Browsing the Life category

Book Review – “But What If We’re Wrong” – by Chuck Klosterman

(No, this doesn’t fit the usual theme of entrepreneria / technology, which is why this is also labeled as “Life”.)
I just read the book , “But What If We’re Wrong”  – by Chuck Klosterman. I liked it, and recommend it.  It gives an interesting point of view on things, and makes you question “truths” in your life.  I found the following quotes interesting:
On being remembered by future generations:
“To matter forever, you need to matter to those who don’t care.  And if that strikes you as sad, be sad.” – Page 94
On the idea of an unlimited number of universes:
“Somewhere, in an alternate universe – there is a planet exactly like Earth, which has existed for the same amount of time, and where every single event has happened exactly as it has on Earth that we know as our own …  except on that Christmas Eve of 1962, John F. Kennedy dropped a pen.  And there is another alternative universe with a planet exactly like Earth, surrounded by an exact replica of our moon, with all the same cities and all the same people, except that – in this reality – you read  this sentence yesterday instead of today.  And there is still another alternative universe where everything is the same, except you are slightly taller.  And there is still another alternate universe beyond that one where everything is the same, except you don’t exist.  And there is still another alternative reality beyond that were a version of Earth exists, but it’s ruled by robotic wolves with a hunger for liquid cobalt.  And so on and so on and so on. In an infinite multiverse…” – Page 104
On being able to prove a truth: “Discounting those events that occurred within your own lifetime, what do you know about human history that was not communicated to you by someone else?” – Page 137
On, what I feel, the author is referring to ask about risk mitigation: “It would be pretty idiotic if I never left my apartment building, based on the remote mathematical possibility that a Komodo dragon might be sitting in the lobby.  If my new postman tells me his name is Toby, I don’t ask for state-issued identification.” – Page 239
An interesting question:
“If a problem is irreversible, is there still an ethical obligation to try to reverse it?” – Page 241
An interesting observation:
“We spend our lives learning many things, only to discover (again and again) that most of what we’ve learned is either wrong or irrelevant.” – Page 248.

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“Doing is everything”

From the James Altucher newsletter/blogpost:

“If all we needed was more information, then everyone would be a billionaire with perfect abs.” ~ Derek Sivers

It’s the DOING that’s difficult.

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Life Lesson – meaning of life – do what makes you happy

Not a “technical” lesson learned, but a life lesson. Copied from James Altucher’s blog post


There’s a fisherman who fishes all day, cooks the fish, eats with his family, plays the guitar with his friends, goes to sleep.

A Harvard MBA comes up to him and says, “you have a great business here. We can expand and sell fish into all the different markets, then franchise and manage a big business.”

The fisherman says, “Why would I want to do that?”

The Harvard MBA says, “well then in 20 years you can have an IPO.”

The fisherman says, “Why would I want to do that?”

The Harvard MBA says, “well then you would have millions of dollars. Imagine what you could do with that money!”

So the fisherman did imagine: he would wake up early, he would fish all day, he would cook the fish for his family, and then he’d go out and play the guitar with his friends.

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Not a “technical” lesson learned, but more of a life lesson –

 An experiment is conducted in which five monkeys were placed in a cage together with a banana hanging high on a rope outside the reach of the monkeys.  A step ladder was placed in the cage that would enable the monkeys to reach the banana.  Whenever one of the monkeys attempted to climb and reach for the banana, ALL monkeys were sprayed with freezing cold water.

After a few attempts, all the monkeys learned the association between reaching for the banana and the group collective punishment of being sprayed with freezing water.  There was no longer need for the water; no monkeys would attempt to reach the banana.

The researcher then replaced one of the five monkeys with a new monkey. The new monkey, not aware of the icy water treatment, tried to reach for the banana. Within a fraction of a second the other four monkeys attacked him again and again, until he no longer tried to reach the banana.  One by one, the monkeys who had experienced the original icy water treatment were replaced by a new monkey.  With the introduction of each new monkey, the other monkeys would attack him until he quit trying for the banana.

Eventually, the cage was populated by five new monkeys, none who had experienced the icy water treatment.  The experimenter then introduced a new monkey to the cage. When this monkey tried to reach for the banana, all five monkeys attacked him.

The story goes that even though none of these monkeys knew about the collective punishment of icy water, somewhat along the way they learnt that reaching for the banana is not allowed. They become the guardians of this rule without knowing its purpose.

Lesson: learn the origin of why you’re doing things; they may be out-dated.


I don’t remember where I first heard this, so I searched for it – the above version was copied from here

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