Thoughts on: ”Influence” by Robert Cialdini

Cialdinis book is a must read for everyone. Whether you try to influence someone or want to avoid being influenced by others. To know the weaknesses of the the brains reasoning abilities is the best way to protect ourself against making bad decisions. This book is jam packed with amazing facts, science and stories that will change the way you see the world. My main takeaway is that I need to continue be on my guard for influence workers that try to exploit the brains cognitive biases. The fact that this book isn’t obligatory reading in schools is beyond my comprehension.

5/5

Find other amazing reads in my reading lists!

Are You Taking Part in the Reoccurring Ancient Pattern of Judging the Younger Generation?

When we get into midlife we tend to start judging the younger generation.

“When we judge in this way, we are not aware that we are reacting according to a pattern that has existed for at least 3000 years. There is an inscription in a Babylonian clay tablet that dated from around 1000 BC that reads, “Today’s youth is rotten, evil, godless and lazy. It will never be what youth used to be, and it will never be able to preserve our culture.””Robert Greene, The Laws of Human Nature, Chapter: Seize the Historical Moment.)

Something is bubbling under the surface. Maybe there is repressed envy of their youthful energy or mourning of the loss of our own? 😉

What are your resentments towards the younger(or older) generation of today? 🤔

Anyway, Look out for my reviews of The Laws of Human Nature and Give People Money later this week!

Thoughts On: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Enjoyed parts of it immensely . In the version I read the book was set in context by an introduction about the author and about the times in which the book was written. That was good for someone like me who was not familiar with either the author or Italy in the early 16th century. A guidebook for how to rule and keep you power as a prince, but a lot of the concepts in this book can be applied to modern business and work. The later parts of the book didn’t grab my attention, but I’m still glad I plowed through this classic.

3/5

Find other amazing reads in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: Endurance – Alfred Lansing

A testament to what humans will endure when put to the test. It’s amazing how Shackleton and his men overcame one terrible obstacle after another without losing hope. Hats off to the captain and the crew. My main takeaway is the leadership style of captain Shackleton. Leading by example and not standing above any task. Never accepting special treatment because of his rank by his men.

4/5

Find other amazing reads in my reading lists!

Quit or Persist? Know When NOT to Quit a Book.

Since many of us don’t read for pleasure only we should be careful not to discard a book because it’s not a thrilling rollercoasters ride. Some books I struggled with—that bored me or overwhelmed me— also gave me valuable insights and context for understanding the world and human nature.

Consult your ‘Why’ before you discard a book. What was your intention when you first started reading it and does it still apply?


Here are some books I’m happy I didn’t give up on (SWIPE for covers):

📖 Titan – The Life of J. D Rockefeller

📖 The New Tsar – The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin

📖 Mao – The Unknown Story

📖 Deng Xiaopeng: A Revolutionary life

📖 The Origin of Political Order – Francis Fukuyama

(Hey, I see a common theme here 😉)


What’s your thoughts on pushing yourself on finish books?

What book are you glad you finished even though you struggled? 🤔

And yes; Find amazing reads in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

This is the story of a sociology student who gets a unique opportunity to study, hang out with, and even act as a stand in for, a gang leader. It’s a great peak into the underground economy and organization of the public housing projects in Chicagos most crime ridden districts.

📝 “Was is possible, I wondered, to be in the projects for any length of time and remaining neutral; an outsider an objective observer?”

📝 Independent prostitutes got beaten up 4 times while affiliates (w. pimps) only got beaten once per year on average.

📝 Prostitute Price List:

💵 Blowjob: 10-15$

💵 Intercourse: 25$

💵 Anal: 50$

😢

📝 Gangs told their foot soldiers and people in the public housing who to vote for in elections.

📝 The way the people hustling in the projects had to pay different people for protection (pimps, building supervisors and the gangs) reminded me of a quote from The Story of Civilization, talking about the birth of the state tax: “It was better to pay bribe to one magnificent robber than to bribe them all.”

It’s a good book, but I wished for less personal drama and more scientific analysis.

⭐️ TAKEAWAY: The people of the Robert Taylor public housing projects will most likely have even fewer options to gang life in the future, as jobs for unskilled laborers is eliminated by automation and AI. My next read (Give People Money) is about Universal Basic Income which might turn out to be a key ingredient to end this type of poverty.

3/5

Photo credit: @literaryjargon

What’s your next read? 🤔

Find other amazing reads in my reading lists!

Quit of Persist? – Know When To Give Up on a Book.

“What else?” This is a good question to ask yourself. What else could I do right now? Am I spending my time wisely?

When you stand in line to get free popcorn, Is the popcorn really free? No, not really. You give up the opportunity to do something else with the time you spend in line. That something could be work a job, read a book or shoot heroin etc.

It’s called Opportunity Cost; The loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. And you better keep assessing the opportunity cost for your decisions.

I decided to stop reading Michel Jordan’s biography. It was not bad, it was just not for me. But for some reason I just kept going. I caught myself in my madness during conversion with my friend @simonjk.jpg ,who had also read the book and didn’t think too much about it.

It’s easy to be a completionist. It’s harder to make a proper decisions on when to persist and when to let go. Let’s do the latter.


Some books i parted with before I hit the last page:

📖 Braving the Wilderness

📖 Braiding Sweetgrass

📖 Power vs. Force

📖 A Primates Memoir


What books did you leave unfinished?

Find books that really captured my attention in my reading lists!

Mini Review – Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant (Part 2) – The Near East

The second part of this tome (1200+ pages) is focused on the Ancient civilizations of the Near East; Egypt, Persia, Babylonia, Judea etc..

📝 “It is in the nature of an empire to disintegrate soon, for the energy that created it disappears from those who inherits it.”

📝 Persia was founded by a stoic people, but within a century it was destroyed by people binge-drinking and eating all day; “spending their geniuses on sauces and deserts” 🍰. What state is our current civilization in? 🤔

📝 Egypt: “Machinery was rare because muscle was cheap.”

📝 The hanging gardens of Babylon was considered considered one of the Wonders of the World. Legend has it that Nebuchadnezzar II had it build for his wife who was not used to the desert and longed for her lush homeland.

📝 There where thousands of Gods. With time minor deities merged and became mere aspects of major ones.

📝 In Judean prophets talked about the need to be moral rebirth. Jeremaya asked for circumcision of spirit as well as the flesh in his strange phrase: “Circumstance yourself to the lord, take away the foreskins of your heart.” 😂😂

⭐️ TAKEAWAY:

One theme that stood out to me is how civilizations raise from hard labour and sacrifice, just so that future generation can have it go down the toilet by forgetting these hardships and fall victim to hedonism. 💩 🚽

⭐️ TAKEAWAY 2:

The accounts of the religious believes in the different civilizations fascinates me to no end. How similar their stories are to ours and how much we still can find intact or reshaped in today’s religions.

⚖️ VERDICT:

Now we get into the meat of the book and it has taken on another rhythm. I have mixed feelings about this second part of book. It’s is still brilliant but it’s getting hard to retain the information. The problem might lie in the way the book is structured, using the same template to describe each civilization, one after the other, making it overwhelming.

Check out Part 1 for more in this review series.

What are you reading these days? 🤔

Instagram Photo credit: @cinefile_25 , @eruchdah

Find other amazing reads in my reading lists!

It’s Out of Control! What The Laws of Human Nature will do to your To-Read-List

Is your To-Read-List (TRL) growing faster the more effort you put into working your way through it? I know the feeling – and I feel it might be especially true for non-fiction readers.

Every good book opens up your eyes for new topics and bombards you with new exciting ideas of what to read up on next (as illustrated above 🤪), filling your TBR to the brink.

Today I’m presenting some new additions to my TRL, courtisey of the book The Laws Of Human Nature by Robert Greene.

📖 The Tigress of Forli by E. Lev 📖

Caterina Sforza, she seems to be such a bad ass warrior countess! Greene uses her as an example of how masculine/feminine aspects of one’s personality, when well integrated, leads to more authenticity. “In the theater of life, expand the roles you play.”

📖 Born Red by Gao Yuan 📖

Gao’s account of the Cultural revolution in China and how he and his fellow students “made revolution”. Greene uses this story as an example of how our personalities changes in a group context.

📖 Chekhov by Henri Troyat 📖

Chekhov, Russian play-write, is brought up by Greene as an example of how you can change your circumstances by changing you attitude. “He made a vow to himself: No more bowing and apologizing to people; no more complaining and blaming; no more disorderly living and wasted time.” Now I just want to know more about this exciting fellow!

What are you reading and what additions is that book adding to your To-Read-Lists? 🤔

Thoughts on: Behave by Robert Sapolsky

What is long and hard, and filled with baboon references? Robert Sapolskys book Behave.


📝 “The frontal cortex makes you do the harder thing, when it’s the right thing to do.” The frontal cortex consumes a lot of energy which makes your willpower limited. Have you noticed how quick you are to judge and how hard it is to be a good person you are when depleted after a hard day at work?

📝 Initially demanding frontal tasks, like controlling your bladder as a child, becomes easier with time. Understand: repeated good behaviors and they will become automatic!

📝 We Habituate..

Understand: Artificial pleasures (designer food, drugs, VR porn etc..) throws our systems of the scale making us unable to appreciate the natural.

📝 Humans delays gratification for an extremely long time. No other animal restricts calories now to look good on the beach next year! 😆

📝 “The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference”

📝 Win-Win solutions rewards more dopamine than Win – Lose ones. 👍🏻👍🏻

📝 Alcohol = more aggressive behavior? No, alcoholic only evokes aggression in people prone to aggression AND people that BELIEVE that alcohol makes you more aggressive. Like testosterone only increase aggression in people prone to it in the first place. Testosterone will enhance any behavior that helps us maintain status.

⭐️ TAKEAWAY: I was applying for days off at work. I was going to ask right before lunch, but caught myself and did it the proper way instead; Judges famously give harsher judgments when they are hungry. I upped my chances of getting an approved application quickly by waiting until after lunch.

This was not a matter of life or death situation, like the case with some trials, but I think this story points towards something worth thinking about.

What is the result of a lifetime of strategic moves based on the quirks of biology and human nature works compared to a life ignorant of these hidden influences?

⚖️ VERDICT: A detailed and nuanced summary of where we are at with the study of human behavior! 😍

——

4/5

——

Photo credit: @chriserzfeld

Get the book right here or find other amazing reads in my reading lists!