Mahamudra for the Modern World

Written on May 11, 2018. Written by .

This is a 38 hour long course on Mahamudra, which is a type of Tibetan Buddhism. It mixes dharma-style explanations with guided practice. The explanatory parts tend to be quite long-winded and sounded like rambling to me. He also didn’t seem very concerned about making them sound scientific as there was a hint of mystical […]

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High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way

Written on April 27, 2018. Written by .

Mike Mentzer was a world-class bodybuilder and this book explains his approach to bodybuilding. It appears that he had a very scientific approach, although the book doesn’t go into the science much, instead just stating the main points. Some of the big points are: go to failure on each set (excepting some cases like warmup […]

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Principles

Written on April 26, 2018. Written by .

Although a fairly dry read, I found this book valuable for providing a counterargument to some other management theories. Many people advise others to pick their battles and let people get away with being irrational if the decision is not obviously critical to the big picture. Furthermore, people often assume that this advice is objectively […]

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Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State

Written on August 13, 2017. Written by .

This book had more mystical and religious content than other books on this topic that I’ve read. Aside from a few good points which can be found elsewhere, this book wasn’t very helpful. ★★★★★

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Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen

Written on June 14, 2017. Written by .

I heard about Dzogchen from Sam Harris’ book Waking Up in which he said that it was the best form of Buddhism that he came across because it was the most direct and had the least religious distraction. Roaring Silence seems mostly consistent with that. The biggest thing I learned from this book was the […]

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The Ego Tunnel

Written on September 8, 2016. Written by .

This is a pretty deep book about the nature of consciousness. I sometimes found it hard to tell if what I was hearing was profound or obvious. I still don’t understand the central analogy with a tunnel: what specific properties of a tunnel map to specific properties of consciousness? I may have missed it, but […]

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Antifragile

Written on September 8, 2016. Written by .

Something is “antifragile” if it gains from disorder/uncertainty/randomness, as opposed to “robust” things that neither gain nor lose from disorder/uncertainty/randomness. I think this is an interesting concept that I hadn’t heard of or thought about before reading this book. Taleb discusses some ideas for how to apply the concept of antifragility to your life and […]

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Radical Acceptance

Written on September 8, 2016. Written by .

This book is about a Buddhist-inspired approach to self-acceptance. I got the feeling that I wasn’t really in the target audience because I couldn’t relate to a lot of the material. I can see how it might be helpful for others, but in the end I don’t think I got much out of it. ★★★★★

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Business Adventures

Written on September 8, 2016. Written by .

I read this book because I heard it was Bill Gates’ favorite business book. It is a collection of true stories about business events in the 1960s. The narration is quite detailed, sometimes describing the appearance of the scene and feelings of individuals. I found the stories pretty boring, partly because the stories are so […]

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Sapiens

Written on June 27, 2016. Written by .

This book talked about the human ability to collectively believe in ideas that are not necessarily true, but have important implications for society. For example, believing that fiat money has value is only true because so many other people believe it, but it is not objectively true because it would not have value under other […]

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