How Jeff Bezos Started, His Life Visualized - Infographic

How Jeff Bezos Started, His Life Visualized - Infographic

Jeff Bezos is now in the 5th spot on world’s wealthiest people list.
But he was born poor. He wanted to start a business right after college
but didn’t. So how did he start?

how Jeff Bezos started infographic

The Ingredients for Starting

If I were to redo my college, and if I could have anyone I wanted for professors, I would enroll in the “How People Actually Start Something” course co-taught by Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk,  Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg,
and a few others. This wouldn’t be a business course but the first
class one would take in college: business just happens to be the most
extreme case of making something out of nothing.

When I graduated I realized that no one mentioned anything about how
to apply my skills. But there were people who could “apply me” – that’s
called a job. This realization came to many people I knew in college. It
happened to Bezos, too. Coming out of Princeton he wanted to start a
business right away. But lacking an honestly good idea he got a job
instead. And then another. And another. He was already 30, successful,
well-paid, and due for the annual bonus just a few months away. Yet he
walked away from it all and started Amazon. How? In short and not
necessarily in this order, he did it with his wife, with a hack, in a
garage, and using his savings.

On top of that, a close look at the timeline of Bezos’s life shows a
few rare habits: an unusual preference for long-term plans (he financed
the 10,000-year clock), unbelievable calmness, a surgical study of
books, and the ability to find hacks in the system. Now let me describe
them in chronological order. I won’t retell you the entire biography,
though. I want to make these easier to see and remember.

A Person Of a Method

Bezos is a person of a method. To upgrade himself regularly, he comes up with “frameworks” that optimize his life. For example:

  • How to increase “women flow” – strategies for
    meeting dating-eligible females that included taking ballroom classes
    (yes, “women flow” as in “deal flow” and “cash flow”)
  • The Regret Minimization Framework – projections of
    your life forward to when you are very old, looking at your life in
    hindsight and making decisions that will lead to the least amount of
  • The Virtuous Flywheel – a cycle in which one good decision creates the opportunity to make more good decisions
These methods were borrowed from books – reading books and literally applying them to optimize his life is a method in itself.

1. Minimizing Regrets

regrets althogether is not an option. Or is it?) If you didn’t start
succeeding in life early, by now the feeling of regret has crept in. At
29, while debating whether to start his “everything store”, a prescient
Bezos was already keenly aware of how terrible it would feel to regret
not having tried when he was old. So he came up with the Regret
Minimization Framework. He used it to decide whether to walk away from a
well-paying job on Wall Street in the middle of the year, which would
mean passing up on that year’s bonus.

The framework works like this:

  • Project your life out to when you are 80 years old.
  • Ask your 80-year old self if you regret now that you didn’t try starting that business you thought could be a big deal.
  • Then ask yourself if you’d regret your job. How about your unpaid bonus? Your stability? Feeling of “having made it”?
This long-term perspective cleared his short-term confusion. For Bezos, the decision became obvious – he should go. [1]

2. Finding hacks in the system

Now we get as close to how the man actually
started as it gets. The hustle. An ingenious kind. No one was waiting
for Bezos with open arms to help him get the book business off the
ground. To even get some books to sell he had to convince distributors
to sell to him at bulk prices but without the minimum order requirements
that he couldn’t meet because he had very few orders at the beginning.
He insisted he would soon have higher sales volume. They still refused.
Necessity sets the wheels turning. Bezos had to figure out a hack.

Hacking the bulk orders for books

This hack alone is probably the closest single answer to how Jeff Bezos
started. At the beginning, Amazon sold books for less than other
bookstores. How was it possible? In a 3-day book selling class Bezos
learned that when buying books in bulk from distributors, you can get
them at 50% off the price printed on the back of the book jacket. But to
get the bulk price Bezos needed to buy a minimum of 10 books at a time.
At the very start, this was much more than he was selling. After
tinkering with the ordering system Bezos found an glitch in the system:
it let you to order 10 books without having to receive
10 books. Now he had to find a book that he could order but not receive
– something gone out of print. He found an obscure book on lichen and
ordered nine copies of it plus the one book he needed. The distributor
sent the book with a note that they are out of the lichen book. Bezos
started ordering 9 lichen books for every book he bought.

Hacking the sales tax

The hack that led Bezos to found Amazon in Seattle as opposed to some
place in California has to do with not wanting to charge customers sales
tax. Back then an online business could avoid paying sales tax in
states where it didn’t have a physical presence. If Amazon was in
California, all California customers would have to pay the tax. Bezos
wanted to ship his books sales tax-free to as many people as possible.
Since California has a lot of people, a less populous state made more
sense. (That hack, by the way, ended some 15 years later when
cashed-strapped states recovering from the 2008 crisis made Amazon pay.)

3. Alone against the world

Reading about Bezos’s life, I feel tired on his behalf. Aside from
fighting with other companies, Bezos is often solo against his own
executives. He was alone in favor of super saver shipping. Alone
insisting on launching Prime – a paid membership service that gives you
two-day shipping free. He alone was trying to get his managers to stock
every book ever published on Amazon – that never happened because the
execs refused to do it. The execs dubbed this and other similarly
ambitious campaigns “fever dreams”. How deos he deal with the
resistance? Here’s his reply to one of the execs who challenged him, “Do
I need to go down and get the certificate that says I’m CEO of the
company to get you to stop challenging me on this?”

4. He doesn’t share plans

Bezos is secretive. His biographer Brad Stone dug inside a trash can
to discover the existence of Bezos’s rocket company. We don’t learn
anything about his personal life. We know little about what he does
outside of Amazon and running his venture capital firm.

5. He is calm

making much profit for 20 years takes nerves of steel. Amazon is still,
after 20 years, a growing company. But it hasn’t yet been making a lot
of profit. This point is counterintuitive. Businesses can exist only if
they make money, you know. At least at some point. For the past 20
years, Amazon made very little compared to its sales. So how can Amazon
be such a large company? And how can Bezos be world’s 5th richest
person? The answer is in the difference between two things: how much
money a company makes in profit and how much people think it could make
based on its revenue (which is the money coming into the company).

Amazon has $107 Billion in revenue which means people want to buy from
it. But it has only $482 Million in profit. This is half a percent.
Half a cent on the dollar. How could it be that after 20 years a company
with almost a quarter of a million employees is still not making much

The answer is growth. 20 years of growth that still continues today. At
some point investors will want a return, though. When will that point
come? Bezos believes that he should keep growing the company (and not
prioritizing profit) for as long as it is growing. Only when Amazon
stops growing Bezos will start monetizing on all those customers he will
have won over. Will Amazon ever stop growing then? Perhaps not on
Bezos’s watch. And the reason is that he is good at learning what he
doesn’t know.

Learning What He Doesn’t Know

didn’t just accidentally decide to start out by selling books – he
loves reading. Bezos reads books, takes notes, and lives his life by
them. Steward Brand, the author of The Whole Earth Catalogue (the same
publication that Steve Jobs said inspired him to “Stay Hungry, Stay
Foolish”) once saw Bezos’s copy of his book How Buildings Learn. He was startled – every single page was covered with handwritten notes.

The insights Bezos gathers he applies in his company. For example, after reading The Innovator’s Dilemma
Bezos realized the only way for Amazon to stay innovative was by
inventing the very thing that would put it out of business. This is how
Kindle was born. Kindle was supposed to kill the business of selling
paper books. And sure enough, nine years after Kindle was launched
Kindle books sell more than physical ones.

Perhaps no one book expalins what Bezos’s ability to know what he doesn’t know means than. The Black Swan
by Nassim Taleb – Bezos had all his top executives read this one
because it explains what Bezos handles with the least tolerate –
ignorance of one’s stupidity. This is different from stupidity itself.
Being stupid and knowing it is OK. What’s not OK is making mistakes
while feigning intelligence. Even worse is not realizing you are
feigning intelligence. Bezos wants his employees to know what they don’t
know – the desire that inspired snappy phrases like, “Does it surprise
you that you don’t know the answer to that question?” [3]

Two other big influences on Bezos come from these two books:

‘The Remains of the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro

How do you know that you haven’t lived your life in vain? When you are
old this question creeps up as you look back and strain to find the
purpose of the life you lived. How do you overcome regret? How do you
justify your choices? These questions loom large in the wistful mind of a
perfect English butler as he looks back at the war and his place in the
universe. Yes, this is fiction which Bezos believes is better for
learning than non-fiction. As Mark Twain noticed, “Truth is stranger
than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to
possibilities; truth isn’t.”

‘Sam Walton: Made in America’ by Sam Walton

Published the same year as the author died, this book makes no bones
about Walton’s mistakes and lack of original ideas. Every right thing he
did he borrowed from other people who ran good stores – so he made sure
to visit as many as he could. One of Bezos’s six core principles comes
straight from this book – the bias for action. His other takeaway is
eternal frugality. In 1999, he was still driving a Honda Accord. His
wife – a Honda minivan. And his employees were paying for parking. [2]

Most of the facts in the timeline are based on Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.

Chronicling the many battles of Jeff Bezos, Brad Stone tells a story of
the man who has honed a keen sense of the future, of his customers, and
competitors, and above all himself. We learn that he is prescient but
not prophetic: wins by placing a bet on every product in the race.
Although we don’t learn a lot about the personal life of Bezos, one
thing is clear – daily he fights with the uninspired executives,
ungrateful employees, cash-hungry governments, and short-sighted
competitors. Undaunted, he somehow patches up one failed idea after
another as executives on his team secretly tally his mistakes on a
whiteboard – he then prevails by bringing out the next big product.
Unapologetic, and mostly triumphant, Bezos comes out vindicated in his
gospel of long-term thinking. He even finances the 10,000-year clock
known as The Clock of The Long Now. But Bezos keeps his plans close to
his chest – Brad Stone drives in the dark of night and goes fishing in
trash cans to find out anything at all about what Blue Origin was up to
in the beginning. Stone does give us an insight into why Bezos is able
to do all this – he “goes to school on everyone”. He went to school even
on Steve Jobs and eventually won.



1. ^ In this video
Jeff explains how he made a decision to leave a very well paying job
and what happened when he told his boss about it. Jeff came up with the
idea of the everything store during a regular brainstorming session with
his boss.
2. ^ In Chapter 3
titled “Fever Dreams”, Bezos comes up with the fever dream of stocking
every possible toy for the upcoming Christmas season. His executives, as
always, resist. As he is yelling the orders to buy $250 million worth
of toys he adds, “If I have to, I will drive it to the landfill myself!”
One of the executives points out that it would take a lot of trips in
his Honda Accord.
3. ^ Brad Stone lists the now famous diatribes retold by veteran Amazonians in Chapter 6. Here are a few more:

“Are you lazy or just incompetent?”

“We need to apply some human intelligence to this problem.”


Was it cancer? Julia Baird on getting the diagnosis

Was it cancer? Julia Baird on getting the diagnosis

Julia Baird

When I came out of the hospital, everyone suddenly seemed
consumed with irrelevant, foolish, temporal worries. Reading the fine
print of your mortality is a great sifter of rubbish. I frowned at the
complaints posted on social media when I was recovering — people who had
the flu, were annoyed by politicians, burdened by work, or who were
juggling jobs and children — and wanted to scream: BUT YOU ARE ALIVE!!!!
Alive! Each day is a glory, especially if upright and able to move with
ease, without pain.

I am still grappling with what all of this means. But in this short time, three age-old truths became even more apparent to me.

First, stillness and faith can give you extraordinary strength. Commotion drains.

"brave" warrior talk that so often surrounds cancer rang false to me. I
didn't want war, tumult or battle. Instead, I just prayed to God. And I
think what I found is much like what Greek philosophers called
ataraxia, a suspended kind of calm in which you can find a surprising

Second, you may find yourself trying to comfort
panicked people around you. But those who rally and come to mop your
brow when you look like a ghost, try to make you laugh, distract you
with silly stories, cook for you — or even fly for 20 hours just to hug
you — are companions of the highest order. Your family is everything.

we should not have to retreat to the woods like Henry David Thoreau to
"live deliberately." It would be impossible and frankly exhausting to
live each day as if it were your last. But there's something about
writing a will that has small children as beneficiaries that makes the
world stop.

My doctor asked me a few days ago how I
became so calm before the surgery. I told her: I prayed, I locked out
negativity and drama and drew my family and tribe — all big-hearted,
pragmatic people — near. I tried to live deliberately.

"Can I just say," she said, "you should do that for the rest of your life."

This column first appeared on the New York Times website.

Julia Baird is a Sydney Morning Herald contributor who is working on a biography of Queen Victoria.


Richard Feynman on Science vs. Religion and Why Uncertainty Is Central to Morality | Brain Pickings

Richard Feynman on Science vs. Religion and Why Uncertainty Is Central to Morality | Brain Pickings


“It is impossible to find an answer which someday will not be found to be wrong.”
“If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from,” Carl Sagan wrote in his timeless treatise on science and spirituality, “we will have failed.” Perhaps because, as Krista Tippett has astutely observed,
science and religion “ask different kinds of questions altogether,
probing and illuminating in ways neither could alone,” some of
humanity’s greatest scientific minds have contemplated the relationship
between these two modes of inquiry — Galileo in his legendary letter to the Duchess of Tuscany; Ada Lovelace in her meditation on the interconnectedness of everything; Einstein in his answer to little girl’s question about whether scientists pray; Jane Goodall in her poetic take on science and spirit; Sam Harris in his elegant case for spirituality without religion; and physicist Margaret Wertheim in turning to Dante for an answer.

Among the tireless investigators of this duality is legendary physicist and science-storyteller Richard Feynman (May 11, 1918–February 15, 1988), who explores this very inquiry in the final essay in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (public library) — the same spectacular compendium that gave us the Great Explainer on good, evil, and the Zen of science, the universal responsibility of scientists, and the meaning of life.

Feynman writes:

I do not believe that science can disprove the existence
of God; I think that is impossible. And if it is impossible, is not a
belief in science and in a God — an ordinary God of religion — a
consistent possibility?

Yes, it is consistent. Despite the fact that I said that more than half of the scientists don’t believe in God, many scientists do
believe in both science and God, in a perfectly consistent way. But
this consistency, although possible, is not easy to attain, and I would
like to try to discuss two things: Why it is not easy to attain, and
whether it is worth attempting to attain it.
Clarifying that by “God” he means the personal deity typical of
Western religions, “to whom you pray and who has something to do with
creating the universe and guiding you in morals,” Feynman considers the
key difficulties in reconciling the scientific worldview with the
religious one. Building on his assertion that the universal responsibility of the scientist is to remain immersed in “ignorance and doubt and uncertainty,” he points out that the centrality of uncertainty in science is incompatible with the unconditional faith required by religion:

It is imperative in science to doubt; it is absolutely
necessary, for progress in science, to have uncertainty as a fundamental
part of your inner nature. To make progress in understanding, we must
remain modest and allow that we do not know. Nothing is certain or
proved beyond all doubt. You investigate for curiosity, because it is unknown,
not because you know the answer. And as you develop more information in
the sciences, it is not that you are finding out the truth, but that
you are finding out that this or that is more or less likely.

That is, if we investigate further, we find that the statements of
science are not of what is true and what is not true, but statements of
what is known to different degrees of certainty… Every one of the
concepts of science is on a scale graduated somewhere between, but at
neither end of, absolute falsity or absolute truth.

Piece from Richard Feynman's little-known sketches, edited by his daughter. Click image for more.
In a sentiment that calls to mind Wendell Berry on the wisdom of ignorance, Feynman adds:

It is necessary, I believe, to accept this idea, not only
for science, but also for other things; it is of great value to
acknowledge ignorance. It is a fact that when we make decisions in our
life, we don’t necessarily know that we are making them correctly; we
only think that we are doing the best we can — and that is what we
should do.
Befriending uncertainty, Feynman argues, becomes a habit of mind that
automates thought to a point of no longer being able to retreat from
doubt’s inquiry. The question then changes from the binary “Is there God?” to the degrees-of-certainty ponderation “How sure is it that there is a God?” He writes:

This very subtle change is a great stroke and represents a
parting of the ways between science and religion. I do not believe a
real scientist can ever believe in the same way again. Although there
are scientists who believe in God, I do not believe that they think of
God in the same way as religious people do… I do not believe that a
scientist can ever obtain that view — that really religious
understanding, that real knowledge that there is a God — that absolute
certainty which religious people have.

A 1573 painting by Portuguese artist, historian, and
philosopher Francisco de Holanda, a student of Michelangelo's, from
Michael Benson's book 'Cosmigraphics'—a visual history of understanding
the universe. Click image for more.
A believing scientist, then, is one from whom the degree of certainty
outweighs but doesn’t displace the degree of doubt — in the scientist,
unlike in the religious person, doubt remains a parallel presence with
any element of faith. Feynman illustrates this sliding scale of
uncertainty by putting our human existence in cosmic perspective:

The size of the universe is very impressive, with us on a
tiny particle whirling around the sun, among a hundred thousand million
suns in this galaxy, itself among a billion galaxies… Man is a
latecomer in a vast evolving drama; can the rest be but a scaffolding
for his creation?

Yet again, there are the atoms of which all appears to be
constructed, following immutable laws. Nothing can escape it; the stars
are made of the same stuff, and the animals are made of the same stuff,
but in such complexity as to mysteriously appear alive — like man
With an eye to the immutable mystery at the heart of all knowledge — something Feynman memorably explored in his now-iconic ode to a flower — he adds:

It is a great adventure to contemplate the universe
beyond man, to think of what it means without man — as it was for the
great part of its long history, and as it is in the great majority of
places. When this objective view is finally attained, and the mystery
and majesty of matter are appreciated, to then turn the objective eye
back on man viewed as matter, to see life as part of the universal
mystery of greatest depth, is to sense an experience which is rarely
described. It usually ends in laughter, delight in the futility of
trying to understand. These scientific views end in awe and mystery,
lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so
impressive that the theory that it is all arranged simply as a stage for
God to watch man’s struggle for good and evil seems to be inadequate.
But even if one comes to doubt the factuality of divinity itself,
Feynman argues that religious myths remain a valuable moral compass, the
basic ethical tenets of which can be applied to life independently of
the religious dogma:

In the end, it is possible to doubt the divinity of
Christ, and yet to believe firmly that it is a good thing to do unto
your neighbor as you would have him do unto you. It is possible to have
both these views at the same time; and I would say that I hope you will
find that my atheistic scientific colleagues often carry themselves well
in society.
Having grown up in communist Bulgaria — a culture where blind
nonbelief was as dogmatically mandated by the government as blind belief
is by the church elsewhere — I find Feynman’s thoughts on the dogma of
atheism particularly insightful:

The communist views are the antithesis of the scientific,
in the sense that in communism the answers are given to all the
questions — political questions as well as moral ones — without
discussion and without doubt. The scientific viewpoint is the exact
opposite of this; that is, all questions must be doubted and discussed;
we must argue everything out — observe things, check them, and so change
them. The democratic government is much closer to this idea, because
there is discussion and a chance of modification. One doesn’t launch the
ship in a definite direction. It is true that if you have a tyranny of
ideas, so that you know exactly what has to be true, you act very
decisively, and it looks good — for a while. But soon the ship is
heading in the wrong direction, and no one can modify the direction
anymore. So the uncertainties of life in a democracy are, I think, much
more consistent with science.
He revisits the ethical aspect of religion — its commitment to
guiding us toward a more moral life — and its interplay with our human

We know that, even with moral values granted, human
beings are very weak; they must be reminded of the moral values in order
that they may be able to follow their consciences. It is not simply a
matter of having a right conscience; it is also a question of
maintaining strength to do what you know is right. And it is necessary
that religion give strength and comfort and the inspiration to follow
these moral views. This is the inspirational aspect of religion. It
gives inspiration not only for moral conduct — it gives inspiration for
the arts and for all kinds of great thoughts and actions as well.
Noting that all three aspects of religion — metaphysical divinity,
morality, and inspiration — are interconnected and that “to attack one
feature of the system is to attack the whole structure,” Feynman zeroes
in on the inescapable conflict between the empirical findings of science
and the metaphysical myths of faith:

The result … is a retreat of the religious metaphysical
view, but nevertheless, there is no collapse of the religion. And
further, there seems to be no appreciable or fundamental change in the
moral view.

After all, the earth moves around the sun — isn’t it best to turn the
other cheek? Does it make any difference whether the earth is standing
still or moving around the sun?


In my opinion, it is not possible for religion to find a set of
metaphysical ideas which will be guaranteed not to get into conflicts
with an ever-advancing and always-changing science which is going into
an unknown. We don’t know how to answer the questions; it is impossible
to find an answer which someday will not be found to be wrong. The
difficulty arises because science and religion are both trying to answer
questions in the same realm here.

On the other hand, I don’t believe that a real conflict with science
will arise in the ethical aspect, because I believe that moral questions
are outside of the scientific realm.

Another 16th-century painting by Francisco de Holanda from 'Cosmigraphics.'Click image for more.
And so we get to the most enduring challenge — the fact that, in Tippett’s words, “how we ask our questions affects the answers we arrive at.” Arguing that science isn’t aimed at the foundations of morality, Feynman writes:

The typical human problem, and one whose answer religion aims to supply, is always of the following form: Should I do this? Should we do this? Should the government do this? To answer this question we can resolve it into two parts: First — If I do this, what will happen? — and second — Do I want that to happen? What would come of it of value — of good?

Now a question of the form: If I do this, what will happen?
is strictly scientific. As a matter of fact, science can be defined as a
method for, and a body of information obtained by, trying to answer
only questions which can be put into the form: If I do this, what will happen? The technique of it, fundamentally, is: Try it and see.
Then you put together a large amount of information from such
experiences. All scientists will agree that a question — any question,
philosophical or other — which cannot be put into the form that can be
tested by experiment … is not a scientific question; it is outside the
realm of science.

I claim that whether you want something to happen or not — what value
there is in the result, and how you judge the value of the result
(which is the other end of the question: Should I do this?), must lie outside of science because it is not a question that you can answer only by knowing what happens; you still have to judge
what happens — in a moral way. So, for this theoretical reason I think
that there is a complete consistency between the moral view — or the
ethical aspect of religion — and scientific information.
But therein lies the central friction — because of the
interconnectedness of all three parts of religion, doubt about the
metaphysical aspect invariably chips away at the authority of the moral
and inspirational aspects, which are fueled by the believer’s emotional
investment in the divine component. Feynman writes:

Emotional ties to the moral code … begin to be severely
weakened when doubt, even a small amount of doubt, is expressed as to
the existence of God; so when the belief in God becomes uncertain, this
particular method of obtaining inspiration fails.
He concludes, appropriately, like a scientist rather than a dogmatist
— by framing the right questions rather than asserting the right

I don’t know the answer to this central problem — the
problem of maintaining the real value of religion, as a source of
strength and of courage to most [people], while, at the same time, not
requiring an absolute faith in the metaphysical aspects.

Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages.
One is the scientific spirit of adventure–the adventure into the
unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order
to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the
universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to
summarize it — the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage
is Christian ethics — the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of
all men, the value of the individual — the humility of the spirit.

These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic
is not all; one needs one’s heart to follow an idea. If people are going
back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a
place to give comfort to a man who doubts God — more, one who
disbelieves in God? Is the modern church a place to give comfort and
encouragement to the value of such doubts? So far, have we not drawn
strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these
consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other? Is
this unavoidable? How can we draw inspiration to support these two
pillars of Western civilization so that they may stand together in full
vigor, mutually unafraid? Is this not the central problem of our time?
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
is a trove of the Great Explainer’s wisdom on everything from education
to integrity to the value of science as a way of life. Complement it
with Feynman on why everything is connected to everything else, how his father taught him about the most important thing, and his little-known drawings, then revisit Alan Lightman — a Great Explainer for our day — on science and the divinity of the unknowable.


Edward Bernays and the Art of Public Manipulation

Uploaded on 22 Aug 2009
The book, Propaganda by Edward Bernays.


YouTube documentary about Edward Bernays:

Edward Louis James Bernays (/bərˈnz/; German: [bɛɐ̯ˈnaɪs]; November 22, 1891 − March 9, 1995) was an Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, referred to in his obituary as "the father of public relations".[1] He combined the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud.

He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the "herd instinct" that Trotter had described.[2] Adam Curtis's award-winning 2002 documentary for the BBC, The Century of the Self,
pinpoints Bernays as the originator of modern public relations, and
Bernays was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th
century by Life magazine.[3]



Top 17 Alan Watts Videos (With Summaries) - Cutting-Edge Solutions For a Better Life

Top 17 Alan Watts Videos (With Summaries) - Cutting-Edge Solutions For a Better Life

These are all short and most have music, which makes them more
inspiring.  1.5X means this is the preferable speed I listen to it at.

I give a short explanation because the first time I listened to many
of these videos I didn’t fully understand what he was saying, but it
sounded good.  Anyway, these are my interpretations that make sense to
me.  I ordered them roughly in how much I appreciate them.

I relisten to these sometimes as occasional reminders.

1) Time to Wake Up (1.5X)
– on watching, letting things be, accepting our destiny because we
can’t control it.  The concept of Judo- go along with it, go along with

2) Live Fully Now – on the ridiculousness of the rat race.  You must live for the present.

3) The Way of Waking Up –
on simply being.  When shedding the ego, the world becomes a general
experience that’s not different from anyone else’s experience and so
whenever someone is born, in a way it’s as if you are born.   If you can
imagine your own consciousness being destroyed (by using LSD), a
different one reemerges and it’s no different as if you died and were
reborn.  A bit gimmicky and not clear logic, but good music.

4) The Secret of Life –
The false idea that we must keep living and be successful.  On the
importance of allowing life to be lived spontaneously, without goals,
commands or control.   On being and experiencing the world.  On playing,
instead of working.

5) Follow Your Heart –
Following your passion, trusting your future, destiny and intuition.
 Acting as if money were no object.  Time is limited.  What do I desire?
You’ll know when you find it. Stay hungry, stay foolish.

6) Playing The Game of Life –
on forever being a candidate for living, but never actually living.
 All wretch and no vomit.  Until you are retired and sick.  On working
to make money to buy pleasure, which doesn’t cause happiness.  Making
plans for the future is of use only to people who are capable of living
in the present.

7) Let Go of Controlling Everything (1.5X)
– Trusting your nature, giving up control, and letting the universe
decide for you.  Trying to control will antagonize your flow and you’ll
live less experientially. Trusting the real you and the universe is a
way to become one with it.

8)  Be Yourself –
the real you.  Your experience is all that is there. Our perception
of reality is only brought into being by our senses. Red is really a
wave, but eyes see red, not waves.  Sound is vibrations and noise is a
creation of our ear drums.  So in that sense, we are god, because we
create sound, light and everything we experience, and that’s all that
there is.  Your experiences are you and nothing else is you.

9) The Illusion of Ego (1.5X)
– On trying to use the Ego to control our lives, which only causes
strain because what we think of as ‘Me’ can’t actually control anything.
 Therefore, all we can do is watch, which is the state of meditation.
 On the distortions that the Ego causes – accentuates good and bad,
pleasant and painful.  In reality, everything is vibrations (matter is
vibrations).  In Zen, you act immediately, instead of thinking about
acting.  We only know something because of contrast – only know hard
because of soft, light because of dark, etc…So what we know isn’t an
absolute experience, just perceptions – they’re really just vibrations.
 The Ego is a similar kind of illusion.  Life is about appreciating the
vibrations, but realizing that vibrations are just that.

10) The Illusion of Self – follow ideas to the extreme.

Life is like an onion.  Some try to peel an onion as fast as we can
to get to core or some future point, until we realize that an onion is
all skins and no center.  You must enjoy the skins if you are to enjoy
the onion.  In the same way, you must enjoy your current experience.

The story of a man who fights a bear that is capable of reading his
thoughts.  Since the bear knows in advance how the man will hit it, the
only way for the man to win the fight is to hit it by accident.

A student trying to learn from his Zen master is trying to
purposefully do something in a formal way, which is antithetical to Zen.
 In Zen, life is about experience.  The master can’t teach you anything
because there is nothing to learn.  And so the student is on a goal
oriented journey to get somewhere, but eventually he must
realize/internalize that there’s no where to go and nothing to learn.

11) The Way of Waking up (1.5X)
– There’s no where you have to go or nothing to do to be happy.  You’re
here.  If you’re ready to wake up…you’re going to wake up.

12) The Mind -worrying that we worry, addiction to thinking, constant distraction from ourselves, shutting down the mind,

13) It Starts Now –
as long as we try to control and get somewhere, meditation isn’t
possible.  On the endless obsession of frivolous superiority – one is
slightly more evolved than another.  On being in the present and not
using excuses to explain your present, but just accepting it.  You can’t
blame anyone for where you are.

14) Alan Watts and South Park (1.5X)- cute, good mix of Alan Watts.

15) Living In Nothingness –
on the importance of imagining that all your possessions were
destroyed.  Nothingness is the fundamental reality and viewing the world
in such a way…but in nothing there is everything.   Gives opposite
perspectives of living, both of which are true.

16) The Dream of Life/What If God Became Bored (similar) (1.5X)
– Why planning and dreaming of the future is silly – because in a way
the spontaneous and unknowableness of our present and future…. is a
dream that we would’ve planned if given the chance.  I don’t fully ‘get
it’, but sounds cool.

17) Creating Who You Are –
you don’t know what you want because you have it, and you don’t know
yourself because you never can.  Instead of trying to create (through
will) who we are, we should let go and just accept whatever we
are/desire.  The more we try to control, the more energy we exert and
the more we are in defensive mode (constantly trying to keep everything
in line).  When we give up control, we gain a new power.  Only once we
realize that we can’t control, is when we start to give it up.


Work Is Bullshit: The Argument For "Antiwork" | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

Work Is Bullshit: The Argument For "Antiwork" | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

Be honest: Do you actually need to do your job?

If you're like most employed Americans, you hate your job—or, at best, you're checked out at work.
But as much as you might complain about the place where you spend most
of your waking hours, there's a good chance you don't ever question the
fundamental idea that you should be working.

A fascinating essay by U.K.-based writer Brian Dean argues that we need to reframe the idea of work itself—and maybe replace it with "antiwork" instead. He explains:
Antiwork is a moral alternative to the obsession with
"jobs" that has plagued our society for too long. It’s a project to
radically reframe work and leisure. It’s also a cognitive antidote to
the pernicious culture of "hard work," which has taken over our minds as
well as our precious time.