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Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us - Duncan J. Watts

Too Fast to Think: How to Reclaim Your Creativity in a Hyper-connected Work Culture - Chris Lewis

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain

Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

Jerusalem: The Biography - Simon Sebag Montifiore

Civilization: The West and the Rest - Niall Ferguson

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World

Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics - John J. Mearsheimer

The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century - Peter Watson

The Pity of It All: A Portrait of the German-Jewish Epoch - Amos Elon

Dangers, Tests and Miracles: The Remarkable Life Story of Chief Rabbi Rosen of Romania - Joseph Finkelstone

Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History - Joseph Telushkin

I Confess: Revelations in Exile - Kooshyar Karimi

The Islamist - Ed Husain

I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific - Robert D. Kaplan

The Rise of Turkey: The Twenty-First Century's First Muslim Power  - Soner Cagaptay

Nazi Nexus - Edwin Black

Warrior Poets - Benjamin Gilmour

Krakatoa - Simon Winchester

Eiffel's Tower - Jill Jones

Alma Rose, Vienna to Auschwitz - Richard Newman/Karen Kirtley

Berlin Diary - William Shirer

Human Smoke - Nicholson Baker

Night Trilogy - Elie Weisel

Germany, Jekyll and Hyde - Sebastian Haffner

Divergent Jewish Thought - Moore and Troen

Gaza: Morality, Law and Politics - Raimond Gaita

A Heart Turned East - Adam Lebor

Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

Deliver Us From Evil: Warlords and Peacekeepers in a World of Endless Conflict - William Shawcross

Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life - Timothy W. Ryback

Hitler's Empire - Mark Mazower

Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth - Gitta Sereny

The New Cold War - Edward Lucas

Totalitarian Art - Igor Golomstock

Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest For Economic Meaning From Gilgamesh To Wall Street - Tomas Sedlacek

The Economics of Inequality - Thomas Piketty

On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines and Future - Karen Elliott House

The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century - P. W. Singer

Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin - Ben Judah

What Is America?: A Short History of the New World Order - Ronald Wright


Act as if
The answer to peace, tranquility and life lies in nature
Learn to let go
Healing others will lead to a long happy life
Always remember that the body can repair itself. More often than not it's a matter of will power.
Everyone should learn to sing. Even the hardest soul will soften when they learn this.
Music is the ultimate meditation
Never forget the spiritual purpose of what you do
Breathe the world in and out
The universe is anarchy in all it's glory

Much of the problems of the world regarding nationalism and extremism relates to displacement and confused identity.
So much energy is wasted needlessly on the endless self defeating pursuit of inferiority complexes. The truth is that every single culture, sub- culture and nation has it's own contribution to make that it can be proud of without resorting to an inferiority complex. Humankind should be concentrating on it's diverse array of literature, music, art and sciences to progress forward.
Anything that contributes positively to the language and culture of a nation must never ever be disregarded.
It is better as a human being to live humbly than to live a life of excess. Excess destroys people's souls and sense of perspective of what actually matters in life. and what in reality warms the heart and soul.
Actual power is measured in what good one leaves behind for the world not what territory or nations one may conquer.

Life for me consists of putting the thousands of broken shards that is my family history together again.
Hebrew language 'rings' in Israel. In every land of a language's origin the language rings. Nothing can change this.
Series of lucky escapes..came back to Europe to reclaim my stolen culture.
If you can fake honesty you got it made
Spitting in the air to spite your face
Hit the jackpot in Sodeto
Collective Human Conscienceness
Thousand miles from Wednesday
Diaspora, Displacement and Identity in the 21st Century
Hitler's evil will hurt us all for a long while to come
Walking around like the ghosts of my forbears

'Imagine things outside of time.' - Albert Einstein

'Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.' - Napolean Hill

'Before you can change anything you have to understand why it is like it is.' - Alan Nation

'These subliminal aspects of everything that happens to us may seem to play very little part in our daily lives. But they are the almost invisible roots of our conscious thoughts.' - Carl Jung

'The world is a book and those who don't travel only read one page.' - Constantine

'Whereas virtual ones and zeroes in the cloud are the ephemeral essence of today's digital world, machines - metallic, oily, noisy and imprecise - were the perfectly imperfect engines of a world we have all but lost.' - Christopher Goodwin

'In a democracy the people get the government they deserve.' - Joseph de Maistre

'In a connected age, the people get the Internet they deserve.' - David Mattin

'The rewards of tourism, demand for housing and an unquestioning belief in human progress have blinded us to the laws of nature..while man continues to believe that taking note of nature is merely an option, nature keeps reminding us that this is not the case.' - James Hanning

'It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change'
- Leon C. Megginson

'The rejection of facts, the rejection of reason and science - that is the path to decline.' - Barack Obama

'We are what we remember and the less we remember the less we are. The past is being erased from modern conscious. If we don't know where we are coming from, it's hard to know where we're going.' - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

'Happiness is most important. It's always around us, but goes unnoticed. Worldly desires breed conspiracies and deceptions and cause people to lose everything. This folk tale explains the transformation of Motherhood Mountain to highlight eternal love.'
- Vu Dinh Tuan

'When life gives you lemons - make daiquiris.' - Chris Rose

'A psychologist once told me that daydreams are the best kind of practise.' - Sebastian Steudtner

'Speak softly and carry a big stick.' - Theodore Roosevelt

'Doom-mongering media.' - Henrietta Thompson

'The sea is the cemetery of the Château d'If.' - Edmond Dantès

'Bands here tell me repeatedly that wider success isn't their focus. Icelanders grow up playing music for music's sake and, if you do make it big, acting too 'starry' is frowned upon. It's a refreshingly uncommercial sensibility.' - Sophy Grimshaw

'I like to write in Icelandic because it's a sharp, cold language and it suits the mood of our songs.' - Brynhildur

'Icelanders are crap at planning ahead because we've been so dependent on the weather. But we're good at improvising and bending the rules. That's a problem if you're a banker but it's wonderful if you're in the arts.' - Siggi from the band Sugercubes

'I fear a future where an android might flutter her metallic eyelashes and direct me to the lifts in a broad Yorkshire tone. Aye, robot?' - Ian Mandy Morris

'Freedom is always lonely.' - Hobo

'Bilbao Effect' regarding Frank Gehry

'The refusal of food is more than pleasure, it is the joy of the soul.' - Leo Tolstoy

'Food is definitely more than what you eat. It's part of what you are and what you will become thanks to, or because of it. It's certainly something worth paying attention to. I don't mean like a diet. I'm talking about daily happiness and well-being for yourself and your family.' - Michel Guérard

'Cast out the money shufflers, preferably with a whipping too.' - Paul Sheehan

'Jesus - the great debt eliminator.' - Ross Gittins

'A pessimist is an optimist who's well informed.' - Enki Bilal

'A bird born in a cage thinks flying is an illness.' - Alejandro Jodorowsky

'The South is tragic, strong, graceful, insolent, optimistic, beautiful, conservative yet wild - teeming with memories that are overgrown and intertwined like untended follage along the banks of the Mississippi River.' - Kris Davidson

'The trick to marriage is to keep talking. I started a conversation with my wife in 1983. It's still going.' - Richard E. Grant

'It's about having those perfect few pieces and looking after the treasure of what you own.' - Jack Guinness

'My handkerchiefs and my shoes and my watch strap are always matched. That's the way I am.' - David Gandy

'When I was young, I thought I knew everything. Now, I'm not sure if I know anything..' - Pharrell Williams

'Fighting for peace is like fucking for chastity.' - Karsten Troyke

'Our parents left their homeland because of the bad, despite the good. We go back to search for the good, despite the bad.'
- Eva Collins

'Whole villages were passed with water spreading beneath the houses, and with their carts hung up to the trees to prevent their being floated off by the current.' - Captain Henry Yule

'The Irrawaddy flowed huge and ochreous, glittering like diamonds in the patches that caught the sun, and beyond the river stretched great wastes of paddy fields, ending at the horizon in a range of blackish hills...' - George Orwell

'What a fine weather today! Can't choose whether to drink tea or to hang myself.' - Pavel Andreievich Chekov

'I’ll read my books and I’ll drink coffee and I’ll listen to music, and I’ll bolt the door.' - J.D. Salinger

'Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different?' - C.S. Lewis

'Everything is a mythical, cosmic battle between faith and chance.' - P. D. James

'Every battle is won before it's fought.'

'If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.' - Lao Tzu

'There is no utopia.' - Emmanuel Goldstein, 1984 (George Orwell)

'When the destiny of a great fortune is at stake, men's greed spreads like a poison in the bloodstream.'

'There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity.' 

- Gustave H, Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)

'To a certain sensibility, such a scene represents a nightmare of existential alienation.' - Christine Smallwood

'I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. If you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared of doing, do it. Make your mistakes, next year, and forever.' - Neil Gaiman

'Religious thinkers and leaders worth their salt live their lives in constant cognizance of the yawning chasm between what religion could be and what it all too often is.  This awareness is always painful and often excruciating.   Read Buber on the ways people try to buy God off with ritual, read Rabbi Heschel on the separation of church and God, read Rav Kook on the small-mindedness that often passes for piety-- they knew.

Religious thinkers also know that if *they* are disillusioned by religion, it is hard to fathom what God must feel.  But resentment is not the way.  Here is how lives can become truly holy: you take the energy generated by frustration and disappointment and you turn it to a deeper form of avodat Hashem, service of God.  You see that religion is just as broken as the world in which it finds itself in, and you commit to loving more, not less.   This is hard, the task of a lifetime. 

But it's also more complicated than that.  Because if you think "religion is full of lies but I am a follower of truth," you will become arrogant and self-righteous-- and you'll be kidding yourself, because no one is a perfect saint.  So you have to know that you too fall far short of what authentic religion requires-- and in fact, part what separates genuinely religious people from others is that they are only too keenly aware of how short they fall.

So by all means, lament the cant and the hypocrisy, the self-satisfaction and the sanctification of biases aplenty that are often part of religion as we know it.  But don't stop there.  Give your heart and your mind, give your soul and your life to building something different.   And remember: without love-- passionate, defiant, compassionate, justice-seeking love-- nothing is possible.  With it?  Well, that's what our lives ought to be about finding out.

Shabbat Shalom.' - Shai Held

'I’ve played piano in a whorehouse. I’ve smuggled secret papers out of Russia. I’ve spent an evening on the divan with Peggy Hopkins Joyce. I’ve taught a gangster mob how to play Pinchie Winchie. I’ve played croquet with Herbert Bayard Swope while he kept Governor Al Smith waiting on the phone. I’ve gambled with Nick the Greek, sat on the floor with Greta Garbo, sparred with Benny Leonard, horsed around with the Prince of Wales, played Ping-Pong with George Gershwin. George Bernard Shaw has asked me for advice. Oscar Levant has played private concerts for me at a buck a throw. I have golfed with Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. I’ve basked on the Riviera with Somerset Maugham and Elsa Maxwell. I’ve been thrown out of the casino at Monte Carlo. Flush with triumph at the poker table, I’ve challenged Alexander Woollcott to anagrams and Alice Duer Miller to a spelling match. I’ve given lessons to some of the world’s greatest musicians. I’ve been a member of the two most famous Round Tables since the days of King Arthur – sitting with the finest creative minds of the 1920s at the Algonquin in New York, and with Hollywood’s sharpest professional wits at the Hillcrest. The truth is I had no business doing any of these things. I couldn’t read a note of music. I never finished the second grade. But I was having too much fun to recognise myself as an ignorant upstart..'- Harpo Marx

'The people that come into your life and that hurt you-are here to make you stronger, make you love yourself more, and make you a more loving and caring individual of others. Yes, at first you will be bitter and that is a perfectly normal and healthy human response. If you're not bitter after someone hurts you purposefully then you're a saint. Not too many of those around. But, eventually, the true purpose of it all is to make you an even better person than you were before they hurt you. If you're not trying to be a better person then you have failed to take away the lessons of being hurt. Your redemption will only come through loving acts of kindness.' - Sholom Yitzhak Neistein

Note to self.

1. Listen - everyone is an expert in something.

2. Don't multi-task in my mind - get engaged.

3. No pontificating - set aside my opinion.

4. Be journalistic - be open ended and emotive?

5. Go with the flow - don't go of mind ideas.

6. Ask questions patiently - don't interject.

7. Don't empathize - it's about them. Stop self promoting.

8. Stop repeating myself.

9. Forget details.

10. Listen - if my mouth is open - I'm not learning.

'We often deliver 250 words a minute in conversation - but we can mentally process over 500 words every half minute.
Just be interested in others. Everyone has something hidden and exciting to reveal (if we let them). I'm looking forward amazing things to hear and learn from others.

In closing - Virtual Songlines is about virtual heritage delivered in a 3D interactive fashion - we offer opportunities for everyone to use our digital medium to converse about what is important about their cultural identity.

Let us be the conduit for your 3D digital conversation about your land, culture and heritage. A new technology for every person who descend from an ancient culture.' - Brett Leavy

'Turnbull's deification of Australian citizenship reflects Australia's more sober debate. It locates Australian identity as a set of beliefs under the rubric of multiple differences: 'We're not defined by race or religion or culture, as many other nations are. We're defined by commitment to common values, political values, the rule of law, democracy, freedom, mutual respect, equality for men and women, these fundamental values are what make us Australian.' - Mark Kenny

'If a colleague tells you that your target demographic is WEIRD, will you know how to react? The letters of the acronym stand for 'western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic' and are used to point up a crucial flaw in the studies of human behavior underpinning much global marketing' - Tony Thorne

'I was sitting on a train - the British invention that transformed trade and travel, and was embraced very early in the United States. In my hand was an IPhone - another revolutionary advance, this time created by Americans, with it's iconic appearance designed by an Englishman. I used the Internet - the 20th century equivalent of the train, this time founded by an American and adopted early in the UK - and went on to the World Wide Web (we often forget the two are separate inventions), which was developed by a Briton and commercialized by an American'

'The same idea of reaching out, opening up and asking for help has been invaluable to me since - especially in the world of diplomacy' - Matthew W. Barzun

'The third message is all about rediscovering the power of human connection in a world that is being reshaped by technology. Put simply, we're now in a world where it's just as important to be kind as it is to be clever.'

'Nobody wins unless everybody wins.'

'We're asking people to take risks and to work harder than they've ever worked, and yet not enough people see for themselves the benefits of all that...If you expect people to give you their best, then you have to be prepared to share as widely as you can the benefits of success.' - William C Taylor 

'You have to figure out who you are in the conversation. Are you the ideas guy? The note taker? The make-it-happen guy? The follow-through guy? I'm not a good follow- through guy. I sometimes overthink things too much, and I can be overprotective of my ideas. As an ideas person, you will want to get your idea out when you think it's finished, and that's often suffocating for your business because you don't allow it to grow.

You have to be open-minded and be a people person. You have to have a thick skin and be prepared to get your idea ripped apart. You have to be patient and you gotta like bullshit. A lot of the time, the reason your stuff ain't working is because bullshit happened. If you want to be successful, you have to take bullshit and turn it into fertilizer' - Will.I.Am

'It's as if they see the summit of a mountain and they know what they want to accomplish, but don't see the mountain. They don't understand that life and our careers are journeys. So what is mistaken for entitlement, I believe, is actually systemic impatience.'

'So you have an insecure group of people who don't have the skills to ask for help that expects all of these feelings and problems that they have to go away if they just pick the right job, but the companies that we're building today put a number before a human being. They would sooner use redundancies to balance the books than take the short-term hit on numbers to protect the people, and nobody really feels safe in their jobs anymore.

And so we're taking these wonderful, smart, fantastic kids and we're putting them in an environment where nobody cares about them as human beings, nobody's actually interested in their personal growth, their confidence, their careers, the longevity that they can offer these companies. I think companies have a much greater responsibility today than they ever had before to take care of this generation, because it's coming in with a deficit and it's not their fault.' - Simon Sinek

'According to a US government study, women's happiness has been steadily declining since 1972. And I think that's because while more choice for women is a good thing, with more choice come more ways in which we can fall short and feel guilty over both what we're doing in the workplace and what we're doing in the home - and what we're not doing, and what trade-offs we're making. For women there's still a high value and expectation placed on performing well in each sphere. So they're constantly struggling with that balance and feeling stressed out by what they're doing.'

'While I kept working after marriage , she was aghast. In her mind it was crazy for a woman to be working - this was not the sign of a good marriage or what a woman should be doing. Women today still have that voice in their head. They still love that grandmother and they still have that transition generation value shift going on that's causing them to feel guilty all the time, and that's the issue.'

'Let's unshackle ourselves of the values of generations past. There has not been a more rapid change in cultural values than the one between this generation and our grandparent's generation - versus thousands of years before, when the values of what a person was supposed to be in a society were the same. Now it's radically shifted in two generations. That's a big deal for people to adjust to.

The result of that is that women who are always feeling guilty about their own choices offer judgements to other women, which makes them think, 'Am I not doing enough if I'm only a mother? Am I not doing enough as a mother if I'm working? Is it bad to be so ambitious?' We need to become more supportive of each other. How do we not become so judgemental, how do we celebrate diversity of choice so that women can define success as happiness and then go create it for themselves?' - Jessica Herrin

'I think it's good to work on yourself. But I'm not into excessive vanity, today's selfie mentality and the constant presence of perfection.'

'Should we swallow rage or let it out? Let it out - but think first. As I write in my book thinking that things are quite ok takes much less effort than hating them.'

What does happiness feel like? Wonderful, obviously. But it's more like a beautiful exception to the norm. It's unrealistic to strive for it as a permanent state.' - Sarah Kuttner

'In Judaism we believe in one G-d.  We do not believe in hell or other such things. We believe in Torah and follow the Tanach. There is no such thing as the new and old testament and we only pray to HaShem B"H. Do not try to Change our ways and do not bring other gods before us.  Do no befriend us in order to try and convert us. Do not try to show support by trying to destroy us. We have been around for more than 5,000 years and have survived and flourished.  We support Israel and all of our Jewish family.  We love friends and welcome all who honestly want to be our friends. However beware we will no longer stand by and allow you to hurt us; we will defend ourselves.  If you want to be my friend, show respect by not posting your religious conversion methods on my page.  I do not believe in your religion as I have my own and will always be what I am.  If you want to unfriend me because of what I have said, be my guest as you were never really my friend.  Go about your business and we will part ways in peace.  If you like being here and you want to remain friends I say Shalom and welcome you with open arms and a smile.  Thank you.' - Jeff Strozer

'People seek therapy to forget their past. I think that's wrong. You have to be at peace with yourself and your past.'

'I am happy and I believe that is the reason why I am successful.'

'Money does not mean power but it's a plus.'

'Value judgements. People don't realize how lucky they are. But people with disabilities question themselves to become aware of a great many things. A person who can't see appreciates the value of walking or being able to see beautiful things.'

'I don't want a life without success and love.' - Sercan Badur

'The outcomes we observe in life - explanations that seem obvious once we know the answer - are less useful than they seem.'

'The application of common sense to business, markets, politics or international relations rarely works. This is relevant because a lot of big decisions are made on the basis of assumed common sense.'

'Politicians think they know how to deal with poverty - and prepare policies accordingly. Advertising agencies base their marketing plans on assumptions about what the consumer wants...'

'The paradox of common sense...is that even as it helps to make sense of the world, it can actively undermine our abilities to understand it..'

'This is the problem. We look at something retrospectively and believe that we have an answer for the future, that we know how it is all going to work the next time around. This is where I think we go wrong. The world is complex. Every problem is different, the solutions must vary..in our daily lives it is absolutely fine to try to find common sense answers to simple questions. But when it comes to more complex questions, common sense is often an impediment to a solution.

Questioning your own beliefs is not easy, but it is a good start to finding an answer. The worst type of politician is the one who thinks that he knows it all. And then when something goes wrong he says that it came as no surprise...' - Alexander Stubb