Tools of Titans: A Software Update for Your Brain

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Tim Ferriss is probably the single most useful celebrity that I regularly pay attention to. However, his value has less to do with his particular knowledge (which is still incredibly useful e.g. “The 4 Hour Workweek”) but instead comes from his network.

Tim has recorded over 200 podcast episodes dissecting the tools and traits of top performers across a plethora of skill sets. After combing through all sorts of investors, writers, and athletes Tim has assembled the Avengers.

Some of the individuals profiled in this book include former California Governor and robot assassin from the future Arnold Schwarzenegger, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, and actual fucking superhuman; The Iceman Wim Hof.

In this book, Tim includes the best advice, tools, and tactics that he has actually used from every guest on his podcast. You can think of this book as The Tim Ferriss Show’s greatest hits with loads of bonus content.

How You Should Read This Book

Tim’s books look and feel very similar to college textbooks as they go over a wealth of information. Because of their length and depth, Tim includes a how-to-use section in the beginning. You can read over that yourself when you pick up a copy. I wanted to suggest a few other ways you can go about consuming this behemoth.

Cover to Cover: Although Tim and I both encourage skipping around in this book many book lovers will see this as blasphemy. Don’t worry this book isn’t Quinton Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and you can read it linearly it just isn’t necessary and you might find yourself bored in some parts (I’m not particularly interested in the health section of the book, so I skimmed it my first read through).

Revisit Your Favorites: Although Tim brings a lot of content not available from his podcast to the book you can still use it as a companion to your favorite episodes. Simply go to the table of contents, pick your favorites along with maybe some that you missed in audio, and enjoy the book that way.

Page Hopping: I’ve included this option just for fun. I have yet to try it but plan to do so in my second read through. If you bought the E-book like I did you’ll see where Tim links to relevant sections of the book that are connected in content but separated by space. To play simply start the book after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s forward and read until you see a page number highlighted in blue click the page number to jump to that section and read until you reach the next link. Do this until you’re bored of it.

Why You Should Read This Book.

Tackle your new year’s resolutions: Inspired by Benjamin Franklin Tim has decided this book into three sections; Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. All of these categories align with what the areas most of us wish to improve in our own lives. So whether you want to get healthy, pad your bank account, or make better decisions this book has a section for all your drunken new year’s declarations.

Educational Value: This book was about $15 on iBooks. Your average American college student spends way more than that to become a more well-rounded individual. Tim is definitely pro college whereas I’m a little more on the fence about the subject. However, I believe we both understand that the ROI on a book like this is very hard to argue with.

If You’re a Fan: If you’re a fan of Tim Ferriss, and have been following as long as I have (since before the podcast) you probably don’t need convincing. However, if there are a few of you diehards out there that don’t want to shell out the cash I want you to consider the value you’ve already gotten from everything Tim offers for free. If you’re a fan buy this book.

When You Should Read This Book

Right now: If you clicked on this article there is a good chance you’re already considering reading “Tools of Titans”, but you just don’t know if now is a good time. If you’ve got kids to feed and bills to pay don’t buy this book yet. Otherwise buy this book immediately whether you’re a fan of Tim Ferriss or not I can’t recommend it enough.

Over and over again: In the beginning of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” the author includes nine suggestions on how to get the most of his book in which he suggests revisiting it frequently as you test the principles discussed within. The same should be done with this book. Read it over and over again, practice what’s inside, and apply what you learn in every possible facet of your life.

Instal The Latest Software for Your Brain

I often think of my brain as a computer and the media I consume as a software update. Sometimes we put software on our smartphones and computers that crash it or makes the experience of owning it somehow worse.

We do this in our brains by fretting over the negativity in the news, scowling at the outrageous Facebook posts of the people we went to high school with, and watching mindlessly unproductive YouTube videos.

Sometimes we put software on our smartphones and computers that make us fall in love with the product all over again. Everything runs smoother, and we use it more than we ever did before. If knowledge is software this book is one hell of an upgrade.

 

I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferriss and all of his work. If you’re a like-minded individual leave a comment bellow and feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Technology and The End of Starving Artists

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I am what some consider a techno-optimist. I think of technology as an ultimately good force in the universe. While others shriek in fear at the thought of drones buzzing overhead and lecture others for ignoring the world around them in favor of the computers in their laps, in their pockets, and on their faces I’m browsing online tech forums and grinning ear-to-ear every time something new gets unveiled during a developers conference. Not only can I see technologies potential to cure disease and rid us of our fossil fuel dependency I also see technology as bread for starving artists. With the help of gizmos and gadgets these cartoonists, film makers, and musicians have mastered their craft and shared it the world over.

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Scott Adams’ name has recently been popping up with some frequency lately due to his blog posts about Republican Frontrunner Donald (Don’t vote for him) Trump and the controversial candidate’s persuasive hypnotism which you can read about here. If you have zero interest in politics you are likely still aware of Adams as the man behind the popular work-place-comic-strip, Dilbert. Adams began his career as an illustrator the same way that many syndicated cartoonists do. On paper. Adams used to start his first drafts with pencil, then go over it with pen, then shade it with “a sort of decal you could buy at high end art stores.” Afterwords he would mail off his work to his syndication and wait for it to be published. Yuck! In recent years Adams has ditched that tedious and time consuming process and gone paperless with the help of some new technology. Adams now relies on his trusty Wacom Cintiq 21ux, and photoshop. Adams compares the Wacom tablet to paper in the same way one would compare a car to a horse. In this video you can see Adams dragging pre-drawn images into place, flipping them to face the other direction, and scaling them up-processes I imagine take hours. For Adams the Wacom helps the creative process by not getting in the way of it.

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Casey Neistat is one of YouTube’s most recognizable vloggers. Any time somebody mentions vlogging to me I immediately imagine Casey’s white accented sunglasses staring back at me from my computer screen. Casey makes viral videos of all shapes and sizes. From his video Bike Lanes that gained him a lot of initial attention on the internet to doing advertisements for Nike and crazily Snowboarding in New York City streets. Casey is a pro. Even though he would be the first to tell you that you do not need expensive professional gear to make great videos he has some go-to-gadgets that have helped him garner over Two-million subscribers. First and foremost is Casey’s unique DSLR setup consisting of; a Canon EOS 70D, a Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens, a Rode VideoMic Pro, and a Joby Gorilla Pod. Aside from that anti-selfiestick whatchamacallit Casey is not opposed to using simple point-and-shoots, his iPhone, or emerging 360 degree camera rigs. Finally, Casey does all of that while zooming by on his electronic skateboard, the Boosted Board.

Glitch Mob is a three piece electronic music group who’s members include; edIT, Boreta, and Ooah. These guys are my go-to any time I need some music to get me in a productive mood. With albums like Drink The Sea and Love Death Immortality (you can view their full discography here) I have plenty of music to power me through whatever is on my task list. Even though the entire electronic music genre relies on technology The Mob’s gear is something special. They call it the blade. When I reached out to Boreta and asked him to describe it on one sentence he said this-

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Even though you can get a deeper look at the blade here and here I’ll do my best to describe it. The blade is a beautiful cluster-fuck of tech, wires, and instruments who’s engine is affectionately referred to as Lil Kim. The blade’s tech consists of two Mac Pro audio computers running Ableton Live , two Mac Minis for control data onstage, a few universal audio interfaces, and several iPads running Liine Lemur. Needless to say, this thing is an absolute beast-and it helps The Mob to put on some insane shows.

So the next time the media sends you into a panic over the potential threat of rising technology consider the good that can come of it instead. Who knows, maybe technology is being developed right now that could improve your career or highlight the talent of your children. Focus less on the technology that scares you and consider how much technology has already improved the lives of millions and will continue to improve all of our lives for a long time to come.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
-Arthure C. Clarke

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