- Oct 12, 2006
- Reaction score
Thanks. Turned out it didn't work. The kid didn't get any smarter.
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I thought this was going to be a "knowledge isn't intelligence" post but it was actually more pointless than thatThere isn't a "set of books" that will make any person "smarter". A person can become "smarter" by making a habit out of reading in general. A "set of books" , no matter how popular they are for whatever reason, will not make a person any smarter than the next person who reads the same amount of material in even the most general sense. For example: a person who reads a lot of books on real estate will likely become smarter in that particular subject than the person who chooses to read books in astrology. Whose to say that one is smarter than the other?
If you seek wisdom, don't just read whatever list of books other people highly recommend. Because it may turn out that you hate the literature. Read books on topics that you are genuinely interested about and you will fly through your readings which will give you a better understanding of these subjects and hence, make you smarter a person.
That's my take.
picked up existentialist cafe and how not to be wrong on kindle"How Not to Be Wrong" by Jordan Ellenberg.
Great insight into how to apply mathematical thinking to everyday life. Note, thinking mathematically is a different skill than being good at replicating and using formulas. Feyman once complained that he had higher level students who were excellent at plugging and chugging formulas, but when he asked an exam question which required a student to think on their own, the number chuggers didn't do well.
Because a lot of philosophy books have been suggested, I feel I should mention a book I wish I had read in parallel to the books already mentioned.
"At The Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails" by Sarah Bakewell
Great introduction to the development of existentialist philosophy. It will cover everything from Hegel onwards and provide important context to the character's ideas based upon the character's lives. Not only will you get a nice intro to different ways of seeing the world, you'll also learn about the less than ideal lives of "great thinkers" as well as the arbitrary (but sophisticated and logically rigorous) nature of philosophy. If I read this earlier, I wouldn't have taken myself so seriously when reading philosophy books. Philosophy is an excellent toy to play with and to sharpen your mind, but don't confuse it with lived reality.... is something I wish I had learned earlier.