Book summary

How Emotions Are Made: The Theory of Constructed Emotion

This post now available in German. The Theory of Constructed Emotion offers a radical new take on what emotions are, where they come from, and how they shape our lives. Presented by psychology professor and neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett in her best-selling book How Emotions Are Made (affiliate link), it also contradicts many of

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Emergent Strategy: Organizing for Social Justice

When I moved from San Francisco to Oakland in 2014, I was just trying to pay cheaper rent. I never expected to be influenced by the movements that flow through Oakland’s veins: the movements for social justice, for environmental justice, and for black liberation. I’ve since had the privilege of working with some of the

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You Need a Budget: 13 Parallels Between Money and Productivity

I recently read and took notes on You Need a Budget (YNAB), a popular book on personal finance and budgeting (with accompanying software for managing budgets) by Jesse Mecham. My interest in this book is three-fold: I’m terrible at budgeting and need help I want to borrow principles and methods for managing money to help people manage

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A Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind

In 2006, inventor Ray Kurzweil released the book The Singularity Is Near (Amazon Affiliate Link), with a bold prediction that by the year 2049 we’d enter a “technological singularity.” Around that time, he argued, the pace of improvement in technology would become a runaway phenomenon that would transform all aspects of human civilization. The word “singularity”

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Trekonomics: The Economics of Post-Scarcity

I recently finished listening to the audiobook of Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek, by Manu Saadia. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had thinking about economics, due to the outstanding premise: What if we treated the Star Trek universe as if it was real, and used it to draw economic lessons about

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Supersizing the Mind: The Science of Cognitive Extension

You enter your kitchen for a quick lunch: how is it exactly that your brain solves the problem “prepare lunch as efficiently as possible”? To view this post, become a Praxis member. You can join for $10 per month or $100 per year. Members get access to: Instant access to the full archive of past

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The World Beyond Your Head: How Distraction Shapes Who We Are

Matthew Crawford’s book The World Beyond Your Head (Affiliate Link) is the most important book I’ve read in quite some time. It makes a sweeping argument about what it means to be an ethical, autonomous human in the digital age. Crawford draws a strong connection from the distractions buzzing on our phones, to the evolving

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