Quick Video Review – Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents: The 3 General Sources of Human SUFFERING

Freud talked about 3 sources of general suffering in his famous book Civilization And It’s Discontents.

1. The Body

2. Forces of Nature

3. Other People

Civilization protects us in part from natural forces but it puts us in complex relationships with other people (taxes, landlords, neighbors etc..) that bring their own suffering.

Are the sacrifices worth it? Is it worth renouncing part of our selfs in order to live the civilized life? Either way we have to pay for our sacrifices through the anxiety of brings.

Thoughts on: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract

The ideas of having read it was more exciting than actually reading it..

Sometimes the idea of having read a book is more exciting than actually reading it. That’s the case with The Social Contract.
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But “fun” and “easy” is seldom what we strive for in our quest for understanding. I knew this would be challenge to get through the works of the major thinkers of the history of the world.
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That said; after finishing the book ,and with a few YouTube lectures in the bag, I feel it was an endeavor worth the effort.
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Here are some notes:
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📝 With the SOCIAL CONTRACT man loses his natural liberty—the strength of the individual—in exchange for civil liberty: which is limited to the GENERAL WILL.
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📝 What is this GENERAL WILL? The will of the people as a whole. The common good.
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📝 Rousseau: “It’s always in times of crisis that laws are easily passed that would never have passed the scrutiny of the public otherwise.” (Paraphrased)
Sweden today: Laws have been changed to give the government power circumvent parliament, enabling them to act faster in the battle against CoVid-19 crisis. 🦠
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📝 Wise men/women can come up with concepts and ideas that the public doesn’t understand and will therefor not stand behind. This is where the divine is called upon. We use “the gods” to make the laws seem natural. By turning the laws of men, into laws of nature. 🌳
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY: The big takeaway for me does not come from the book, BUT from what I realized about myself by reading it. I have the ability to read and understand the big thinkers and learn from them (with some occasional help from YouTube lectures). I can turn books like this one into building blocks in the puzzle of the history of thought.
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I’m super pumped to continue this exploration of human thought journey! Learning about Hobbes and Locke. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. All the rest!
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When I’m old and grey I might actually have insightful philosophical lessons to share to the deaf ears of my grandchildren 😂 👴🏻 🧐
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2/5
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⁉️What big thinkers are on your list to study?⁉️

Check out my reading list for more reviews!

Evide

How a Week of STILLNESS and REFLECTION Can Prepare You For A Successful Year

Experiment: A Week of Reflection, Stillness And Planning.
We all talk about the importance of reflection and planning ahead. To slow down, to gain perspective, to make sure the ship is on route. But do we actually take time to do it? What happens when we take a step back and look at the whole picture?

THE MISSION:
Get some real quality time with the notepad and pen. Minimize distractions (reading, tv, phone) and ideally find a cabin in the wood or other low stimulus environments; review the year that has gone buy, re-evaluate your goals and uncover the actions you have to take to go forward.
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PHASE 1: SLOW DOWN ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • The start of the week was all about getting present and slow things down. I had myself booked into a Japanese spa for one night (I wanted to do 1 week in a cabin in the woods, but it didn’t fit my life situations this year.)
  • Activities for this phase: sauna, baths, zen mediation, goal mediation, silence, yoga.
  • The key is to get a better access to your genius, your unconscious and your creativity. This is best done in a state of calm presence.
  • Just as I really got relaxed and got my creative thinking going, it was time to leave the spa 😢.

PHASE 2: REFLECTION: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • I reviewed the past 12-months from my journal. It turned out to be a powerful practice. So many thinks have happened that I almost forgot about. A great way of gauging your momentum.
  • Reviewed my short-, mid- and long term goals. What this really what I want to spend my energy towards?

PHASE 3: STRATEGY ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– This is where the planning happens. Goals get updated in light of new insights. Problems where broken down to actionable tasks. A 6-month strategy, based on my goals, takes shape accompanied with specific action items.

FINAL VERDICT: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • I have never been more well prepared and sure on the How, What When and Why of the immediate future.
  • The hardest part was to stay in reflection and planning mode as ideas came to me. I was so eager to start executing.
  • On the last day I got TWO ideas for unique and cool projects out of nowhere. The unconscious always delivered if it gets the proper conditions.

This is only one of many experiments. Check out the full list!

Experiment: A Week of Reflection, Stillness And Planning.

How can a week of planning and reflection help you steer your ship the right direction?

One thing that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time is to take a week each year where I focus solely on reflection and planning.
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Ideally, this would be a week where I locked myself in a cabin, alone, with a few note pads, a pen, and some carefully chosen reading material. Isolated and disconnected.
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The stay would help me realign, reflect and evaluate the year that’s gone by and what to do with the months ahead.
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This has not been working out with my current life situation. But you can’t wait for ideal conditions because then nothing will ever get done. Therefore I will do a scaled down version of the project this year.
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⭐️ THE SETUP: ⭐️
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🔸 1 week of focus.
🔹 Start off with a day, alone, at a spa hotel to slow things down. (Best Christmas gift!! Thanks!).
🔸 Very Limited Internet use.
🔹 All down time dedicated to meditation, reflection, planning.
🔸8 hours of sleep for optimal creativity.
🔹Limited input from books, podcasts, tv etc.
🔸Limited output in terms of content creation, messaging, DM:s and everything else. (Have prepped 😉).
🔹 No alcohol.
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⭐️ DESIRED OUTCOME: ⭐️

🔸 A detailed 6-months strategy.
🔹 Review of journals, notes and events from the last 12 months.
🔸 Tons of ideas for new projects.
🔹 A deeper understanding of where I’m heading.
🔸Updated and re-evaluated short, mid and long term goals in all aspects of life (Health, Wealth, Relationships and Purpose)
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In 2021 I’ll do the real thing with cabin and whole shebang 😉 (No, not the punk band. I’m doing this alone.)
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⁉️ How do you ensure you are steering your ship in the right directions? What tools do you use? ⁉️

How did it go? Here is the full report!

Challenge: Public Speaking – Getting over the aversion of speaking in front of a crowd.

“All great speakers where bad speakers at first.” – Emerson.

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Fear of public in front of a crowd is not a problem if you don’t plan to share anything. But a lot of us can clearly see the value of transmitting our knowledge verbally but struggle with stage anxiety or inability to communicate efficiently.

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The Lab Report – 014 – “Public Speaking”

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THE MISSION:

To combat my aversion towards public speaking I joined a speaking club, Toastmasters, with the goal of writing and presenting 10 speeches in front of a room full of people.

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SHORT TERM EFFECTS: ⭐️⭐️

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– People at the club was friendly and supportive. Seeing me maybe reminded them of of what a mess they where when they started out.

– it was dreadful the days before my speeches. I noticed myself wanting to practice all the time and I became irritable when I couldn’t.

– The day of the speech I couldn’t concentrate at work at all.

– The feeling after the speech was an endorphine high!

– I struggled in all aspects; picking subject, structure, gestures, delivery.

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THE PROCESS: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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– An endeavor like this demands a huge energy investment. It takes a lot of time to prepare a speech.

– The learning curve is enjoyable. For each speech you feel a noticeable improvement.

– There is advantages is to seeing yourself on video. How you imagine yourself acting and sounding are not always aligned with reality.

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LONG TERM EFFECTS: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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– Finally, after 10 speeches, I can see myself as someone who can stand in front a crowd. And it doesn’t make my stomach turn.

– I can communicate with more clarity, I use the tools I’ve learned to get, and keep, peoples attention to a greater degree than before.

– I’m less bothered about being in the center of attention.

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FINAL VERDICT: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Taking care of my anxiety around public speaking is one of the best decisions of my life. It’s benefits and the way it changes your self-perceptions spills out to other aspects of life. —

I still got ways to go, but it’s a start!

⁉️What anxieties limits you? 🤔⁉️

More experiments right here!

New Experiment: Trying out Hunting

I have had my hunting license since 2000; I never used it! I have made two video games about hunting; I’ve never been out hunting!

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When my father-in-law who is a dedicated hunter realized I had a license lying around then things got real. He became very excited about this and wanted to show me the ropes. I complied.

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Regardless how you feel about hunting it has been a big apart of human life for a long time. Probably longer than other classic activities like prostitution, tax collecting and the elder complaining about the laziness of the young.

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The hunting I took part in was for small game with dog handlers: roe deer, hogs, fox and hare.

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🔸 I see a lot of similarities between a Zen meditation introductory course I took once and this hunting experience. Sitting alone, in silence—yet it’s a group activity. And both experiences includes pauses with hot beverages. Though, I assume, the crew I hung out with would probably dismiss a meditation session as hippie nonsense.

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🔹 Nature is so quite. All I can hear is my tinnitus.

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🔸 Holy shit, the pulse went way up when two deers approached me within shotgun range.

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⚖️ VERDICT:

The overall experience was really cool. Especially since I was the only one on the team who saw animals. Unfortunately I was such a N00b I didn’t realize that when the dogs barked; then it was time to pay attention! Instead I poured coffee and ate sandwiches while the prey came my way 🤦‍♂️.

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I loved the nature experience and the thrill of the hunt. But I need to do some deep thing long about the ethics of it. On the one hand it is a much cleaner way of getting meat than through the meat industry; but I’m not sure eating meat is ok at all? (though I blissfully ignore this inner hypocrisy daily as I stuff my face with meat.) 🍖 . And could I even pull the trigger?

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Another experience knocked of the bucket list! ✅

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⁉️What are you knocking off your bucket list this year?! ⁉️

(Ps. No, I didn’t kill anything, except preconceived notions about what hunting is about.)

You can find more experiments here!

Thoughts on: “The Drunkard’s Walk” by Leonard Mlodinow

There were two chance events that stood out to me that night I waled out of the murky cellar bar in central Stockholm where I had discussed this book with four other non-fiction junkies.

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The 1st coincidence was that during the cause of reading the book, one of the group members had unknowingly ended up at a family dinner with the author. Only when seeing the book in the household, and mentioning she was reading the book, the fact became obvious.

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The 2nd coincidence was that during

a discussion about the properties of true randomness—it’s tendency towards repetition- another attendee showed a tattoo he had made all over his left arm, displaying long slithering snake of quantum generated random 1:s and 0:s.

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What are the odds of that? 🤷‍♂️

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📝 Regression toward the mean:

In any series of random events an extraordinary event is most likely to be followed, due purely to chance, by a more ordinary one.

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📝 Randomness clusters: here is a random series of 1:s and 0:s. Notice the repetition. Let’s say you are a reasearcher and get random numbers to work with and you end up with a sequence with overwhelming repetition. This is not unlikely. When do you start to doubt the randomness of the sequence?

0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1

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📝 “If you want to succeed; double your failure rate.” – Watson

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📝 Apple had to make their iPods shuffle function less random because people experienced getting the same song twice as ”un-random”.

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:

Since chance seems to play a bigger role in life than we like to admit, the number of chances you take and the number of opportunities you seize matters.

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⚖️ VERDICT:

The basic concepts of randomness is laid out in this books and how they are often overlooked. We are also served a great history of how the science of probability evolved.

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I recommend this book if you enjoy the work of Nassim Taleb and/or find joy in logic and math problems. Suitable for an aspiring know-it-all!

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3/5

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⁉️ How do you maximize exposure to “luck” & chance?⁉️

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Photo: bombsaway_

For more great books and reviews: check out the Reading Lists.

Thoughts on: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Let’s face it, successful people and unsuccessful people have the same goals. It’s the systems and strategies you put in pace that makes the difference between the two.

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“You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the levels of your systems.”

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James Clears book is the ultimate guide to the WHYs and HOWs of those systems.

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🎭 IDENTITY:

Improvements are only temporary until they become who you are. You are not just going to read a book; you are going to become a reader. You are not going to run a Marathon; you are going to become a runner.

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🏞 ENVIRONMENT:

Make bad habits difficult to perform and good habits easy: prep your gym bag the day before and put by the front door. Bring a book everywhere you go. Move candy and snacks from the kitchen to the cellar. Remove the batteries from the remote after watching tv if your struggle with bingeing.

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🚦 SYSTEMS:

Stack new habits on top existing ones! “After I brush my teeth, I floss”

“After I finish’s my morning coffee, l journal for 5 min.”

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🔁 REPETITION:

Don’t ask yourself HOW LONG it takes to build a habit but HOW MANY TIMES it takes to build a habit. Start small and get the reps in.

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📈 PROGRESS:

One of the most satisfying feelings is to make progress. Habit trackers and other forms of visual measurements can make your habits more satisfying by providing clear evidence of your progress. “Don’t break the chain”: Instagram is a habit tracker for me (“visual reading progress”) and to keep a streak alive (“posting at set intervals”)

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⚖️ VERDICT:

The one-stop-shop for habit building.

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4/5

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⁉️ What habit did you build that you are proud of?!⁉️

For more book reviews and good reads, check out the Reading Lists!

Thoughts on: The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell

The book has two parts; the 1st part is a sociological investigation where Orwell lives a ‘fly on the wall’-existence among the miners of an industrial town in northern England. He wants to experience life of the real working-class life first hand. A class whom he and his fellow half-bourgeois socialists claim to fight and care for.
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The 2nd part is a argument for how and why socialism is failing and what to do to get it back on track again.
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What stays with me is the account of the former; the unemployment, the poverty, the filth; the self-limiting mindset of the deprived, and the horrible working conditions of the mines. But also Orwell’s honest, sober and often beautiful worded observations.
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📝 “..the place is like hell, or at any rate like my own mental picture of hell. Most of the things one imagines in hell are there — heat, noise. Confusion, darkness foul air, and, above all, unbearably cramped space.”
The working conditions in the mines made me feel sick.
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📝 How disconnected isn’t my work life from the miner of the Industrial era? Me with my Xbox ONE Dev-kit on my adjustable standing desk and my free lattes at the touch of a bottom? Not to mention the free massage? You know, we NEED them, because office work is HARD on your body! right?! 🤷‍♂️
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📝 Why can’t the bourgeois see themselves as the equals of the working class?
“The lower class smells”, Orwell concludes “It is queer how seldom this is admitted.”
A physical feeling like smell is harder to overcome than the other dislikes he argues.
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
We would be wise to attempt to isolate the qualities in people we look up to and cultivate them in ourselves. I admire Orwell’s willingness to immerse himself in the working class life and his willingness to change his mind. I want adopt this trait further in my own life, but I’m not sure how to go about it…yet.

⚖️ VERDICT:
When I close the books for 2020, one of the images that will linger in my mind is the image of miner walking for miles in the dark cramped space of the mine to his designated spot for the day.

I found this book so powerful and humbling. A catalyst for personal reflection. A remarkably bold and honest book.

5/5

For more great books and reviews, check out my reading lists!