Books are rated on the following scale: Awful, Poor, OK, Good, Great.

Jan 2021

The Big Picture by Sean Carroll Good

  • We seem to pay a lot of attention to the arrow of time. Causality really isn’t very important to the universe itself.
  • Science is enough, and complete, on its own.
  • Different perspectives can be used to describe the same phenomenon. The different perspectives can all be correct, and they can be useful in different situations.
  • Everything is a slave to the second law of thermodynamics.
  • Poetic naturalism is concerned with only the one natural world, and a language for describing it.
  • Bayesian Inference, a heuristics for updating credences and beliefs.
  • Emergent properties can’t always be explained by breaking it into its pieces. That does not mean that what they describe is not real.
  • Quantum Field Theory (The Core Theory), so far, seem to cover more or less everything. It deals with quantum fields and their interactions.
  • Life is a process, it actively sustains low entropy.

The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe by Steven Novella Great

  • Dunning-Kruger effect the inability to evaluate one’s own competency, leading to general tendency to overestimate one’s abilities.
  • We seek out information that confirms our current beliefs.
  • When presented facts that go against our current beliefs, we are very creative in finding ways to rationalize that such that it does not affect our world view.
  • It is very hard to change peoples minds, but it is possible.
  • It is hard to change one´s own mind, because beliefs are part of one´s own identity. One way of getting better at this, is to instead try to change one´s own identity to be that of someone who takes pride in being able to admit error and change one´s mind.

The Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish and Rhiannon Beaubien OK

  • Maps are not the territory
  • In your circle of competence you easily have multiple solutions to a single problem, and can reasona bout them.
  • Inversion - Approach situation from opposite end of the natural starting point