Weekly Review VI: Thinking like Nassim Taleb

Years ago, when I last read Chuck Klosterman, I noticed that my writing and thinking were beginning to mimic his. I copied his style, tone, and abstraction like a paint by numbers Thomas Kinkade. The same thing is happening now only with Nassim Taleb as I slowly work through Antifragile. I’ve tried to read it twice before but only after listening to half of it on audiobook and reading and listening to interviews of him, was I finally ready to dive into the book. Like a class that includes the 101 prerequisite, his books required a level of thinking I wasn’t prepared for.

These weekly reviews should be more consistent now that we’ve returned and settled from this:

What I’ve been reading.

Before starting Antifragile, which will occupy this spot of am reading, I finished the very good, The Fish That Ate the Whale. It was one of my three favorite books of the year and one I’ll share more from once I move my notes from the margins to Evernote.

I also read Stephen Johnson’s Everything Bad Is Good For You. I liked it more than I suspected, though the closing arguments could have used more oomph.

Besides books, I’ve been reading everything I can about Ryan Holiday’s commonplace book. In 2015 I’m going to use this system via Evernote.

What I’ve been listening to.

I’m behind on my notes for TheWaitersPad.wordpress.com and need to catch up the interviews that James Altucher conducts. Of recent note on his show; Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe had 3 good lessons he learned from Reed Hastings, Dave Asprey shared the Bulletproof method (I’m skeptical of it), Loretta talks about your happy chemicals, Alex Blumberg tells good stories about starting a business, and Dave Berg talks about working with Jay Leno for 18 years. Each guest was a strong reflection of their expertise, so if any sound interesting you will probably enjoy the episode.

Non-James podcasts that were good include the We Made a Mistake episode of Startup from the same Alex Blumberg as above.

David Plotz interviewed Craig Turk about writing TV shows. A crazy job that involves a lot of writing, rewriting, and thinking about what to eat.

What I’ve been working on.

A stoic book, a stoic book! Did I mention that I’m writing a stoic book? Rather than do 60% of some project, this is one I’m committed to finishing. (The other projects which have appeared in this slot are on a temporary back burner.) I’ve got 22 pages about applying stoic thinking as a father and am very happy with the structure. If you want an early copy, get in touch.


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