Around the World in Fifteen Friends by Tynan is an entertaining and short read, yet still mind-expanding and interesting. You can almost feel Tynan’s curiosity for life come through, and each story is short enough for the book to be easily finished, yet still engaging; all are well-told, and you’ll learn about things like a family in Japan famous internationally for their quality of tea and personal hospitality.
What do you say after you say hello? by Eric Berne was a good read. Berne is a psychologist with a good grasp of style and a sense of frank humor. The book itself is informative without being overwhelming, humorous without being overly dramatic, and realistic without being cynical. It’s a bit of a longer read — it was worth it, for what I got out of it. It’s an older book now, and can usually be found on Amazon for cheap, if you would like to read it after reading this review.
Progression is one of the most life-changing and applicable series of nonfiction I’ve ever read. Sebastian Marshall writes with a strong sense of storytelling, yet manages to weave in philosophical and actionable lessons from analyzing the historical narratives he presents them with. It’s almost like reading a Malcolm Gladwell book where he not only analyzes high-performers from the past ten years, but from history’s most famous figures, and gives you clear action items to go along with.
Rationality was an incredibly beneficial book for me. It was a bit of a slog to get through, but absolutely worth it. My cognition has improved, and I came away with a stronger mindset for learning and reasoning. The book itself is engaging and polarized; Eliezer Yudkowsky writes with an unapologetic style that can be irritating, educational, dramatic, and intuitive all at once.
My strongest technique for increasing retention from lecture. Maybe it’s obvious; when I decided to make the mindset shift, it wasn’t so obvious, but the results are outsize.
For a quick mood, energy, and focus boost, materials required: a water bottle, your body, 10 minutes or less of your time.
While trying to think of ways to increase my focusing power for hard and thought-intensive work like studying, this bolt of an idea came out of the blue. Over the past couple days, I had a tendency to reach a point where my brain said, no more, you’re going to go eat chips and be a phone zombie for the next hour. I realized that feeling of low-level burnout (not to the point where you want to quit school or your job or whatever, just break for the day) is like your muscles burning and then giving out when weight training.
Last time, we touched on how it might not be possible to become one of the many great people in history. I promised to return with thoughts on how to do so, if the determination is there. So, how do we develop the bone-deep conviction required to stand up for yourself in the face of the jeering masses, the criticisms of the powerful, and the persecution that underlies it all?
Something that occurred to me after reading about Tesla, Socrates, and Roman history for a class. The advance of civilization, invention, and innovation is credited to all those who pushed forward, cried and bled and wondered and sweat to make their ideas a reality. History applauds them. History also notes that they were far from applauded during their time. On the bodies and minds of these people, is paved the road of advancing civilization.
Sometimes, you run into situations that have a cascading effect on all the other parts of your life. Sometimes, you face problems that, though pervasive or large, have a very clear fix. Sometimes, you have solutions that are fairly easy to implement.