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This is truly one of the best readings, one of the three books I recommend everyone read (and re-read) every now and then.



Would you care to share the other two?


"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle and "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe (applicable to men mostly) contain lifetime lessons on mind and body management. "Principles" is very useful for mental models and just critical thinking (or, rather, structured self-doubting).


just went ahead and 1-click ordered Eckhart's book. I recall listening to the audiobook I torrented 4 years ago but never got to finish it.

I'm reading Principles.com and I'm blown away by how similar it is to my own model of the world but without the same confidence and experiences to back it up the way Ray did.

I think perhaps I was being too judgemental about Ray by reading the WSJ article. But to be fair, I'm constantly trying to grasp reality. Perhaps it's better to go in without strong opinions at all...#2017resolutions


Tolle is full of hand wavy pop psychology junk. At the end of the day Tolle is full of mashed up philosphies he mixed and matched until it tasted really sweet. What are you left with? A loosely defined mess that reads like so many other self help books. I am critical here but with good reason, this is like going shopping at the philosophy store and just buying candy. It comes off as blatantly anti reason in places too.

Read Epictetus, Aurelieus, Minsky (Society of Mind), GEB, even Thoreau. Get inside your thinking machine. Feelings are okay. Thinking is okay. Orient around what you will create. Learn to meditate a little. Read Tolle if you are set on it, but I say most thinking people are better off with more original sources that challenge and ask more of their readers.


Love your comment. Always enjoy contrarian views. I think it won't hurt to read Tolle but I've just ordered based on your suggestion:

The Enchiridion, Meditations, Society of Mind, Golden Braid. Left out Thoreau because that seems like a natural survivalist and it had 4/5 reviews on Amazon.

The only way I'll read books is if there's a monetary sunk cost. If I pirate ebooks, unless it's super essential, won't get around to reading it.


Nice! Walden is a classic. It is a very Stoic take on the world. Its okay to skip though :) GEB is a book I had to work through over the course of a year. Good luck in your reading and thinking adventures! I hope you come away with some new ideas about thinking and "being human".


I can't imagine a philosophy that isn't "a loosely defined mess" and still attempts to take on the true ambiguity and confusion of life.


Formal philosophy is pretty rigorous. Life philosophy not so much. It is a tool to understand the human context, that is why I listed Minsky. Life is not ambiguous, it simply is. The harder you try to interpret it to fit a narrative rattling around in your brain the more confused it may seem IMO. Understanding what can be reasoned about (Kant), and what "feelings" are is important to attempt. We are stuck with a certain mode of existence via evolution. I dunno, I think giving into this surface level crusing of this deep currents never lets you even glimpse a deeper intuition about being human and what we can know.




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