Mark Twain once said "classics are books everyone wants to say they've read but no one actually wants to read."
I finally made it through Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which is technically a novel, but a type of classical philosophy treatise as well. It is an excellent if challenging read and the bottom line is this: rationalism and idealism are not mutually exclusive but two sides of the same coin. We need both. Both are true.
For example, you can be really interested in how a car, or a workout program, or a watch work technically, but also at the same time appreciate the result, outcome, or appearance.
This book helped me to understand how some people just don't get along and understand each other.
Some people are interested in how the car works, whereas some are only interested in it's design and appearance and are actually repulsed by thinking about how it works. They want to tell themselves its magic. They don't want to understand. The two people look down on each other's point of view because they don't understand each other. Both are right and neither is wrong.
How an IPAD works behind the scenes is beautiful in it's own right, but so is the appearance of it and the feeling you get when you use it.
Logic and rationality are true but so are the stories we believe in. The reason the expensive wine tastes better is because we tell ourselves it does, and so on.
Some other recommended reads from the summer:
Who Owns The Future- futuristic writing from an MIT professor and Silicon Valley CEO about technology and the decline of the middle class, really fascinating book 3/4 stars.
Choose Yourself- all about initiative and entrepreneurship.
Athletic Body in Balance- a sacred text when it comes to understanding how to perform at your best. I've been reviewing some of Gray Cook's work on energy leaks. Incredible work. A classic.
Resistance Revolution Liberation- an economist's point of view on how to live a healthier life by not buying into the consumerist / debt paradigm. Inspiring book.
On The Edge- A friend's book about his experiences in the wilderness and in the US Marine Corps and in Vietnam and in a leadership role in corporate banking. I particularly enjoyed reading about how my friend recovered from the trauma of war. Inspirational.
You Are Your Own Gym- workouts you can do at home with no equipment. Excellent.
How To Think Clearly- self explanatory and recommended.
I started reading these economic blogs early in the summer since they both relate to public health and economic issues. I don't necessarily agree with everything posted, but they are both fun and enlightening to read.
Café Hayek- libertarian economics
Marginal Revolution- development economics
What about you? Any recommended reads?