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September 21 2023

i declare war!

this generation goes hard
all my sensations of touch are located inside my skull, where in reality nothing can touch while I still live. And whenever I think I am seeing a vast, brilliantly illuminated landscape, all that I am really experiencing is likewise located entirely inside my skull, where in reality it is constantly dark! HERMES: Is that so absurd?

-- The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World (affiliate link)

"talk less; smile more"
If you just avoid mentioning your idea, you automatically start asking better questions. Doing this is the easiest (and biggest) improvement you can make to your customer conversations. Here are 3 simple rules to help you. They are collectively called (drumroll) The Mom Test: The Mom Test: Talk about their life instead of your idea Ask about specifics in the past instead of generics or opinions about the future Talk less and listen more

-- The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you (affiliate link)

you decide how successful i am
If there are no external constraints, what you make of yourself depends on your gumption and mental capacities. Are you a high-performance person? In a culture of performance, the individual reads the status and value of her soul in her worldly accomplishments. Like the Calvinist, she looks to her success in order to know: Am I one of the elect or am I damned? With radical responsibility comes the specter of inadequacy.

-- The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (affiliate link)

cant teach an old dog new theories
Changing your mind frequently, especially about important beliefs, might sound mentally and emotionally taxing. But, in a way, it’s less stressful than the alternative.

-- The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't (affiliate link)

another generation that goes dummy hard
Napoleon is often accused of being a quintessential warmonger, yet war was declared on him far more often than he declared it on others.

-- Napoleon: A Life (affiliate link)

right side up
upside down

Books reveal their simultaneous utility and uselessness by merely being flipped upside down. Symbols mean something because they register as something with meaning. This is not a mistake.

My overarching reaction to the evolution of the reading brain is surprise. How could a tiny set of token symbols flower in such a relatively short time into a full-blown writing system? How could a single cultural invention less than 6,000 years old change the ways the brain is connected within itself and the intellectual possibilities of our species? And then there’s a deeper surprise: how miraculous it is that the brain can go beyond itself, enlarging both its functions and our intellectual capacities in the process. Reading illuminates how the brain learns new skills and adds to its intelligence: it rearranges the circuits and connections among older structures; it capitalizes on the ability to commit areas to specialization, particularly pattern recognition; and it illustrates how new circuits can become so automatic that more cortical time and space can be allocated to other, more complex, thought processes.

-- Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (affiliate link)