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Weekly Review #8

Sorry for lagging on the last few, the Reviews should come steady on Sundays like normal from now on

I finished HF Saint’s “Memoirs of an Invisible Man“, which was one of the most gripping books I’ve ever read. It made the old fantasy of becoming invisible look more like a handicap than a boon, and I found myself expecting the hero to get caught by the government at the end of every page. I also found myself planning out how I would navigate my way through my daily life differently if I was invisible like him. The author is somewhat invisible himself – despite his impressive prose, after he got the money for this book’s movie rights he immediately disappeared to some European beach and hasn’t been in the limelight since. Pity, he’s such a good writer! helps teach you how to speed read by displaying words to you in sequence at successively faster speeds until you gain comprehension. What a nifty tool to teach you a tricky skill! I wonder what other little skills can be easily gained by similarly structured drill websites – like with an activity that requires less focus than Duolingo but is more addictive than puts you through a series of tests to determine whether n establishment like “Hole in the Wall” is, well, a steak house or a gay bar. Somebody should make one of these for indie bands. Reminds me of the classic Sporcle test “Pokemon or Pharmaceutical Drug?

Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues. Yay, another feminist I agree with! Some interesting points:

  • Since the military has no prestige anymore, leaders don’t have that background and assume that people are basically kind, which leads to problems.
  • She advocates ‘street smart feminism’ – be aware of what you are wearing on the street – sexy clothes will get you more attention, but that doesn’t mean you are necessarily at fault
  • Blasts public school for ‘neutering boys’ and promoting ‘female values’ like sensitivity, socialization, and cooperation, rather than fostering creative energy or teaching hard facts. I can emphasize here – my American public school experience has almost exclusively dampened creativity or another other than the ‘right’ answer.
  • Men are so worried about being politically correct that they ‘ “never tell the truth to women” about sex, and by keep “raunchy” thoughts and sexual fantasies to themselves and their laptops.’ Amen – I’ve been called misogynist more than once for challenging certain feminist viewpoints about male sexuality.
  • “The only place you can hear what men really feel these days is on sports radio. If we had to go to war, these are the men that would save the nation.” Well, that’s a rather poetic way of describing the football hooligans, but I suppose it’s true.
  • “Men, and especially women, need to be honest about the role biology plays and clear-eyed about the choices they are making.”
  • “If the women’s movement wants to be taken seriously again, it should tackle serious matters, like rape in India and honor killings in the Muslim world, that are “more of an outrage than some woman going on a date on the Brown University campus.” Woo boy. Thats a great example of important problems that are hard to solve versus unimportant problems easy to solve. She’s right, though.

Being the smartest person in the room is not easy. Often the desire to educate the others leads to them dismissing you as an arrogant know it all. This article touches on the truth that solely knowledge is not enough to solve problems – you need soft skills like people skills to pound it through.

Tynan’s piece on investing time versus spending time is a beautiful way to illustrate how wrongly we often regard our most precious resource. If it’s just as valuable as money, how come we hardly ever talk about investing it? Everyone instead looks for ‘time killers’ and ways to spend their time well. Think about investing your time instead.