What I'm Reading: "Black No More" by George Schuyler

According to Max Disher, an ambitious young black man in 1930s New York, someone of his race has only three alternatives: "Get out, get white, or get along." Incapable of getting out and unhappy with getting along, Max leaps at the remaining possibility. Thanks to a certain Dr. Junius Crookman and his mysterious process, Max and other eager clients develop bleached skin that permits them to enter previously forbidden territory. What they discover in white society, however, gives them second thoughts.
This humorous work of speculative fiction was written by an unsung hero of African-American literature. George S. Schuyler (1895-1977) wrote for black America's most influential newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier, in addition to H. L. Mencken's The American Mercury, The Nation, and other publications. His biting satire not only debunks the myths of white supremacy and racial purity but also lampoons prominent leaders of the NAACP and the Harlem Renaissance. More than a historical curiosity, Schuyler's 1931 novel offers a hilarious take on the hypocrisy and demagoguery surrounding America's obsession with skin color. - Amazon summary

Black No More is a fascinating satire that asks the question, “What would happen if all the black people in America turned white?” The book follows Max Fisher as he seeks out the answer to this question and is a discourse on race relations in the 1930s. The story also forces a hard look at the interactions between different classes in the United States and how the scientific, political, religious, and economic interests converge to drive American society.

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What I'm Reading: "Secrets about People: A Short and Dangerous Introduction to René Girard" by Alex Danco

Alex Danco gives us an introduction to Professor Rene Girard and one explanation of Mimetic desire.

This post is an introduction to one man, named René Girard, who bucked this trend: his perception of the nature of behaviour is like a laser that goes right to the core of the human condition. We watch and learn by copying others, and the most important thing we learn from others is desire. Girard understood something important about desire; so did Shakespeare and Dostoevsky, and so do Kanye West and Donald Trump. This secret, once you understand it, will challenge you.

Read here: https://alexdanco.com/2019/04/28/secrets-about-people-a-short-and-dangerous-introduction-to-rene-girard/

Books mentioned:

What I'm Reading: "Emotions: Freedom from Anger, Jealousy and Fear" by Osho

This book is a simple guide to a better understanding of emotions. Anger, jealousy, and fear are the three big topics of this book, together with some simple meditations to deal with these emotions. The book consist of short quotes and text excerpts, giving the reader unusual and new insights into an understanding of emotions. Our feelings play a profound role in how we feel about ourselves, and they can even affect our physical health. Often we are trapped in the dilemma between "expression" and "repression." Although expressing our emotions can easily scare or hurt others, by repressing them we risk hurting ourselves. Osho offers a third alternative: to understand the roots of our emotions and develop the knack of watching them and learning from them as they arise, rather than being "taken over" by them. Eventually we find that even the most challenging and difficult situations no longer have the power to provoke us and cause us pain.

Amazon synopsis

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What I'm Reading: "The Last Unknowns" by John Brockman
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It seems like yesterday, but Edge has been up and running for twenty-two years. Twenty-two years in which it has channeled a fast-flowing river of ideas from the academic world to the intellectually curious public. The range of topics runs from the cosmos to the mind and every piece allows the reader at least a glimpse and often a serious look at the intellectual world of a thought leader in a dynamic field of science. Presenting challenging thoughts and facts in jargon-free language has also globalized the trade of ideas across scientific disciplines. Edge is a site where anyone can learn, and no one can be bored.

The statistics are awesome: The Edge conversation is a "manuscript" of close to 10 million words, with nearly 1,000 contributors whose work and ideas are presented in more than 350 hours of video, 750 transcribed conversations, and thousands of brief essays. And these activities have resulted in the publication of 19 printed volumes of short essays and lectures in English and in foreign language editions throughout the world.

What I'm Reading: "The Undoing Project" by Michael Lewis
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Michael Lewis tells the compelling story of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, whose behaviourist theories led to his own bestseller Moneyball.

Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.

The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield―both had important careers in the Israeli military―and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.

What I'm Reading: "Self Reliance, and Other Essays" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Essayist, poet, and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) propounded a transcendental idealism emphasizing self-reliance, self-culture, and individual expression. The six essays and one address included in this volume, selected from Essays, First Series (1841) and Essays, Second Series(1844), offer a representative sampling of his views outlining that moral idealism as well as a hint of the later skepticism that colored his thought. In addition to the celebrated title essay, the others included here are "History," "Friendship," "The Over-Soul," "The Poet," and "Experience," plus the well-known and frequently read Harvard Divinity School Address.

What I'm Reading: "High Output Management" by Andrew S. Grove

The essential skill of creating and maintaining new businesses—the art of the entrepreneur—can be summed up in a single word: managing. Born of Grove’s experiences at one of America’s leading technology companies, High Output Management is equally appropriate for sales managers, accountants, consultants, and teachers, as well as CEOs and startup founders. Grove covers techniques for creating highly productive teams, demonstrating methods of motivation that lead to peak performance—throughout, High Output Management is a practical handbook for navigating real-life business scenarios and a powerful management manifesto with the ability to revolutionize the way we work.