The Kindle Version of my book, Faith in Doubt, Is Live!

 

For some reason, the physical version is still “in review” and it could take 3 days for Amazon to make a decision. But, since the Kindle version is now live, I don’t think I have to worry about the contents being an issue. If anyone has a Kindle, it’s now available!

If you feel skeptical about it, it is available on KDP Select for people who are subscribed to that.

Progress Note: Finite Incantatem

Note: ALL FINISHED! I’ve sent it to Amazon for review.

I’ve finally finished my book, Faith In Doubt: Do You Question Your Faith?

I completed the penultimate chapter earlier today and with that I’ve completed everything I needed to write down. I had spend almost an hour with Amazon’s Physical self-publishing preview checker, I had pre-prepared and made sure to change any Georgia font, but for some reason some portions with Helvetica font kept showing up, even though I had thought I changed it. Evidently, Microsoft Word 2008 changes the font when loading up documents slowly. The preview system kept showing one issue that needed fixing each time instead of all of them. Eventually, I could click approve and made sure to check over everything before doing so. I’m still in a state of disbelief that this journey may finally be over.

There’s been an issue with pricing that came-up that I hadn’t expected at all. But I’ll wait to go into details if Amazon approves both the Kindle and Physical edition that I’ve sent. I’m worried that the Political Correctness climate and the ridiculous difference in pricing between the Kindle and Physical copy could cause them to reject them, but Amazon is open enough towards Free Speech to allow Nazi books so I’m hopeful. I really have to commend them for sticking to Free Speech as much as possible unlike other companies. Their only sticking point is not having any hateful content in the description and obviously not advocating for violence, which is reasonable since they are a private company that sells merchandise and can’t have that representing them.

I’m hoping there’s no issues. I’m pretty sure that, should I see both versions available, it’ll just be pure giddiness at finally having one of my personal dreams turned into a reality thanks to my dedication over the years. I’m cautiously excited, but if its self-published then I can start leaping for joy.

Overall, this has been quite the journey. Below is the finalized version of the Table of Contents:

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Intellectual Cowardice: Western Indology is Promoting Genocide Denial Of India’s Past

I feel this is an important issue to highlight, because Western Academia seems poised to just ignore painful truths of history, even if it means genocide denial for the sake of treating all religions as equal. After learning more about the issues within Islam, I had to re-evaluate what I thought was true from US Indology books and so I made this post to highlight a perturbing trend of genocide denial by US Indology departments that seem to be extending across Western Indology and it may be branching into other portions of Western academia as well. That is why I feel it was necessary to make this post because what I thought was fairly innocuous information in Unifying Hinduism is now incredibly alarming when I reflect back on it.

Claims by US Indologists from Chapter 10 of Andrew Nicholson’s Book “Unifying Hinduism“:

“HINDUISM: A MODERN INVENTION? “Hindu” was not originally a Sanskrit word but a Persian term used by Muslims to describe a regional or ethnic identity: the people living near the Indus, or Sindhu, river.44 Only at a relatively late date was the term adopted by Indians to refer to themselves, typically as distinguished from outsider groups known as turuskas (Turks) or mlecchas (barbarians). Cynthia Talbot has recorded the earliest usage of the word “Hindu” in an Indian language from inscriptions in mid-fourteenth-century Andhra, in which some Vijayanagara kings were described with the epithet “Sultan among Hindu kings” (Hindu-raya-suratrana).45 Talbot cautions, though, that in these inscriptions, “Hindu meant Indic as opposed to Turkish, not ‘of the Hindu religion’ as opposed to ‘of the Islamic religion.’”46 In Gaudīya Vaiṣṇava texts written in Bengali in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, “Hindu” was occasionally used to distinguish natives from yavanas or mlecchas.47 Although the context makes clear that these foreigners were Muslims, Gaudīya Vaiṣṇava writers did not state this explicitly until the eighteenth century, when the term musulmāna fnally became common usage in Bengali. In this case too, the word may have designated ethnicity generally and not a specific set of religious beliefs.

Further on in the chapter:

“Unlike later Hindu nationalist intellectuals, who sometimes recorded their fantasies of heroic and violent resistance to Muslim oppression, Sanskrit intellectuals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries responded with silence.28”

Source: Nicholson, Andrew J. Chapter 10: Hindu Unity And The Non-Hindu Other (4806-5293). Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History (South Asia Across the Disciplines). Columbia University Press, 2010.

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Progress Note: Very Close To Completion, But Hiccups Remain

Note: Two chapters left, but it seems I wasn’t able to make it by the deadline of today, but I am so very close.  

Part of my issue has been that I spent far too long last year on reading and considering the views of US Indology, which I had believed to be of credible academic value, only to learn, upon reading The Oxford Handbook of Indology, that they don’t actually do anything else but interpret Sanskrit and other Indian languages to their own subjective opinion. I was astonished to later learn that they had a complete ignorance of Islamic doctrines, which they purportedly aimed to compare the behavior of Hindus in the Medieval era to, and even more astonished to read Will Durant’s book to fact-check Far-Right claims and . . . well, facts didn’t care about my feelings. I learned to value Free Speech upon discovering the truth from credible historians that I could trust like Will Durant much later on. I had purchased and read all of Siva Gita by Andrew J. Nicholson and then several chapters of his other book Unifying Hinduism only to compare to Will Durant’s historic fact-finding research and conclude that Nicholson and the Indologists that he cited in his book were entirely ignorant of Islam’s actual impact in India. He even refers to Hindu intellectuals arguments against Islamic invasion as mythic. I had to spend so much unnecessary time re-evaluating my information and came to unsettling conclusions that I didn’t want to be true, but soon recognized was the truth based on factual evidence and a greater understanding of Islamic theology thanks to the College panel discussions by Ex-Muslims of North America. I feel I owe a great deal to them for opening my eyes to problems that were right in front of me, but for which I didn’t notice.

This may sound odd, but I feel a sense of oddness when reflecting how far my views have been reshaped and changed by doing my utmost to go on fact-finding for my book. I hope there’s no issues – and there shouldn’t be – with Amazon’s guidelines once I’m able to self-publish it. It’ll probably be about a week more; if anyone has been eager to read, then I sincerely thank you for your patience. I really am trying to do my utmost in making this a book full of useful information and critiques for all who are interested in a critique of religion through social and cognitive psychology, Nietzschean philosophy, and my own views and thought experiments added onto it. I hope for the best, but I have no idea how good or bad the book will do in terms of sales and generating interest. When I’m done, I feel like hibernating for a month, because my brain feels like it is on fire and melting as I go through the process of writing, editing, citing, re-editing, and then probably editing once again. My main issue is keeping the word count of the remaining two chapters of Hinduism within the 828 page limit of Amazon’s self-publishing physical copies. I hope I can write concisely and informatively enough to squeeze it in.

Overall, writing this book has been one of the most thrilling and satisfying experiences of my life.

Progress Note: I Am An Idiot

Upon nearing the final portions of Part II of my book, I decided to check my word count and page count by making a separate file to place all that I have written into one word document, I found that, to my own chagrin, that I had undervalued myself and overshot the lengths I had already written… to the point that I will have to make this 4-year book project into a series. If you would like to read portions from the actual book to better understand what it’ll contain, here is a sample draft of chapter 6 which doesn’t reflect the final version, but it is still mostly the same.

At the time I decided to check, I found that my word count for Part II was 325,718 and combined with Part I which was on a separate file, it became 404,444 words. It amounted to 881 pages in word. For comparison, my first and terrible attempt at an ebook is around 18,000 words and takes up 203 pages double-spaced on Amazon’s ebook page count. As of now, my word count is 406,958 words and 1,001 pages in what has been completed thus far. So as you can plainly see, I have indeed worked on this book for four years. I will have to change it into a series and I wonder if I should scrub all references to Part III that were made to allude to that portion so that readers would look forward to it, or if I should keep it there so people get interested in future book releases… I really don’t know. It is intended to be a Two-Part Book series now though. I feel a strange and confusing feeling of pride and self-contempt that I’ve done this to myself.

I will now need to make two separate conclusions and I am struggling to think of what would even be appropriate for this book, since the intention was to finish Part III and make a conclusion for what was to be a single book. I’m contemplating a few ideas on how to conclude the entirety of the book as of now. I still haven’t finished the section on Hinduism, but I’ll probably do that one last because I really want to be sure that I can provide a satisfying conclusion that challenges people. I’m not sure if I’ll succeed on that point, but I’ll try with what I have thus far.

For those of you who might be curious, here is my Table of Contents. I wish to take down any notion that I’ll be going soft on Islam and harsher on other religions. I wish to show my ruthlessness upon all of them out of my compassion for the victims of religion:

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Progress Note: Writing A Book Is A Second Job

Fully completed revising and citing all of Part I, finished revising and citing the sections on Original Sin and Judaism, and currently in the process of revising and citing the section about Christianity for Part II. I spent too much time on revising the section on Islam for the third time, but admittedly I did think it was necessary because it helped for me to write further clarifications on the problems of Islam. I haven’t spent as much time on the section of Buddhism and I didn’t even begin Hinduism, but I do have the outline set and after researching further, I haven’t found any reasons why the outline would need revision before I begin writing the chapters down for the section on Hinduism.

It feels surreal that this four year journey of writing, revising, and trying to improve will finally be coming to an end soon. I had felt bad about it taking so long until I read that most authors take 4-10 years to finish a book, read up on the book Getting Things Done and realized writing a book wasn’t easy, and recalled the difficulty of the entire endeavor from Hank Green’s explanation on distinguishing tasks from projects. A book is a long-term project. People who believe it is easy probably don’t think about the numerous steps required for writing an exceptionally good book. It requires knowing your audience for the book, selecting a fitting genre that hopefully won’t drown out your book from the tens of thousands of others, it requires knowledge of copyright so you don’t get scammed out of your money both in your own country and overseas, possibly hiring an editor to fix your grammar mistakes (I won’t be doing this and instead rely upon my essay writing abilities from years of college — potentially to my detriment), paying someone to make a good cover that’ll attract readers (I used fiverr.com), and purchasing a ISBN from your home country. All of that is before marketing your book, which I’m not sure I have a good plan for. The most daunting prospect throughout all of this is that you can spend so much of your time and effort and you may not even make a single sale. The three books I’ve written, the political ones I could have admittedly done a better job in, didn’t really sell much beyond $60 combined throughout all the years they were available up to the present moment and I spent over $50 on advertising. Alternatively, when I released my first ever book for free, it was downloaded just above 100 times, but the moment it was on sale, there was maybe 5 or 6 sales at best over several years. And only one review which didn’t go into any details on any criticisms they had about the book and gave it a 3/5. The dystopian-comedy fantasy novel I wrote to mock Neo-Nazis and their ilk did marginally better since it made 4 sales within the first year and got 2 positive reviews. To be clear though, I don’t really mind since I didn’t put in my best effort, but rather just wanted to prove to myself that I could write about such topics. I think it was probably a detriment overall and I wonder whether I should just pull all the books I’ve written thus far off of Amazon permanently and have only this specific book I’m writing to be the only one available for sale. The only reason I don’t is because if a reader ever gets curious as to how much I’ve changed in my thought process over political issues, they can read about my previous beliefs and compare them to my contemporary ones.

I’m not sure how many of you who are unfamiliar with the habits of writing will believe this, but I honestly feel that writing a book is harder than most mundane physical labor jobs and even the job I had at the Veteran’s home as a Health Unit Coordinator for patients with dementia. I’ve been an unloader, taking palettes off of trucks, and I think that writing a book is several orders of magnitude harder. As an unloader, I had to physically pull things, flee whenever a badly formed palette off a truck began to fall near me, and move it to specific locations in a store. It’s quite a thoughtless job. By contrast, writing a book requires making an outline, researching several topics at great lengths to give an informed opinion, and possibly making additions or changes. For fantasy or Sci-fi writers, its several orders of magnitude more difficult since you have to make a culture that feels authentic or possibly multiple cultures that feel authentic to readers, focus on other aspects of the setting, make interesting subplot points, foreshadowing specific twists in stories, making realistic characters, pinpoint an entire journey and the overarching theme of the journey, write everyone’s dialogue, and provide an engaging motivation to hook readers. Moreover, regardless of if its non-fiction or fiction, you’re competing with every other book in your genre. And even after all that, you may not make a single penny for all of your effort. George R.R. Martin is right to say that writing a book is a gamble. In fact, according to fictional writers who report on their experiences, the average fictional novel may take anywhere from 4 – 10 years to complete. People really underestimate the difficulty. For example, if you’re working two jobs and one of your free days from one job overlap with a day you’re off of work in your other job, then you’ll probably find it practically impossible to work on a book. Laundry, possibly taking care of kids, groceries, and so forth will all take time. And you need time to unwind especially if just one of your jobs is physically or mentally taxing and demands a high level of work performance. It may not seem important, but writing a books table of contents, chapters, and even taking free time to think over the book (especially if you’re writing a fantasy or Sci-fi novel) is important. You can’t concentrate and think over such aspects when doing rudimentary chores or when doing tasks at your job. Even free time at lunch isn’t enough to think over concrete stories or methods of researching new information. At best, you’ll be jotting down a couple of notes that you could never get to or potentially could forget. Writing takes concentration and habit; it is a job all on its own and its one that you may never get paid for and possibly never even finish. You really do run the risk of wasting so much of your time and effort on something that yielded nothing valuable as a return of investment.

Despite all that, I really do feel what I’m working on warrants the risk and is vitally important to write. At best, it’ll hopefully inspire others. I’m sure every author who has ever written a book wishes to become famous and I’m not going to pretend I’m an exception as that would be dishonest. I do hope it is financially successful too, but I doubt it judging from my own track record and some of the responses I get for some arguments I share online. I hope religious believers at least give the book a shot and that it gets decent reviews at least. I want it to be the sum-total of all my arguments against religion and a critique of different religions methods and assumptions about the world. I suspect that all I’ll be seen as is arrogant though, but I hope not. I’m still focused on trying to finish this and hopefully it’ll be done by either this month or early next month.

Thus Spake Zarathustra Review

He who said ‘God is a Spirit’—made the greatest stride and slide hitherto made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum is not easily amended again on earth!” – Thus Spake; Zarathustra,  Chapter LXXVIII: The Ass-Festival. Thomas Common translation.

Nietzsche’s philosophical novel was an amazing read. At the time I began to read it, I hadn’t really been captivated by a novel since the Harry Potter series (which I love) and I found most fantasy stories to be really boring. I had first become familiar with it after reading a philosophical analysis of one of my favorite video games, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. I knew Nocturne was conveying some philosophy, but I didn’t know what at the time. I discovered Nocturne is a spiritual re-telling of certain portions of the novel.

I didn’t expect much at the time, it was mostly curiosity in relation to the game. I suspected that I’d find it boring. To my surprise, it was initially quite a laughable read. Zarathustra is humiliated in front of a crowd whom he tries to speak with as equals. The crowds throughout the novel are always seen as hateful and resentful of anything outside of their small town or village community, they resent and fear any change to better themselves, and spend their days not having a clear opinion on what they want from life or any direction on how they seek to motivate their own improvement, but rather live in indolence seeking only self-gratification and nothing else. This is one of the recurring themes of the novel when Zarathustra travels. Zarathustra seeks to be honest with himself and philosophizes his views, but doing so means he’s ridiculed, ostracized, and labeled dangerous for criticizing core beliefs that are held as sacrosanct. People just don’t want to listen to him and instead make spurious personal attacks based upon the most haphazard of claims.

Nevertheless, the beginning portion goes from particularly inspiring with his evocative words about teaching people of the Ubermensch in the beginning of the novel to a bizarre sort of tragicomedy immediately after. Zarathustra speaks to a crowd that doesn’t wish to understand him and instead ask him about the Last Man which he warns about; the Last Man being the aforementioned indolent dweller who doesn’t care about anything but self-gratification. The tightrope walker falls off from their circus act and severely injures himself which scares the crowd into fleeing. Nobody from the crowd helps the dying tightrope walker except Zarathustra who listens to his dying request to be buried. Zarathustra takes his body, which people in other parts of the village use as shortsighted “evidence” to accuse Zarathustra of grave-robbing, and leaves it up a tree to avoid wolves eating the dead man’s flesh. He sits down and gets absorbed into his own thoughts for awhile before leaving the dead body in the tree. I had laughed at this at first because Zarathustra clearly misunderstood the man’s request and didn’t really follow through with it despite convincing himself that he had. It was really peculiar and apart from being comical, I don’t see much on what that specific scenario was meant to convey. By contrast, the chapter immediately after about making good habits was immediately clear and brought back the interest.

Throughout his journey, Zarathustra extols some very interesting perspectives, but it’s always with the pernicious culture of vitriol and hatred for his teachings by various small town or small village communities who refuse to engage and don’t care to change their habits. Zarathustra points out that people prefer simplistic narratives of good and evil based on their culture or community instead of evaluating right and wrong for themselves. This is particularly evident in religious cultures. They claim to be about their own justice and goodness, but put their brains to sleep when faced with corruption or just blame humanity in general instead of fighting back against such corrupt individuals and corrupt institutions. He guides the reader into asking, if these religious teachings of your community are truly so moral and wonderful, if their values are universally correct as your religion might claim them to be, then why doesn’t it stop abusive behavior from happening? And on the charge of blaming humanity in general when they fail, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra argues that this is responding to genuine criticisms with pure hatred. Theologians and the herd who argue that humans will always be violent or abusive by nature in this circular reasoning argument that “humans are humans” are actually expressing pure hatred for humanity. It doesn’t challenge or confront people who harm you or who harm those you love, it’s just a way of throwing away an argument by refusing to listen and instead opting for a nihilistic hatred for all of humanity as a sort of divine answer.

His criticisms of religion, which are his most salient and paradoxically his most ignored contentions, seem to have gone completely unchallenged. I’ve looked for critiques online and nobody mentions his criticisms on religion. In fact, when I join Nietzsche groups online (which usually have 2000+ members) and begin discussing his criticisms of religion, I am immediately banned from such groups. So-called Nietzsche fans like saying that he contradicted himself or didn’t really say anything, but no one ever seems to be aware or brings up his criticisms of religion. So-called readers of Nietzsche never once speak of it. The closest I’ve seen to an honest critique is Alain de Bottom and a lecture video by Jordan Peterson in one of his classes. By contrast, Christian theologians are notoriously dishonest; repeatedly claiming Nietzsche said things that he never did. I even read an online book in which the author cited Nietzsche by cutting out half the words in a aphorism to claim Nietzsche said something that he never advocated for. I’ve seen Nietzsche quotes pages on facebook full of quotes that Nietzsche never once wrote. Most other scholars of Nietzsche, even on Quora, seem to have read critiques of Nietzsche but never Nietzsche’s actual works. They don’t read to form their opinions on Nietzsche, they read criticisms of Nietzsche and believe those criticisms to be absolute fact and never bother to actually read Nietzsche. Some might argue its due to the confusion over Elizabeth Forster-Nietzsche appropriating his works for her Nazi ideologies, Heidegger’s own appropriation in which he created a Strawman, or perhaps the strawman delusions of Bertrand Russell; but in all honesty, these sorts of strawman depictions exist for every famous person. Even the US Founding Fathers are constantly misinterpreted. I think what underlies all this confusion is the human capacity of heuristics. People believe they can judge and know everything about a single human being from a few short excerpts and judge their entire life based on a few short sentences they read. This does have evolutionary benefits like spotting really dangerous people like Adolf Hitler, but it can be misused and people can be manipulated into seeing hatred, dishonesty, or evil from people who want to criticize bad beliefs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi seem more like exceptions than the rule, where the character assassinations against them eventually backfired. But for people criticizing ideas without civil disobedience or in a context where civil disobedience isn’t a factor, it becomes much harder to be listened to from others.

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Why There Is No God by Armin Navabi

This book is an excellent introductory for theists, agnostics, and atheists unsure of their atheism on the basic arguments that atheists have against the belief in a God or Gods. Armin Navabi, an ex-Muslim who grew up in Iran and became Canadian after leaving the faith, gives a thorough examination of the most common criticisms of religion that atheists give to theists. If you’re one of the aforementioned people that is genuinely curious about why atheists don’t believe in a God or Gods, then I highly recommend this book. It offers the most thorough explanations about the most common arguments that atheists have against the existence of a God.

Unfortunately, even in today’s time, many theists often pretend to know what atheists think and believe about faith in a God or Gods. There is this erroneous belief that atheists hate or fear a God because of something that happened in their personal life or because that’s what holy books like the Bible give as reasons for why someone would be an atheist instead of simply talking to atheists and asking them why. The belief that atheists fear or hate God or love to wallow in sin is the wrong assessment about most atheists. Many atheists point to scientific evidence and criticisms of theology for their reasons on why they don’t believe in any sort of higher power anymore. Armin thoroughly explains these lines of reasoning. He goes on to dismiss the most common theistic comebacks that have been debunked for decades now such as Pascal’s Wager, arguments from ignorance of how little humans know as a reason to believe in a God, and using smart or famous people as reasons to believe in a God or Gods.

If you’re looking for sincere reasons why atheists don’t believe in a God or why people of your faith are leaving your religion, this book is for you. If you want to sincerely understand the basic reasons, then this book will be incredibly useful in understanding the atheist mindset. If you’re a theist or an agnostic who thinks atheists want to live in sin, or are fearful, or hate God; then I honestly recommend this book so that your misconceptions will be cleared away and you can focus on the real reasons that people are leaving religion and think about them. If you’re so concerned about the increase in atheism and view it as a negative occurrence, why not take a leap of faith and read this book to understand the real motivations and reasons on why people leave? If you don’t understand the real reasons, how will you ever hope to change the mind of an atheist? The reasons why people leave religion and become atheist won’t be found in the Bible or the Quran. They’ll only be found by actually listening to atheists. Perhaps, start with this book?

Score: 8/10.

Why Criticize Islam?

Islam is an innately violent, hateful, racist, sexist, and bigoted religion. It is the most barbaric of the Major religions.

Islam is a hateful and dangerous death cult. The Sharia (Islamic Divine Law of the Abrahamic God) must be accepted as unquestioned fact that nobody can argue against to be a Muslim. The only people allowed to interpret the Hadiths are so-called “Islamic Scholars” which are composed of people who know Arabic and are an Islamic theologian (Imam or some other priestly equivalent) so a “scholar” is a theologian who accepts the Quran as unquestioned fact that can’t be challenged. Obviously, there is no room for critical thinking there.

The average Muslim will then seek the Islamic “scholar’s” advice on how to live and the Theologian’s duty is to categorically assess what parts of the outside world are allowed or not allowed for a Muslim to follow. Two more rules further solidify Muslims largely being incapable of critical thinking or even thinking in general. Fitna, i.e. you can’t distress a Muslim for believing in Islam or make them question it. And finally, Bidah which is referred to as “invention” i.e. you can’t change any aspect of Islam with a new teaching or idea because the Quran is suppose to be the perfect book on how to live life for all-time for Muslims.

In effect, this religion categorically goes to war with all outside logic and reasoning so that Muslims learn only to value other Muslims. It’s a cult in every sense of the word. The highest authority is considered the Quran and Muslims must seek Imams or equivalent “Islamic scholars” for their opinions. Oh, and Muhammad is regarded as the perfect human being to model after.

Therefore, Muslims can’t possibly be critical thinkers, they’re largely incapable of thinking itself, and they threaten to harass, insult, and kill any and all who leave the faith of Islam and who make Muslims question it.

A few facts for you:

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Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

This book was a really good read and I highly recommend it. Annie Duke goes into the principles of Truthseeking; suggesting to view your confidence in your beliefs as separate from your identity and viewing them instead as percentages that you place your confidence in. For example, my belief in a certain show I was watching being a good show was at 50 percent. After watching the latest season, it has dropped down to 35 percent and I will no longer watch the show. Using percentages removes the idea of all-or-nothing thinking where the belief is either 100 percent or zero percent with no in-between, potentially causing you to stick to a bad belief when it could be harmful to you.

She encourages readers to Think in Bets for the sake of Truthseeking in order to more efficiently reach our goals in life. She generally uses poker metaphors, but the lessons are indeed useful and fascinating. Think of your decision-making on future possibilities as bets for your future with the different choices that you make as alternative bets for alternative futures. The key to making the best bets is to be as objective, impartial, and honest with ourselves regardless of how painful it’ll be for us. Moreover, it’s best to avoid outcome-focus / Hindsight bias. A psychological bias in all humans where we perceive an event as inevitable after it has happened. It’s a way of making a personal narrative in our minds of our own story and it is a powerful psychological bias that can often cause us to make costly mistakes or confuse our luck with our skill.

One of the most interesting and surprising bits of information was learning that study after study shows that motivated reasoning and confirmation bias effect intelligent people more than average people. In fact, the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be afflicted with a biased outlook because you can process information and reasons for your conclusions from a greater array of fallacious reasoning. This might sound puzzling, but essentially, when a person is emotional and wants to believe something to be true, they’ll find better excuses for it. Intelligent people’s excuses happen to be better so this is particularly impactful the smarter an individual is. They could find more reasons that sound plausible, but they wouldn’t necessarily be objective and impartial. If the focus isn’t on objectivity, then it can become self-damaging.

Mrs. Duke recommends forming a team among your friends who are also interested in Truthseeking. The key is not to complain or to speak about bad luck, but rather to focus on what you can do to learn from your decision-making. Which bets on your future are good? Which are bad? Be honest about your shortcomings and your strengths; do not bias your story to make yourself look better when analyzing your decision-making with friends. When they point out your shortcomings, don’t get angry. The point is learning from our mistakes in order to improve. Friends who are brutally honest will have less rose-tinted glasses than we ourselves do about our own decision-making and vice-versa.

Believe it or not, this is all just the tip of the iceberg. I highly recommend this book. It’s very good; I couldn’t give it a perfect score because the latter-half tends to drag on with different anecdotes. However, some of the most interesting concepts are also developed and expanded in the latter-half too.

Score: 8/10

Definitely check this book out, if you’re even slightly interested.