“Why do we remember our past and not the future? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? What does it really mean to say that time passes? What ties time to our nature as persons, to our subjectivity?”
– Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time, 2018. You can get the book on Amazon.
“He who pursues learning will increase every day; He who pursues Tao (the “Way”) will decrease every day.”
-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, book available on Amazon
“Pop-up philosophy is often more of an occasion for selfie-snapping than self-reflection. How to find the time to stop, sit down and think.” more >>
–André Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour at the Cass Business School at City, University of London, author of The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work (2016). You can get the book on Amazon.
Is it normal to feel more spiritual as one ages? Hindus mark out four stages in life: brahmacari (student), grihastha (householder), vanaprashtha (forest-dweller), sannyasi (renounced one). This structure reminds me that perhaps the elderly are drawn to spiritual questions not because they are caught up in beliefs of rewards or punishments in the afterlife or because they fear death. Rather it may be because the time finally feels right to satisfy inchoate yearnings for any kind of answer to those questions.
-Patrick Olivelle, “The Aśrama System” (2004). You can get the book at Amazon.
“The best defence against combative ideologies isn’t more facts, but an admission of the limits to our knowledge.” Is human cognition reaching its limits in solving humanity’s social problems today?
-Dr. Robert Burton, author of A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves (2013). You can get the book on Amazon.
“Being immersed in the commercial world constrains the mind, limiting it to conventional, acceptable thought; it is hard to close a sale if we pause in the proceedings to meditate at length about a man’s relation to the cosmos.”
-Daniel Klein, “Travels with Epicurus” – on aging well and gracefully with purpose, through the ruminations of an old man dawdling through the timeless philosophy of the wise. You can get the book on Amazon.
“Intelligence analysts should be self-conscious about their reasoning processes. They should think about how they make judgments and reach conclusions, not just about the judgments and conclusions themselves…”
– Richards J. Heuer, “Psychology of Intelligence Analysis” more >>
“The study of law can be disappointing at times, a matter of applying narrow rules and arcane procedure to an uncooperative reality. But the law is also a memory; the law records a long-running conversation, a nation arguing with its conscience.”
-Barack Obama in Dreams from My Father. You can get the book on Amazon.
Taylor’s Gift is a story of hope and courage in the face of tragedy. My dearest sister, who knows I love reading, gave it to me as a holiday gift to console me over the recent losses of our brother and our beloved dog. Thirteen-year old Taylor Storch lost her life in a skiing accident and the book tells the harrowing journey her surviving parents and family went afterwards. Taylor’s foundation now functions to preserve her legacy. You can get the book on Amazon.
Robert Solomon’s “Building Trust in Business, Relationships and Life” often makes for dense, philosophical reading but is worth the effort once you get through it. Trust is a big deal – wars in history were often rooted in mistrust, and today our most important economic resource is credit, which is a form of trust in the future. You can get the book on Amazon.
Yuval Harari’s “Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind“ is the singular best book I’ve read in years. It’s a sweeping meditation and analysis of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific revolutions that continue to shape humanity, questioning along the way our notions of human exceptionalism. Barack Obama and Bill Gates also like the book. You can get it on Amazon.
Daniel Kahneman’s book on Thinking Fast and Slow is a very readable, non-technical purview of our mind’s often systematic thinking errors and how they are mainly due to “errors in the machinery of cognition (ie. biases, heuristics) rather than to the corruption of thought by emotion.” Terrific book on understanding your own mental systems, as well as a “must-read” at the CIA. You can get it on Amazon.
“Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding. Each book opens up new avenues of knowledge to explore.”
–Bill Gates’ list of books is on my virtual book shelf. He reads up to 50 books per year. I am often either consuming or planning to read one of the books he has read and recommends. Mr. Gates, founder of Microsoft, the Gates Foundation has over 30 million followers on Twitter and is perennially on the Forbes list of billionaires.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers,” former Harvard president and educator Charles William Elliot once said. If you like history, biographies or philosophy, thanks to Anubhab Tyagi’s work, you can read over 950 books for free.