You should commit two hours a day to learning new things. Reading list to get you started is included.
This week, let’s try a little experiment. Add up all the hours you watch television. Pay particular attention to reality TV, games shows, sitcoms, talent and award shows. For the next month, I want you to eliminate these shows from your viewing diet. Take that time and read.
Back in 1597, Sir Francis Bacon stated “Knowledge is power.” True then, true now. So what should you be reading? Just as Michelangelo remarked how he created the statue of David by “chipping away the stone that doesn’t look like David,” we can define what you read as what’s left when you eliminate that which you shouldn’t count as reading. In the “this is NOT qualified reading” category are: novels (especially romance novels), anything on the Internet (I have nothing against the Internet, but for this particular enterprise it’s not appropriate), comic books (duh) and newspapers (there’s a lot of fine reporting in newspapers, but again, for this particular enterprise it&rsquols not appropriate).
So, what’s left? Where do you start? Remember, our goal is to gain knowledge by reading. So ask yourself, “What do I need to be knowledgeable about?” I would divide this up further into practical knowledge and philosophical knowledge. You’re going to need both.
Finding books to read for practical knowledge is pretty easy. Look for books that instruct and inform on topics like growing your own food, building your own solar power apparatus, home and car repairs, etc. We’ve covered these topics pretty extensively in our earlier newsletters so we’ll leave you to find your own books for practical knowledge. Remember, part of this whole process is doing the research to find books. If all you gain from this exercise is a better knowledge of how to find things (research) you will have improved your chances of survival. Imagine how much your odds improve when you actually read and gain the knowledge within.
That leaves philosophical books. Whereas with practical knowledge, you will more often than not discover that almost every book on the same subject is telling you the same thing (there just aren’t that many different ways to hammer a nail), but when it comes to philosophical knowledge there are almost as many opinions as there are authors. Perhaps counter–intuitively, your goal is not to simply find authors that agree with you, or that you agree with, but to find authors with different viewpoints. At the least, you’ll have a better understanding of how the “enemy” thinks, at best you’’ll learn different ways of looking at things that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Best of all, when everything has fallen apart and brownouts and blackouts start becoming everyday occurrences, you’ll appreciate the fact that you don’t need electricity to read.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of recommended reading to get you started.