To start a new
To start a fresh
Sticking at it
Is the test
A diet, a book
What could it be
A poem a week
The task for me
Taking a moment
To sit and see
Brighter the colours
Appear to be
Perhaps I’ll find
Some stories untold
Or hidden truths
Left to grow old
Beware of the Medium.
Creativity is surreptitious. Shot from the galapagos.
From nowhere and anywhere
Don't be afraid get it out there. Go Short.
Learn from what you share.
Commit to positive change. Go long.
Fear of judgement will freeze creativity. This will lead to negativity
Listen obsessively. Embrace your sensitivity.
Listen openly. Execute instantly.
Commit to the change you want to see.
Do it both in the moment and the long term.
Or you'll morph into Medium
When the wheels turn oh they turn
When they stop oh they stop
Go break through the walls, break through the rock
But are you feeling the breeze, or are you seeing block?
You can’t do real shit without doing real shit
The balance will tip, you’ll find solace in it
Push to your limit go further again
Do it Ben. Do it then
You won’t settle the debt that is stuck in your head
You won’t toe the line and end up all fine
But you’ll find what your missing what you’ve already got
You’ll feel the breeze, you’ll forget the block
Is being mindful more to do with being mind-less than mind-full?
Is emptying our minds a straighter path to ‘mindfulness’?
Thank you for having Hetty and I over Christmas. It was a pleasure for us both to spend time with you and Grandma.
My two favourite books from the last year should arrive at your house tomorrow.
1. Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind.
2. Steven Pinkley: The better angels of our nature
I hope you enjoy them.
I have also been compiling a list of books that I have either read, bought and read or bought and not read (yet). Here is it, just in case it’s useful:
Simon Sinek – Start with why
Edward Wilson the future of life
Jared Diamond – Guns, Germs and Steel
Victor Frankl – Mans search for meaning
Andy grove – high output management
Simon sinek – leaders eat last
Al Ries – Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
Eric Reis – the lean start-up
Eric reis – the start up way
Richard Rhodes – The making of the atomic bomb
Ryan Avent – the wealth of humans
Rutger Bregman- utopia for realists
Philippe Van Parijs & Yannick Vanderborght- Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a free society and a sane economy
Carlo Rovelli – 7 brief lessons on physics
Tony robbins – unshakable
Jamie Susskind – Future Politics (comes out in 2018)
Seth Godin – Linchpin – Survival is not enough – What to do when it is your turn
Tim ferris – Tools of titans
Robert Cialdini – pre-suasion
Robert Cialdini – Influence: Science and Practice
Will and Ariel Durant – The lessons of history
Will Durant – The story of philosophy
Ralph Waldo Emerson – The essential writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tim Hartford – The undercover economist
Richard Feynman – Perfectly Reasonable Deviation
Christopher Ryan – Sex at dawn
Nick Bostrom – Superintelligence
Adam smith – the wealth of nations
Charles Darwin – The origin of species
James Watson – The double helix
Randall Munroe – Thing Explainer: Complicated stuff in simple words
Lewis Carroll – Thinking Physics: Understandable practical reality
Matt Ridley – evolution of everything – the rational optimist – Genome – the origins of virtue – nature vs nurture
Matt Ridley and Steven Pinker – Do humankinds best days lie ahead?
Alan Watts – The book: on the taboo against knowing who you are – Psychotherapy East And West – This Is It – The wisdom of insecurity – Become what you are
Further – whilst the internet is wonderful, it can be extraordinarily difficult to find original and insightful content. Here are a list of blogs, videos and podcasts that you may also enjoy:
Kevin Simler: http://www.
Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.com/
Farnham Street: https://www.
Blog curator: http://
Tech news curator: https://www.techmeme.
Richard Feynman Lectures
Charlie Munger: The Psychology of Human Misjudgement:
(I particularly enjoyed this discussion with Naval Ravikant. As a young man, I find it hard to hear him say that he has given up trying to understand macro economics and his search for a better system of governance. Though both of these topics are arguably unsolvable – I won’t accept that).
Lastly, I enjoyed our conversation about productivity. My current thinking is that leaders throughout history have got people to do stuff – by making them do it. This is because, as you go up Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, our natural impulses to ‘work harder’ reduce, because it is not second nature to seek self actualisation.
Therefore the productivity of a safe, democratic country with civil rights is directly related to our our fundamental human nature. It is also no surprise that the most successful companies of the last 20 years have been outliers – big corporates with world hard play hard attitudes, or modern technology companies with ‘mission statements’ and inspiring value driven leaders. These types of companies increase productivity on both sides of the spectrum.
According to my very brief assessment, in order to increase productivity (GDP per capita) – a democratic country with progressive morals should focus on creating the economic environment that supports these ‘outlier’ companies.
However, I tend to think our human nature will soon become irrelevant. Since the beginning of human history, technology has leveraged human thoughts – and productivity has been inadvertently tired to humanity itself. But it is about to be replaced … and a new type ‘superior being’ set to rule planet earth…
I imagine two scenarios:
1. We create intelligence that is superior to our own. Our ‘work life’ is rendered useless and incompetent – and productivity increases 10 fold. Humanity is wiped out by its own creation – or it enslaves it (not sure which is worse).
2. We become cyborgs. By way of an example, Mum has recently got a new gadget that she wears on her wrist. It tells her how many steps she has taken, what her heart rate currently is, how many calories she has burnt – it even vibrates when she gets a message. To someone 20/30 years ago, Mum would be a cyborg! We can now to alter our own DNA and put microchips in our brains that help us hear, see and touch. Soon, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs will seem like a thing of the past – and our human nature will change during this transition, either organically – or by biological intervention. Perhaps these adaptations of human biology will increase our productivity?
We are a long way from a general artificial intelligence (this ‘superior being’). Many refer to this technological breakthrough as the singularity… there is lots of literature out there on this.
As for the impact of all this on people and work – you may enjoy the following:
Future of work
Philippe Van Parijs http://basicincome.org/
Albert Wenger – world after capital (online only)https://worldaftercapital
Argument for universal basic income
Philippe Van Parijs
Do excuse my ramblings Grandad. I find it easier to vomit words on a page than in person – and I expect no written reply. Perhaps when I am next passing through Romsey (or you through London) we can chat about all this some more.
Please send my love to Grandma.
Subject: Your Books. My Thoughts.