constant in life is change. Thank you for all your support, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you for reading! Subscribe to the Minket Newsletter for trivia puzzles and the More Chaotic RSS feed to get immediate updates on blog posts and more!

The information contained in More Chaotic is for informational and entertainment purposes only. This newsletter is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something discussed on this platform.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *