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It's an Exciting World

The life and times of David Geisert

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Science

Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

This book had some really amazing points about the processes behind phsychological treatments and practices.  The best of which is how they don’t tend to follow the scientific practice, and how anyone can spout nonsense and get others to pick it up.  This was especially well demonstrated by the best seller “The Secret.”  In The Secret the reader is told that things are attracted to you when you think about them, which is absurd and doesn’t go into edge cases well.  The best way in my understanding to know if some process is real or fake is if the edge cases are appreciably addressed.  There is also the double blind controlled study, but that is hard to come by when dealing with people.

One of the things I’m taking away from this is that determining the story one thinks about oneself can drastically change the way one behaves.  This mantra can be applied to myself, or I can work on others by trying to change their story.  I do all the time with Steph to help her see how amazing she really is; that cute, ninja, scuba, sailor, geeky, robot-making, adventurous, kind woman.

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The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

I liked this walk through the periodic table, and it works well with the book Quantum.  I liked some of the smaller facts that they go into about the elements and how they were discovered.  I wouldn’t recommend this book to many people, but it is better than Quantum for all of those who aren’t looking for something specifically about physics.

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Boys Adrift: Factors Driving the Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

The book has a lot of interesting information about how the first world environment, specifically that in America is causing boys to become emasculated, slothful, and distracted.  He claims that the major factors influencing this are: endocrine disruptors, video games, stimulants for ADHD, teaching methods, and devaluation of masculinity.  I agree with most of these, and see how some of them have impacted me, and those that I know.  The focus of the book is the impact on men, but I think it can be said that the impact reaches to many women as well.  I know a good number of women who fall into the same category, the big difference being that they aren’t necessarily expected to make something of themselves, and being a housewife is sufficient.  I think housewives can be hard working and full jobs, like the way my mother approached it, but I see that as not being the norm.

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Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

This was interestIng history of the discovery of the atom and all the intermediate steps along the way.  They went into a lot of the personal and political relationships of the physicists.  These were all very interesting, especially around how stubborn some of them got around their ideas being correct.  There was also a good bit of peer pressure from the ‘best’ physicists on the less great ones.  It is amazing what lengths they all went through to prove very small ideas.  I was also amazed at the semantics that they argued about with the particle wave duality of matter.

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The Logic of Microspace: Technology and Management of Minimum-Cost Space Missions

This book was very interesting, and had a lot of great general advice for starting up small companies.  The end of the book was a really strange alternate reality, multiuniverse, what-if scenario of if space was more salient.  The story was kinda long for the points it was trying to make, but I agree with a lot of the message.  It was saying that we were sacrificing functionality for entertainment with consideration of the space race.  Nasa was spending tons of money putting people in orbit, when it could be spending fractions of that money to build massive satellite networks.  The book also talked about the KISS maxim that I try to prescribe to, Keep it Simple and Salient.  Most of the time it is read as Keep it Simple Stupid, but I like the Salient version better.

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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

This book had many good stories and facts about the effects of salt, sugar, fat, and marketing.  Something I found lacking in the book is any suggestions on plans of actions.  It kept saying that something had to be done, and giving small stories about parents moving against vending machines or corner stores.  There was no recommendation about how we can systematically change the factors that drive the salt, sugar, and fat phenomenon.  Except for that I think the book is very informative and has a good message.  I look forward to talking about it more in length with Steph when she finishes.

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Eating Animals

This is a very interesting book, and I liked the listen.  It goes into depth about the raising and slaughter of animals.  Factory farming vs. pasture farming.  How factory farming is pushing out any pasture farming they can.  It makes me think more about the mindfulness proposed by the Buddhist books i’ve been listening to.  This book is all about the mindfulness of eating.  It makes complete sense about how Buddhists have a strict vegetarian diet.  This is something that I’d like to be more mindful about, but it will be hard.  The book also makes a note about how the social nature of eating can make it hard to start doing anything mindful about eating.  If you say that you are not eating anything that comes from a factory farm, then people will have no idea how to meet your eating requirements.  If you simply say you are vegetarian then people will know how to meet your culinary requirements.  On the same point that it is hard to be around people and eat mindfully, it will make other people around you eat more mindfully if you do so.  The social impacts of the eating go both ways, and can have a critical mass.

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What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People

This book points out a lot of ways to determine if a person you are talking to is under stress, how to identify exactly what part of what you are saying is causing stress, and how to lead that to determining what the stress is about with regards to that part.  The author points out many times that the techniques will indicate stress much more than they will indicate deception.  Deception is only one thing that will cause stress.  The biggest thing the author says is an indicator is a change in behavior.  The behaviors themselves can be normal, even if they seem strange, but a change in a behavior is indicative of something no matter what kinds of behaviors are normal for a person.

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Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – And Keep – Love

While this book was very interesting, it was more about general interpersonal relationships than about specifically the intimate relationships.  That kind of thing is certainly encapsulated in the book’s message, it isn’t really the only thing it is about.  The book says there are 3 types of behaviors (really says people, but i think any person can show a type of behavior at any point).  The three behaviors are Anxious, Stable, and Distant.  I know I have exhibited all 3 at points.  The book talks about how to handle these types of behaviors, whether they are coming from yourself or from others.  It also says how to be happy with someone if they exhibit specific types of these behaviors more than others.  It bases most of the arguments it makes on the idea that the monogamous relationship is the foundation of social interactions.  From what I’ve read and come to believe, I’m not sure that is true.  That said, the book talks about interpersonal relationships, so the true message isn’t lost even if monogamy is not the basis of society.

Audible Link

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