a month of reading

So February and most of March have been filled with studying and reading. I highly recommend udacity for some free learning, easy sign up and the courses are made up of YouTube vids and tutorials – works for me. Been learning Visual Encoding and playing with dimple.js as part of the Introduction to Data Science.

Been reading lots too – started with “Philosophy of Boredom” by Lars Svendsen which is an academic paper turned into a book so quite heavy going but very interesting. Are you aware of how much you do that is out of boredom?

“A utopia cannot, by definition, include boredom, but the ‘utopia’ we are living in is boring.”

Next up was “The Path” by Michael Puett which is along the lines of a large-print self-help book based on readings of ancient Chinese wisdom. Each chapter draws lessons for modern life from a particular Chinese thinker – Confucius, Mencius, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, Laozi – and you reach the end wondering why life is so complicated and why can’t it be this simple.

Finally “Irresistible” by Adam Alter which i am half way through and can’t wait to read more. The crux “People have been addicted to substances for thousands of years, but for the past two decades, we’ve also been hooked on technologies, like Instagram, Netflix, Facebook, Fitbit, Twitter, and email—platforms we’ve adopted because we assume they’ll make our lives better. These inventions have profound upsides, but their appeal isn’t an accident. Technology companies and marketers have teams of engineers and researchers devoted to keeping us engaged. They know how to push our buttons, and how to coax us into using their products for hours, days, and weeks on end.”

Behavioural Addiction will become a very prevalent phrase as we wake up to the mass addiction we have all got.

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