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The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem -- and the Other Books I Read in June 2023

books i read in june and some favorite quotes!

Bram Adams
Bram Adams
4 min read
The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem -- and the Other Books I Read in June 2023

Table of Contents

The End of the World Is Just the Beginning

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4/5

Try producing your own electricity or enough food to live on while keeping up your full-time job. What makes it all possible is the idea of continuity: the idea that the safety and security we enjoy today will still be here tomorrow and we can put our lives in the hands of these systems. After all, if you were pretty sure the government was going to collapse tomorrow, you’d probably worry less about whatever work-related color-coded minutiae your manager insists is so important and instead focus your time on learning how to can vegetables. (Location 972)
The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans make the United States all but immune to extra-hemispheric invasion. Very few countries have any vessels that can even cross an ocean unaided. Should anyone want to take a crack at America, they’d have to first get past the U.S. Navy, which is ten times as powerful as the combined navies of the rest of the world. (Location 1339)
The Europeans are far more reserved than the Asians when it comes to finance, but that’s a bit like saying Joan Rivers didn’t like plastic surgery as much as Cher. (Location 2679)

Dead Famous

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4/5

This, for me, is the key distinction between celebrity and influencer. A celebrity is often in our eyeline, regardless of whether we give a damn. Obviously, there are celebs we love, and whose activities we deliberately seek out, but a lot of the time we’re not being devoted fans so much as passive audiences exposed to a vast media tapestry of celebrity images. And yet, thanks to that exposure, we may still think of these people as being famous and might be able to identify a photo of them. Their image lives in the wider world. By contrast, influencers are sustained by a direct relationship with fans who deliberately opt in to following them.10 Every follower gives tacit consent to the interaction, and may feel intense parasocial feelings for this online star, but the rest of us may have no idea the star even exists. The influencer doesn’t live in the wider world, they live in a corner – admittedly, it might be a massive, diamond-encrusted corner – of the internet. (Location 5380)
Before rising to become France’s egomaniacal emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte had been a nerdy Corsican teenager enthralled by the ancient stories of Caesar and Alexander the Great. When he got the chance to invade Egypt in 1798, he not only walked the same sands as his boyhood heroes, but also kickstarted classical Egyptology by bringing a 160-man team of handpicked scientists, artists, and archaeologists to investigate the ancient culture he’d read so much about. It’s extraordinary to think that the course of modern history – the Napoleonic Wars, the naval heroics of Admiral Nelson, the discovery and decoding of the Rosetta Stone – was, in some small way, Napoleon writing his own Caesar fan fiction with ink made from the blood of a million men. (Location 1786)
Two hundred and fifty years ago, the infamous Italian seducer, Giacomo Casanova, galloped along the same path. He and his rivals weren’t going to wait for glorious fame to be posthumously bestowed upon them, they planned to hunt it down, wrestle it to the ground, skin it, and wear it as a hat. Casanova craved the limelight. Ironically, his posthumous fame as rampant sex weasel would’ve surprised him; he wasn’t then known as a womaniser. Instead, he aspired to be a famous writer, or astrologer, or preacher, or conversationalist – the eighteenth-century equivalent of model/singer/actor. (Location 1469)

The Art of Doing Science and Engineering

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5/5

If you optimize the components, you will probably ruin the system performance. (Location 4940)
Long ago a friend of mine in computing once remarked that he would like to do something original with a computer, something no one else had ever done. I promptly replied, “Take a random ten-decimal-digit number and multiply it by another random ten-digit number, and it will almost certainly be something no one else has ever done.” (Location 4418)
The desire for excellence is an essential feature for doing great work. Without such a goal you will tend to wander like a drunken sailor. The sailor takes one step in one direction and the next in some independent direction. As a result the steps tend to cancel each other out, and the expected distance from the starting point is proportional to the square root of the number of steps taken. With a vision of excellence, and with the goal of doing significant work, there is a tendency for the steps to go in the same direction and thus go a distance proportional to the number of steps taken, which in a lifetime is a large number indeed. (Location 5344)

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

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5/5

Self-destruction is an act best performed in the dark. (Location 1530)
To speak of “thinking independently” is useful because the redundancy has value in terms of emphasis. Often what people call “thinking” is merely recycling the opinions of others. So we can say that thinking independently—about our work, our relationships, the values that guide our life, the goals we set for ourselves—strengthens self-esteem. And healthy self-esteem results in a natural inclination to think independently. (Location 2149)
My life does not belong to others and I am not here on earth to live up to someone else’s expectations. (Location 2314)

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Bram Adams

writer, programmer

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