Improve Your Decision-Making with These 10 Cognitive Razors
The average adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions each day.
Given this sheer volume of choice, how do we ensure we’re making the right decisions, day in and day out, without becoming exhausted?
Using insights from investor and thought leader Sahil Bloom, this graphic shares 10 cognitive razors, or rules of thumb, that can help you simplify your decision-making.
We’ve organized Bloom’s favorite cognitive razors into three overarching categories, which we dive into in further detail below.
Location, Location, Location
The first theme is location, and the importance of being at the right place at the right time.
The Luck Razor falls into this category because it highlights the importance of putting yourself out there. According to the Luck Razor, when choosing between two paths, pick the one with the largest “luck surface area,” or the path that offers you the most opportunity to get lucky.
This is because when you’re networking, meeting people, and building new relationships, you’re much more likely to stumble upon an opportunity than if you were sitting on your couch, not taking action.
The Rooms Razor follows a similar theme because it emphasizes the importance of your surroundings. It stresses that, if you have a choice between two rooms to walk into, choose the one where you’re most likely to be the dumbest person in the room.
While it’s a bit of an uncomfortable situation, it provides a greater opportunity for growth, as long as you check your ego at the door and listen to what others have to say.
Lastly, the Arena Razor reminds us that when we want something, we need to take the necessary steps to make it happen.
For instance, if you want to become a social media influencer, you need to start creating content and posting it online. It’s not easy to put yourself out there and take action, but if you want to play the game, you need to be in the arena.
The Power of Positive Thinking
The next theme is the power of mindset and positive thinking. This relates to how you view your life, the people you choose to surround yourself with, and how you interpret the actions and opinions of others.
According to the Gratitude Razor, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to show your gratitude to people who have supported you, or given you advice or opportunities.
Research studies have shown that expressing gratitude and giving thanks can be correlated with greater happiness, improved health, and stronger more meaningful relationships. So make sure to say thank you regularly, and tell your loved ones how much you appreciate their support.
It’s not just your mindset that’s important, though. The Optimist Razor recommends surrounding yourself with optimists, rather than pessimists. Pessimists may point out everything that could go wrong in a scenario, which might discourage you to break out of your comfort zone.
Optimism, on the other hand, will emphasize everything that could go right—and may even help you problem solve if you encounter problems along the way.
Keep Decision-Making Simple, Silly
The last one is quite simple, really: don’t overcomplicate things.
Occam’s Razor, which is named after the 14th-century scholar Franciscan friar William of Ockham, is generally interpreted as the following: when faced with a decision between two competing theories that generate the same outcome, the simplest theory is often the best one.
As Bloom says in this blog post, “simple assumptions [over] complex assumptions. If you have to believe a complex, intertwined series of assumptions in order to reach one specific conclusion, always ask whether there is a simple alternative assumption that fits.”
The ability to make things simple is also a good indicator of how deeply you understand something. According to the Feynman Razor, if you can’t explain a concept simply, then you don’t really understand it. So, if someone uses a ton of jargon or complexity to explain something, they could be masking a lack of deeper knowledge on the topic.
Editor’s note: For more information on cognitive razors and simplifying your decision-making, check out Sahil Bloom’s newsletter, or listen to his podcast episode where he talks about the most powerful razors he’s discovered so far in life.
Every Song With Over 1 Billion Spotify Streams
Spotify’s ‘Billions Club’ playlist tracks every song with over 1 billion streams. We took the data and broke it down by decade and artist.
Every Song With Over 1 Billion Spotify Streams
View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.
Spotify has a relatively short history, launching in Europe in 2008, and eventually moving into the U.S. market in 2011. Since then, the Stockholm-based company has become the world’s most popular audio streaming service with 456 million users across 183 markets.
With such a large userbase, major artists on Spotify have seen their biggest hits accumulate millions, if not billions of streams. So, in July 2021, Spotify created the Billions Club, a playlist comprising every song to reach the 1 billion milestone.
We at Visual Capitalist saw this as an opportunity to create a unique data visualization, so we compiled the entire playlist and arranged it by decade and artist.
The Top 10 Artists
Below are the top 10 artists, ranked by their number of songs with over 1 billion streams. The list actually includes 11 artists because Shawn Mendes, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay are tied with 5 songs in the Billions Club.
|Rank||Artist||Artist's Monthly Listens||Songs With 1 Billion+ Streams|
Sorting this list in different ways can reveal some interesting takeaways.
For starters, Ariana Grande is the only female artist present in the top 10. Her best performing song on Spotify is 7 rings, which was included in her fifth studio album thank u, next. The track has accumulated 1.8 billion streams since February 8, 2019.
Female superstars who narrowly missed the top 10 list include Adele, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, and Olivia Rodrigo, who all have four songs in the Billions Club.
Most of these artists are relatively new, so it’s reasonable to assume that they’ll be breaking into the top 10 soon. Olivia Rodrigo, for example, just released her debut album SOUR in 2021.
By Artist Tenure
Which top 10 artist has been around the longest?
We measure tenure in this context as the time that has elapsed since the artist’s debut album. In this case, the crown goes to Eminem, who released Infinite in November 1996.
The 11-track album was released on cassette and vinyl, and according to the Eminem Fandom wiki, only sold around 1,000 copies. The title track, Infinite, is the only song from the album that is available on Spotify, and it currently has 33 million plays.
The Full List
The Billions Club contains over 300 songs, with the majority being released in the 2010s. This is largely due to the fact that Spotify launched at the start of that decade.
Below is the data we used to create this infographic, which can be sorted by track name, artist, play count, track length, or release date.
|Track Name||Artist||Play count (billions)||Track length (secs)||Release date|
|Youngblood||5 Seconds of Summer||1.5||203||2018|
|Take on Me||a-ha||1.2||225||1985|
|Highway to Hell||AC/DC||1.1||208||1979|
|Back In Black||AC/DC||1.1||255||1980|
|Someone Like You||Adele||1.4||285||2011|
|Rolling in the Deep||Adele||1.2||228||2011|
|Easy On Me||Adele||1.1||224||2021|
|Let Me Down Slowly||Alec Benjamin||1.1||169||2018|
|Scars To Your Beautiful||Alessia Cara||1.1||230||2015|
|Do I Wanna Know?||Arctic Monkeys||1.5||272||2013|
|7 rings||Ariana Grande||1.8||178||2019|
|thank u, next||Ariana Grande||1.6||207||2019|
|Side To Side||Ariana Grande||1.2||226||2016|
|no tears left to cry||Ariana Grande||1.2||206||2018|
|Into You||Ariana Grande||1.1||244||2016|
|One Last Time||Ariana Grande||1||197||2014|
|Sweet but Psycho||Ava Max||1.4||187||2020|
|Wake Me Up||Avicii||1.7||247||2013|
|Waiting For Love||Avicii||1||230||2015|
|More Than You Know||Axwell /\ Ingrosso||1.1||203||2017|
|I Want It That Way||Backstreet Boys||1||213||1999|
|Meant to Be||Bebe Rexha||1.2||163||2017|
|bad guy||Billie Eilish||2.2||194||2019|
|when the party's over||Billie Eilish||1.4||196||2019|
|everything i wanted||Billie Eilish||1.2||245||2019|
|hot girl bummer||blackbear||1.1||188||2020|
|Livin' On A Prayer||Bon Jonvi||1.1||249||1986|
|That's What I Like||Bruno Mars||1.5||206||2016|
|Just the Way You Are||Bruno Mars||1.4||220||2010|
|When I Was Your Man||Bruno Mars||1.3||214||2012|
|Locked out of Heaven||Bruno Mars||1.2||233||2012|
|24K Magic||Bruno Mars||1.2||225||2016|
|One Kiss||Calvin Harris||1.6||214||2018|
|This Is What You Came For||Calvin Harris||1.4||222||2016|
|I Like It||Cardi B||1.4||253||2018|
|We Don't Talk Anymore||Charlie Puth||1.4||217||2016|
|A Thousand Years||Christina Perri||1.2||285||2011|
|Rather Be||Clean Bandit||1.1||227||2014|
|Viva La Vida||Coldplay||1.2||242||2008|
|Hymn for the Weekend||Coldplay||1||258||2015|
|Con Calma||Daddy Yankee||1.1||193||2019|
|Me Rehúso||Danny Ocean||1.3||205||2016|
|Be Alright||Dean Lewis||1.4||196||2018|
|Sorry Not Sorry||Demi Lovato||1||203||2017|
|I'm the One||DJ Khaled||1.1||288||2017|
|Let Me Love You||DJ Snake||1.7||205||2016|
|Taki Taki||DJ Snake||1.3||213||2018|
|Cake By The Ocean||DNCE||1.3||219||2016|
|Kiss Me More||Doja Cat||1.4||208||2021|
|Say So||Doja Cat||1||237||2019|
|Danza Kuduro||Don Omar||1||198||2010|
|Still D.R.E.||Dr Dre||1||270||1999|
|In My Feelings||Drake||1.3||217||2018|
|Nice For What||Drake||1.1||210||2018|
|Don't Start Now||Dua Lipa||2.1||183||2020|
|New Rules||Dua Lipa||1.8||209||2017|
|In My Mind||Dynoro||1.2||184||2018|
|Hotel California (2013 Remaster)||Eagles||1.2||391||1976|
|September||Earth, Wind & Fire||1.1||215||1978|
|Shape of You||Ed Sheeran||3.3||233||2017|
|Thinking out Loud||Ed Sheeran||2.1||281||2014|
|I Don't Care||Ed Sheeran||1.6||219||2019|
|Bad Habits||Ed Sheeran||1.3||230||2021|
|Beautiful People||Ed Sheeran||1.2||197||2019|
|Galway Girl||Ed Sheeran||1.1||170||2017|
|Castle on the Hill||Ed Sheeran||1.1||261||2017|
|Love Me Like You Do||Ellie Goulding||1.3||252||2015|
|Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)||Elton John||1.2||202||2021|
|Till I Collapse||Eminem||1.5||297||2002|
|The Real Slim Shady||Eminem||1.1||284||2000|
|Love The Way You Lie||Eminem||1.1||263||2010|
|Work from Home||Fifth Harmony||1.3||214||2016|
|Pumped Up Kicks||Foster The People||1.3||240||2011|
|Life Is Good||Future||1||237||2020|
|Me, Myself & I||G-Eazy||1.1||251||2015|
|Heat Waves||Glass Animals||2.1||238||2020|
|i hate u, i love u||gnash||1.2||251||2016|
|Somebody That I Used To Know||Gotye||1.3||244||2011|
|Watermelon Sugar||Harry Styles||2||174||2019|
|As It Was||Harry Styles||1.5||167||2022|
|Adore You||Harry Styles||1.2||207||2019|
|Sign of the Times||Harry Styles||1.1||340||2017|
|Take Me to Church||Hozier||1.9||241||2014|
|Mi Gente||J Balvin||1.3||189||2017|
|LA CANCIÓN||J Balvin||1.2||242||2019|
|No Role Modelz||J. Cole||1.4||292||2014|
|Say You Won't Let Go||James Arthur||2.2||211||2016|
|Let It Go||James Bay||1||260||2014|
|I'm Yours||Jason Mraz||1.5||243||2008|
|Ni**as in Paris||JAY-Z||1||219||2011|
|Bang Bang||Jessie J||1.1||199||2014|
|All of Me||John Legend||1.9||269||2013|
|Don't Stop Believin'||Journey||1.4||250||1981|
|Lucid Dreams||Juice WRLD||2.1||239||2018|
|All Girls Are The Same||Juice WRLD||1.1||165||2018|
|Love Yourself||Justin Bieber||1.9||233||2015|
|What Do You Mean?||Justin Bieber||1.4||205||2015|
|CAN'T STOP THE FEELING!||Justin Timberlake||1.4||237||2016|
|Dark Horse||Katy Perry||1||215||2013|
|All The Stars||Kendrick Lamar||1.1||232||2018|
|Young Dumb & Broke||Khalid||1.2||202||2017|
|Sex on Fire||Kings of Leon||1||203||2008|
|It Ain't Me||Kygo||1.2||220||2017|
|I Like Me Better||Lauv||1.5||197||2018|
|Someone You Loved||Lewis Capaldi||2.5||182||2019|
|Before You Go||Lewis Capaldi||1.4||215||2019|
|Drip Too Hard||Lil Baby||1.1||145||2018|
|Blueberry Faygo||Lil Mosey||1.1||162||2020|
|MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)||Lil Nas X||1.6||137||2021|
|INDUSTRY BABY||Lil Nas X||1.6||212||2021|
|Old Town Road - Remix||Lil Nas X||1.4||157||2019|
|XO Tour Llif3||Lil Uzi Vert||1.8||182||2017|
|In the End||Linkin Park||1.4||216||2000|
|The Night We Met||Lord Huron||1.1||208||2015|
|Despacito - Remix||Luis Fonsi||1.6||228||2017|
|7 Years||Lukas Graham||1.5||237||2016|
|Sweet Home Alabama||Lynyrd Skynyrd||1||283||1974|
|Can't Hold Us||Macklemore & Ryan Lewis||1.7||258||2012|
|Lean On||Major Lazer||1.7||176||2015|
|Cold Water||Major Lazer||1.3||185||2016|
|Light It Up||Major Lazer||1.1||286||2015|
|All I Want for Christmas Is You||Mariah Carey||1.2||241||1994|
|Uptown Funk||Mark Ronson||1.6||269||2015|
|Girls Like You||Maroon 5||1.5||235||2018|
|She Will Be Loved||Maroon 5||1.1||257||2002|
|What Lovers Do||Maroon 5||1.1||199||2018|
|In the Name of Love||Martin Garrix||1.2||195||2016|
|Scared to Be Lonely||Martin Garrix||1.1||220||2017|
|Astronaut In The Ocean||Masked Wolf||1||132||2021|
|Billie Jean||Michael Jackson||1.2||294||1982|
|I Took A Pill in Ibiza - Seeb Remix||Mike Posner||1.6||197||2016|
|Party in the U.S.A.||Miley Cyrus||1||202||2009|
|Stolen Dance||Milky Chance||1.1||313||2014|
|Let You Down||NF||1.2||212||2017|
|Te Boté||Nio Garcia||1||417||2018|
|Smells Like Teen Spirit||Nirvana||1.5||301||1991|
|Ric Flair Drip||Offset||1.1||172||2017|
|good 4 u||Olivia Rodrigo||1.7||178||2021|
|drivers license||Olivia Rodrigo||1.6||242||2021|
|deja vu||Olivia Rodrigo||1||215||2021|
|Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)||OMI||1.4||180||2015|
|High Hopes||Panic! At The Disco||1.3||190||2018|
|Let Her Go||Passenger||1.7||252||2012|
|Calma - Remix||Pedro Capó||1||238||2018|
|Feel It Still||Portugal||1.1||163||2017|
|Better Now||Post Malone||1.6||231||2018|
|I Fall Apart||Post Malone||1.4||223||2016|
|death bed (coffee for your head)||Powfu||1.3||173||2020|
|Don't Stop Me Now||Queen||1.4||209||1978|
|Another One Bites The Dust||Queen||1.4||214||1980|
|Todo De Ti||Rauw Alejandro||1||199||2021|
|Under the Bridge||Red Hot Chili Peppers||1||264||1991|
|Californication||Red Hot Chili Peppers||1||329||1999|
|Work from Home||Rihanna||1.2||219||2016|
|The Box||Roddy Ricch||1.5||196||2019|
|Roses (Imanbek Remix)||SAINt JHN||1.7||176||2019|
|Stay With Me||Sam Smith||1.6||172||2014|
|Too Good At Goodbyes||Sam Smith||1.6||201||2017|
|I'm Not The Only One||Sam Smith||1.4||239||2014|
|Dancing With A Stranger||Sam Smith||1.1||171||2019|
|Hips Don't Lie||Shakira||1.1||218||2005|
|Treat You Better||Shawn Mendes||1.6||187||2017|
|There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back||Shawn Mendes||1.5||199||2017|
|Young, Wild & Free||Snoop Dogg||1.1||207||2011|
|Chasing Cars||Snow Patrol||1||267||2006|
|The Less I Know The Better||Tame Impala||1.1||216||2015|
|you broke me first||Tate McRae||1||169||2020|
|Something Just Like This||The Chainsmokers||2||247||2017|
|Don't Let Me Down||The Chainsmokers||1.6||208||2016|
|Iris||The Goo Goo Dolls||1.1||289||1998|
|STAY||The Kid LAROI||2.2||141||2021|
|Mr. Brightside||The Killers||1.6||222||2004|
|Sweater Weather||The Neighbourhood||1.8||240||2013|
|Every Breath You Take||The Police||1.3||253||1983|
|Hall of Fame||The Script||1.1||202||2012|
|Blinding Lights||The Weeknd||3.2||200||2020|
|The Hills||The Weeknd||1.7||242||2015|
|Can't Feel My Face||The Weeknd||1.4||213||2015|
|I Feel It Coming||The Weeknd||1.4||269||2016|
|Earned It||The Weeknd||1.3||277||2015|
|Save Your Tears||The Weeknd||1.2||215||2020|
|Call Out My Name||The Weeknd||1.1||228||2018|
|Die For You||The Weeknd||1||260||2016|
|Seven Nation Army||The White Stripes||1.2||232||2003|
|Another Love||Tom Odell||1.2||244||2013|
|Dance Monkey||Tones And I||2.7||209||2019|
|Hey, Soul Sister||Train||1.1||216||2010|
|SICKO MODE||Travis Scott||1.7||312||2018|
|HIGHEST IN THE ROOM||Travis Scott||1.2||175||2019|
|BUTTERFLY EFFECT||Travis Scott||1||190||2018|
|Stressed Out||Twenty One Pilots||1.8||202||2015|
|Ride||Twenty One Pilots||1.4||214||2015|
|Heathens||Twenty One Pilots||1.4||195||2016|
|Shut Up and Dance||WALK THE MOON||1.2||199||2014|
|See You Again||Wiz Khalifa||1.5||229||2015|
|Everybody Dies In Their Nightmares||XXXTENTACION||1.8||119||2017|
|Look At Me!||XXXTENTACION||1.1||126||2017|
|Lush Life||Zara Larsson||1.1||201||2017|
|I Don't Wanna Live Forever||ZAYN||1.3||245||2017|
|Dusk Till Dawn||ZAYN||1.3||239||2018|
Note: Our list includes two songs that have crossed one billion streams, but have not yet been added to the official playlist.
Please note that new songs are constantly being added to the Billions Club, so our list may not be up to date for very long. Both Rihanna and Taylor Swift will be joining the club any day now as Umbrella (feat. Jay-Z) and Blank Space tick up towards the one billion mark.
With songs on this playlist receiving over 446 billion streams so far, at least some of them are likely to be familiar to you. Some may even find their way into your annual feature called Spotify Wrapped, a personalized roundup sent to Spotify users covering your most listened to songs of the year.
One Final Note
With the holidays upon us, you’re going to be hearing a lot of Christmas music in the coming weeks, whether it’s at home, at the mall, or in a cafe.
Chances are, one of those songs will be Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You. Not only is this song a holiday staple, it’s also the only Christmas song with over 1 billion streams on Spotify.
Released in October 1994 with Carey’s first holiday album, Merry Christmas, the track continues to be a massive success. In 2021, it became the first and only Christmas song to receive Diamond certification by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
3D Map: The World’s Largest Population Density Centers
What does population density look like on a global scale? These detailed 3D renders illustrate our biggest urban areas and highlight population trends.
A 3D Look at the Largest Population Density Centers
It can be difficult to comprehend the true sizes of megacities, or the global spread of 8 billion people, but this series of population density maps makes the picture abundantly clear.
Though they appear topographical and even resemble urban areas, the maps visualize population density in squares. The height of each bar represents the number of people living in that specific square, with the global map displaying 2km x 2km squares and subsequent maps displaying 1km x 1km squares.
Each region and country tells its own demographic story, but the largest population clusters are especially illuminating.
China vs U.S. — Clusters vs Sprawl
Click here to view the high resolution version.
Zooming into the most populated country in the world, China and its surrounding neighbors demonstrate massive clusters of urbanization.
Most people are familiar with the large density centers around Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, but the concentration in central China is surprising. The cities of Chengdu and Chonqing, in the Sichuan Basin, are part of a massive population center.
Interestingly, more than 93% of China’s population lives in the Eastern half of the country. It’s a similar story in neighboring South Korea and Taiwan, where the population is clustered along the west coasts.
Click here to view the high resolution version.
The U.S. also has large population clusters along the coasts, but far more sprawl compared to its Asian counterparts. Though the Boston-Washington corridor is home to over 50 million residents, major centers spread out the population across the South and the Midwest.
Clearly visible are clusters in Florida (and not exclusively focused around Miami like some might believe), Illinois, Georgia, and Texas. The population is sparse in the West as expected, but California’s Los Angeles and Bay Area metros make up for the discrepancy and are just behind New York City’s density spikes in height.
India & Southeast Asia — Massive Density in Tight Areas
Click here to view the high resolution version.
At 1.38 billion people, India’s population is just behind China’s in terms of size. However, this sizable population fits into an area just one-third of China’s total land area, with the above map demonstrating what the same amount of people looks like in a smaller region.
On one hand, you still have clear clusters, such as in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangladesh’s Dhaka. On the other, there is a finite amount of room for a massive amount of people, so those density “spikes” are more like density “peaks” with the entire country covered in high density bars.
However, we can still see geographic trends. India’s population is more densely focused in the North before fading into the Himalayas. Bangladesh is equally if not more densely populated, with the exception of the protected Sundarbans mangrove forest along the coast. And Pakistan’s population seen in the distance is clustered along the Indus River.
Click here to view the high resolution version.
Geographic constraints have always been the biggest deciding factor when it comes to population density, and nowhere is this more apparent than Southeast Asia.
Take Indonesia, the fourth largest country by population. Despite spanning across many islands, more than half of the country’s 269 million inhabitants are clustered on the single island of Java. The metros of Jakarta and Surabaya have experienced massive growth, but spreading that growth across oceans to entirely new islands (covered by rainforests) is a tall order.
When the distance is smaller, that cross-water growth is more likely to occur. Nearby in the Philippines, more than 100 million people have densely populated a series of islands no bigger than the state of Arizona.
Indeed, despite being one of the most populated areas in the world, each country in Southeast Asia has had its own growing problems. Some are limited by space (Singapore, Philippines), while others are limited by forests (Thailand, Vietnam).
A World of Different Density Pictures
Though the above maps cover the five most populated countries on Earth, accounting for nearly half of the world’s population, they only show a small part of the global picture.
As the full global density map at the top of the page highlights, the population patterns can accurately illustrate some geographic patterns and constraints, while others need further exploration.
For example, the map clearly gives an outline of Africa and the sparse area that makes up the Sahara Desert. At the same time, landmasses like Australia and New Zealand are almost invisible save for a few clusters along the coast.
To get a closer and more intricate picture of each country’s density map, head to Alasdair Rae’s long thread of rendered maps and start scrolling up to find yours!
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