Fun books this year! Hope you find something you like too!

Below I copied over my reviews in chronological order from Goodreads so they are easy to see in one place. Two 10/10s this year — one about drugs and another about capitalism xD

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory
by David Graeber

Illuminating, provocative and brilliant! I just loved reading this book for connecting so many different concepts on so many levels, while being thoughtful and proactive with the possible critique.

In general, I had a very hard time disagreeing with anything in the book. I am too surprised we…

For the last eight years, while reading anything non-fiction, from books to news, I’ve been using the tool that my professor of macroeconomics taught us, though it really should be taught in school during the language classes.

It’s very simple. The idea is to always split the text into the assumptions, facts hypotheses, and conclusions, just like you would split a sentence into object/action/subject/qualifiers. It’s a sign of a good writer if they clearly separate the facts and assumptions from hypotheses and inferences. …

Just about everyone has heard that history of coin tosses does not change the odds of the next toss (though, understandably, some have a hard time trusting it). Yet in just about any behavioral psychology book, you will find a “regression to the mean” phenomena, which with its “given an outstanding performance, chances are the next one will be much worse” seems to directly contradict the Gambler’s fallacy prescription. How could that be?

Well, regression to the mean is really just a special case (or corollary) of the Gambler’s fallacy. The confusion easily arises from looking at the wrong variable.

The cognitive dissonance from these two contradictory rules was teasing me ever since I could remember because each rule individually makes so much sense. Finally the dots connected. Curious? Read on!

Like many, I easily fall into the trap of treading around to improve ever so slightly something that is already good enough. I usually enjoy it, and the time flies while I stay in flow. It was only after I started working professionally it became obvious to me that Pareto principle really does rule the business world: you spend 20% of the effort on 80% of the result, and…

Today I felt an immense feeling of happiness from… the fact that I was able to limp!

Sprained my mid foot four days earlier I could not put any weight on it until today, which meant I was just hopping around to get stuff. Turns out four days is enough to drill down internally that it is a new norm. And so today I was incredibly happy when realized it almost does not hurt to slowly limp around the room!

What that teaches us it the obvious Buddhist’s “happiness comes from within”, which to me is not satisfactory by itself…

As we were driving down the beautiful four lane CA85 highway back home from Santa Cruz last Saturday night I could not help but wonder: what an incredible insight people had back in the mid 20th century that it should become a commodity, a right even, for a regular person to be able to just hop in their car and drive where ever they want, at a whim. It is liberating to get from your home to a beach, a mountain, or a national park, in one direct shot, comfortably. …

Time is scarce, books are many, what do I read? Here is my list of 2019, I hope you can find something you like!

1. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
10 out of 10

Illuminating! This should be taught in schools, as it affects everyone in so many ways. Not sleeping enough leads to weakened immune response, overeating, being overweight, fatigue, higher likelihood of just about every disease, including mental ones.

Author also gives some practical tips on how to fall to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. Some things are a bit overly dramatic, e.g. …

Our freshmen year math professor told us on the first lecture: in university, you are not going to focus on learning the practical skills — there are trade schools for that — you are going to learn how to learn (meta learning!), because while everything else is going to change during your life, one thing is constant: the ever changing world which requires constant learning to stay relevant.

After 10 years of learning how to learn I want to believe I became decent at it, and one thing I notice that distinguish someone who learns effectively from someone is less…

You can’t reach success without showing up. It’s not sufficient, but it is required, and often everything else follows.

This year I went on two campuses. In Florida, in this smallish private school I was on official Google expansion mission to help underrepresented schools’ students to get the first hand knowledge about how to get hired into good companies. It was just amazing that while this event was totally free, offered food and drinks, was on Thursday night — in other words absolutely no excuses to show up — only so many students came. Why not? I surveyed a few…

All hotels suck alike; each awesome AirBnb is awesome in its own unique way!

Who uses hotels anyways? Why?

I can only think of several corner cases:

  • Beach — often no Airbnbs there
  • Last minute motel
  • One night only — easier to check in into a hotel

In every other way a properly chosen Airbnb is strictly superior option. Plus, arguably (and I am of that opinion), Airbnb is good for the community.

Alex Salo

What's life without a little adventure?

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