Top Non-Fiction Picks from 2019

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

  • Embrace your weaknesses.
  • Don’t be overconfident in your strengths. They can be on and off themselves weaknesses depending on the situation.
  • Question the rules of the game whenever possible. Rules might not be optimized for your specific strengths and weaknesses.

Marie Curie: Portrait intime d’une femme d’exception (French)

  • Remarkable things happen by recognizing other people’s work, questionning it and building on it.
  • Many people misused radiative products in the early days because of its seemingly magical power. This obviously lead to a dark period in history. The lesson here is that it is always necessary to fully understand the implications of new technologies and discoveries.
  • With enough willpower and curiosity, breakthroughs will eventually emerge even when resources are scarce and society is biased against you.

Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career

  • Learning often takes long periods of focused work (versus scattered periods of learning).
  • Always aim for building intuition (i.e. mental models) for what you are learning.
  • Optimize your learning plan for what you are trying to achieve. For instance, before taking on a new learning challenge, ask yourself: why are you learning the skill? Then optimize your learning plan accordingly.

Principles: Life and Work

  • Human organizations are systems where each individual plays a role optimized for the optimal operation of the entire system. These systems need to be assessed analytically and upgraded as needed.
  • History is full of patterns. It helps to reframe the problem in hand and look at similar situations that happened in other places and times.
  • Quantify and log what you do as much as possible, that’s how you learn from mistakes and develop principles for your own organization or self.
  • Trust the believability scores. When you look at an opinion, try to understand where it comes from: is it an opinion from an expert’s experience? is it backed by data? is it applicable to the situation in hand?

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

  • It’s probably all in your head. Take the time to analyze why you are thinking what you are thinking.
  • Don’t be afraid to question general wisdom and think for yourself and your own circumstances.




Energy & Computing @ Shell & GWU (Opinions my own)

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Alaeddine Mokri

Alaeddine Mokri

Energy & Computing @ Shell & GWU (Opinions my own)

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