Some books I've read since ~2014 in chronological order.Show Favorites Only
Money is energy. A frictionless medium for amplifying your will.
I'd already read a lot about psychedelics a few years prior to reading this book, but if you're new to the literature, I haven't seen descriptions better than Lin's. He's is a master at observing his own mind. A few chapters read like a literary Erowid.
Only con were the boring as fuck, self-indulgent descriptions of various bird species.
The Book of Disquiet, made up of hundreds of short texts that constitute a sort-of narrative, is a perfect match for this drained faculty. Indeed, Pessoa mentioned in a letter to a friend that while writing it, he only had the attention for “little things”. The cause? “Depression.”And I love that about this book.
My favorite articles
Right then, something happened that I wasn’t expecting, which is that I remembered what it feels like to be a Christian, or what it felt like for me. There’s a membrane between imagining God’s love as a thought experiment and experiencing it as absolute reality, and if you slip across it the entire known universe breaks open and then reorders itself to be more whole and beautiful than you thought was possible. I had forgotten. It’s a tragedy you can’t truly explain what this feels like, the safety and wonder and rest and joy and shattering humility and crazy peace, because when you feel it all you want is for everyone else to feel it too. It’s like you’ve been let in on the most magnificent secret and all you want is to bring everyone else along, because if everyone knew the secret it could solve every problem in the world. This is what Christians call, in a terrific understatement, “the Good News.” This is also called grace. Sitting in that converted bar, I got maybe seven seconds of a vivid memory of grace, and the echo alone was enough to remember why people who know the Good News do wild things to spread it: they’re filled up with a love so great it demands to be given away.
if i'm ever angry at anything it's existence itself not a specific person or group of people. nothing is detached or separate from the first event that created the universe, therefore nothing can be blamed except for existence itself; you blame a person, then you have to blame their mom, then their mom's mom, so on, until the first event, after which maybe all that can be done is to learn to stop thinking or maybe kill yourself
I see no necessary disjunction between having no free will (those arguments seem watertight) and assuming moral responsibility for myself. The point is ownership. I own my past, my beginnings, my perceptions. And just as I will make myself responsible if my dog or child bites someone, or my car rolls backwards down a hill and causes damage, so I take on full accountability for the little ship of my being, even if I do not have control of its course. It is this sense of being the possessor of a consciousness that makes us feel responsible for it.
When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death.
Quotes I've Kept
Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.
We have convictions only if we have studied nothing thoroughly.
Playing away games is like taking a shit in someone else's house.
Leisure is permissible, we understand, because it costs money; idleness is not, because it doesn’t. Leisure is focused; whatever thinking it requires is absorbed by a certain task: sinking that putt, making that cast, watching that flat-screen TV. Idleness is unconstrained, anarchic. Leisure – particularly if it involves some kind of high-priced technology – is as American as a Fourth of July barbecue.
Am I a good person? Deep down, do I even really want to be a good person, or do I only want to seem like a good person so that people (including myself) will approve of me? Is there a difference? How do I ever actually know whether I'm bullshitting myself, morally speaking?