May 24, 2019

Pooja procedure

My mother has compiled procedure for Pooja. She was afraid that I will lose her notes. That's why took photos and archiving it here on this blog. Thanks Aai.

May 22, 2019

The Flying Tigers

The Flying Tigers : The World War II exploits of American's heroic fighter pilots in China 

There are two reasons I picked up the book from local library. Firstly we went to the National Museum of the US Air Force in January, and were amazed to see different types of aircraft on display. Secondly the Pulwama attack and India's response in Balakot had made me curious about fighter planes and pilots. And the book taught me some lessons about fighter planes and pilots. John Toland has done a fine job explaining adventures of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) in India China during the World War II. 

Flying Tigers is the story of a magnificent leader Claire Lee Chennault and his group of volunteers who had been recruited from the Army, Navy and Marines. Chenault taught the group unconventional air-combat techniques which no one believed would work but enabled most impressive records in the World War II. In three years the group lost 468 planes while destroying almost 3000 Japanese planes. They sunk and damaged 2,230,000 tons of enemy merchant shipping. This feat was achieved under the leadership of Chennault, who was termed "prima donna" by his superiors. Another example of a rebel leader. 

Chennault and the AVG proved their mettle so much that President Roosevelt recommended him to write to him personally. He had proved so important for securing China in the war. Chennault built good rapport with General Chiang Kai-shek of China and Madame Chiang Kai-shek too. In many incidents he showed great character in taking care of his team while demanding unimaginable feat of bravado. He was instrumental in creating new teams and training new team members as well. I am sure his leadership talent must have been put to test in organizing the unit, keeping them motivated, getting the scarce supplies and fighting the mighty Japanese air force. I was pleased to learn about Chennault's pet dachshund Joe and how he used to take Joe everywhere he went. I saw his benevolent side here. 

The book made me more curious about military air-crafts and strategy. I have a list of documentaries and books to understand the topic more. I am glad that I spent around 4-5 hours on this book. It makes me appreciate the struggles of our troops. 

Feb 25, 2019

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

Freakonomics shows that parents who care to read parenting books matter more than the advise imparted in the parenting books. A dear friend read couple of books on dog parenting before adopting a puppy. When he read the books, I think he made sure that he will be a good dog parent and three years into it already, he is awesome one. The reason to remember all this is the book "NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children". In NatureShock authors Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman examine latest research in child psychology and learning. They mention how raising kids is more nuanced and artsy, rather than spelling out few generic "commandments" of good parenting.

What I liked about the book -
1)Explaining research on the "growth mindset".
2)Why good communication is the key for managing academics and behavior. When kids lie they they are showing sings of both emotional and intellectual skills. Mostly they lie to make parents happy and win their trust. And why having an open channel is crucial.
3)Importance of exclusively discussing race and other thorny issues because kids don't understand many nuances adults take for granted.
4)Sleep is the most important parameter for kids growth. How lack of sleep can cause learning issues. Why it's okay to skip an activity or two if it means that the kids is well rested and able to focus on few things she can get really good at. I think Peter Thiel makes case for deep technical expertise in "Zero to One" too. I think he is taunting at parents taking kids to every activity imagined and not letting them go deep in weeds and get great at one skill like programming/physics or maths.

Bus ride to office is turning out to be a good experience so far. I could listen/read some books which I didn't get time to read earlier. Also switching to audio-books from podcasts seems worthwhile because I feel that I am learning something "deeper" in one area when spending same amount of time. Podcasts get too generic at times. 

Feb 21, 2019

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

I read "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life" when it came out in the summer of 2015. I reread it this week. This book has important lessons and is crisp enough to finish in a day or two. Noticed few parts I had skipped noticing the first time around. This book deserves a yearly revisit. One can safely add it to his "Go to" collection. 

Important "To Do" from reading this time is to study - Cognitive biases. 

Loved areas around - 

1)Fitness and diet 
2)Tips for high energy 
3)Importance of learning from failure and seeking all viable options. 
4)Power of affirmations. 
5)Long term thinking/habits/non-zero sum strategies 

Win Bigly

I used to follow Scott Adams blog regularly till he started podcasting on Periscope. His blog posts were better and took less time to read.

Win Bigly explains how President Trump rose to power because of his avant grade persuation skills. PerPersuat is a science useful in everything we do. We have to persuade at home at work and play. In fact talking to ourself to work hard is the best form of self persuation we can imagine.

I liked the book for it's introduction to the science. I want to reread it because I might have missed few nuances during naps on the bus. A short and fun read.