Book Review: 48 Laws of Power

48 Laws of Power

By Robert Greene

★★★★☆ (Recommended) Read from April 10 to July 23, 2014

Amazon's Link: http://amzn.to/1Mh1gnv

This book is a very thorough collection of ancient wisdom that can apply to us today. With that said however, many of the knowledge that came with extreme examples really stem from an era of extreme survival requirements thus the points actually render more of a metaphor than a literal guide. For example, we wouldn't need to murder a classmate after we have made sure we're superior. Letting them live will not inspire revenge that may potentially claim our lives. In a time of war however, it is wisdom to do just that. This book requires the reader to analyze and translate the metaphors to our day-to-day applications, and one should not follow every word literally. It is an amazing book of insights overall, and I highly recommend it.

INFORMATION OR IMAGINATION

INFORMATION OR IMAGINATION

With the continuing advancement of CGI, the believability of our visions and imagination are more crystalized than ever before. Games and movies borrow this technology to bring us to worlds unimaginable.

Movies evolving from books is a powerful phenomenon. A book, consisted of only texts, has the power to bring readers into distant worlds. I’ve come to believe books have the capacity to exercise and force our minds to simulate experiences (acting, visual, voices, sounds, music and etc…) where movies and games cannot. Movies just doesn’t challenge or train our brain, but instead, they’re making informations easier to digest thus more entertaining.

Beat the House by Losing

Beat the House by Losing

To gamble is to donate to the Casino, an organization that exploits the greedy people. I used to play some 21 every time we go to Las Vegas, and I felt the dealers often make us feel we lose money because we didn’t play the game the right way. But my assumption is, their managers put those words in their mouth to evoke a sense of competitiveness, so we would keep on playing while blaming “luck”. The truth is, if you’re an expert at counting cards, you still only have a about 35-40% of winning chance at a large casino in Vegas. They win money either way.

DETERMINISM IN INNOVATION

DETERMINISM IN INNOVATION

Does environment inspire mental perceptions that dictate our behaviors in the most unconscious level?

I often like to play a thought experiment, which goes something like imagine the same room is now suddenly in Manhattan, New York. Imagine your outside to be a sand dune, tropical island, or an alien planet landscape to be extreme. The understanding of a location will yield an experience that affect our most unconscious psyche and thought patterns. Your prefrontal cortex will build a reality of its own borrowing your mental library of stereotypes, emotions, and understandings of such location even if you’ve never been to the place before. 

A FATHER'S MOTIVATION

A FATHER'S MOTIVATION

I often wonder…as a parent and as someone with ambition…how much more could I achieve in my career if I didn’t have any children. Turns out…much less.

Every now and then, Sheena’d bring our son to her parents’ for couple of weeks while I relive the single life. I welcome the idea, which ideally means much more time for my personal project, and that was almost never the case. Whenever they are gone, I’d wander around the house doing nothing. I didn’t watch the film I planned to watch, I didn’t play the games I planned to play, and I didn’t sleep earlier as I always wished.

UNDERSTANDING THE CREATIVE AND RATIONAL MINDS

UNDERSTANDING THE CREATIVE AND RATIONAL MINDS

Before college, education often emphasizes on literature, mathematics, history, science, generally all subjects that train the left side of the brain — the logical brain. I loved art in high school, but I didn’t receive the same amount of training on the subject as math or writing skills. My first day at an art college, I was deeply inspired: To be able to do art all day everyday, I began to notice I could focus, memorize and analyze much clearer on subjects that I usually had trouble with back in my high school years.

PASSION IS IN COMPASSION

PASSION IS IN COMPASSION

“What is my passion?” in my opinion, is the wrong question to ask though it seems most direct. What I believe we need to venture upon is what it is we can do for the world, what problem can we solve for the world. It is not some thing we do for ourself will be long lasting and fulfilling; it is what we can do for others will grant us the most intrinsic happiness.

Book Review: Einstein: His Life and Universe

Einstein: His Life and Universe

By Walter Isaacson

★★★★★ (Highly Recommended) Read from April 29 to May 06, 2014

Amazon's Link: http://amzn.to/1OoRnsq

I've had my own understandings and beliefs of who Einstein is according to TVs, movies and social references. Only when I finished the book, I realized he is a human like us, whose life also has its ups and downs. Walter Isaacson illustrated the life of Einstein from multiple sources including personal letters, diaries, press, family and peers. Einstein was a rebel, not entirely a very good father, hard working genius and someone who's a little arrogant at times. The book's title, His Life and Universe, is the perfect description of the book, which covers his life journey as well as how he arrived to the famous Theory of Relativity and later to his Unified Field Theory. This book is my first biography, and it has been a great read.

Book Review: Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational

By Dan Ariely

★★★★☆ (Recommended) Read in March, 2014

Amazon's Link: http://amzn.to/1ZioGCy

The author, Dan Ariely, is extremely creative at designing psychological experiments exploring the subconscious mind. We often do things and form beliefs based on the most unconscious influences in relation to our environment or events. One example experiment in the book observes the likelihood of students cheating on a test. The group that's asked to recall the 10 commandments before the test, pass the moral test. The takeaway is something invisible in our lives are dictating our behaviors, and this book will crack the code and yield you the power to understand why you make the decisions that you do and start making rational decisions. It makes us conscious to design behavioral changing pattern in the most subtle context. This book is highly recommended for all.

Book Review: The Power of Myth

The Power of Myth

By Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers

★★★★★ (Highly Recommended) Read from April 10 to May 01, 2014

Amazon's Link: http://amzn.to/1Mh1ET0

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers is a transcript of a video recorded interview taken place in Skywalker Ranch. This is a small book of immense knowledge of the future and the past. Joseph Campbell has transcended from being a literature analyst to a philosopher of life and religion. My first perception of the hero's formula was nothing short of a superficial money generating hype, until I read The Power of Myth, I came to understand that such generalization was in fact a crystallization, the ultimate desire of a human journey based on a vast foundation of mythologies told throughout the millenniums. Joseph Campbell contemplated and explained the very core of human nature with countless mythologies, religious texts and history references from different cultures around the globe. This book is a classic, a must read. 

IS PERSEVERANCE ENOUGH?

IS PERSEVERANCE ENOUGH?

Geniuses are not born but made. One must has passion to achieve greatness for effort is the road to mastery, not a sign of weakness.We’d often shift direction in life when we realize we’re not good at something.

In Mindset, Carol Dweck describes having a growth mindset will grant us limitless potential if we acknowledge the virtue of hard work. In her book, one example illustrates that Michael Jordan was rejected from his high school and college teams, then he was rejected again by the NBA. He eventually became the best basketball player in the world because his passion carried him to greatness.

COMMUNICATE THROUGH EMOTIONS

COMMUNICATE THROUGH EMOTIONS

For a baby, who has no concepts of anything, I had no idea how I was ever going to reach him or teach him to ever imitate our daily activities or any skill set of any sort. Over the years, I’m starting to pickup that my son doesn’t learn from my commands or any forceful gestures; he responds only to suggestions for tasks. 

MEASURING HUMAN

MEASURING HUMAN

If a war breaks out, the value of cash diminishes while of the value of gold rises because gold retains the value for exchange of goods after the war is over. Now, what happens if a planetary apocalypse took place instead? Suddenly, the value for precious metals once again decreases in the same manner as the value of natural resources rises.

Currency builds on top of its immediate predecessor: virtual currency on physical currency on rare metals on food on natural resources.

To lose patience is to lose the battle.
— Mahatma Gandhi