Tools of Titans (Tim Ferriss)

On my holiday reading list is Tim Ferriss‘s new Tools of Titans. I’m waiting to receive my copy (Christmas can’t come soon enough), but I wanted to encourage others to read the book even though I haven’t. I’ve listened to the first chapter that Tim has read on his podcast. This is going to be worth every penny. (His other books are great, too. See here, here, and here.)

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Trump Card

Last week’s election was, many say, a defining moment for America. It was for sure a significant development in American politics. A total outsider with no experience in mainstream politics is the President-elect.

Watching the election returns was surreal. I’m a product of the Reagan 80s and enjoyed seeing the Dukakis implosion, Clinton I’s rise to power, and Bush Part Two. But this was something different altogether. I was in a small town for the day watching the polls and small-town politics was quite a sight. And it was a privilege to see the record turnout from people of each party in voting for what they believed in.

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A lesson in mercy

I’d never read The Merchant of Venice until tonight. And I do not have significant exposure to Shakespeare generally. In this Year of Mercy, I found the discussion of mercy and justice very profound. In Act IV, Scene 1, Portia, acting as the judge, is discussing with Shylock his insistence that Antonio pay a pound of flesh to repay his debt. She says (emphasis mine),

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.

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