Tag Archives: Writing

10 Ideas – June 4 2014

1. There is evidence that writing by hand helps people learn better than typing the same material. Is this because most people tested grew up writing and learning? If someone grows up typing instead of writing, will they be more creative on a keyboard than with a pen?
2. Buildings that don’t have elevators because everyone’s self-flying drone will take them wherever they need and drop them off at the floor on the outside of the building. Maybe there are stairs if you need to get from floor 12 to 15.
3. Similarities between a stained glass window and a swim suit – both can be around during a baptism? Swim trunks with a stained glass design would look cool.
4. Books are currently the best way to convey long, complex ideas. They’ve been around since we could write. What will replace them? The computer chip implanted in your brain?
5. Tables with wireless chargers built in so your laptop wouldn’t need a charger at cafe or library.
6. Competitor to comcast and time warner crowd-sourced from the internet to sidestep all the net neutrality bullshit. Could take a while to set up, but could start locally in cities, could even be funded by city governments because they can actually get things done.
7. It’s common to see rivers next to power lines. A small durable device, that can connect to a transformer and provide a little power to the grid.
8. I had a penpal in 8th grade. A service that sets you up with a skype pal across the world.
9. A cash rich company that digitizes the DMV and gets paid over 10 years with the money that is saved by streamlining the process.
10. High school class on emotional intelligence that teaches men about women and women about men so we all at least have an idea of how to treat each other well as we grow up. Confront everyone’s social anxieties and questions in a way that is challenging but safe.

Use Your Power For Good With These Four Books

“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires.”     The Prince, Niccoló Machiavelli

If you want to use power for good, start with these four books. They’ll arm you with knowledge on correctly challenging yourself, protecting yourself against other people’s power, and amassing power of your own. 

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – Like 9/11, you’ll always remember where you were when you first started reading this book.  Pressfield explains the switch from living like an Amateur to living like a Professional by illuminating the universal force of the Resistance. The Resistance is what keeps you from doing to work that is truly challenging, it’s what keeps you in an unfulfilling relationship, and it’s what makes you say, “I’ll start (whatever excites you and you know you should do) tomorrow.”

48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene – Read this you will be able to defend yourself against other people’s power, you’ll see what’s coming around the corner, and you will know learn how to use power to get what you want. This is politics, people, red herrings, cunning, navigating the real world and picking out people’s true motivations. This book has helped me avoid countless blunders.

Mastery by Robert Greene – I wish I had this when I first started college. Greene dissects the stories from many masters, alive and dead, to reveal a relatively clear path to becoming a master. The overall lesson is that mastery comes from constantly being creative and pushing yourself. But he also tells the stories of potential masters who lose it all through complacency, arrogance, and ignoring social mores.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser – You will need to communicate through writing at some point, and the better you are the more influencial you’ll gain. The main takeaways here are that everyone’s first draft is terrible and that powerful communication comes from cutting the fluff out of your writing. Think of this Winston Churchill Quote “Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.” Another useful article on writing here

It never hurts to be prepared. Obviously these books are not silver bullets for real life but they’re a good investment. What books have been most helpful to you?