I see so many people pleased with how many books they are managing to polish off, and setting themselves targets. That great to have but I am reminded of this quote in Uncanny Valley. 📚

Reading wasn’t about mainlining information. (Location 2330)

Reading to me is about enjoyment, I love reading and I am sad when I finish a good book.

Currently reading: Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener 📚

Finished reading: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 📚

Notes And Highlights

Seed sat on her dilapidated sofa scrolling through other people’s happy lives, waiting for something to happen. (Location 163)

Sounds familiar doesn’t it, looking at others portrayal of their lives becomes infinitely more interesting that improving our own.

‘Pressure makes us, though. You start off as coal and the pressure makes you a diamond.’ She didn’t correct his knowledge of diamonds. She didn’t tell him that while coal and diamonds are both carbon, coal is too impure to be able, under whatever pressure, to become a diamond. According to science, you start off as coal and you end up as coal. Maybe that was the real lesson. (Location 229)

A random throw away statement, that while not being most motivational makes perfect sense. We have this idea in our head that things are easy if we work hard or just put up without enough hardship. When in fact most of us are just stuck.

‘Cheer up, love, it might never happen,’ someone said. Nothing ever did, she thought to herself. That was the whole problem. (Location 355)

But Mrs Elm shook her head. ‘That isn’t how death works.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘You don’t go to death. Death comes to you.’ Even death was something Nora couldn’t do properly, it seemed. (Location 475)

This is so familure. When feeling those download spirals it feels as if nothing goes right and you can’t achieve anything. Even things completely out of your control feel like they are related to you. The pressure builds to a point where you can’t think positively about anything.

‘How do I know? I only know today. I know a lot about today. But I don’t know what happens tomorrow.’ (Location 915)

How much of life do you waste thinking about the time to come. If I can only get through today then tomorrow will be X,Y Z.

I have carefully calculated that the pain of me living as the bloody disaster that is myself is greater than the pain anyone else will feel if I were to die. In fact, I’m sure it would be a relief. (Location 924)

I wrote about this as a result of reading the paragraph above. I have often thoughts about fading away or ending it all, but my pain never seems to outweigh the pain I know other will experience and that gives me weird comfort.

‘Want,’ she told her, in a measured tone, ‘is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. Maybe you have a lack problem rather than a want problem. (Location 930)

I love this idea, that want means a lack of. When we desire something what is the root lack of that we are experiencing to motivate the desire?

The lonely mind in the busy city yearns for connection because it thinks human-to-human connection is the point of everything. But amid pure nature (or the ‘tonic of wildness’ as Thoreau called it) solitude took on a different character. It became in itself a kind of connection. A connection between herself and the world. And between her and herself. (Location 1839)

Stimulation and connection is so easy to achieve now that many epople do not know how to be alone with themselves. Its make people so uncomfortable that that have no dealt with their own issues and emotions becuase they have never had to. Knowing yourself is the root to improving yourself.

The life of a human, according to the Scottish philosopher David Hume, was of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster. (Location 1971)

Yet we put amazing important on the life of a human but next to nothing on everything else in the environment. Why are we so important?

may have not been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t. (Location 2168)

This rings so true to me, I still to this day have no idea what my ‘thing’ is, but I know what I don’t like and I think that’s enough.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see — Henry David Thoreau It is easy to mourn the lives we aren’t living. Easy to wish we’d developed other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we’d worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga. (Location 3802)

The world online would have us believe that everyone else’s life is better than ours. No matter how great the universe is when you look around you, there are always ones that appear better. You can stare at the photos, read the words and watch the videos and never fail pick out things you wish for your own. It’s easy to see positives in others but not in yourself.

That the prison wasn’t the place, but the perspective. (Location 3904)

Where are we actually stuck?

Just started: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 📚

Started a new book, but it’s not listed in micro.blog/books! 📚

Finished: Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson 📚

Currently reading: Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson 📚

Finished: The Coast-to-Coast Murders by James Patterson 📚

Ready Player Two

For some reason I managed to miss all of the build up to this book despite Ready Player One being one of my favourite books. So catching this the day it was released was a rear period of excitement and hunger to get reading.

I held off until I have finished the book I was on, so reviews and criticism was already flying all over the internet by the time I turned the first page. Despite these I went straight in with an open mind, but a longing for it to be as good as RPO.

Unfortunately it isn’t. RPT isn’t a bad read, and well worth it for those longing for a new story but don’t expect it to capture your heart. All of the right pieces are in the right places, but for some reason it feels overplayed, padded out by about 30%, and manages to pull on non of the nostalgia strings it should.

I found myself skimming large parts of the text in an attempt for the plot to get to the point much quicker. Although the story is somewhat well rounded, it feels like a book written to be made into a movie due to its lack of detail in some elements of the story but in-depth nitpicking on the 80’s trivia.

Ready Player Two is well worth picking up and reading but does not hold a candle to the first book.

Book Notes

that this invention has the power to drastically alter the nature of human existence. I think it could help humanity. But it could also make things even worse. (Location 368)

Drawing parallels between this and [[Project Human]] with Zichey and Rene Richie. This quote would not have stood out to me so much had I not just listened to this episode.

Leading to my post on Do People Actually Think About This Stuff?

agree that everyone should balance their time in the OASIS with equal time in reality. But it’s not our place to mandate how our users live their lives. Growing up in the stacks would have been hell for me if I hadn’t had access to the OASIS. It literally saved my life. And I’ve heard Aech say the same thing.” (Location 803)

My online life is very similar. It has been the saviour of myself so many times that I cant even give attribution to them all. The amount of awesome people I have met is crazy high, yet social media is the worst, most toxic place I have even been.

Yes, I knew the haters’ opinions were utterly meaningless, and had no effect whatsoever on our real lives. Unless, of course, we let it. Which, of course, I did. (Location 1033)

Social Media as a great filter

was even beginning to wonder if the invention of a worldwide social network was actually the “Great Filter” that theoretically caused all technological civilizations to go extinct, instead of nuclear weapons or climate change. (Location 1065)

I think this is a fascinating idea, the other civilisations got to sage where they developed social media and it caused the death of their society too. I wonder how this fits into Dunbars number? Could it be that we are simply no meant to be able to talk and interact with so many people that the thoughts and ideas spreading will eventually ruin the world? This is a bit too real currently!

Maybe every time an intelligent species grew advanced enough to invent a global computer network, they would then develop some form of social media, which would immediately fill these beings with such an intense hatred for one another that they ended up wiping themselves out within four or five decades. Only time would tell. (Location 1067)
“Some people define themselves by railing against all of the things they hate, while explaining why everyone else should hate it too. But not me. I prefer to lead with my love—to define myself through joyous yawps of admiration, instead of cynical declarations of disdain.” (Location 1588)

If only more people, myself included at time could lean into this. Even this books reviewers should have studied this passage a little better. Life is not for explaining why things are wrong all the time, it’s for enjoying the take away and the little things you do enjoy.

The mind is the only thing about human beings that’s worth anything. Why does it have to be tied to a bag of skin, blood, hair, meat, bones and tubes? No wonder people can’t get anything done, stuck for life with a parasite that has to be stuffed with food and protected from weather and germs all the time. And the fool thing wears out anyway—no matter how much you stuff and protect it! —Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Location 5681)

This might be the fact I am playing CyberPunk at the moment but reading back on these things makes me draw parallels to all sorts of things. Synthetic modifications to our biology is only a matter of time and could draw into questions what exactly a human is because we could begin to steer very far away from homosapiens. Certainly Yuval Noah Harari believes so.