The World’s First Literary Text: The Epic of Gilgamesh King of Uruk.

urThe birth place of the written word (The Epic of Gilgamesh King of Uruk.) known today as Tall al Muqayyar, Iraq (Sumeria, The City of Ur) (Biblical name: Ur of the Chaldees, Mesopotamia). It is HERE that the Humanity’s first literary text, “The Epic of Gilgamesh” King of Uruk, is written many centuries before Homer.

gilgamesh

 

ur1

ur2

Book Recommendations in the Age of President Donald J. Trump

amusing

Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment”

  • When politics become tribal
  • When truth becomes an alternative fact.
  • When bigotry becomes a national security
  • When serious and complex geopolitics are reduced to tweets
  • When what matters is “Me” and “Me Alone”

How do we get here? What went wrong?

The answer can be found in a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. Here is the author’s son on how the author predicted our current situation.

Important Book Recommendations

arnold

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett
Today, I am going to recommend a self-help book, written 110 years ago. Don’t be fooled by the age of the book, it is as relevant today as when it was written. It is a classic book and was the best seller both in England and in America back in the day. I believe if people knew how important this book is, it would have been the best seller every year since 1926 . The book is totally free and available both written HERE and audio HERE. The book offers practical advice on how to make the most of the daily miracle of life, your 24 hours. It has been very important to me and have benefitted immensely over the years.

Why we should read books?

bookfair

Book lovers in Mogadishu, Somalia

“There is, perhaps, one universal truth about all forms of human cognition: the ability to deal with knowledge is hugely exceeded by the potential knowledge contained in man’s environment. To cope with this diversity, man’s perception, his memory, and his thought processes early become governed by strategies for protecting his limited capacities from the confusion of overloading. We tend to perceive things schematically, for example, rather than in detail, or we represent a class of diverse things by some sort of averaged “typical instance.” -JEROME S. BRUNER, Art as a Mode of Knowing

I read a great article called “HOW ART CAN DEFEAT BOREDOM AND LONELINESS” by Eva Hoffman in the Literary Hub. I thought the article could have been better titled “why we should read books” Here are some excerpts from the article:

To understand our experience, we need to look inwards. But our mental and imaginative resources would soon be exhausted if they were not replenished by looking outwards, and engaging imaginatively with the external world. Our minds and selves need nourishment, as much as our bodies; and if leisure has sometimes been seen as the foundation of culture, it is because it allows for the cultivation not only of self-knowledge, but of what might be called non-instrumental knowledge and non-productive aspects of the self: a disinterested curiosity, the capacity for aesthetic appreciation, the need for wonder. If we are to remain internally and intellectually alive, we need to make time not only for introspection but for imaginative exploration—for following our intellectual predilections, say, or our aesthetic impulses, without keeping an eye on the outcome or the specific goal”

…Why should we take the time to sit down with a “long-form” text (as it is sometimes called, in distinction to those default digital forms) and give it the requisite number of hours?

…But the fundamental reason for taking the time to read is because books (good books, that is; books that matter) are the best aid to extended thought and imaginative reflection we have invented. In our own time, this is particularly important, as an antidote to the segmentation of thought encouraged by digital technologies. Cruising among the infinite quanta of data oered on the internet is ne for nding out information; but the disparate fragments we look at on our various screens rarely cohere into continuous thought, or a deepening of knowledge. For us, it is part of the value added by—and the importance of—books that they require us to focus our attention and to slow down our mental time; to follow the thread of thought or argument until new insight or knowledge is reached. Read the whole article

Book recommendation of 2017

books2017

  1. A Strangeness in My Mind: A novel by Nobel 

— Review by Rachel Kushner  “In July, after the coup in Turkey, during the escalating Trump campaign, I read Orhan Pamuk’s “A Strangeness in My Mind.” Despite being a six-hundred-and-twenty-four-page novel about a man who sells boza—a low-alcohol fermented wheat drink of waning popularity in the Balkans and the Middle East—this novel is of gripping relevance to anyone who wants to understand either the sociopolitical landscape of Turkey or sociopolitical landscapes more generally. Pamuk did six years of field research, talking to street venders, electricity-bill collectors, and the builders and residents of Istanbul’s many shantytowns—a population that has typically voted for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the increasingly authoritarian populist who has been the head of state since 2003—and then wove the information he collected into the individual experience of this one street vender, a dreamer type who suffers from a condition that he calls “a strangeness in his head.” The book pumped me up about the possibilities of the novel—the way that it can do a kind of work that social analysis and even history, with its limited access to private life and unspoken desires, can’t: namely, tracing the relationship between large-scale historical change and the thoughts and feelings that fill a given person’s head at any given moment. I found it as head-exploding as “War and Peace,” and more comforting. It gave me a window onto a part of human experience, and a part of Istanbul’s geography, that I thought I didn’t and couldn’t understand”

2.Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli  MK “Get confused by science fiction because you can’t separate what’s real versus what’s been made up? Italian theoretical physicist and writer Carlo Rovelli uses a conversational tone to untangle the most complicated yet most beautiful advances in science in modern history. Lesson topics range from Einstein’s theory of relativity to black holes, and you’ll feel a whole lot smarter for having read this elegant, straightforward little book”

3. Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday:  A great books in business and personal strategy. According to Ryan “Many of us insist the main impediment to a full, successful life is the outside world. In fact, the most common enemy lies within: our ego. Early in our careers, it impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, it can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, it magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. At every stage, ego holds us back.” In fact, if ego is not checked it can ruin not only the leader but can ruin an entire organization, nation or continent.

4. Bargaining for Advantage by Professor Richard Shell: Written by Director of Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop. Reveals best practices from the world’s top dealmakers. Shows you how to avoid the perils and pitfalls of negotiations.

5. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl: A series of grisly murders is rocking the streets of nineteenth-century Boston. But these are no ordinary killings. Each is inspired by the hellish visions of Dante’s Inferno. To end the bizarre and bloody spree, no ordinary detective will suffice. Enter the unlikely sleuths of the Dante Club: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, and J. T. Fields — renowned scholars with the skills to decipher the devilish clues. But can this band of bookish gentlemen outwit a crafty killer? A terror-stricken city — and their own lives — depend on it.

6.The Lose Your Belly Diet: Change Your Gut, Change Your Life by Travis Stork: Based on exciting new research about the dramatic benefits of vibrant gut health and a diverse gut microbiome, Travis Stork’s plan nurtures your gut while helping you burn off excess weight and harmful belly fat.

 

Reading List for Entrepreneurs

20161214_205102

ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson:  It is hard to describe this book but I believe, it is one of the most important books ever written for would be entrepreneurs. The book will guide you through what are the most important things in starting up a business. In a nutshell “you need to stop talking, wasting time and start working!).

Bargaining for Advantage by Professor Richard Shell: Written by Director of Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop. Reveals best practices from the world’s top dealmakers. Shows you how to avoid the perils and pitfalls of negotiations.

Linchpin Are You Indispensable? By Seth Godin: What to do when there is no rule book? This book shows you how to unlock your potential to make a difference in whatever field you choose.

The Cheat Code by Brian Wong: This a resource, toolbox, tips and tricks that an entrepreneur will find very useful. It is full of ideas of how to get attention for yourself, your ideas and product.

Mindfulness A Practical Guide by Tessa Watt: Do you rush through your day on autopilot, not fully aware of what you’re doing? Forgetting stuff, missing appointment…Do you get stuck in your head, ruminating on things you wish you had or hadn’t said? If any of this sounds familiar, mindfulness practice can help you.

Reading List:Business Strategy Books

business

“We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost” Nokia CEO last speech.

Businesses such as Uber,  Airbnb,  Amazon, and Apple have completely disrupted their respective industries and the industries they disrupted did not see it coming. Why the incumbent companies did  not see it coming and what was the winning strategy of the disruptive companies is a question worth exploring.

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy–And How to Make Them Work for You written by three of the most sought-after experts on platform businesses  Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary “reveal the whathow, and why of this revolution and provide the first “owner’s manual” for creating a successful platform business”

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World By Donald Sull and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt. Complexity surrounds us. We have too much email, juggle multiple remotes, and hack through thickets of regulations from phone contracts to health plans. But complexity isn’t destiny. Sull and Eisenhardt argue there’s a better way. By developing a few simple yet effective rules, people can best even the most complex problems

Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs By Michael Cusumano and David B. Yoffie. An analysis on the strategies, principles, and skills of three of the most successful and influential figures in business—Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs—offering lessons for all managers and entrepreneurs on leadership, strategy and execution.

The Innovator’s Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More than Good Ideas, By Michael Schrage Research Fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business  asks how organizations can get the maximum possible value from their innovation investments. Schrage introduces the 5X5 framework: giving diverse teams of five people up to five days to come up with portfolios of five business experiments costing no more than $5,000 each and taking no longer than five weeks to run. The book describes multiple portfolios of 5X5 experiments drawn from Schrage’s advisory work and innovation workshops worldwide.

The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy Into Action, written by Robert Kaplan and David Norton. The Balanced Scorecard translates a company’s vision and strategy into a coherent set of performance measures. The four perspectives of the scorecard–financial measures, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth–offer a balance between short-term and long-term objectives, between outcomes desired and performance drivers of those outcomes, and between hard objective measures and softer, more subjective measures.