What I am reading 📚
Last week I started reading Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. The book caught me by surprise 😶. I did not do any research on it before diving into it. My bad. I was expecting some sort of self-help book. Instead, it turned out to be the best book I’ve read this year.
At a high level, the book defines a set of rules to be used by community organizers. It can be thought of an instructions manual for political and social leaders. But it is much more than that.
The book is about radical realism and optimism. It is about understanding that the world we find ourselves in works in a certain way and that we must learn to work within it. We can’t afford to work in the world as we’d like it to be. That is just backwards. Understand this and you’ll have the courage and maybe the power to really change things.
My favorite passage from the book:
"If we think of the struggle as a climb up a mountain, then we must visualize a mountain with no top. We see a top, but when we finally reach it, the overcast rises and we find ourselves merely on a bluff. The mountain continues on up. Now we see the "real" top ahead of us, and strive for it, only to find we've reached another bluff, the top still above us. And so it goes on, interminably. Knowing that the mountain has no top, that it is a perpetual quest from plateau to plateau, the question arises, "Why the struggle, the conflict, the heartbreak, the danger, the sacrifice. Why the constant climb?" Our answer is the same as that which a real mountain climber gives when he is asked why he does what he does. "Because it's there." Because life is there ahead of you and either one tests oneself in its challenges or huddles in the valleys in a dreamless day-to-day existence whose only purpose is the preservation of an illusory security and safety. The latter is what the vast majority of people choose to do, fearing the adventure into the unknown. Paradoxically, they give up the dream of what may lie ahead on the heights of tomorrow for a perpetual nightmare - an endless succession of days fearing the loss of a tenuous security."
Nerd Corner 🤓
It’s been a few weeks since we talked about data. Data can be very powerful if used correctly and with the right tools. But as you might know, there aren’t that many good tools that aggregate data from all the smart devices that exist today.
Luckily, a friend recently recommended Gyroscope. This app is like the Apple Health app but on steroids 💉. It lets you aggregate data from a lot of different sources and generates useful plots and visualizations to keep track of you health, focus, time online and even build a history of places you visit. This last feature is one of my favorites. I can now keep track of new places I visit or restaurants that I discover and like 🐷.
Also interesting 🤯
This Ted talk about learning to live with discomfort is energizing.
This article about meat production gives some food for thought. Perhaps, if we stop buying industrial meat we can do something for the environment and still enjoy high quality beef 🥩.
If you feel that you’re too busy, read this blogpost by Benjamin Hardy.
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Until next week!