The Future of your Profession is at Stake

No profession can survive or outperform AI
Whatever your profession is – teaching, engineering, medicine, law, etc – it may not be safe – it can be automated, done by an algorithm, robots or computers much better in the future. Dr Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (a must speed-read) explains how revolutions in technology and society will transform not only our bodies and minds but also our work. If you’re a student, watch Harari’s talk which charts what might happen to your chosen profession in not distant future.

Most doctors will be out of work
Yuval Noah Harari gives a very good example of how most doctors will be out of work in the future because AI will do their jobs much better ie will diagnose illnesses better and offer better treatments and cures – cheaper, with 24/7 access anywhere in the world. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.

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Lighting for reading

Lighting is important for reading. And it can also be fun.

The late Zaha Hadid who was crowed as the Queen of Curves for her amazing, curvilinear designs, designed these simple and yet powerful book-shaped lamps for a shopping mall in Seoul. I want one.

Zaha Hadid - books lamps Seoul 2

Zaha Hadid – reading lamps Seoul

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SUMMARY of Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms by Timothy D. Walker

SUMMARY of Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms by Timothy D. Walker

Some books are so well written and clear that you can get the gist from just the TOC (table of content). If you need to know more – why  Finland’s school children are some of the smartest in the world? – get the book.
For starters: no homework, no exams. no shoes in class.

1 Well-being
Schedule brain breaks (Let kids disconnect from their work)
Learn on the move (Students should stand up or walk round in class)
Recharge after school (Keep homework to a minimum)
Simplify the space
Breathe fresh air (Open windows, let in natural light)
Get into the wild (Connect with nature, go outside)
Keep the peace

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The top collections of summaries

Research suggests that reading summaries is a valid way of getting quality information and people who read summaries not only get more out of books but also remember the information for longer.

The best collection of summaries

Passing Time in the Loo volume 1, 2, 3 – each volume contains 150 summaries  which is an amazing deal for £5.87 or FREE on Amazon Kindle Prime

Book Summaries: Passing Time in the Loo - 150 summaries of classincs

Book Summaries: Passing Time in the Loo – 150 summaries of classincs

 

Passing Time in the Loo Vol 1

contains summaries of more than 200 books, including

Novels and plays, old and new, eg A Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne), A Farewell to the Arms (Ernest Hemingway), For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway), Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy), Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck), The Faerie Queene (Edmund Spenser), Beowulf, Prometheus Bound (Aeschylus), Tales of King Arthur (Thomas Mallory), El Cid, A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens), The Lady of the Lake (Sir Walter Scott), The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck), The Travels of Marco Polo, The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper), The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge), Moby Dick (Herman Melville), The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway), Don Quixote de la Mancha (Miguel de Cervantes), Peer Gynt (Henrik Ibsen), Great Expectations (Charles Dickens), Silas Marner (George Eliot), Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), Far from the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy), Little Women (Louisa May Alcott), Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett), Call of the Wild (Jack London), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), King Solomon’s Mines (Sir Henry Rider Haggard), Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), Frankenstein (Mary Shelly), The Time Machine (H.G.Wells), The Turn of the Screw (Henry James), The Fall of the House of Usher (Edgar Allan Poe), The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck), To Kill a Mockingbird (Nelle Harper Lee), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriett Beecher Stowe), Candide (Voltaire), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Mark Twain), 1984 (George Orwell), I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou), One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), Lord of the Flies (William Golding), Henderson the Rain King (Saul Bellow), Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison), The Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan), The Shell Seekers (Rosamunde Pilcher), The Sound of Waves (Yukio Mishima), Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Anne Taylor), The Courtship of Miles Standish (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde), Our Town (Thornton Wilder), Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller) … and plays by William Shakespeare, including Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing … and many more

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Das Kapital by Karl Marx (1818-1883) – Summary

Das Kapital by Karl Marx (1818-1883) – Summary 

Summary of Das Kapital by Karl Marx

Summary of Das Kapital by Karl Marx

2017 and Das Kapital is in vogue again, as modern Marxists try to keep the revolution permanent. Since the financial crash, people’s thinking has changed and they are trying to understand if the capitalist system is going to destroy itself. Former Greek financial minister Yanis Yaroufakis, has described himself as an ‘erratic Marxist’ and Jeremy Corbyn described Karl Marx as a ‘great economist’ and even the shadow chancellor John McDonnell suggested that there was ‘a lot to learn’ from Marx’s most famous work, Das Kapital. Read this short summary of this classic to join the conversation…

Summary of Das Kapital by Karl Marx
In the mid-19th century when Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital – an exhaustive work of more than a thousand pages – factory conditions were often intolerable, wages were at best barely adequate, and there were few groups or governments who advocated reform. Therefore, Marx took it upon himself to define “Capitalism,” explain and condemn Capitalist methods, predict the inevitable doom of the system, and issue the rallying cry “Workers of the world, unite!”

When Marx simply describes what he sees, his analyses and criticisms appear most lucid. In contrast, his theories become confusing as he attempts to prove even the vaguest point using mathematics. He felt that these elaborate equations and proofs were necessary because his book does not purport to be merely a moral prescription for society’s ills, but a scientific description of the unavoidable course of history. It is, of course, actually not only a “prescription” but a passionate exhortation.

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Summary of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Summary of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Get the message / summary of the book from popular highlights
One simple way of getting a quick summary of any ebook is to read the popular highlights on Kindle. Read all the popular highlights below and decide for yourself if that’s enough to get the message of the book and navigate yourself to a greater expertise. Crowd wisdom rocks.

10,000-hour rule
10,000-hour rule was the original Ericsson’s research on expert violinists which was popularised by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. In short, if you practice for 10,000 hours (about 3 hours a day for 10 years), you will become a world leading expert.

Three types of practice: naive, purposeful, deliberate
According to Ericsson there are three types of practice: naive (generic, with mindless repetition), purposeful ( well-defined, with specific goals) and deliberate (pushes you out of your comfort zone and involves feedback and focus). The key to expertise is deliberate practice: “Deliberate practice is purposeful practice that knows where it is going and how to get there.”

Popular highlights from Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
“Purposeful practice requires getting out of one’s comfort zone. This is perhaps the most important part of purposeful practice.” 559 popular highlights (the number of popular highlights at the time of writing this blog summary)

“The right sort of practice carried out over a sufficient period of time leads to improvement. Nothing else.” 1616 popular highlights

“Purposeful practice is all about putting a bunch of baby steps together to reach a longer-term goal.” 1864 popular highlights

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Download books into your non-conscious mind – Speed Reading Technique 28

Speed reading technique 28  – Download books into your non-conscious mind

Download or photoreading books

Download or photoread books

SUMMARY
Download the book into your non-conscious mind by looking quickly at each double page without making any conscious effort to see or understand the text. Trust that the information has gone into your non-conscious mind. Use the other conscious spd rdng techniques as before and gradually notice how much more information you know as the downloaded knowledge comes to conscious awareness. 

“We have 300 million pattern recognisers in the neocortex.” Ray Kurzweil, Futurist

This is the easiest technique in the book to do – and possibly the hardest to understand. It is different from all the other techniques and strategies in that you rely on your non-conscious mind. You do not consciously have to ‘read’ anything.

The purpose of downloading is to expose your non-conscious mind to all the information in the book so that it can go directly into your long-term memory. It ‘primes’ your brain with the information in the text.

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Rapid reading: speed reading technique 24. Rapid reading from cover to cover.

Rapid reading: speed reading technique 14. Rapid reading from cover to cover.

Summary
Look quickly (2-10 seconds per page) at every page, searching for ‘hot spots’ of key information. Do this after a work session to collect any final bits of information.

Reading from cover to cover means going quickly through the book sequentially looking at every page for key information. This is what most people think speed reading is (whereas it is just as valid to go backwards and forwards through the book or only go to specific sections to look for relevant information.)

HOW TO rapid read
Look quickly through the book, looking consciously at every page (2-10 seconds per page). Use the speed-reading patterns (speed reading technique 15) to look for hot spots (speed reading technique11) of key information. Any time you find key information you can slow down and read around it (dip) until you have grasped the point, and then resume rapid reading.

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Post-truth: the word of the year 2016

‘Post-truth’ is the word of the year 2016

Oxford Dictionaries states that post-truth might have been first used in 1992, but the frequency of its usage increased by 2,000% in 2016 compared with last year!

The definition as an adjective relates to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.

Other shortlisted words included: Adulting, Alt-right, Brexiteer, Chatbot,Coulrophobia, Glass cliff, Hygge, Latinx and Woke.

Read more about the word of the year 2016: post-truth

Summary of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Dr Yuval Noah Harari

Summary of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Dr Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Dr Yuval Noah Harari is a must read for anyone who is interested in the future. To sum up, the key message of the book is that AI (Artifical Intelligence) can take over most of the work done by humans. AI probably will replace people and they will become ‘a massive new class of economically useless people.’ Algorithms will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. People to come will need to learn skills how to re-invent themselves very quickly. In education, at the moment, there is too much emphasis on optimisation and performance (which is all good for now) but not enough on exploration and future positioning and that’s where the future jobs/careers/vocations will be.

Watch Yuval Noah Harari, who is a historian, talk about his new book (and you may not need to speed read it). The book has 460 pages and according to Amazon it will take you 8 hours and 50 minutes to read it. The video is only 1 hour and 30 minutes. His previous book Sapiens was a huge bestseller which propelled Harari to a massive fame as a historian and thinker.

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The Divided Brain – Asymmetry of the Brain and Human Meaning & Why Are We so Unhappy? – by Dr Iain McGilchrist

The Divided Brain – Asymmetry of the Brain and Human Meaning & Why Are We so Unhappy? – by Dr Iain McGilchrist, the author of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World and The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning – Why Are We so Unhappy? (only £0.99 – but is very short too and it kind of answers the question: why are we so unhappy? Spoiler: because we use our left brain too much – kind of…)

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Toby L’Estrange speed reading review of Harry Potter the Cursed Child

Toby L’Estrange speed reading review of Harry Potter the Cursed Child

10-year-old speed-reader Toby L’Estrange’s review of The Cursed Child

Speed reader Toby L’Estrange

Speed reader Toby L’Estrange

“Phew. Just finished speed reading the new Harry Potter book. My score on a scale of 1-10? I think it’s a 6. My favourite is still Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – it had lots of fun challenges and you got the best glimpse of Hogwarts).This one’s a bit different from all the others.

Firstly it’s the script for a play, so it’s quite different from reading a novel. The whole story is told through what the characters say to each other – plus some stage directions. But once you get over that, you read it just the same as the others – except the play is in two parts, so the book is too.

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How to speed read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (or anything else)

How to speed read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (or anything else)

How to speed read Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildToby L’Estrange is the 10-year-old Spd Rdr in the newspapers who was asked by Amazon to read the new Harry Potter book on their new Kindle device. Toby was taught speed reading by his Grandma – Susan Norman – one of the authors of Spd Rdng: The Speed Reading Bible. 

WATCH TOBY L’Estrange talking about speed reading the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child below

Toby will download ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ as soon as possible after midnight very first thing on Sunday 31 July (Harry Potter’s birthday!) and as soon as he’s read it will put up a review on Amazon. At 1000 words per minute it should take him about two hours. 

You too can learn how to speed read Harry Potter…

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Summary of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Summary Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
(from Passing Time in the Loo: Volume 1 – Summaries of All-Time Great Books)

Rome & JulietType of work Romantic tragedy
Setting Verona, Italy; 15th century
Principal characters
Romeo, son of the house of Montague
Juliet, daughter of the Capulet household
Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin
Mercutio, Romeo’s friend
Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin
Lady Montague, the clan’s matriarch
Lady Capulet, Juliet’s mother
Juliet’s ribald nurse
Friar Lawrence, a Franciscan Monk


Story overview
For a very long time the Capulets and the Montagues had been feuding. Harsh words often led to violence between the two houses, who were sworn as deadly enemies. Prince Escalus of Verona happened upon one such bloody brawl and angrily pronounced, “If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.”

Shortly after this, Romeo and his cousin Benvolio met on the street, and Romeo sadly confessed his unrequited love for an aloof and indifferent young woman. “[Give] liberty unto thine eyes; Examine other beauties,” was Benvolio’s curative. But Romeo was unmoved: “Thou canst not teach me to forget.”

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How to speed read the Chilcot report

How to speed read the Chilcot report
The full Chilcot report consists of 12 volumes and contains 2.6 million words. Thank God, a 150-page (Chilcote report 2016) executive summary is be published as well and that’s where I would start to get the overview of the whole document.
Once I’ve got the big picture and overview of the whole document and how it’s structured (hopefully it’s well laid out with good TOC/table of content and index, etc) I would ask myself some basic question such as: What specifically do I want to know? and What will I do with this information?

2.6m words
It’s about 4.5 times bigger than War and Peace (587,00 words) and about three times bigger than the Bible (775,00 words) and the complete works of Shakespeare (885,00o words).

Speed reading of the Chilcot Report 2016

Speed reading of the Chilcot Report 2016

Speed reading is information extraction so there is no point of reading the Chalcot report, from cover to cover – just for the sake of it. It would take a long, long time. Just think, if an average, educated person reads about 240wpm (word per minute) – it would take about 180 hours to read it from cover to cover (that is about seven full 24-hour days of non-stop traditional reading).

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Set High Expectations and Push yourself Beyond your Comfort Zone – Speed Reading Technique #34

Set High Expectations and Push yourself Beyond your Comfort Zone – Speed Reading Technique #34

Summary
Expectations (what you want) usually exceed your actual results – which tends to lead people to reduce their expectations. But then results go down again – until you’re back to old, slow traditional reading habits. Increase your expectations, set tighter time limits, strive for more, read faster – and see your results improve.

A woman went up to Gary Player, the golfer, after he’d just played a particularly difficult shot very successfully. “You were lucky there,” she said. Gary Player looked at her thoughtfully and replied, “You know, it’s a funny thing. I find that the more I practise, the luckier I get.”

"If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve."

“If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve.”

As you put the techniques in this book into practice, make sure you raise your expectations about what you can achieve in a limited amount of time. If you have already experienced how much you can achieve in a 20-minute session (speed reading technique >18) working with a book or in a 75-minute syntopic processing session (speed reading technique >22) working with several books, you will also have noticed how much more you achieve in the last third of the time compared to the first two-thirds.

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Summary of Does your Family Make You Smarter?: Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy by James R. Flynn

Summary of Does your Family Make You Smarter?: Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy by James R. Flynn 

Summary of Does your Family Make You Smarter?by James Flynn

Summary of Does your Family Make You Smarter?by James Flynn

James R Flynn in his book ‘Does your Family Make You Smarter?: Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy’ states that “Intelligence has always been thought to be static. However, the new evidence shows that this is wrong. The brain seems to be rather like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. That means you can upgrade your own intelligence all through life.” And your environment, especially your family plays a big part in it. This summarises the whole premise of the book, ie you can improve yourself and your IQ, and the surrounding environment has a significant effect on your intelligence.

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Speed Reading Technique 10 – Take your awareness to your concentration point

Speed Reading Technique 10 – Take your awareness to your concentration point

Summary
Focus on a point about 15 cms above and slightly behind the top of your head (your concentration point) – take a deep breath in and relax your eyes as you breathe out. Then start reading.

Many people can increase their reading speed simply by taking their attention to the concentration point about 15 cms above and slightly behind the top of the head. Many notice a different quality to their reading, saying the text is ‘clearer’ and ‘easier to understand’. Their ability to concentrate is also enhanced.

TEST YOURSELF …
… before and after doing this technique to see the difference it makes to you – see QUICK TEST

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Pbook Comeback – Paper books are making a comeback

Pbook Comeback – Paper books are making a comeback
For the first time since the advent of ebooks, we’re beginning to see the comeback of ‘pbooks’ (as published/paper books are coming to be known in the industry).  The CEO of Waterstones admitted that the chain came within hours of collapse and that their 11th hour turnaround was as a result of a renewed focus on the retail experience, rather than just selling books. In addition local managers throughout the country have been released from following a ‘company line’ and given autonomy to buy stock relevant to their local market and display it as they see fit.
The ebook revolution has also forced publishers to completely rethink their products and there is now much greater emphasis on design and publishing books that you want to hold and enjoy, so that they genuinely compete with ‘soulless’ ebooks.
Check out the full report by accessing ‘What Britain Buys’ with Mary Portas, 9pm Monday 9 May, Channel 4

Summaries of Shakespeare’s works

Passing Time in the Loo: Shakespeare - Summaries of Shakespeare's Greatest Sonnets and Plays (Comedies, Tragedies, Histories) (Passing Time in the Loo: ... Glimpse Of His World And Greatest Plays)

Passing Time in the Loo: Shakespeare – Summaries of Shakespeare’s Greatest Sonnets and Plays (Comedies, Tragedies, Histories) (Passing Time in the Loo: … Glimpse Of His World And Greatest Plays)

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” said William Shakespeare himself. So read summaries of all his works in this compact volume:

Passing Time in the Loo: Shakespeare – Summaries of Shakespeare’s Greatest Sonnets and Plays (Comedies, Tragedies, Histories) (Passing Time in the Loo: … Glimpse Of His World And Greatest Plays)