Here is a short list of books I’ve read that have challenged the majority thinking in a variety of different topics:
Acid Test by Tom Shroder. I learned from this book how ecstasy and other psychedelics are being used to treat soldiers with PTSD and how politics has prevented these therapies from being more widely used. I’m now much more libertarian in my views of drug laws as a result of reading this book.
Magicians of the Gods by Graham Hancock. This is a fun romp through ancient history. What if there was a comet event at the beginning of the end of the ice age (10,000 years ago) that wiped out entire cultures as advanced as those that came much later (ancient Egypt and Incan culture). And what if there was evidence for this comet in the physical Earth (its primary impact zone being North America) and also in the similar oral traditions and myths passed on over many millennia? How cool would that be?
Good Calories, Bad Calories, Gary Taubes. I read Good Calories, Bad Calories back in 2010 on a trip to Florida. and it was life changing. I’d always been interested in healthy eating and read a ton on the subject but this book turned it ALL upside down and permanently changed the way I thought about food and healthy eating.
Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Taleb. This is one of the only books I aim to re-read on purpose once a year. The ideas in this book are so simply counter to the assumptions we all live under that it makes it hard to take anything at face value. I trust the intellectual integrity of Taleb so much that he influenced who I voted for this year. I had already made up my mind but when I read what Taleb and some others were saying on the subject it didn’t just change my choice, it completely changed how I framed the question of who to vote for. And that’s what this book is all about.
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