Animated Book Review of Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Ben Goldacre is one of my current favorite authors. In Bad Science, he looks at flaws within industries and different entities: supplements, pharma, research, ‘alternative’ and ‘natural’ non-sense, and so on. So, he doesn’t take sides. In fact, I’d better say his argument is in favor of developing good thinking skills to be able to spot deception; skills in stats, maths, and psychology to name a few. I think it’s in each other’s power to become knowledgeable of human irrationality.

Should you decide to self-educate, you may be more prepared in avoiding being deceived. It’s not that all these entities should seek your betterment; afterall, most of them are for-profit, so it’s in their best interest to maximize their financial gains, even if it has to do with exploiting your gullibility. Anyway, more soft-rant in the video:

Anything you Want – by Derek Sivers [Animated Book Review]

In his book, Anything you Want, Derek Sivers makes the case for simplicity. Cutting all the unnecessary clutter and getting to the essence of things may make a happier personal life and a business more successful. Here are some of my take-away messages from the book.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss – Animated Book Review

I decided to make an animated review of the first section of Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans. The following are some of my key take-away messages from this part of the book.

Insights from the 105 Books I read in 2016 – [On Self-Education]

reading

Introduction

I read and listened to 105 books in 2016, which is ~20 more books than in 2015. I have no intention to set another PR in 2017 because reading is not a marathon for me. I enjoy the process and I don’t speed read.

I attribute my ability to go through so many books in 2016 to prioritization, and not to increasing the speed with which I go through the books. In fact, I think I’m a slow reader, and I don’t mind that.

The majority of the books I read were non-fiction: textbooks, biographies, computer programming and other science related books.

I do most of my reading on my tablet. I have a nice app and a stylus-pen that make the experience of reading extremely enjoyable. When I’m in NYC, I mostly read paper books that I borrow from NYPL. I explained this here.

William Banting’s Weight Loss Experiment [1864] – My Notes

notes-from-bantings-weight-loss-experiment-1

This short and free read, I’d recommend getting your hands on it immediately; you’re given a clear description from William Banting himself (1796 – 1878) about how he went from obese to normal weight in a matter of months. He was ~67 years old at the time of his n=1 personal experiment…

Here I’m going to share some of the notes I’ve taken from Banting’s booklet – that details his journey -, a writing he dedicates to the public at large, “entirely from an earnest desire to confer a benefit on my fellow creatures.” [1]

You can read it for free here.

30 Health and Fitness Books – Free Bundle

30-health-and-fitness-books-free-bundle

You have to subscribe to Buckbooks’ email list (not mine)! The promo is on for 3 more days (ends circa Nov. 10, 2016).

If you’re on my email list, you already know about this promo as I broadcasted a message immediately it became available. If you’re not on my list and didn’t know about this, listen up.

I joined forces with a dozen plus authors and we give our books for free – 30 in number. This bundle is available via Buckbooks who made this possible. To get the bundle you have to sign-up (for free) to their list. Once that’s done, wait for the email. Here are a few titles from the bundle:

What I’ve Been Reading Recently – My Bookshelf #10

Reading a book at the beach

Intro

I read more than 70 books this year (as of August 2016). I don’t speed read. I allocate sufficient time every day to ‘parse’ books. I mostly read non-fiction. Some of the books are in audio format. Obviously I do not listen to textbooks and programming books. I choose the audio format for the non-technical and more practical ones.

My current interests: genomics, bioinformatics, machine learning, and human irrationality.

Additionally, for knowledge acquisition, I also:

– read research studies
– listen to interviews
– watch lectures and seminars
– take online courses

You can find all past book/reading related posts: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 and #9

Current philosophy:

The more I read, the more I realize the little I know.
Reading is not a hobby; it is part of my daily routine.
I avoid being superficial. I don’t want to skim through the books I read.
I read 7-10 books at a time.
I think that with practice I’ve been able to develop the skill of reading faster (!=speed reading).

The Priming Effect – Your Thoughts, Friends, Environment = Future You

The Priming Effect - Your Thoughts, Friends, Environment = Future You - 2

Introduction

With my head stuck into Thinking Fast and Slow, the voluminous book by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, I started becoming more familiar with the field of behavioral economics. Kahneman discusses extensively about cognitive biases and automatic (unconscious) mechanisms that drive human behavior (unconscious to you and me of course – unless you are actively aware of them).

Such mechanisms may allow deceitful/scheming/manipulating entities to exploit us for different purposes.

Other biases may provide rationale behind personal development babble. One of them, the focus of this write-up, is the priming effect. It caught my interest and it made me read a few scientific papers about it. Over the last few decades the priming effect has received a cocktail of appraisal and criticism on behalf of the research community.

In short, “priming is an implicit memory effect in which exposure to one stimulus (i.e., perceptual pattern) influences the response to another stimulus.” (more)

Step-wise Approach to Improve your Thinking Skills – 7 Books

Stepwise Approach to Improve your Thinking Skills - [7 Books]

Most of us assume we are reason-driven creatures; we assume we hold the power to each and every decision we make; we assume we are highly cognitive. I know I lived my life with these automatic assumptions until not so long ago. But as I learned more about the way our brain works physiologically and as I became aware of its inborn flaws and fallacies I gradually stepped away…

Daily life is mostly driven by habits. Little consideration is put to active, careful decision making. Metacognition (thinking about thinking) is something that mostly nobody is familiar with. Logical fallacies rule our lives. No, this is not the most pessimistic scenario I’m trying to paint here. This is something that we must be aware of.

For now, I’ve put up a list of seven books that should initiate you into the process of becoming a better thinker, of improving your cognitive abilities. These books help me tremendously; and I have a feeling they may serve you to the same purpose. This list is not exclusive as I may add more titles in the future:

What I’ve Been Reading Recently – My Bookshelf #9

What I've Been Reading Recently - My Bookshelf #9

Intro

I read 39 books in 2016 (as of April). I’m ahead of my last year’s count (this time, last year). I don’t do speed reading. I try to read slowly. I enjoy it. It’s not a hobby. It’s something I do everyday for a substantial amount of my time.

Most of the books I read this year are non-fiction. A few of them are audiobooks (fiction and self-development) and approximately 10-12 of them are programming books – which I had to go through even slower because they implied practicing with code.

What I’m currently mostly interested in is: genomics, bioinformatics, epigenetics and small-scale entrepreneurship. It’d be only reasonable to think that the books I read come from these fields.

Additionally, I read research studies, and, besides audiobooks, I listen to podcasts, interviews and watch lectures on these subjects. Coursera’s online courses also take a stretch of my time.

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