Things I’d like to know about:

I was thinking yesterday about subjects I’d like to learn about it. My thought process was if I was given a grant to study anything I wanted, what would I like to immerse myself in? And, what peculiar questions would it be cool to have answers to? These are some of the topics I came up with. If anyone has any reading on the topic, or wisdom to add, please do.

[*] The Philosopher’s Burden.

[*] It’s pretty easy to see how today the media blows things out of proportion and tends to overestimate the importance or significance of events or movements. Is history different? What are we missing? Who because they were media or social darlings got overvalued and what true mover has been ignored?

[*] The Psychology of Tattoos: What makes people get them? What separates the people who get one or two and the people who coat their body in them?

[*] Is there a fallacy about betting on people who have already been successful, even though probability would state that since success is rare, the likelihood of doing it twice is even more rare? [Sort of like the conjunction fallacy, I guess]

[*] Entrenched Player Dilemma. I know a little bit about this, but I’ve yet to find a really good write-up.

[*] From Dawkins: Was it possible to be an atheist in an informed way before 1859? Or was it just as speculative or without evidence as religion?

[*] Paternalism has disastrous results socially, economically and politically. The record of communist societies is objectively unsuccessful. What evolutionary tendency drives us to that time and time again? Why does the issue seem so clear to some people but intellectuals continue to insist optimistically that it will work?

[*] In The Gift of Fear, Gavin De Becker talks about how we subconsciously perceive threats to our safety and that if we were more in-tune with those feelings we could prevent it. What if that perspective is just the hindsight bias that we use instead of admitting how vulnerable we really are? I suspect that a lot of it is just a coping mechanism.

What would you like to learn about?

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.