Laurence Gonzales: The Chemistry of Fire [Outliers with Daniel Scrivner Ep. #16]

“There’s no way to stop these accidents from happening, but there’s a way to stop them from happening to you.” — Laurence Gonzales

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Laurence Gonzales (@deepsurvivalsm0) is an award-winning author of numerous books about the psychology and neuroscience of survival . In this episode, Laurence and Daniel discuss his newest book, The Chemistry of Fire, a collection of exploratory essays that feed into his work on survival.

Laurence Gonzales also authored Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience, and Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival. He received the Miller Distinguished Scholarship from the Santa Fe Institute in 2016, as well as two National Magazine Awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Chapters in this interview:

  • 00:00:09 — The concept of the chemistry of fire
  • 00:03:43 — An adventure story of ice climbers on Mount Washington
  • 00:09:26 — Why people keep going when they know they should turn back
  • 00:14:14 — The importance of rules and systems for decision making
  • 00:20:09 — The survival of a cross-country skier after a major mishap
  • 00:25:52 — Laurence’s work with the Santa Fe Institute
  • 00:36:37 — Words of wisdom for 2021

For more, explore the transcript of this episode.

Links from the Episode

Laurence Gonzales’ Books:

Fanatical about decoding what the Top 1% of people across industries have mastered — as well as what they’ve learned along the way. Host of Outliers.fm.

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