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Book Review – And Then I Thought I Was a Fish

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41q7rNZEWkLThis book is the amazing story of a guy (who from his writing seems very smart) that went for an acid trip, and almost never came back. It’s a story about how you can go crazy little by little without the people around you noticing, and suddenly it happens – and in most cases there is no way back. The current psychological/psychiatric system is not built to treat patients – it’s main (and sometimes only) job is to keep them nice and quiet so they don’t bother society:

It’s amazing how long you can run around doing crazy things before people catch up to you. The only people I fear in this world are psychopaths, because society has no defense against them. The famous ones kill dozens, sometimes hundreds of people, and these are just the sub-par psychos who need to be up close for the kill and have childhood issues. The rest of them are running nations and armies and businesses [my emphasis]. Psychopaths are better at all these things because they don’t care what happens to anyone around them

The author does a lot of introspection on what happened to him, and why it happened, creating enthralling tales of how the brain works, how it adapts. How loss of sleep can bring your consciousness out of control and make you believe anything. How belief is so ephemeral. And our brains are simply ill-equipped to handle so many things:

… many of the greatest minds in history have been working on mysteries like consciousness for millennia with no progress.. [and] we’re no more equipped to solve them than a rat is equipped to learn calculus – Given that the mind is a product of natural selection… it should have a mere ability to solve problems that are sufficiently similar to the mundane survival challenges of our ancestors. According to the saying, if you give a boy a hammer, the whole world becomes a nail. If you give a species an elementary grasp of biology, and psychology, the whole world becomes a machine, a jungle, a society. I will suggest that religion and philosophy are in part the application of mental tools to problems they were not designed to solve

Simply awesome. Go and read it.

Written by vainolo

September 4th, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Weekly Reading Summary – 07/03/2014

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Some very interesting non-technical material this week. But as you know, the biggest problem in software development is not technical, it’s human.

The Science of Failure: Why Highly Successful People Crave Mistakes
We are hard-wired to reject failures – rejecting them, having excuses, and simply ignoring them. But we should embrace failures, and learn from them all the time

Have i been pwned?
With millions of accounts being stolen all the time (Adobe, Snapshat, Gawker, Forbes), your account may have been compromised, without you even knowing it. This site helps you check if your account is one of the millions there. You can even subscribe to get updates when new attacks are found and your mail is part of the hacked accounts.

Do What Is Important
“we mistake urgency for importance. “Do this now” is easy to understand and follow, and if something’s urgent, shouldn’t it be done sooner than later?”, so we end up doing the urgent things, and missing the important ones.

Complaint-Driven Development
Doing Lean? Agile? Scrum? What you really want to do is CDD – Complaint Driven Development:

  • Get your software in front of as many real users as you can.
  • Listen to all the things they complain about. It will be… a lot.
  • Identify and fix the top 3 things people keep repeatedly complaining about.
  • Do it again.

Written by vainolo

March 7th, 2014 at 5:44 pm

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