If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

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jacob
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If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Postby jacob » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:30 pm

In a very interesting thread, people listed what books they would have wanted to give their 17 year old self.

Since several explicitly or implicitly indicated the sentiment that their 17 year old self wouldn't have been ready to read certain books, lets repeat the exercise for different ages. You can send books into the past as well as into the future.

Me?

21: RDPD Cash flow because with my [Danish] background the idea of making a living as anything other than a salary man living paycheck to paycheck taking advantage of an eminent social security network was unthinkable. I think other cultures, especially English-speaking ones, are more attuned to the idea of investing for a living making this book void/obvious, but I certainly wasn't. It might also have broken my snooty academic disregard for anything related to making money. Also, http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0310368 to make me less naive about my dream study.

29: Disciplined minds mainly to make me realize that there are other viable careers than whatever your academic environment tells you. Also Derman's autobiography because his story more or less parallels my own in terms of choices if not outcomes.

45: A collection of poetry in the hopes that future me might have gained an appreciation for this form of literature that was utterly destroyed during my K-12 years.

77: The ERE book in order to verify/validate whether I was just a dumbass in my early 30s.

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Dragline
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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Postby Dragline » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:05 pm

Shooting from the hip, as I am wont to do:

21: "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport, because it tells you how to get started in the job world.

29: "Emotional Vampires" (Bernstein) and/or "The Sociopath Next Door" (Stout), because they tell you how to survive the job world and remind you that you probably are not the one who is crazy.

45: "Self Reliance and Other Essays" (Emerson), because it reminds you what is really important. Runners up: "Thinking Fast and Slow" (D. Kahneman); "Evolution and Conversion" (R. Girard); and "The Fractalist" (B. Mandelbrot), because they explain how the world operates, but you probably won't believe them when you are younger.

77: "The Little Prince" (Saint-Exupery), or maybe "Goodnight Moon" (M.W. Brown), to remind me to slow down.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Postby jacob » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:21 pm

@Dragline - Tragically and interestingly, applying Cal Newport to hard science academic careers, it increases the risk of exactly what Disciplined Minds warns about. IOW, a lot of freshly minted PhDs have a tradition of spending years trying to be so good they can't ignore you only to see 90% of them fail, often for [political] reasons that aren't about being technically or creatively brilliant i.e. "good". If I look back at my cohort, it wasn't always the "good" people who eventually succeeded. It was quite often the people who were in the right place at the right time or the the people who spent more time on the political/award game that those who spent their time on getting better. The Newport book would be on my ban-list of things to send back.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Postby Dragline » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:35 pm

That's interesting. I did not go into academia, so I can't speak for that world, but I don't doubt what you say.

Although Newport is an academic, I think his advice is better for the workaday world. I found that the related skills I developed on the side of my job/career were eventually what propelled it upward, because I had developed skills that my peers lacked and was more ready when certain opportunities arose.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Postby 1taskaday » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:02 pm

21years :Quiet The power of introverts ...

29years :Not buying it. Judith Levine.I'd be a millionaire-ess if I had read and heeded this at this age.Also "Who would you be without your story?"by Byron Katie would have saved me years of angst and needless suffering.

45 years:Retirement A memoir and guide by Boyd Lemon.I love this book and listen to it constantly,it always cheers me up.

77 years:A new dynamic yoga/pilates book which will just be released and I'll be excited to try out.Because I'll feel like a 30year old...

Stahlmann
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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Postby Stahlmann » Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:13 am

Bump. Looking for advice from older folks (mainly 30+ horde). I hope you are educated and willing to share it :P

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Postby J_ » Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:23 pm

How not to die by M. Greger at 21 or 29
The Ere book at 29 or 21
The book of life by Alain de Botton e.o ( see www. the school of life) at 45
Antifragile by Nassim Taleb at 77 to reread and learn even more from it.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Postby James_0011 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:34 pm

@jacob

How did you get over your 'snooty academic disregard" for making money? Still dealing with that one myself, and kicking myself for it...


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