Thoughts on: The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Identity and Race by Douglas Murray

There are a few events that got me to finally look into the topic of intersectionalility, gender and identity politics:
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🔸 A trans person I knew committed suicide.
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🔹I saw a poster on a notice board on a playground inviting children from the age of 11 (or was it 9?!) to a municipally held HBTQ+ get-together.
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🔸When I started the chat app we use at work after coming back from parental leave noticed a few colleagues had added their pronouns to as suffixes to their names: he/him.
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🔹 I noticed that there are less and less jokes being made in social gatherings.
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📚 The focus of this book are identity politics in general. A subject I’m quite clueless about. But after reading #whyimnolongertalkingtowhitepeopleaboutrace I picked up this book for alternative perspective.
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This book raises 3 interesting questions:
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1️⃣ Why is it that just as things appears to better than ever before for a certain group, the rhetoric begin to suggest that things have never been worse?
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2️⃣ How can we figure out what’s really going on when topics like trans and gender get so politicized that it makes any scientific exploration close to impossible? What if science uncover the “wrong” answers?
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3️⃣ When we finally unweave all the interlocking oppressions of our time, what will happen? What will happen if we achieve a state of social justice and is it even possible?
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📚 It’s a book is one that sticks and I think about it daily. It points out a lot of incoherences in the rhetoric of the social justice movements and gives an interesting perspective identity politics. Views that are seldom voiced
In the mainstream—at least in Sweden 🇸🇪 where political correctness is state religion (almost! Haha!.)
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—— Notes & Tidbits ——-

📝 Queer tend to push the view that being gay is a full-time occupation.

📝 It looks like social media is able to cause catastrophes but not heal them, to wound but not to remedy.

📝 Ask ‘Compared to what?’:
When people try to sum up our societies as horrible, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic patriarchies the question needs to be asked. Not that things can’t be better, but some question could be posed to the accusers; What system has worked, or what system does work better?

⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
The chapters on LGBTQ+ stood out to me. This is a quite new topic to me and it spawned a lot of questions. Our sexual orientation seems to be such a shaky foundation to build our identity on. But I guess that in the absence grand narratives (in a time where religion and ideologies is on life-support.) we are desperate enough to latch on to whatever gives us a bigger context, a chance of heroism, and a slither of hope.
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⚖️ VERDICT:
I found this book truly fascinating. It’s been a while since I finished it now and it hasn’t gone a day without me thinking about some aspect of it. I appreciate the willingness to voice unpopular options and provide some perspective on the social justice movements. I support his belief in free speech and robust debate in order preserve democracy. But there are definitely injustices that still needs to be worked out! Maybe if we could have open and nuanced debates about these topic then we could come to solutions instead of name-calling and to resort to public shaming and exile for anyone who asks a valid question or challenge our beliefs.
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My most memorable read this year.
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4/5
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⁉️What’s your most memorable read this year?⁉️

8 Lessons from reading So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson (VIDEO)

Some books manage to be both entertaining and highly disturbing. This is one of them.
Today I’m sharing a few highlight from Jon Ronsons book that takes a closer look at the world of online shaming.


“And the one day it hit me. Something of real consequence was happening. We were at the start of a great renaissance of public shaming. After a lull of 180 years (public punishments were phased out in 1837 in the United Kingdom and in 1839 in the United states) it was back in a big way.”

⁉️ Have you ever experienced any internet hate directed toward you?!⁉️

3 Key Lessons from The Shallows by Nicholas Carr (VIDEO)

📱 Maybe you were suppose to do something important right now, but got distracted by a notification. Or you told yourself that it might be a good idea to check your social media again. It has been 10 minutes after all, something might have happened?

1. The number of synapses in the brain are not fixed changes with experience and learning. The media more than the content changes the way we think and act.

2. We change our brains through the tools we use and our tools numbs the parts they amplify. The GPS in our phones weakens our abilities to map out areas in our mind and I guess I’m not the only one that has notice a quality decrease in my handwriting skills as I write more on computers.

3. Deep reading demands deep concentration and has to be learned. Our intelligence hinges on our ability to transfer information from the short to long term memory and to weave it into conceptional schemas (complex concepts). Being able to focus on one thing for a length of time is important for creating that type of understanding.

💭 “To be everywhere is to be nowhere” -Seneca

⁉️ How do you find focus on a world of distractions?!⁉️

Thoughts on: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

I could have written this book. Not that I have Murakamis masterful penmanship. That’s not my point. It’s just that our lessons learned from years of running are very similar. We got into it for the same reasons (by noticing we where becoming fat and tired.), it provided similar insights and it seems as dear to both of us.
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It’s not how-to book about running but a memoir centered around the activity.
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📝 “No matter how mundane some action might appear, keep at it long enough and it becomes a complenative, even meditative, act.”
What has become your ritual? Rituals allow for stillness and productive work in a chaotic world.
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📝 “In long distance running the only opponent you have to beat us yourself.”
One of the biggest appeals of running for me.
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📝 “Back then I was smoking 60 cigarettes a day” “This can’t be good for me I decided.”
This reminds me how I started. I realized I started to look like an old man. Flappy and lifeless in a way. About this time Born to Run was released and it ended up in my lap – the rest is history. I’ve been running ever since.
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📝 Murakami found running to be a great ally in fighting against withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking. I also used running as my main tool to against cravings when I quit nicotine 2y ago. Nothing works better.
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📝 “The desire in me to be alone hasn’t changed. Which is why the hour or so I spend running, maintaining my own private silent time, is important to keep my mental well-being.” #amen
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💥 ACTION:
“I traveled to Greece and ran, by myself, from Athens to the town of Marathon.”
This idea or running the original marathon route inspired me so much that I added it to my bucket list. I will work on this goal after I finish my goal of running 10k (6.2 mi) in 45min. 😅
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⚖️ VERDICT:
It’s unlike other book ive read on running, and ive read quite a few, because this is not the story of an athlete or a top performer, but just a normal individuals story about how running have impacted his life. Beautiful book!
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⁉️ Tell me about your experience with running? I want to know!⁉️
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📸: @runhoodmag (Instagram)

I Hired a Business Coach for 8 Months – Here is What I Learned.

A mentor is a person who are already in the position you want to be, or a lot further along on the path you want to walk.
This person warns you of pitfalls and shows the shortcuts and supports you when the goings get tough. The mentor calls you on your bullsh*t and challenge you stretch yourself further.

Reasons that got me to pay a mentor to help me.

I’ve got myself a business mentor for two main reasons:

– I wanted to put one of the most common life advise to the test: “Get a mentor.”
– I wanted to explore the world of business.

What did the mentoring setup look like?

🔸 I pay a person to guide me in business.
🔹 Each month I set 3 accountabilities for myself – or I get prescribed suitable goals from my mentor. I’m kept accountable for following through on these accountabilities.
🔸 We do one call each month to track how things are going and talk about specific areas where I struggle.
🔹 Throughout the month my mentor sends occasional advise and check up on my progress.

What was the lessons learned?

🔸 We worked on getting my goals in order (6 months, 1, 3, 5, 10, 20 year goals) and worked on establishing a strong vision for myself. This clarity of purpose has been a game-changer. 🙇
🔹 I’ve learned to earn – and how to market my services. This was something I was truly uncomfortable with before.
🔸 I have been reporting all my time spent working on my business. This practice has been eye-opening. It’s invaluable to have this information on how I spend my time. It reveals misaligned priorities.

Was it worth it? – Final Verdict!

⚖️ VERDICT: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Getting a mentor I probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’ve been procrastinating on starting a business for 4 years and after just 8 months of coaching I have several income generating incentives going. There is much yet to learn, but having someone who guides you and keep you accountable has really cut the learning curve… even if it hurts the wallet in the beginning. (and it’s bloody hard work!)

More!


📹 Check out my quick 3 Main Lessons from Being a Mentee video.


Tell me about your experience with mentors and coaches in the comments. 🤔

Thoughts on: The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki

The aim of this book is to explain why some people earn more, work less, pay less taxes and are more financially secure. It all depends on what side of The Cashflow Quadrant you are operating from. This book teaches you how to move from one side to the other, the pros and cons of each side and the mindset you need to adopt to thrive in each quadrant.
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——⏹ QUADRANTS ⏹——-
E= Employee. Have a Job.
S= Self Employed. Own a Job.
B= Business owner. Owns a system.
I= Investor. Owns investments.
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📝 It’s not about the money, but the freedom they provide.
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📝 When emotions like fear show up often people choose SECURITY over FREEDOM, and that’s the key difference between the left and right side of the quadrant.
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📝 “Your profit is made when you buy, not when you sell”. A deal have to make sound economic sense in bad as well as good times.
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📝 Unlike the S, who doesn’t like to delegate work “because no one can do it better”, the B loves to delegate. S:s work the the hardest. Because they do everything themselves: management, the work, the taxes, sales…
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📝 Many new entrepreneurs want to move from E to B, but end up as S:s because they fail to delegate. I.e me 🙋‍♂️.
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📝 Transitioning from one side to the other can be tough. Friends comments : “why are you doing this? Why don’t you just get a job?”.
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💥 ACTIONS:
A question to ask yourself: “I’m a building a pipeline or am I hauling buckets?“. After reading this I set up a streamlined pipeline for my video editing service.
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
I was making the mistake that many people do when they transition from employee to business owner, and ended up as a busy self-employed with with my video content service. This book made me start delegating and building a team.
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⚖️ VERDICT:
In this book I found exactly what I needed when i needed it. If you’re in the process of moving into right side of the quadrant to become a business owner or investor then this a great book, but it’s not a must read for for everyone. It can be both quite repetitive and unfocused.
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3/5
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⁉️ What part(s) of the Cashflow Quadrant (slide 2) are you operating from?⁉️
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I’m operating in E and S. I’m working on moving to B.
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Thoughts on: The Story of Civilization, Vol 3: Caesar and Christ by Will Durant

Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, this book is not read one either. It’s thousand pages covers almost all aspects of Roman civilization.
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The broad scope is both it’s biggest strength and it’s weakness. While philosophy and statemanship holds my attention, Rome’s pottery and poetic traditions does not. This leads many highs and lows, but also to a holistic understanding of the workings of the empire.
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📝 “A great civilization is not conquered from without before it has destroyed itself from within.” 💥
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📝 During this Saturnalia festival the relationship between slave and master was inverted. Slaves could disobey ordered without punishment. Sometimes they changed clothes with their master. They where served food and wine.
The masters “didn’t eat until all their slaves where filled.”. A great way to keep control the slaves. This temporary relief must have kept the slave/master dynamic from reaching a boiling point.
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📝 “Moreover, I consider that Carthage should be destroyed.” – the line Cato ended all his speeches with in the Senate. #Montaigne more humble adage was “what do I know?” . I wonder what my adage will be? 🤔 😆 I want one!
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📝 Caesar epic nickname: “The Bald Adulterer” 👴🏻
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📝 Caligula. the megalomaniac, took baths in perfume; had habitual incest with his sisters; sprinkled golds to the masses; ordered all
bald men to be sent as food for the gladiatorial animals when animal food was in I’ll supply.

📝 Marcus Aurelius: Slept on the floor while his mother asked him to get on the coach. “He became a stoic before he became a man.”
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📝 Historically the belief in heaven and the belief in utopia are like compensatory buckets in a well: when one goes down the other comes up.
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NEXT UP:
The Story of Civilization: Volume 4: The Age of Faith.
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⚖️ VERDICT:
I love that I’ve read this book but I don’t necessarily want to do it again. 😬
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3/5

For more book reviews and book tips check out my REVIEW LIST

Thoughts on: The Republic by Plato

Did you know that Plato was my rapper alias back in the day? I was 16 and had a gangsta rap group with some friends. Lol 🤙
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In hindsight I find the alias quite suiting as Platon seems to have been the OG of political philosophy.
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This book is a Socratic dialogue where Socrates and his crew discuss theideal state: the perfect republic.
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📝 “One man, one role”. Key ingredients to Plato’s Republic seem to be that people know their place, focus on their strength and mind their own businesses.
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📝 Socrates “controversial” idea:
Women are of the same nature as men and should have the same education and be able to take on the same work.
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📝 The strong should breed with the strong and have the women and children in common.
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📝 Socrates talks about the inherit contradictions of the soul: A man struck by grief holds it back in public but indulge in it when no one sees. Might this contradiction be a reason for coming up with an all-seeing and omnipotent god? If all is seen by god then maybe men would behave the same in public as in solitude?
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📝 The Noble Lie:
The lie Plato propose should be told in order to convince people that society is naturally divided. Peoples souls are of different calibers: gold, silver, or a mix of brass or iron. The lie was designed to convince people that the republic is best divided into the 3 groups: the producers, the military and the rulers.
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
I really enjoyed The Allegory of the Cave that portraits the effects of education and reasoning, as compared to our lack of it in our natural state. It’s an impressive picture and well worth a google if your not familiar with it!
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⚖️ VERDICT:
It has been claimed that European philosophy “is only a series of retweets and replies to Plato.” and that’s one of the reasons I’m extremely happy to have read this one. It will be foundational as I continue my journey through the history of thought.
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I enjoyed the ride, managed to absorb parts of it, and came out on the other side a bit more educated.
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4/5
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⁉️Which is the oldest book you have? ⁉️

Experiment: MEDITATE EVERY DAY FOR A YEAR – Full Report

We keep reading about it; the most important endeavor one can undertake is self-knowledge— to “know thyself” as the inscription reads at the Temple of Apollo—and what better way to start that examination than the practice of meditation?

For one year I have been taking a moment out of each day to sit quietly with myself.


Short term effects: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

  • It’s quite frustrating to observe when one’s mind wander.
    -Initially there was a lot of resistance to sitting.
  • -Observing one’s thoughts and the “monkey mind” creates a gap between myself and my thoughts. Disidentification with thoughts and emotions is a key benefit of meditation for me.

Long term effects: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • It’s now easier, in daily life, to catch myself being lost in thought and snap back to presence.
  • I have found meditation to be an excellent gauge of my stress levels. If I’m stressed, then meditation really highlights the internal turmoil of looping thoughts and emotions.
  • Realizing just sitting is enough to feel fully content is freeing.

Sustainability: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • It has been tricky to turn this into a daily habit. Especially since my baby, Hanna, arrived. 👶
  • When routine is broken (traveling, busy weekends etc.) I tend to forget to sit.
  • It’s easier for most of us to value ‘doing’ above ‘non-doing’. Going for a run is more readily accepted than prioritizing stilllness.

FINAL VERDICT: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

It’s easy to get carried away with our careers and demands of life. Meditation has become a daily reset for me.

No longer taking my thoughts too seriously, or mistake them for being me, is a big takeaway from this experiment.

If you feel you don’t you have time to sit for 10 minutes each day, then you probably need to sit for an hour! 😉 🧘🏻‍♂️


Tell me about your experiences with mediation? 🤔

Experiment: How Bad Can it be?! Trying out Smelly Swedish Surströmming (fermented fish).

“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” – Benjamin Franklin


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At the moment, with a lovely little baby at home, it’s easier to check off smaller items on the bucket list than big ones. Trying Surströmming, Swedish fermented fish, was one of those smaller items on my list!

🔸WHAT?
Fermented herring, or ‘surströmming’ in Swedish, is best known for its horrible smell. It has the quality of hangover fart. It’s distinct, inescapable and has a warm texture to it. Check out #surströmming , #surstromming or #surstömmingchallenge to get an idea of what you are up against.


🔹WHY?
It’s been a part of the northern Swedish cuisine since the 16th century. As a Swede I should probably try and see what’s up?!

🔸 HOW?
It’s traditionally eaten on a hard bread with chopped onions, potatoes and sour cream. As for drinks; Beer and snaps!

🔹 WHEN?
Since the 1940:s the premiere for surstömming has been on the third Thursday I August.

🔸 FUN FACT: According to a Japanese study, a newly opened can of surströmming has one of the most putrid food smells in the world.

⚖️ VERDICT: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

With the associated side dishes the herring isn’t too bad (don’t get me wrong, the smell is terrible but you get used to it after a while.) and the liquor and drinking songs that goes with it helps making it all worthwhile. Though a crayfish party (another Swedish tradition) is much tastier a surströmming dinner might be more memorable! Skål! 🍻


Check out more the full list of experiments!