Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking Fast and Slow
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Read:  2017-03-21, Rating:  5/10. Three Sentence Summary The master of all pop-psychology books, full of rich and fascinating studies, dives into knowing how our two systems, 1. automatic and 2. effortful, shape our judgements and decisions. We have excess confidence in what we believe we know but our minds have an inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. A huge thorough book, but unfortunately, my system 2 was too weak to get through this book. Two Systems: System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control. System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that…

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River Town

River Town
River Town Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler Read:  2017-03-21, Rating:  8/10. Chinese saw their landscapes differently than outsiders did. I looked at the terraced hills and noticed how the people had changed the earth, taming it into dizzying staircases of rice paddies; but the Chinese looked at the people and saw how they had been shaped by the land. Nothing was quite what it seemed, and that was how life went in those early days, everything uncertain and half a step off. I came to teach at a college that was built on the ashes of the Cultural Revolution, where history was never far away and politics everywhere you looked.    

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Existence of God

st. thomas aquinas
Philosophers and Existence of God Anselm of Canterbury Ontological argument It is a conceptual truth (or, so to speak, true by definition) that God is a being than which none greater can be imagined (that is, the greatest possible being that can be imagined). God exists as an idea in the mind. A being that exists as an idea in the mind and in reality is, other things being equal, greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind. Thus, if God exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God (that is, a greatest possible being that does exist). But we cannot imagine something that is…

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Philosophers

Philosopher
Philosophers Plato Tripartite Theory of Soul Logical - Rational - logos Spirited - Emotional - thymos Appetitive - Physical Desires - epithymia The Republic - Nature of Reality - Allegory of the Cave René Descartes Skeptic - a person who questions whether anything can be known with certainty Cartesian Skepticism Disbelieve everything “All that up to the present time I have accepted as most true and certain I have learned either from the senses or through the senses; but it is sometimes proved to me that these senses are deceptive, and it is wiser not to trust entirely to anything by which we have once been deceived.” Cogito, ergo sum or “I think, therefore I am.” John Locke Tabula rasa - blank slate…

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Are Sam Harris’ arguments irrefutable?

A Simplified Conversation about Free Will with Sam Harris: Sam: Do you have free will? Me: Maybe, I sure hope so. Sam: Are you future decisions based on your past, your deep conscious and unconscious past? Me: Yes. Sam: Now, do you have any control of the past, genes, childhood and other experiences? Me: No. Sam: If you have no control of your future decisions because they are based on your uncontrollable past, do you have free will? Me: I guess not, Sam Harris. A person’s conscious thoughts, intentions, and efforts at every moment are preceded by causes of which he is unaware. What is more, they are preceded by deep causes—genes, childhood experience, etc.—for which no one, however evil,…

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson Read:  2017-02-21, Rating:  10/10. Three Sentence Summary This book will help you think a little bit more clearly in what you're choosing to find important and what you're choosing to find unimportant. It's OK for things to suck sometimes. The idea of not giving a fuck is a simple way of reorienting our expectations for life and choosing what is important. Practical enlightenment as becoming comfortable with the idea that some suffering is always inevitable, that not matter what you do, life is comprised of failures, loss, regrets and even death. My Notes Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive…

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The Rosie Project

Rosie Project
The Rosie Project a novel by Graeme Simsion Read:  2017-02-19, Rating:  10/10. Can You Be Too Logical? The Rosie Project takes you on a first-person ride inside the overly logical mind of a genetics professor. In one weekend, I finished reading this thought-provoking, humorous and touching novel. Below are my personal notes from the first half of the book. I highly recommend you read The Rosie Project! My Notes Naturally, the books and research papers described the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome, and I formed a provisional conclusion that most of these were simply variations in brain function that had been inappropriately medicalised because they did not fit social norms - constructed social norms - that reflected the most common human configurations rather…

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Ego Is the Enemy

Ego Is the Enemy
Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday Read:  2017-02-15, Rating:  8/10. Everyone should read this book because, for everything that comes next, Ego Is the Enemy. A really quick read full of anecdotes from Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, John DeLorean, Malcolm X, Jackie Robinson, Marcus Aurelius, Richard Nixon and Genghis Khan. My Takeaways Stay Humble Stay a Student Don't Tell Yourself a Story My Notes An unhealthy belief in our own importance. Arrogance. Self-centred ambition. "Not me," you think. For people with ambitions, talents, drives, and potential to fulfill, ego comes with the territory. Precisely what makes us so promising as thinkers, doers, creatives, and entrepreneurs, what drives us to the top of those fields, makes us vulnerable to…

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

ZAMM
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig Read:  2017-02-08, Rating:  10/10. My Takeaways Too personal for me to give an objective review. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance found me, forever changing my view on life, on suffering, on literature, philosophy and the search for Quality. My Notes Romantic vs Classical Personality What is Quality?

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What is Quality?

Motorcycle Maintenance
What is Quality? Quality is a characteristic of thought and statement that is recognized by a nonthinking process. Because definitions are a product of rigid, formal thinking, quality cannot be defined. But even though Quality cannot be defined, you know what Quality is! People can recognize what Quality is by evaluating things as good and bad, yet be unable to say what it is in explicit terms. Quality divides "Hip" and "Square" in American culture. Quality bridges the gap between Romantic and Classic modes of thought. Quality cannot be viewed from an analytical, classic standpoint. Quality is neither subjective nor objective. Quality is viewed differently because people approach it with different experiences. Quality corresponds to the Tao, the way. Quality is…

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