Thoughts on: “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau was not only a occasional hermit and nature lover, but also had a word or two to say about the state and politics.

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True patriots, according to Thoreau, is not the ones who blindly follows the administration but instead their own consciousness and the principle of reason. This went contrary to the then held belief the minority should shut up and respect administration the majority had selected.

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📝 “We should be men first and subjects afterward.”

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📝“The more money the less virtue” and “The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor”. I should remember this once the Benjamin’s start rolling in! 💵 😎

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📝 “In an unjust society the only place for a virtuous man is in prison.” Thoreau spent one night in jail for not paying his to poll tax. He is quite proud of this. Almost childishly so. 😂

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📝 “Anyone in a free society where the laws are unjust has an obligation to break the law.”

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A quick and thought provoking read, but If you have limited time for Thoreau indulgence then you can skip this one and focus on Walden which is more of a timeless classic.

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⭐️ Takeaway: A persons character should be determined by his\her actions rather words.

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3/5

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When did you take action for a cause instead of just talking?? 🤔

Find other fascinating books in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: “The Laws of Human Nature” by Robert Greene

Robert Greene puts a lifetime of studies of human nature into one huge and important volume.

This book covers: character, toxic personality types, narcissism, cognitive biases, archetypes, childhood trauma, desirability, shortsightedness, the Shadow, attitude, group dynamics, leadership, persistence, fearlessness, purpose. The list goes on…

📝 You are more like than Louise XVI than you think!

📝 What you and me try tell ourselves: “I’m different. I’m more rational than others, more ethical as well.”

📝 ”If possible, avoid deep contact with those whose time frame is narrow, who are in continual react mode, and strive to associate with those with an expanded awareness of time”

📝 Keep in mind that your expectations of people are communicated nonverbally. Teachers expecting greater things from their students, without saying anything, have positive effects on their work.

📝 People with negative attitudes uses this world view to narrow their experience. It give a sense of control in a world of uncertainty.

📝 Cynicism as Purpose: “Man would rather have the void as purpose than be void of purpose”. Behind this false purpose is the great fear of trying and failing, of standing out and being ridiculed… Cynicism acts as consolidation for lack of accomplishment.

📝 Self-doubt makes us surrender inwardly before we surrender outwardly. Remember this: almost nothing in the world can resist persistent human energy.

💪🏻 ACTION:

The last chapter talks about the importance of mediating on our mortality. This prompted me to commit to a new experiment; to pretend it’s my last day in life. More info coming I separate post!💀 ⚰️

🎲 VERDICT:

This book is great (Book of the Year?)! And practical; I almost don’t want you to read it since I want my newly found super powers for myself. It has already helped me wrap my head around what’s really been going on in situations with people that, until now, had left me dumbfounded.

5/5

Find other fascinating books in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: Purple Cow by Seth Godin

While being a short and sweet marketing book it’s main points could have been reduced to a few paragraphs:

▪️Classical advertisement is dead. Focus on people who are ahead of the curve; the Sneezers (aka. Influencers) who can give your product good word-of-mouth.

▪️Being Safe is Risky. Your product can’t be very good, it has to be remarkable.

▪️Go Niche, not Broad. The age of products that appeal to the masses is over.

This book is outdated (came out in 2002). The statements above doesn’t shock anyone.

What did surprise me though was how much I liked Purple Cow as history book. How confusing it must have been for companies when increased ads budget didn’t translate to increased sales anymore. I really enjoyed the case studies of companies that succeed—or failed miserably —in the transition from the old TV ad era to the new age of “Purple Cows”.

I learned a lot about advertisement history but I didn’t become much better at marketing. For a more current and practical book read Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller.

Ps. Have you ever been given stuff for free? With the (not so) secret hopes of companies that you will spread the gospel of their product? 🤔

3/5

Find other fascinating reads in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: “The Better Angels of Our Nature” by Steven Pinker

It’s an odyssey through the history of human violence. Pinkers thesis is that we have seen a great decline in violence both in the long term , as well as short term history of mankind and he sets out to find out why this is.

This is a dense book.

I listened to the audiobook which clocked in at 36 hours. But don’t be discouraged! It’s such a deep topic and you will have an expanded view on humanity after turning the last page.

One of my many takeaways from this book is not to base my world on images, but on facts. One can easily be fooled by the availability bias when the 24-hour news cycle portraits rare accidents, catastrophes and act of violence appear as common events by giving the disproportionate airtime.

This is essential reading if you’re in a quest for worldly knowledge.

5/5

Find other fascinating reads in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: “Give People Money” by Annie Lowrey

The idea behind Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a simple one; Give People Cash! Enough to live on—maybe not well, but enough —every month, for a lifetime. No strings attached. Let people pay for rent, invest in a business idea or buy heroin. Doesn’t matter.

In one strike you would end poverty. This is interesting stuff!

📝 Some Arguments for a UBI:

– More women would afford leaving an abusive partner.

– Increase bargaining power for workers.

– Keep the masses afloat in a jobless future.

📝 Luddite fallacy: The idea that machines are going to eliminate work. It has been around for decades. And been proven wrong many times. Is it different this time?

📝 It has been proven again and again that giving people cash doesn’t have any impact on people’s propensity to work.

📝 “Cash is universally useful.” Charity programs can be counterproductive as it gives shoes to people who already have shoes and actually need something else. Foreign aid clothes can disrupt the local clothing markets etc..

📝 It’s going to be expensive.. but it’s not even close to impossible.

I loved to finally dig into this subject as the idea of UBI fascinates me to no end. Unfortunately there is not much data on I it will actually work. There are a lot of experiments going on throughout the world and only time will tell if it works.

The book is alright but the concept is great! A solid introduction to the subject.

Here are a few other books about UBI to choose from:

📖 Utopia For Realists 📖

📖 Inventing the Future 📖

3/5

Photo credit: @rewritethestory

Find other fascinating reads in my reading lists!

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!