This is one of the most interesting books I have read in years, about one of the most interesting people currently living. Just that letter to employeeThis is one of the most interesting books I have read in years, about one of the most interesting people currently living. Just that letter to employees in Appendix 3 is well worth the price.
The book, I feel, complements and ties nicely into Zero to One by Peter Thiel which I also recently read and highly recommend, in that it shows probably the best currently available illustration of Thiel's theory about Definite and Indefinite Optimism.
I consumed the audio book (narrated by the author) in a day, actively looking to drive in the worst rush hour traffic to create time for listening.
TheI consumed the audio book (narrated by the author) in a day, actively looking to drive in the worst rush hour traffic to create time for listening.
They say you need to be yourself, open up and be vulnerable in order to make a real human connection. Don't know if this is who Tim really is, but I felt it. It's the best book I've read so far this year.
I copied the passages below from another review because almost all of them are the ones that stuck with me as well. Definitely recommended.
From The Czar's Daughter:
"Years ago a friend of mine and I used to frequent a market in Baltimore where we would eat oysters and drink Very Large Beers from 32-ounce Styrofoam cups. One of the regulars there had the worst toupee in the world, a comical little wig taped in place on the top of his head. Looking at this man and drinking our VLBs, we developed the concept of the Soul Toupee. Each of us has a Soul Toupee. The Soul Toupee is that thing about ourselves we are most deeply embarrassed by and like to think we have cunningly concealed from the world, but which is, in fact, pitifully obvious to everybody who knows us. Contemplating one's own Soul Toupee is not an exercise for the fainthearted. Most of the time other people don't even get why our Soul Toupee is any big deal or a cause of such evident deep shame to us but they can tell that it is because of our inept, transparent efforts to cover it up, which only call more attention to it and to our self-consciousness about it, and so they gently pretend not to notice it. Meanwhile we're standing there with our little rigid spongelike square of hair pasted on our heads thinking: Heh -- got'em all fooled!"
From Escape from Pony Island:
And yet whenever such a person appears in real life, our reflex is to join in with the mobs of scoffers and call them alarmists, hysterics, conspiracy freaks, and doomsayers. Nietzsche wrote, "One often contradicts an opinion when it is really only the tone in which it has been presented that is unsympathetic." Or, as The Dude put it: "You're not wrong, Walter - you're just an asshole."
From The Referendum:
One of the hardest things to look at is the life we didn't lead, the path not taken, potential left unfulfilled. In stories, those who look back - Lot's wife, Eurydice - are irrevocably lost. Looking to the side instead, to gauge how our companions are faring, is a way of glancing at a safer reflection of what we cannot directly bear, like Perseus seeing the Gorgon safely mirrored in his shield. It's the closest we can get to a glimpse of the parallel universe in which we didn't ruin the relationship years ago, or got that job we applied for, or made that plan at the last minute. So it's tempting to read other people's lives as cautionary fables or repudiations of our own, to covet or denigrate them instead of seeing them for what they are: other people's lives, island universes, unknowable.
From You Can't Stay Here:
We couldn't go on living like that forever; as the traditional last call has it: "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." One by one my old drinking buddies succumbed to the usual tragedies: careers, marriages, mortgages, children. And as my own metabolism started to slow, the fun:hangover ratio became increasingly unacceptable. Eventually a day comes when the lined, puffy, sagging face you see [in] the mirror when you're hung over does not go away, and you realize that it is now your actual face. The hangovers also acquired a dreadful new symptom of existential anxiety in addition to their more traditional attributes. Self-inflicted brain damage no longer seems so cool and defiant, nor wasting time so liberating. Squandering time is a luxury of profligate youth, when the years are to us as dollars are to billionaires. Doing the same thing in middle age just makes you nervous, not with vague puritan guilt but the more urgent worry that you're running out of time, a deadline you can feel in your cells.
From Averted Vision:
Perhaps the reason we so often experience happiness only in hindsight, and that any deliberate campaign to achieve it is misguided, is that it isn't an obtainable goal in itself but only an aftereffect. It's the consequence of having lived in the way that we're supposed to - by which I don't mean ethically correctly but fully, consciously engaged in the business of living. In this respect it resembles averted vision, a phenomenon familiar to backyard astronomers whereby, in order to pick out a very faint star, you have to let your gaze drift casually to the space just next to it; if you look directly at it, it vanishes. And it's also true, come to think of it, that the only stars we ever see are not the real stars, those blinding cataclysms in the present, but always only the light of the untouchable past....more
There are some chapters of history that are just better than any story imaginable. This is a phenomenal book about one of the greatest moments of WWII.There are some chapters of history that are just better than any story imaginable. This is a phenomenal book about one of the greatest moments of WWII. At the same time it is a musing about the writer's responsibility when using real historical figures. A really refreshing view in a world that sees nothing wrong with relinquishing all it's privacy for fear or even some entertainment.
I freakin' love Patagonia. Love their philosophy, the way they approach clothes manufacturing and environment protection. I'm also kind of addicted toI freakin' love Patagonia. Love their philosophy, the way they approach clothes manufacturing and environment protection. I'm also kind of addicted to their blog "The Cleanest Line"....more