Good Reading -- September 2019

September 27, 2019

 

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Quoted
 

  • "All Americans need to recognize that our democracy is an experiment—and one that can be reversed. We all know that we’re better than our current politics. Tribalism must not be allowed to destroy our experiment." -- Jim Mattis

    • "Nations with allies thrive, and those without them wither. Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy. At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering. A polemicist’s role is not sufficient for a leader. A leader must display strategic acumen that incorporates respect for those nations that have stood with us when trouble loomed."

    • "Woe to the unimaginative one who, in after-action reviews, takes refuge in doctrine. The critiques in the field, in the classroom or at happy hour are blunt for good reasons. Personal sensitivities are irrelevant. No effort is made to ease you through your midlife crisis when peers, seniors or subordinates offer more cunning or historically proven options, even when out of step with doctrine."


Facts and Figures

 

  • 139,000 -- the number of people who signed up for a Costco membership on the opening day for the new Shanghai store

    • Also 139,000 -- the entire (approximate) population of Charleston, South Carolina or Waco, Texas or Dayton, Ohio

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       


Books

 

  • The Sports Gene -- When the author's new book (see below) was released I read several reviews and interviews and realized I should start with his first book. It is meticulous in its research, and while I can't vouch for every detail or conclusion I thought it was thought-provoking and well worth the time. Highly recommended. 

  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World -- Epstein's new book has been getting a lot of attention, and rightly so. It's one of the best books I've read in the past few years. "Early specialization is the exception, not the rule," as he writes, among "athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters, and scientists." In fields that are "complex and unpredictable...generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel." There is even a chapter titled, "Learning, Fast and Slow" in case I needed any more reason to buy the book.

  • All Quiet on the Western Front -- Wow. The subtitle "The greatest war novel of time" doesn't do it justice.


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