Summary of “Consciousness Began When the Gods Stopped Speaking: Julian Jaynes’ Famous 1970s Theory”

Julian Jaynes was living out of a couple of suitcases in a Princeton dorm in the early 1970s.
In the beginning of the book, Jaynes asks, “This consciousness that is myself of selves, that is everything, and yet nothing at all-what is it? And where did it come from? And why?” Jaynes answers by unfurling a version of history in which humans were not fully conscious until about 3,000 years ago, instead relying on a two-part, or bicameral, mind, with one half speaking to the other in the voice of the gods with guidance whenever a difficult situation presented itself.
Jaynes emerged after three years, convinced that animal experiments could help him understand how consciousness first evolved, and spent the next three years in graduate school at Yale University.
Consciousness, Jaynes tells readers, in a passage that can be seen as a challenge to future students of philosophy and cognitive science, “Is a much smaller part of our mental life than we are conscious of, because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of.” His illustration of his point is quite wonderful.
The picture Jaynes paints is that consciousness is only a very thin rime of ice atop a sea of habit, instinct, or some other process that is capable of taking care of much more than we tend to give it credit for.
Eric Schwitzgebel, a professor of philosophy at University of California, Riverside, has conducted experiments to investigate how aware we are of things we are not focused on, which echo Jaynes’ view that consciousness is essentially awareness.
Dennett, who has called The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind a “Marvelous, wacky book,” likes to give Jaynes the benefit of the doubt.
It’s a credit to Jaynes’ wild ideas that, every now and then, they are mentioned by neuroscientists who study consciousness.

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Summary of “27 books that can change your life forever”

“Amazon synopsis:”This classic poetry collection, which is both outrageously funny and profound, has been the most beloved of Shel Silverstein’s poetry books for generations.
“I almost never reread books, but I’ve returned to this one over the years. It’s about high schoolers, but it’s relatable no matter where you are in life. It shows how dark and harsh the world can be, but also that there are good things and good people if you stop to appreciate them. Something about that dichotomy leaves me stuck on this book no matter how many times I’ve read it.” -Emmie Martin, Your Money reporter.
Amazon synopsis: “In ‘I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This,’ [White] shares her secrets to success. A witty, wise, straight-talking career guide for women, ‘I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This’ is the perfect book for the current economic climate, whether you’re just starting out, re-entering the workforce after maternity leave, or simply looking for a career change; essential tips and bold strategies from a gutsy innovator who helped increase Cosmo’s circulation by half a million copies per month.”
“A word of mouth phenomenon since its first publication, ‘The Power of Now’ is one of those rare books with the power to create an experience in readers, one that can radically change their lives for the better.”
This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer – brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti – blasts through convention to get results.
At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope, and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb ‘Beyond mountains there are mountains’: as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too.
“The book follows observant ‘wallflower’ Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.”
“My parents first read ‘Love You Forever’ to me when I was 3 or 4 years old, and I’ve probably reread it a thousand times since. The sentimental children’s book taught me a few important lessons about life and death, the unbreakable bond shared between a parent and their child, and, perhaps most important, a lesson about the existence of unconditional love … all of which changed my life in important ways. My younger self found much comfort in knowing that the love my parents had for me as a child, and I for them, was not something anyone could ever outgrow.” -Jacquelyn Smith, careers editor.

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Summary of “How And Why To Keep A “Commonplace Book””

Well, the commonplace book is a thread that runs through all those ideas.
What is a Commonplace book?A commonplace book is a central resource or depository for ideas, quotes, anecdotes, observations and information you come across during your life and didactic pursuits.
Some people have gone as far as to claim that Pinterest is a modern iteration of the commonplace book.
What’s the point of that? Your commonplace book, over a lifetime, can accumulate a mass of true wisdom-that you can turn to in times of crisis, opportunity, depression or job.
A commonplace book is a way to keep our learning priorities in order.
Try a Google Books search for “Commonplace Book”-there is great stuff there.
Use them!Look, my commonplace book is easily justified.
I’ve been keeping my commonplace books in variety of forms for 6 or 7 years.

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Summary of “The Secret to Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Overnight Success”

This month, the novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen was awarded one of the most prestigious honors a writer can receive: the MacArthur “Genius” grant, given to artists, thinkers, and public intellectuals whose ideas have culture-altering potential.
In this interview, he opens up about a period of his life that’s been mostly overlooked: the two decades he spent trying, and mostly failing, to write fiction, working in secret while he juggled a host of other responsibilities.
Joe Fassler: Your public life as a novelist has really only been about two years long - but I’ve read in interviews that writing fiction was important to you for many years before that.
Viet Thanh Nguyen: I started writing fiction semi-seriously when I was in college.
There’s something about writing that, to me, is much more exhausting than office work, for example, or academic work, which I can do eight hours a day or more.
Writing is only partially about the external rewards of publishing a book - even only partially about the external manifestation of the book itself.
If it’s coming out of that deep need, then the sacrifice will be worth it - because, I think, through the act of writing, you learn something about yourself.
The whole idea about spirituality being necessary as a way of disciplining yourself, and separating yourself from the world of tempting vanities that is so tempting: I think that applies to writing as well.

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Summary of “25 Secrets From the World’s Most Frugal Frequent Travelers”

Don’t just ask me: I’ve asked the hardcore travel community to share their own travel secrets.
If researching transport and accommodation is too time consuming, she says: outsource it! “The travel hackers over at Flightfox take the legwork out of finding the cheapest/best flight options and can save you masses of time, and I use Fancy Hands to do all my initial travel research.”
The Travel Hacking Cartel, that is! Take the pain out of searching for frequent flyer mile deals by subscribing to a service that sends you timely alerts.
Packing is a hot topic in the travel community! When you live out of your luggage, you need to have a system.
Traveling with carry-on luggage only is liberating, and don’t tell me it isn’t possible: I now travel full-time with carry-on only.
Alexandra Jimenez of Travel Fashion Girl also roams the world full time with carry-on luggage only, attributing her success to packing cubes.
Although we all love travel, few of us like the actual traveling part of it, which can be fraught with delays and annoyances.
Here are some secrets to hedge against theft, illness, and travel fatigue.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Astronaut Scott Kelly’s book is the closest you’ll get to space”

“Slightly burned, slightly metallic” is how former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly describes it in his new book Endurance, about his year in space.
In his autobiography, which comes out October 17th, Kelly talks about his journey from “Blue-collar New Jersey” to NASA to the ISS. His childhood – marred by an alcoholic father and what Kelly says today would be diagnosed as ADHD – is the typical tale of “Boy of modest means works hard to accomplish his dream, and it pays off.” Except in Kelly’s case, that dream didn’t come until he was 18 and a freshman in college, when he was assigned to read The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe.
The book, about the first pilots who went to space, gave Kelly his calling: to a be a naval aviator.
As compelling as his life story is, including dangerously landing an F-14 on an aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea during a sandstorm, the most captivating parts of the book come when Kelly describes the time he spent preparing to launch, or the time he spent in space.
So before rocketing to space, Kelly had to do the same.
Kelly’s descriptions of what it’s like to live on the ISS – including getting headaches because of high carbon dioxide levels – are probably the closest most people will ever get to experiencing zero gravity.
To feel better about himself during his year in space, Kelly flipped through a book about Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica, where his ship Endurance was crushed by ice.
The book ends with Kelly returning to Earth in a Soyuz capsule in March 2016, which he describes as “Fucking medieval.” He says his body felt fine upon being thrust back into gravity.

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Summary of “Philip Pullman Returns to His Fantasy World”

Pullman could never bear the heavy Christian moralizing in “Narnia,” but he objected most of all to Lewis’s censorious judgment of his own characters, such as Susan, the second oldest of the Pevensie children, who is excluded from Narnia after indulging in “Nylons and lipstick and invitations.” In Pullman’s world, the children are allowed to grow up.
“La Belle Sauvage,” the first volume of Pullman’s next trilogy, “The Book of Dust,” will be published on Oct. 19.
Letters can reach him – like the one fixed to his fridge – addressed to “Philip Pullman, Famous Author, Oxford.” He has won shelves of awards, including the 2005 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize, the world’s most lucrative prize for children’s literature, worth more than $600,000.
“The range and depth of his imagination and of his learning certainly make him the Tolkien of our day, there’s no question about that.” But Pullman can, at times, betray a surprising lack of self-assurance.
There had been another recent transformation: A ponytail that used to lurk around the nape of Pullman’s neck was severed by Judith, his wife of 47 years, minutes after he wrote the last sentence of the second volume of “The Book of Dust.” “It was like Samson,” he said.
Every day from roughly 10 until 1, Pullman sits at his desk in a monkish study at the top of the house and produces three pages, longhand.
The magic bits consist of a piece of scientific apparatus used in the search for dark matter, a magnifying glass and his “Special pen.” Pullman has three special pens – Montblanc ballpoints – one in his study, one in his bag and one on the table downstairs for letter writing and signing books that people bring to his door.
Pullman likes to inhabit such contradictions: a man who doesn’t believe in God but does believe in magic.

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Summary of “John Green Tells a Story of Emotional Pain and Crippling Anxiety. His Own.”

“Turtles All the Way Down” is an emotionally fraught project for Mr. Green, whose young adult novels are beloved for their quirky humor and sharp, sensitive teenage protagonists.
Mr. Green, 40, who lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Sarah Urist Green, and their two children, Henry, 7, and Alice, 4, is one of the publishing industry’s biggest stars, and over the past decade, he and his brother Hank have built an online video business with 16 educational shows that have collectively drawn more than two billion views on YouTube.
With “Turtles All the Way Down,” Mr. Green tried to bridge the language barrier by bringing readers inside Aza’s consciousness, subjecting them to her anguished obsessions.
On Monday, Mr. Green started his book tour with an event in Manhattan, where more than 100 fans gathered to see him and his brother put on a variety show of sorts.
Mr. Green apologized for the slapdash quality of the performance – it was a rehearsal – then read passages from his novel that describe Aza’s debilitating fear about the wound on her finger.
Mr. Green started and abandoned several novels.
Hank Green said that when he first read the novel, he felt like he understood for the first time what it must feel like to live with obsessive compulsive disorder: “Even having a brother who deals with OCD, I never really got it until I read the book.”
In the book’s acknowledgments, Mr. Green thanks his doctors and notes how fortunate he is to have a supportive family and mental health care that many don’t have access to.

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Summary of “9 Recommended Books That Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett Think You Should Read”

Bill Gates reads about 50 books every year, Mark Cuban reads three hours every day, Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read 24 books in a year, and Warren Buffett spends 80 percent of his day reading.
Having said that, perhaps like you, I like to learn and improve my skills as a leader, so I’m always curious about what the most successful entrepreneurs on the planet are currently reading or recommending for reading.
BookAuthority provides endless recommendations from hundreds of leaders such as Gates, Branson, Buffet, Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Cook and company, giving voracious readers a personalized reading list tailored just for them.
Here are 3 top recommendations by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos, straight from BookAuthority.
As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as President Barack Obama’s secretary of the Treasury, Geithner takes readers behind the scenes of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, explaining the hard choices and politically unpalatable decisions he made to repair a broken financial system and prevent the collapse of the Main Street economy.
Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors, this is considered an innovation classic.
Listed #1 on Buffett’s recommended reading list, this book details the extraordinary success of eight individualistic CEOs who took a radically different approach to corporate management.
After four decades spent ascending to the top of the investment management profession, Marks distills the investing insight of his celebrated client memos into a single volume and, for the first time, made his time-tested philosophy available to general readers.

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Summary of “Kazuo Ishiguro, a Nobel Winner Whose Characters Are Caught Between Worlds”

Ishiguro is best known for his third novel, “The Remains of the Day”, which is related from the perspective of Stevens, a punctilious English butler.
Ishiguro’s fluid command of Stevens’s idiom never faltered.
Ishiguro – his friends call him Ish – became a public figure in 1989, but to anyone paying attention he seemed to have arrived fully formed as a writer.
Several of Ishiguro’s novels feature artists as their protagonists, but his work will not be pinned down in terms of genre and setting.
James Wood said it “Invented its own category of badness.” Even Ishiguro’s better novels have slack moments, when a certain flatness of phrase can creep in.
Ishiguro tinkered again with genre in “Never Let Me Go,” a slice of dystopian science fiction about children raised so that their organs can be harvested.
What links Ishiguro’s disparate novels is his voice, which is abstemious yet oddly lush and possessed of gyroscopic balance.
“If you mix Jane Austen and Franz Kafka, then you have Kazuo Ishiguro – but you have to add a little bit of Marcel Proust into the mix, and then you stir, but not too much, and then you have his writings,” said Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy.

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