I am reading more frequently nowadays and increasingly run into fun and interesting books, in this case a book written by Steven Pressfield, primarily a fiction writer. I had never read anything from him and came across this book in a search for better managing my projects and the aspiration for big(ger) goals in life than I previously aspired.
The war of art is about the resistance within ourselves to give into our own (creative) goals. The creative between accolades because it is also perfectly applicable for the non artists among us. And moreover a lot of professions and goals you want to achieve require a high degree of creative and artistic thinking to materialize.
It’s about overcoming your own internal blockages , the resistance that leads to procrastination , seeking distraction and basically doing anything but get started on the stuff you like to do most.
Writing that book, making that music album, starting your own business, going for that one study you always dreamt about. The first part of the book goed into that resistance and how it manifest itself.
The second part of the the book is about overcoming the resistance and what it takes to stay productive on a constant level over a long period of time.
The final part is about inspiration and how it manifests itself. The book is very compactly written and it has a lot of the known elements of getting things done which are mentioned. Start now and keep at it, which we all know deep down.
But this book describes it in a wat that keeping busy and the overcoming of the resistance is very simple all of a sudden. No extra complicated descriptions and elaborate plans, no simplicity. A nice and elegant solution for getting things done. And it reads like a breeze.
It’s done , read all 1114 pages. Which sounds harder than it is. Piketty, in writing Capital & Ideology has made a very readable , clear and very well laid out book. It doesn’t get complicated or hard to grasp. It very clearly lays out the history of capital and the inequality that comes with it, with the political landscape as the binding factor.
It shows that all inequality boils down to political choices. The book doesn’t give any one way solutions but rather a frame for further discussions and thinking. On how to make the world a more balanced place.
It takes the wind out of the individualist views and market based thinking as a means to end all problems. I am not giving a short summary on the book bur encourage everyone to read it. Take your time , it’s not complicated but you will need time to process and think about the subjects.
This book should be standard in any economics , history or sociology class. Lately a few very important books have been released on the problems surrounding the economy inequality and the environmental issues of our time. This book puts a lot of that in a historical context.
An absolute must read, food for thought and thinking.
The early days of Netflix, told in this autobiography about and written bu Marc Randolph. It captures the ideas, difficulties, and the vision of a team of talented people focussing on making an idea work. One that was never done before. But ultimately resulted in the succes that is Netflix.
For me it was an affirmation on how far you can get when working together. Off course talent is a necessity , lot’s of endurance and commitment. But it all comes back on teamwork. And a bit of luck at the right time. In a day and age where individual succes is mostly contributed on that individual and the aura created on the exceptional talent and grit one had too achieve their goals and succes this book reaffirmed my belief that no one can do it alone. However talented or how much work one puts in. At some point you need help and lots of it.
Chase your dreams, but get help. Besides this personal take out of the book it is just fun too read, for everyone into autobiography’s and personal stories and not just people into economics or on the hunt for the next ‘how-to-on-startups’.
You will get some insight on the how to part, it is not a guide far from it. It teaches creativity works and be an open person.
An absolute joy to read and it’s really good in you are reading something more complex , for the change of pace or just in between the other daily tasks. Have fun !
Another book review. Since the whole Corona crisis thing I have been focussing more on reading. Which has been paying out big time. My reading skills are getting better which after my brain damage wasn’t a guarantee that It would become better again.
I still get tired easily when reading but reading now goes faster and I remember somewhat more. It’s also something I can easily cut into small segments.
So yeah, been reading more. And reading some cool stuff as well. This review is on a book written by Questlove which deals with creativity and how you can set your mind in a way your creativity flows. And how to deal with distractions , and make it more of a framework.
Every chapter deals with a topic which creative people are faced with, building your art, managing tasks surrounding making art, getting your art out there and sell it. Networking , staying in touch with people. And so on.
I have music as a hobby and I know this won’t turn into a career anytime some. But everything in the book is applicable to the creative side of other professions whether it be as a software developer, product manager , journalist. Most professions have a creative side to them. And need a mindset and framework to fit that creative process. It’s making sure all the conditions are set for being at your best creative wise.
So I highly recommend this book for basically everyone that feels the need to be creative as a hobby or in parts of their job.
This is one of those books I am not going to indulge in giving away some parts or examples of the books greatness. So no subjects , conclusions of problems discussed in the book. Not doing it. Which makes this a bit hard. Here I go.
What I am saying is anyone with just a slight interest in the reasons for the current state of the world should absolutely read this book. Especially if you have some affinity with economics. But the good news is, it’s not about economics. It’s about assumptions , which we all know are…. , anyway these assumptions have been drafted into policy. And these policies have inflicted permanent damage and made the problems they were designed too solve much worse.
The book touches on most of the main problems of our time , and all is explained in a clear and very understandable way. Without cutting corners in it’s due diligence.
It’s pretty remarkable how long some of these assumptions on social structures, money, taxes , income , human values have come back over a long period of time. While most of these assumptions were proven to be wrong or have changed over time. Nevertheless most measures to counter the problems have been intensified because there is nog change in our assumptions. Which made the problems even worse , and a downward spiral. Nobody thought about checking if what we were doing was in fact pointless.
Maybe I am being a bit cryptic in my review of this book. But hopefully you get some direction on what the book is about.
And forget what I said about it being interesting for people which want to know about why we are in a world we are in. This book should be mandatory for everyone. It should be mandatory in all schools , universities what have you.
It teaches a very valuable lesson , a problem can never be solved with just one field of expertise, not even when it’s the dominant field. It’s very much a necessity to counter our current problems with multidisciplinair teams , creativity and looking at the problem from different perspectives.
We can only solve our problems together, no-one can do it alone.
I read quite a bit again, which helps my brain a lot. And I have always found it relaxing. I mostly read biography’s , history and finance books. And the odd novel. And some tech books , which I won’t bore you with. I recently finished reading more money than god , by Sebastian Mallaby , a book combining history and finance in one go. Two of my favorite subjects. Plus it tells the stories of all the people involved , 3 boxes ticked.
It’s not a dry book with just names dates and numbers, it’s written with stories anecdotes and the numbers just fit in naturally.
It’s about the history and evolving world of hedgefunds. For those who don’t know hedgefunds are private investment funds which in the classical term make bets on markets, and make use of diverse array of instruments in order to gain a edge in the market of choice. In the classical sense a hedge funds was always hedged against the risk they take. Neutral in a way, as far as their models go anyway. But that changed over time , and most just looked for edges in markets.
This book starts out with the first hedgefunds and goes until recent times just after the credit crunch in 2007/2008. What’s interesting it not just covered the most famous hedge funds and their bets like Soros versus the pound. But also lesser known stuff like the takeover of an Indonesian bank by a hedge fund.
Without giving away alle the stories the book tells the tales and sets out to give some insight in why hedgefunds are good for markets instead of the more common view that all hedgefunds are evil. It makes a good point. It’s also very dense and took me a while before finishing it. It’s a good for anyone interested in finance or the world of finance in general, the more numbers inclined among us will also be catered too and even the casual reader with more of a history interest will be having fun while reading it.
It’s one of the best books on the history of hedgefunds in general and has a lot of interesting tales to tell. Make sure to put it on your reading list.
I have done some book reviews in the past and I am back with another one. Combining 2 of my favorite things economics and investigative journalism. In this excellent book by Oliver Bullough , Moneyland , the shady world of the ‘off-shore’ industry is the subject, it has created a whole new paralel world where extremely rich people can hide money, assets and change citizenship while they are at it.
It has been fueled by the collapse of the former colonies, and communism. What started with the increasing desire not too pay taxes has grown into a monster where oligarchs , dictators alongside global company’s hide their profits from country’s.
It’s painfully clear that the growing inequality , outdated concepts like nation states and their laws are outpaced by instant global money transfers, a willing and able army of lawyers, accountants and other experts ready too advise some very shady people hide everything.
It’s like trying too outrun a formula 1 car. It’s time for a global overall in the way we think and act on these sorts of fraud. Because it maybe not fraud if you look at the letter of the law , but’s it’s sailing true giant omissions in the different laws in different country’s at the least. And fraud and criminality at it’s worse.
All written in a sharp and understandable way, it’s a pageturner and one I highly recommend if you want too have some insight in how money moves around the globe.
In every way we live our lives today we are targeted by algorithms, and we are mostly totally oblivious of the consequences. Which is well very dangerous. In the book weapons of Math destruction , mathematician Cathy O’Neil explores the world of modeling , algorithms and their effects on us humans.
The algorithms are programmed by humans and therefore contain much of their biasses , ideas and expectations. The algorithms when they scale up , and most do, generate hugh feedback loops which amount to self fulfilling prophecies. This goes from education, finance , policing our streets and disturbing our democracy.
In a very clear way Cathy O’Neil explains the different effects of these models and their feedback loops, fueled by entire industries who ‘help’ beat the models in turn reinforcing their outcomes. The worst part ? Their is no appeal , no legislation , no regulation and no transparency. Scary ? Yes? Simply a must read for anyone.
One thing I am planning to do more is reading, used to do that a lot, but over the past few years less and less. Which isn’t a good thing.
So I picked up a book I started reading a few years ago but never finished. McMafia by Misha Glenny.
It covers the rapid rise of global crime after the fall of most of the communist regimes at the end of the eighties. The fast pace in which money started to move around the globe and the connections between the underworld and politicians , banks and other legal entities.
The book is very well written and travels the globe to tell the story from different continents. It’s fascinating in how little time the criminal organizations seized the opportunities presented to them. The outcome however are very sad, people who fall victim of human smugglers is among one of the most saddening.
One of the main sources of income is still the drug trade, money made from it is invested not only in the ‘upper world’ but also in the arms trade , human trafficking and so on. A lot of people are beginning to realize the start to stop a lot of drug related crime is legalizing.
Because the war on drugs cannot be won , whatever you do.