Sunday Wisdom No. 48
A private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones.
Hope you’ve had a nice week.
It’s the time for your weekly dose of multidisciplinary reading to upgrade your thinking and decision making skills. If you’re enjoying Sunday Wisdom, share it with a friend! And if you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time, you can subscribe here.
📝 What I Wrote
Antilibrary: Why What You Don’t Know is More Valuable Than What You Know
An ideal library should be filled with more unread books that read ones. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes, “A private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allow you to put there.”
🤞 Unpopular Opinion
I’ve always believed that you can be anything you want. But the more I’ve thought about it, I’ve come to believe it’s not true. It has limitations. You cannot be anything you want. You might be anything you are good at—as long as it pays your bills.
What I’m going to say won’t sound nice, but it’s practical. Go for a career that may not be your passion, but earns a good income.
This is less about money, and more about freedom. A low-income passion isn’t for the long haul. It would be foolish to follow something if it doesn’t pay enough. Especially when you have a family—parents, siblings, spouse, kids—depending upon you. It’s both irrational and irresponsible.
Take care of the basics first: fooding, clothing, and housing. Once you get bored with that, focus your passion on the side. Once your passion starts paying for your basics, consider doing it full-time. Doing otherwise won’t get you very far. I know because I’ve tried it. Twice. Retrospectively, it was extremely foolish. Don’t be foolish.
📑 I Enjoyed Reading
The Man Who Never Left Habbo Hotel — “On 9 July 2003, a 13-year-old James (now a 30-year-old local government worker in the North West of England) logged on to Habbo.co.uk and created the digital alter ego that he would maintain for more than half of his life.”
Feeling Unproductive? Maybe You Should Stop Overthinking — “In order to get something done, maybe we need to think less. Seems counter-intuitive, but I believe sometimes our thoughts can get in the way of the creative process.”
How Iceland Got Teens to Say No to Drugs — “Curfews, sports, and understanding kids’ brain chemistry have all helped dramatically curb substance abuse in the country.”
📚 A Book Worth Reading
Usually when I like a book I tell about it to everybody I meet. On certain occasions I like a book so much that I recommend it to others over and over again. This is one of those.
Come As Your Are is a women sexual health book written for women. But it’s a must-read for men as well. Even though it’s branded as a sexual health book with a misleading subtitle “that will transform your sex life,” it is sooo much more than that.
It talks about sexual health, yes, but also about psychology, physiology, sociocultural problems, stereotypes, neuroscience, mental health, and more. It’s an essential read for all women (and men) who have been taught all the wrong things about sex. How men and women are different beings, and they respond differently to sex. How unlike men, sex is more about context for women. How pleasure is more about the brain than the genitals. How we have accelerators and brakes when it comes to arousal. And most importantly, how all of us are perfect in our own unique way. There’s no such thing as normal—or rather, that we’re all normal. We’re all made of the same parts as everyone else, organised in a unique way. No two alike. Emily Nagoski drives this message home beautifully.
I am done living in a world where women are lied to about their bodies; where women are objects of sexual desire but not subjects of sexual pleasure; where sex is used as a weapon against women; and where women believe their bodies are broken, simply because those bodies are not male. And I am done living in a world where women are trained from birth to treat their bodies as the enemy.
Guys and girls, go read it. It’s an eye opener. If you aren’t a sex educator, and if you don’t actively read about the science behind sex (novels and magazines don’t count), you dunno anything about it.
📹 I Enjoyed Watching
Creature Discomforts: Life in Lockdown — This film highlights the plight of wild animals in captivity through reflections on the global COVID-19 lockdown.
(Confused) Thoughts on an Unsticking Technique — Ze Frank’s on how to get unstuck. His ‘Triple S’ technique is useful for all writers who need a little structure to get past an empty page.
Why Finland Has The Best Education System in The World — “A segment on the approach to education in Finland from Where To Invade Next by Michael Moore. It’s a great footage showing how education works in Finland.”
🤔 Worth Thinking About
The most important form of selfishness involves spending time on your fitness, eating right, pursuing your career, and still spending quality time with your family and friends. If you neglect your health or your career, you slip into the second category—stupid—which is a short slide to becoming a burden on society.
— Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
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