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Barnum’s original museum highlighted the spectacular and unbelievable marvels of the world. Unfortunately, none of these rarities was real.
His original museum relied on poor quality replicas of mermaids and other mythical phenomena, which were not appealing to consumers. But the lack of customers drives Barnum to go in search of real, and rare, human acts.
The entrepreneurial spirit is one of dedication and resilience.
A highbrow, snooty, and prominent theatre critic attends one of Barnum’s performances and writes a particularly nasty review. He dubs Barnum’s act a “circus”–which, at the time meant “a public scene of frenetic and noisily intrusive activity,” hardly a compliment.
Instead of being discouraged, Barnum changes the name of his show, “P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome” to include the word “circus,” establishing a new definition for the word.
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Survivorship bias is a logical error that twists our understanding of the world and leads to a wrong understanding of cause and effect.
We fall into survivorship bias when we assume that suc...
When we only pay attention to the exception above the normal, we end up misunderstanding reality. While there is much to learn from the anomalies, it would be a mistake to expect the same results from doing the same things.
Survivorship bias leads us to think that coincidence is a correlation. We want the encouragement from survivorship bias so we can believe in our own capabilities, but it results in an inflated idea of how people become successful.
The fact is that success is never guaranteed. It does not mean that we shouldn't try, just that we should have a realistic understanding.
Wonder is said to be a childish emotion. However, as adults, we experience it when gaping at something unexpectedly spectacular.
Adam Smith, an 18th-century moral philosopher, describes wond...
The bodily symptoms of this strange appearance point to three dimensions:
At the mild end of this emotion, we talk about things being marvelous. More intense emotions might be described as astonishing. The extreme of this experiences is met with expressions of awe.
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You need to have a beginning that builds to a middle and an ending, or at least an idea of where you’re going, as it is key to explore your themes and foreshadow things properly.
Another important thing is to revise your writings. Your first draft is likely to contain multiple errors, poorly phrased sections, and inconsistencies.
To do it, you must know what your audience expects from the type of writing you’re doing and then defy it.
Without the surprise, without the twist, if you don’t pull the wool over the audience’s eyes, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be memorable. It’s precisely the fact that things are not what they seem that makes a story interesting.