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.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What is your biggest regret? Here are people’s devastatingly honest answers”

I went to Twitter and typed: “What is your biggest regret. Asking for a friend.” The response was huge.
Not bad things happening to you, or the way that life has punched you in the face: regret is a deep sorrow about something you did, or something you failed to do.
Career-choice regrets made me realise a pattern was developing regret seems most often to be about fear.
Perhaps less surprising, there was love: a few tweets from people regretting that they had declared their love and ended up having their heart broken, but many, many more regretting not being braver and not risking vulnerability – the regret of having been afraid.
Her tough life had been turned by her head into a personal failing and therefore a “Regret”.
Where there’s life, there’s clearly time to turn regret around.
Intriguingly, of all the replies, only two people mentioned money – one regretting a flat they hadn’t bought, one regretting a sale.
“I’m 54, no friends, or family, only 18 followers – the least on here – but I have everything I need. Biggest regret – not listening at school”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Returning to Second Life”

There’s no denying the cultural impact Second Life had during the brief height of its popularity.
Explaining Second Life today as a MMORG or a social media platform undersells things for the unfamiliar; Second Life became an entirely alternative online world for its users.
Second Life boasted 1.1 million active users at its peak roughly a decade ago.
According to Peter Gray, Second Life developer and Linden Lab’s senior director of global communications, Second Life’s monthly active user count today totals “Between 800,000 and 900,000.”
That profit largely comes from virtual goods transactions within the Second Life community, and these virtual goods are at the heart of what Second Life has become.
Curiously, something like the Amazonification of retail seems to have happened to Second Life, too.
The exceptions are big shopping events, which are in some sense Second Life analogues to Amazon Prime day, Black Friday, trade fairs, or seasonal Steam sales.
Iki Akari says that 10 years ago, “People would walk around and see what Second Life had to offer. Shopping was done primarily in ‘main stores,’ and the ability to meet other people exploring was a lot more easy than it is now.” Now, she says people buy their own land and stay in their own territory.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Imagining the Future Is Just Another Form of Memory”

Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia, because humans predict what the future will be like by using their memories.
The first clue that memory and imagining the future might go hand in hand came from amnesia patients.
Just as memories are more detailed the more recent they are, imagined future scenes are more detailed the nearer in the future they are.
The further into the future you try to imagine, the more unknowns there are, so people reach for these events.
In studies Bohn has done with adolescents, their conception of a script seemed to develop in parallel with their ability to remember the past and imagine the future.
As my colleague Adrienne LaFrance wrote, while Back to the Future II made a lot of canny predictions-it got videoconferencing and drones right-it also thought people would still be using pay phones and fax machines.
To the point that people “Always say future events are more important to their identity and life story than the past events.” Talk about being nostalgic for the future.
The future holds more surprises-and, potentially, more disappointments-than we might predict.

The orginal article.

Summary of “You can have two Big Things, but not three – @ASmartBear”

How much time do you have, regardless of partitioning?
From your 24-hour daily allotment, the 1950s-style break-down is 8 hours for work, 8 for home and commute, and 8 for sleep and ablutions.
“Work” and “Home” are the two things in which you can spend 40+ hours per week.
There are weekends and vacations and sick days and such, but those don’t add up to enough concentrated time to carry off something like a startup without causing work or home to suffer.
Of course “Work” and “Home” are just placeholders for “Big Things.” If you’re unattached, “Home” doesn’t occupy significant time.
The rule of life is: You can have two “Big Things” in your life, but not three.
Young kids strain marriages because there’s not enough time to invest in the kids as well as be there for each other.
That’s because cutting out sleep doesn’t work – then you can’t function at a high level at anything.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Having children is not life-affirming: it’s immoral”

Life is simply much worse than most people think, and there are powerful drives to affirm life even when life is terrible.
A robust life of 90 years is much closer to 10 or 20 years than it is to a life of 10,000 or 20,000 years.
If we are interested in the second question, we cannot answer it simply by noting that human life is as good as human life is, which is what employing human standards involves.
If we are to say that somebody’s life is not worth continuing, the bad things in life do need to be sufficiently bad to override the interest in not dying.
So the quality of a life must be worse in order for the life to be not worth continuing than it need be in order for it to be not worth starting.
The difference between a life not worth starting and a life not worth continuing partly explains why anti-natalism does not imply either suicide or murder.
If the quality of one’s life is still not bad enough to override one’s interest in not dying, then one’s life is still worth continuing, even though the current and future harms are sufficient to make it the case that one’s life was not worth starting.
The confusion between starting a life and continuing a life is not the only way in which life-affirmation clouds people’s ability to see that life contains more bad than good.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to spend your 20s to prevent regrets later in life”

If you take a look at Quora and Reddit, hundreds of people older and wiser than you have shared their best tips for living life to the fullest before you hit middle age.
“Don’t talk yourself out of doing things you want to do. Don’t let fear win. If you want to vacation in Europe, do it. If you want to talk to that hot girl/guy at the bar, do it. If you want to start your own business, do it. Getting to your 30s and having a string of regrets is going to haunt you.”
Park is right about successful people not being afraid to fail some, and therefore being more willing to take risks.
“Some people get the chance to see if their band could make it big or their business could skyrocket or their love of their life was moving to the other side of the world and wanted them to join. It’s scary to think about the life we know versus the one we don’t, and so often people drop these chances for no better reason than that they’re scared.”
So try out life in another country, or launch your business on a small scale and see how it goes.
“In the social media age, it is tempting to beat yourself up if your friends are getting married, having kids, and living a life of luxury. We each live our own lives. The only thing you’re going to do is hurt yourself.”
Redditor Rohri Calhoun says: “Don’t burn your bridges. Personal, work, whatever. There will be times when you will need to be amiable with people from the past for various reasons and the last thing you need is someone saying ‘F– that guy’ because of something petty or stupid that could have easily been avoided.”
Redditor Keetlady says: “Don’t get caught up in the cycle of buying expensive things to keep up with the Joneses and impress people. People in their twenties seem to want it all NOW. Don’t fall into that trap.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Unfathomable Power of Amor Fati”

At age sixty-seven, Thomas Edison returned home early one evening from his work for dinner with his family.
Fueled by the strange chemicals in the various buildings, green and yellow flames shot up six and seven stories, threatening to destroy the empire Edison had spent his life building.
Edison calmly but quickly made his way to the fire, through the now hundreds of onlookers and devastated employees.
Finding his son standing shellshocked at the scene, Edison would utter these famous words: “Go get your mother and all her friends. They’ll never see a fire like this again.”
Without fail, the crowds titter and laugh in disbelief at Edison’s line.
Within about three weeks of the fire, Edison’s factory was partially back up and running.
Despite a loss of almost one million dollars, Edison would marshal enough energy to make nearly ten million dollars in revenue that year.
The power of amor fati is that it doesn’t waste time, as Nietzsche was saying, wishing things were different, looking backwards or forwards, or through the history books to find out if what’s happening to you is fair.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How your blood may predict your future health”

“If you exactly knew somebody’s diet, exercise level, smoking habit or alcohol consumption, you would be about 30 to 40% likely to accurately predict how long they are going to live,” says Mel Bartley, professor emerita of medical sociology at University College London, who has dedicated her career to understanding the links between society and health.
By monitoring blood cholesterol levels in healthy people before they show any outward signs of heart disease, doctors can predict who is most at risk.
The resulting medical interventions, such as dietary changes and statin drugs, can demonstrably improve those people’s long-term health.
According to Kumari, “What’s happened historically is that social scientists have tended to measure health in a simple way – just asking people: ‘How do you rate your health right now?’ But we wanted to bring together the biology and the social science.”
“Then the gap starts to narrow again – there’s not so much difference between the lowest and highest socio-economic groups in later life, although of course the social inequalities are still there.” People in both groups end up with similar CRP readings by their mid-70s. The analysis suggested people in lower socioeconomic groups have a demonstrably longer exposure to chronic inflammation – with all its knock-on impacts on long-term health – even once the team corrected for the “Usual suspects” of health inequality, including diet and smoking.
“If you ask people about their health, you don’t really see differences early in life – people tend to become unhealthy later in life,” Kumari says.
“If you’re doing a stressful job and this impacts your health more compared to someone in a less stressful occupation, this is an important issue to consider from a public health perspective. Perhaps people in more stressful jobs should retire earlier.”
“We need to study people over their whole life course to find out if that early high CRP reading is fixed, and does high CRP at age 30 condemn someone to get sicker faster later on – or does their health outcome change if they improve their situation and lower their stress levels?”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Five Invitations: Zen Hospice Project Co-founder Frank Ostaseski on Love, Death, and the Essential Habits of Mind for a Meaningful Life – Brain Pickings”

“Death is our friend precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love,” Rilke wrote a generation later from the height of life.
This notion that death grants us a most singular and intimate perspective on life, much as love does, is what Zen Hospice Project co-founder Frank Ostaseski explores in The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully – a celebration of how the recognition that death comes to each of us, a recognition at once consolatory and conciliatory, brings us closer to one another and closer still to the innermost truth of our own being.
Such palpable awareness of death, he observes, vitalizes and clarifies life with tremendous power.
His most impassioned insistence is that we need not wait until we ourselves hover on the precipice of death in order to apply its clarifying force to how we live our lives.
In Japanese Zen, the term shoji translates as “Birth-death.” There is no separation between life and death other than a small hyphen, a thin line that connects the two.
Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment.
The habits of our lives have a powerful momentum that propels us toward the moment of our death.
Complement it with Oliver Sacks on death and the redemptive radiance of a life fully lived, psychoanalyst Adam Phillips on how Darwin and Freud shaped our relationship with death, these seven unusual children’s books about mortality, and Seneca on the key to resilience in the face of loss.

The orginal article.