Subjects of Interest

The lion cannot protect himself from traps and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps and a lion to frighten wolves. 

Niccolo Machiavelli from The Prince

More input

I’ll warn you I have an unhealthy obsession with world war II and particle physics. Even books can be addictive. 

Fact can be stranger than fiction. Fiction can be fun but fact is more intriguing and useful. I am a curious person by nature and books help me to answer the big question: how does the world work.

I’m also an ardent supporter of The Great Courses and Modern Scholar series. These are books written and read by college professors. There are hundreds of these books all varying in length.  I can usually get through one in a day. They are available through most libraries free of charge. 

My strongest/favorite subject matter: particle physics, economics, world history, ecology, warfare, insurgency, technology, political theory, mafia, paramilitary spies and genetics.

Words and root words-learn as many as possible

There’s nothing more fulfilling than learning a new word. I’ve noticed that some words frequently reoccur in very different books. This is not intentional but serendipitous. When you hear the same words, quotes and material over and over it is ingrained in your frontal lobe.

Please download my ever-increasing list of useful words for everyday life.

Useful words for everyday life (word document)

Learn your root words. They are not only fun but very useful. The English language is slightly easier to navigate when your aware of roots (usually Latin). Some of my favorite root words:

-bell (bellicose, belligerent, antebellum)

-fac (factory, benefactor, facility)

-mal (malady, malnourished, malignant)

-spect (spectacles, spectator, spectrum)

Click on the link below to learn more.

Root words web page

The greatest battles you fight will be against yourself.

To me Battle is defined as solving a problem. The three greatest strategists were Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz and Baron de Jomini. They have different thoughts on winning battle:

Baron de Jomini would say “you attack your enemy at his weakest point without mercy”.

Carl von Clausewitz would say “it depends on the circumstances. You need to be able to adapt to the changing battlefield”.

Sun Tzu would say “the greatest battles are won without bloodshed”.

What course of action do you think is best?

Audio books have become my guiding light. If you have a problem audio books are an invaluable resource. 

Some of the best guidance I’ve retained from books:

  • the best laid plans fall apart after first contact with the enemy

  • you learn more from a defeat than from a win

  • judge people by their actions

  • the lessons of the wolverine: it never backs down, never hesitates and never quits

  • change is the rule and not the exception

  • if my friend attacks my brother I must attack my friend

  • only when we are all brothers will there be peace

  • in the absence of reason there is violence and anger

  • thinking gets you killed while reacting keeps you alive