Nov 162006

The first part of today’s blog is about the intention-manifestation model. Some of you may recall me talking about it before. If not, you can read about it here. Anyhoo, I’ve been doing it for some time with mild success (of course, that could be the placebo effect, or my own bias, so this is in no way an empirical experiment) however, last night is when it really hit home with me. I had just gotten off work (I got a short construction job helping some guys build a datacenter) and I wanted to go the Toronto Reference Library (which is at Yonge-Bloor station), I was at Union station. After that, I wanted to go home, to Dundas West. I had one ticket. Damned scarcity. I decided I’d walk upto Yonge-Bloor (about 45 min-1 hour walk) and then take the ticket home. So, I start walking down Front Street. As I’m walking across Union station, I hear "hey Ammar!". I turn around. It’s Aiden from high school. I haven’t seen that guy in like a year. We get to talking. Eventually, he just gives me a subway ticket. I didn’t ask for it, I don’t think I seemed pretty needy about it. And he just gives it to me. I like to think what happened here was, I intended a ticket, and so it appeared. 😀

If this is all a delusion, then it’s a very profitable one. I’ve been getting a lot more money/jobs after starting to intend more money, including those i didn’t expect. I especially got them when I wanted something or needed the money.


The second part of this post is about a wonderful new book I’m reading, called "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Dr. Robert Cialdini. I first learned of this book when it was very highly recommended by Charlie Munger. Both in his "The Psychology of Human Misjudgement" speeches and in other places. BTW, 24 Standards Causes of Human Misjudgement and that one are both the same speech. Anyhoo, Influence, is about six "weapons" of persuasion that Cialdini has identified. You can find them listed here. (check the links at the end, there’s a summary of the book). To clarify, this book isn’t about learning to persuade people (although you can learn that, too) but about how and why humans can be persuaded. I feel like he left out "ego" or "egotist" reasons in his book, but I haven’t read all of it, so that may show up later.

I don’t say this often; but if I was limited to one book my whole life, this would probably be it.

I’ll summarize/annotate that speech of Munger’s sometime because I understand it’s hard to read. But it is so worth it.

Nov 142006

I realized that I haven’t done a photoreading update in a while, so here’s another one.

I’ve photoread two more books lately. I’ve also spent some time reading the Photoreading forum over at Learning Strategies’ website. I’ve come to understand a few things:

1. Generally speaking, self-help and personal development materials are marketted terribly. They’re generally marketted to the lowest common denominator, likely because it’s easier to get them to buy stuff because purchasing decisions are often emotional/ego ones.

2. Nowhere in the photoreading system does it give a timeline for how good you should be. They often give examples of what people have done and so forth, but they don’t tell you that you only get there with practice and that at the beginning, you should be expecting to cut the amount of time you spend reading a book by 1/3 with comprable comprehension.

3. I’ve learned that photoreading system isn’t complete bollocks and it isn’t as new agey and crazy as one might think. Again, it’s the matter of marketting and writing. The actual "photographing the pages for the beneift of your subconscious mind" really does two things, one it helps you to find places where useful/interesting information is in the book, and second, it helps you understand the material better. you don’t just sit down, photoread the book in five minutes and you’re done. There’s the step of activating which is as crucial to photoreading as the actual photoreading step.

4. I’m going to continue using and pursuing photoreading because I do believe it works. I’ll make another update once I feel like I’ve made more progress. So far, I have indeed cut down my reading time for the same level of comprehension by quite a bit. I’ll try to get some numbers on how much I’ve cut it down by sometime soon.