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Sapiens is an exciting, challenging, and thought-provoking history of humanity. Author Yuval Noah Harari tells the story of a once insignificant animal that—with the power of stories—is fast attaining god-like powers. Humanity, he says, has been trapped in a cycle of supposed “progress” starting with the sham of the Agricultural Revolution. Yet, we may be the victims of a mind-virus that sacrifices individual happiness and wellbeing for the sake of the procreation of the species.

Through the millenia, humans struggle between concepts of collectivism vs. individuality, freedom vs. equality, Nature vs. Intelligent Design, man vs. woman, moving vs. staying still. However, historians rarely ask the question: Are we actually better off now than we were before? As the Scientific Revolution moves us into uncharted territories, our current problems will all become irrelevant. We will have but one question to answer: What story do we want to want to write?


The story of a certain fruit from a fairly well-known tree

The book is divided into four parts. The first tells the story of the Cognitive Revolution—the time when homo sapiens began to tell fiction. Our ability to tell fiction allowed Sapiens to cooperate on a scale that other species of human—like Neanderthals and Homo Erectus—couldn’t. Prior to the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens foragers would form break-off groups at around 150 in a group, but thanks to fiction, a much larger group of humans could unite and act together. Since prehistoric times, Sapiens have been reforging our environment to serve our desires. We happily lived as foragers, moving from place to place, lighting fire to the earth and extinguishing species with each step forward. It was paradise for us (mammoths, not so much).

Our growth and movement transformed the environment, but the environment quietly did the same to us. In the second part of Sapiens, Yuval tells the story of the Agricultural Revolution. In a reversal of the common myth told of that revolution, Yuval writes that human culture was reshaped by wheat and our belief that wheat would bring us a happier, easier life. Wheat and our desire for a better future trapped us into serving wheat at our expense. As we planted wheat, wheat planted us. Instead of making our lives better equally, the Agricultural Revolution created an elite and oppressed class. New imagined realities of gods, kings, and law grew around us. Empires expanded, necessitating new forms of data collection, retrieval and communication.

Humanity’s growing numbers and and shared myths came into conflict. Part three of the book tells the story of how Sapiens used new myths to resolve conflicts and unify the species. The story of money, empire, and religion is fraught with contradictions and inconsistencies. Our collective desire to solve the conflicts in our myths fueled change in human societies. As we solved the inconsistencies, we began to trust each other more. But it came at a cost to family and tribe. We put our trust in markets, governments, and deities, unifying us as a species but isolating ourselves as individuals. Again, with an eye towards a better future, we advanced farther from our natural state, designing whole new societies to serve our collective interests. Our new myths took on a life of their own. We wrote stories to serve us, but they had a different idea in mind.

The stories we told blinded us to a whole world around us. The discovery of America by Columbus told us there was more to know than our stories told us already. We saw a brighter future ahead, with science our guide, technology our tool, capitalism our fuel, and empire our motivation. The fourth and last part of the book is about the interconnected relationship of all four of those factors that has given birth to a global empire—the wealthiest, most unified, most equal society in all of history. It is a society born from both nature and nurture. Darwinistic explanations of humanity justified Nazi ethnic cleansing and American Jim Crow laws. Yet, we are compelled by Darwinist forces to keep our eyes on the future and move ahead. For all the progress we’ve made, for all the powers we’ve acquired, we have not yet answered the question: After all we’ve done, after all we’ve accomplished, are we happy yet?

The answer we give to that question will change the future course of history and the human species. Soon, we will have the ability to transform humans and societies in ways we can’t even imagine. Old problems of capitalism and Communism, man and woman, individual and state, equal or free, all will be irrelevant. We will be able to transform ourselves into gods, but if we aren’t sure that we’ve been making things better so far, are we really capable of using our god-powers to advance our real interests? Do we even know what will finally make us happy?

Throughout the book, Yuval takes what at first appears to be a middle-of-the-road interpretation of human history. On the one hand, empire is necessary for the successful coordination of humanity and human reproduction. It is a result of Darwinist forces compelling us to work ever harder to improve our condition. Empires have given us many great gifts. Ancient Sumerians began the process of creating written language, without which you would not be reading this review. The Roman Empire built roads that are used to this day. Hammurabi wrote the first set of codified laws and state myths, setting standards for empire building used even by the founding fathers of the American constitution.

On the other hand, empires conquer, kill, and destroy. Ancient Sumarians developed written language to collect taxes. Romans killed and oppressed people with the help of their roads. Hammurabi used the law codes to solidify his political position by backing his government with the authority of the gods. America enshrined the freedom of every individual human while excluding blacks from the definition of “human”. Empires have many things to be both proud and ashamed of. It all depends on your point of view.

However, don’t be deceived. At first, it’s just a smell, but later, you can taste the agenda. Yuval is not a lukewarm moderate. His eyes are set on his target, enemy of happiness and humanity: the future.


We have been addicted to carbohydrate-packed fruits and grains for literally thousands of years

Yuval repeatedly reminds the reader that there was both good and bad in our lives throughout our existence as humans. The essential questions of humanity haven’t changed, nor have they been seriously addressed. We seem possessed of an addiction, a parasitic mindset that forces us to continue in our error and dissatisfaction. Our fictions helped us prosper, but our fictions have moved us further from the path of enlightenment.

It happened gradually, with every step along the way appearing to be the right choice at the time. We wanted more leisure and comfort, so it made sense to plant wheat and work the land. But new problems arose: with leisure came bored, ambitious strongmen that could gather resources to themselves at the expense of everybody else. Those strongmen imposed taxation and discriminatory laws, and told stories that we all acted on and believed.

The fact that our actions appear to be the right choice at the time yet have the net effect of harming us is alarming. The possibility that the true enemy of our collective happiness and freedom is in our minds and not outside of us should shake us to our souls. The forces of evolution tell us that reproduction is the ultimate good. The more life, the better. The actions that produce life feel right. Those who oppose life oppose humanity. Their voices are slowly silenced by the natural selection of those who believe human life is sacred. The very forces of nature appear to tell humanity that more humans are good. Yet, with more humans come more problems, hurting some at the expense of others. We never seem to attain the paradise that we aim towards. In fact, our actions may actually be pushing paradise further into the distance.

Many of the stories told in Sapiens will sound familiar to many readers. The Bible tells many of the same stories in different ways. The first man, Adam, eats the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good (the things that serve the purposes of life) and Evil (the things that serve the purposes of death). God forbid him to eat it, but as punishment for eating it, God kicked him out of paradise and cursed him with a life of working the land by the sweat of his brows. That about sums up the fraud of the Agricultural Revolution that Yuval writes about. And he, of course, is well aware of the story. Chapter two is titled The Tree of Knowledge. I’ll bet the fruit was in the shape of a donut.

And it is our addiction to knowledge that has pushed us into the chaos of the unknown. At first, we thought we had the whole story. Sargon the Great, king of the Akkadian Empire, arrogantly thought he ruled over the entire world. In reality he only ruled a sliver of what we call the Middle East. A couple thousand years later, the Persian empire believed that they, too, ruled the whole Earth. Yet again, they ruled over a blotch on the world scale.

However, when we discovered how much we could manipulate nature with math and science, and when Columbus discovered America, humanity came to realize that there was a massive expanse of knowledge we had yet to attain. Possessed by our addiction to that forbidden fruit, cursed by God or nature to desire more land to tend to, we pressed onward to the four corners of the Earth, created world-destroying nuclear bombs, and reached even as far as Mars. We may be knowledge-oholics, but we’re high-functioning.

Somewhere along the way, we appear to take a wrong turn on our path toward paradise. Everything looks fine until it doesn’t. We eventually bare the fruits of our addiction, battered and confused when it takes us off the straight path and on a collision course with a nearby tree. Plant a tree, they said. Save the Earth, they said. This is not the future we expected. Things were suppose to get better. We were suppose to be happy and free. Where did we all go wrong?


Titans and Sapiens

That is the theme of Attack on Titan, a Japanese comic book series. Humans are trapped inside a walled civilization by giants called titans. The human king has pledged to not develop technology to fight the giants and escape the walls that imprison them. The will of the king wants paradise for his people before their final demise. Some people haven’t got a care in the world. Who needs to worry about the outside world? They’re safe inside the walls.

But others see it as hell on earth. They want freedom. The happy, satisfied people are like mindless cattle. The freedom-seekers throw off the kings shackles and take control. They fight off the giants, only to discover that the giants are other people, not simply evil, mindless monsters. Those other people are sending giants purposefully to suppress the “People of the Wall”, ancestors of ancient oppressors. Historical momentum and a lack of trust in The Other cause the people of the wall to commit the same crimes that were committed against them. The murdered become the murderers.

Yet, all along, it seemed like the People of the Wall were doing the right thing. They were being attacked and wiped out. What were they suppose to do? Their king was abandoning them. Were they suppose to follow him into oblivion? The Other declared war. Were the People of the Wall suppose to not defend themselves? It’s depressing to think that using essential survival techniques in the short term might actually harm us in the long term and get us no closer to our goal. Individuals can fight for the group, yet in doing so they sacrifice their own interests. And to what end? Peace only seems ever more unattainable. It shows, in startling realism, the cycle that’s created by the Darwinian mind-virus Yuval writes about. How do we break the cycle? How do we get our freedom? How do we find happiness?


Who are you? The enemy.

Yuval writes that we have several popular answers to our problem. Some say happiness and satisfaction comes from chemicals in our brain. Others say happiness comes from living a purposeful life. Still others say that happiness is the result of synchronizing one’s delusions with the delusions of those around us.

But all of those theories assume the same thing: happiness is a subjective feeling. Christians say that people who build happiness on that premise are no better than heroin addicts. Strangely, Darwinists say the same. Selfish gene theory says that natural selection encourages people to sacrifice themselves as individuals for the sake of the species (in other words, natural selection biases us towards reproduction strategies that Christians would call addictions).

Buddhists, according to Yuval, have dedicated more time to talking about happiness than other religions. How do you obtain happiness, according to Buddha?

According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction.

People suffer because they desire. If they stop desiring, then they will finally find satisfaction and everlasting joy. If you let go of the future and live in the present, you will find true enlightenment and happiness. This self-knowledge may very well be the key to a better future, writes Yuval.

Maybe it isn’t so important whether people’s expectations are fulfilled and whether they enjoy pleasant feelings. The main question is whether people know the truth about themselves.

History records the rise and fall of empires, the discovery of the new, and the great ideas of philosophers. Yet, historians have only recently begun to study happiness. It’s too early to say what the truth about happiness is, says Yuval, but we need to take the subject seriously.

All the more so since soon, we may have the ability to manipulate our desires themselves, discover the secret of immortality, and attain the power of gods. How much more force will our stories exert on the universe once we can share the same consciousness and live forever, traveling the universe as ghosts in machines, living side-by-side or in-sync with AI of incomprehensible power? Our future may be returning to a state of chaos, formless and void, but whatever happens, humanity is poised to transcend all of our current natural boundaries. We may soon replace the theory of natural selection with the theory of intelligent design.


What do you want to want?

Sapiens is a compelling read that will make you angry, depressed, excited, and finally freak you out. There is something for everybody in the story Yuval Noah Harari tells of humans since the beginning. I enthusiastically recommend Sapiens.

The Art of the Deal

The Art of the Deal

Anybody learning about success wants to hear stories about the successful. We talk to successful friends and family and study their behavior, looking for their secrets. However, for those with high ambitions, friends and family often don’t model the level of success we are looking for. They may be successful in many ways, but not in the precise way that scratches our itch.

Billionaire President Donald J. Trump provides an undeniable example of life success in his book, The Art of the Deal. While Trump is a unique character with an exceptionally high tolerance for pressure—making his level of success difficult to replicate—his story has some lessons for those of us aspiring to do great things. Here are some lessons I learned from The Art of the Deal.

  1. It’s important to talk to lots of different people and get their opinions.
  2. To take on vicious people, you need to be vicious yourself.
  3. Attention is everything.
  4. Feelings don’t care about your facts.
  5. Play the games people want to play.
  6. Relationships don’t need to be deep to be meaningful.

It’s important to talk to lots of different people

One of the most important things that Trump does is talk to lots of people. He says that asking everyone for an opinion is a natural reflex for him. Learning the feeling of the public at large is an important part of his success. He once owned an apartment complex. After buying and renovating it, it became very successful.

One day, Trump was walking around the place and asked one of the areas residents how he was. The man whispered to Trump that he should sell the apartment. When Trump asked why, the man said that the neighborhood was declining. Lots of bad folks were hanging around. After looking around town and talking to more people, Trump sold to a sloppy company that didn’t do the same. The apartment began to lose residents shortly after the sale.

Trump has filled this book with the many accounts of his relationships with other people. Sometimes, he says things like, “nearly everyone I talked to opposed the deal” or “everyone I talked to agreed”. Trump talks to anybody and everybody. If you want to achieve higher levels of success, you have to talk to more people.


To take on vicious people, you need to be vicious yourself.

In business, Trump says that he tends not to trust people. That’s probably because people in business can be vicious. When it came to building in New York city, Trump says it took total focus, a kind of neurosis, to be successful. But, Trump says, he loved to go against them and beat them.

Trump often had to deal with businessmen and politicians that would lie or undermine him. He had several fights with the mayor of New York city, Ed Koch. Trump won every fight and loved it. He once had a falling out with Barron Hilton, who sold Trump a Hilton hotel which Trump called the Trump Castle. Trump wanted to resolve their problems over lunch in NYC. Barron said he would be delighted to have lunch the next Monday. Monday morning, Trump received a letter informing him that he was being sued by Barron. Trump filed a counter-claim exceeding Barron’s claim.

One time, Trump hired an apartment manager named Irving. Trump describes Irving as follows:

Irving was sixty-five years old and a real character. He was one of the greatest bullshit artists I’ve ever met, but in addition to being a very sharp talker and a very slick salesman, he was also an amazing manager. Irving was the kind of guy who worked perhaps an hour a day and accomplished more in that hour than most managers did in twelve hours.

Irving was the most capable person for the job, but there was one problem: upon investigation, they found out Irving had a long history of theft. How did Trump feel about that? He decided to take a risk.

With Irving I had a dilemma: he was far and away more capable than any honest manager I had found, and so long as he was in charge, no one under him would dare steal. That meant I only had to keep my eye on him. I used to kid Irving. I’d say, “We pay you $50,000 and all you can steal.” And he would act all upset. If I’d caught him in the act, I would have fired Irving on the spot, but I never did. Still, I figure he managed to steal at least another $50,000 a year. Even so, I was probably getting a bargain.

If you’re not vicious, it’s difficult to imagine making that kind of judgment call.


Attention is everything.

In a section called Get the Word Out, Trump says that it’s important to draw attention to whatever wonderful product you have. He prefers to do things that are a little controversial to gain the attention of the media. The media, by nature, wants something sensational. He writes that “people may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do.” In interviews, if he is asked to defend himself, he instead reframes the issue in a positive way, effectively turning free, negative press into positive press for him.

Previously, I’ve learned about the importance of attention from Mike Cernovich, Scott Adams, and Robert Cialdini’s work. Trump’s story provides ample evidence to support them.

More and more, I’ve come to realize that attention is the currency on which all human relationships are transacted. Attention is something that Trump has in unusually large quantities. His store of attention is so vast that it allows him to juggle complex business deals and personal media defense while maintaining his close relationships and managing his empire, all without going crazy or dropping dead in exhaustion. His success, I believe, is not only a function of his tolerance for conflict, but also of his store of attention he can give others, as well as his own voracious appetite for attention. He is an attention generating machine.

Attention looks like it will be the main topic of Cernovich’s next book, Audacious. I anticipate that Trump’s vast stores of attention, which he regularly empties and refills, may make a cameo appearance in Audacious.


Feelings don’t care about your facts.

There are many stories in Art of the Deal in which Trump talks about belief.

When the board of Holiday Inns was considering whether to enter into a partnership with me in Atlantic City, they were attracted to my site because they believed my construction was farther along than that of any other potential partner. In reality, I wasn’t that far along, but I did everything I could, short of going to work at the site myself, to assure them that my casino was practically finished. My leverage came from confirming an impression they were already predisposed to believe.

In other words, the facts didn’t matter. In fact, we almost take for granted that getting people to believe false things is both the norm in business dealings, and that it’s unethical. That may not be an entirely unfounded stereotype. After all, as I wrote before, Trump himself tends to distrust business people.

However, what is or is not a false thing is often not clear. Take the example above. After negotiating a contract with Holiday Inn’s, they scheduled a Board of Directors meeting at the build site for the casino Trump was going to build. Trump writes:

Rose [CEO of Holiday Inns] scheduled his annual board of directors meeting in Atlantic City so that the board would have an opportunity to see the proposed site and also to assess our progress in construction. It was the latter that worried me, since we had yet to do much work on the site. One week before the board meeting, I got an idea.


I called in my construction supervisor and told him that I wanted him to round up every bulldozer and dump truck he could possibly find, and put them to work on my site immediately. Over the next week, I said, I wanted him to transform my two acres of nearly vacant property into the most active construction site in the history of the world. What the bulldozers and dump trucks did wasn’t important, I said, so long as they did a lot of it. If they got some actual work accomplished, all the better, but if necessary, he should have the bulldozers dig up dirt from one side of the site and dump it on the other. They should keep doing that, I said, until I gave him other instructions. The supervisor looked a little bewildered. “Mr. Trump,” he said, “I have to tell you that I’ve been in business for a lot of years and this is the strangest request I’ve ever gotten. But I’ll do my best.”


One week later, I accompanied top Holiday Inns executives and the entire board of directors out to the Boardwalk. It looked as if we were in the midst of building the Grand Coulee Dam. There were so many pieces of machinery on this site that they could barely maneuver around each other. These distinguished corporate leaders looked on, some of them visibly awed. I’ll never forget one of them turning to me, shaking his head, and saying, “You know, it’s great when you’re a private guy, and you can just pull out all the stops.”


A few minutes later, another board member walked over to me. His question was very simple. “How come,” he said, “that guy over there is filling up that hole, which he just dug?” This was difficult for me to answer, but fortunately, this board member was more curious than he was skeptical. The board walked away from the site absolutely convinced that it was the perfect choice. Three weeks later, on June 30, 1982, we signed a partnership agreement.

Question: Was Trump acting unethically? After all, he was purposefully trying to make the board of directors believe he was further along in construction than he really was. The fact was that he was still two years away and still had nothing to show anybody. Was he lying?

Trump calls what he did “truthful hyperbole”. In the world of building, Trump was the rare person that could build on time and on budget. He had a long reputation for doing so. However, that meant that even if Mike Rose, CEO of Holiday Inns (who had come to Trump to make the partnership), trusted Trump’s abilities, Trump had to convince a group of reasonably grizzled veterans that he could pull off a miracle. The law of numbers says that at least one of them is going to show some skepticism. To prevent any delays from the board, Trump put on a show to put all doubt to rest. It was a show of truthful hyperbole.

The fact was that Trump really had nothing to show. Managing the feelings and emotions of the board, which were tuned for skepticism, bullshit detection, and disappointment, was the key to Trump’s success in that deal.

Was it unethical? Well, if he had failed, then it would have been reasonable to say that he was misleading the board to commit fraud. As it turns out, construction finished on time and under budget. Trump worked a miracle. He convinced the board, through truthful hyperbole, to relax and make a good deal.

Truthful hyperbole inhabits a gray zone of human behavior that few people have the stomach or desire to occupy. However, Trump practically has his home base set up in a gray zone. This is a high level technique that you can only deploy if you have a long history and are confident you can bring the same, consistent results.

Getting people to believe things you want them to believe has many uses. Let’s talk about Irving, the shady apartment manager. Trump writes,

I’ll give you an example of how Irving worked. You’ve got to understand that we are talking about a short, fat, bald-headed guy with thick glasses and hands like Jell-O, who’d never lifted anything in his life beside a pen, and who had no physical ability whatsoever. What he did have, however, was an incredible mouth.


As I mentioned, in the early days we had a good number of tenants who didn’t believe in paying rent. Sometimes, Irving would go out and collect himself. He’d ring the doorbell, and when someone came to the door, he’d go crazy. He’d get red in the face, use every filthy word he could think of, and make every threat in the book. It was an act, but it was very effective: usually they paid up right then and there.

One day, however, Irving had an unusual encounter with a woman and her daughter while on his rounds. Then…

About an hour later, Irving and I were sitting in his office when this huge guy, a monster, maybe 240 pounds, burst through the door. He was furious that Irving had cursed in front of his daughter, and he was ready to strangle him for coming on to his wife. The guy had murder in his eyes.


I expected Irving, if he had any sense, to run for his life. Instead, he started verbally attacking the man, flailing and screaming and chopping his hands in the air. “You get out of this office,” he said. “I’ll kill you. I’ll destroy you. These hands are lethal weapons, they’re registered with the police department.”


I’ll never forget how the guy looked at Irving and said, “You come outside, you fat crap, I want to burn grass with you.” I always loved that phrase: “burn grass.” And I thought to myself, Irving is in serious trouble. But Irving didn’t seem to think so. “I’d fight you any time you want,” he said, “but it’s unlawful for me to fight.”


All you had to do was look at Irving to know those hands were hardly registered weapons. But Irving was very much like a lion tamer. You’ve seen these guys, maybe 150 pounds, who walk blithely into a cage where there’s a magnificent 800-pound lion pacing around. If that animal sensed any weakness or any fear, he’d destroy the trainer in a second. But instead the trainer cracks his whip, walks with authority, and, amazingly, the lion listens. Which is exactly what Irving did with this huge guy, except his whip was his mouth.


The result was that the guy left the office. He was still in a rage, but he left. Irving probably saved his own life, just by showing no fear, and that left a very vivid impression on me. You can’t be scared. You do your thing, you hold your ground, you stand up tall, and whatever happens, happens.

Obviously, Irving wasn’t getting anyone to believe that he was dangerous. However, he effectively got the other man to believe that it was dangerous to attack Irving. Changing the 240-pound man’s anger into fear was a product of changing what he believed. At first, he believed he could intimidate Irving, and he believed that threatening Irving was worth his time. Irving showed no feelings of intimidation, and he reminded the man that it probably wasn’t worth it to start a fight.

Understanding and managing people’s beliefs and emotions is absolutely critical to success. You can’t brush them off as irrelevant to reality because beliefs and emotions are real to the person that has them. People often forget or ignore facts and are controlled by their feelings. People will even become even more defensive if they are presented with facts that prove them wrong. Their feelings don’t care about your facts. If you want peaceful, quick, amicable resolution to conflicts or to get good deals done fast, it’s often better to appeal to emotions rather than facts.


Play the games other people play.

A philosopher that I respect named Stefan Molyneux believes, as I do, that states are unethical entities that should be abolished. Taxation is money taken against the will of the taxed through the use of force. It is legalized theft. Money the state has is not its money, it is the money of those that the state has stolen from.

Furthermore, we are angered when we see how taxes are used to engage in war and imperialism abroad in our name. We believe that it’s unethical to engage in any form of aggression at any level. When our money is stolen from us and used to kill people, we are disgusted and infuriated. Our taxes are blood money.

Typically, us anarcho-capitalists prefer to boycott the democratic system because we view it as inherently corrupt and evil. It is the dictatorship of the 51% and participating in the system legitimizes and maintains the credibility of the state. We typically would stay on the sidelines during political elections.

Yet, typical of Molyneux, he did something that most other anarcho-capitalists didn’t do: he engaged in political activism during the 2016 US presidential elections. Our choices were between the evil we know, Hillary Clinton, versus the evil we didn’t know, Donald J. Trump. He saw the lies and sheer, overwhelming negativity and bias against Trump in the media. He realized that the election of Trump would be like a battering ram to the forces of power that supported the welfare/warfare state. If Trump were elected president, the media’s legitimacy as unbiased arbiters of truth would be damaged, if not outright torn down. If the people could see through the lies and Trump could defeat the political and media elites, it could be the beginning of a turnaround in human history. We might finally be able to turn the masses toward liberty and virtue, little by little.

At the very least, it was possible that we could avoid more wars started by blood-thirsty ghouls in Washington.

Molyneux’s activism was unpopular with anarcho-capitalist purists. However, many did cheer from the sidelines as Trump brought a fury of punches like a gattling gun to the media establishment which they hated almost as much as the political establishment. Yet, many still preferred to boycott the system, rather than try to reform it. They enjoyed the show, but it was still just a show to them. Nothing would change with a Trump presidency anyway. The establishment wouldn’t allow it.

Whether they were right or not, I don’t know. However, Molyneux’s activism was undoubtedly a deciding factor in Trump’s victory. Whether Trump did anything else good afterward, his mere defeat of Clinton was enough to make it worth it for him. Using the system to defeat the system worked.
I was apathetic to the elections until Molyneux began his activism. However, Trump’s election showed that it was possible to use the system to get the message of liberty out into the world and into the attention of the general public. How many millions of Trump loyalists were exposed to Molyneux’s peaceful parenting and philosophy material? How many people we nudged closer toward a freedom-mindset?

It was not the first time, however, that Trump had shown that success lay not in boycotting or attacking the system directly, but in playing the same game everybody else was playing. Trump speaks at length about how he and other New York City builders had to play politics to get zoning changed, tax wavers, low-incoming housing subsidies, grants, etc. If you want to be a successful builder in any major city, you have to play the game.

That game includes getting some tax advantage. Subsidies are tax money given typically to corporations to give them a competitive advantage. Anarcho-capitalists call those subsidies blood money. Trump calls them a part of doing business.

Yet, Trump’s argument and role modeling is undeniable. Not only was he successful thanks to tax waivers and low-income housing subsidies, but following the early successes in his career, he managed to give the government in New York a black eye several times. He showed not only how ineffective or how corrupt it was, but he showed how corrupting it is. He modeled the ideal behavior and outcomes one might see in a truly free economy like Molyneux and I envision it.

And he could not have done so if he hadn’t taken blood money.

And if he had not taken that blood money, we might stuck in another war thanks to Hillary. Instead, Trump transformed that blood money into peace talks with North Korea, canceled trade deals, and renegotiated deals with other countries. We have yet to know what other anarcho-capitalist-friendly actions Trump may take thanks to taking blood money early in his career.

Trump shows that there is value in playing the game even if you hate the game and the players. Flipping the table or going home does nothing but subvert any possibility of changing the course of history.


Relationships don’t need to be deep to be meaningful.

Trump’s life is a whirlwind of human interactions. At the time of writing, Trump would have 50-100 phone calls a day and talk to dozens of different people about complex deals or simply to thank them for their help. No doubt, as president, things have not slowed down. It is impossible to have a “deep” relationship with so many people. You also cannot predict whether a relationship will be long-lasting or fleeting.

However, you can still have meaningful relationships with people even if they aren’t deep or long-lasting. Trump hired a company called Cimco to rebuild a famous ice skating rink in NYC follow long government delays. The build took four months. The relationship Trump had with Cimco was short but sweet. He doesn’t mention any long talks between himself and the CEO. To my knowledge, Trump hasn’t built any other ice skating rinks. He may go back to Cimco in the future if he needs a lot of ice, but otherwise, their relationship ended four months after it started.

Yet, they did something important together. To this day, he can see the rink from his home in Trump Tower. It’s busy with activity. His short-term fling with Cimco brought real meaning and value to the customers who enjoy skating there.

In my life, I’ve often seen creating a “real” relationship with someone as requiring great effort and emotional investment. Yet, I’ve also mostly experienced only short-term relationships. I’ve often felt that it was pointless to talk to or try to get to know people since I would only know them for a short time. That’s a feeling that I’m trying to reform.

Trump shows a great example to follow. Every relationship has great potential, just like every person. From the customer that warned him about pending disaster at his apartment, to Dennis Rodman who went to President Trump to tell him to talk to Kim Jung Un, to Trump’s own lawyers and business partners, every relationship contains great potential. Despite Trump’s dim view of businessmen in general, he shows that there is great light, virtue, and strength hidden in humanity. It’s worth the effort to explore each human in the hopes of finding, or creating, a better humanity.



Now personally, I don’t like to judge other peoples’ work by what I believe it should look like. People like to criticize technology, TV shows, games, etc. by a standard that only exists in their heads. You’ve heard it many times before: They should have done this thing I like! Why doesn’t it have this totally awesome and useful cutting edge technology at bargain bin prices yet?! Why didn’t my favorite characters get married at the end?!

Rather, I like to judge a work on what it does and enjoy it for the value it brings. However, I do have interests and preferences that others might share. Instead of telling you what I think was bad about the book, I will tell you what the book did that I didn’t find of value to me. Maybe you might like it, though.
From the above references, you can probably see that The Art of the Deal is well written. It made boring business and lawyer talk interesting and exciting. I was happy to read to the end.

What you haven’t seen, however, is the many, many different names that are jammed pack in nearly every story. That is especially true in the first section of the book which details a week’s worth of activity in Trump’s life. I honestly skipped about 80% of that section. That probably says more about me than about the writing, but my mind simply became numb to all of the data thrown at me all at once. Even the later stories could be difficult to keep track of due to all the people and organizations that come up. Again, probably not something bad about the book, just an annoyance I had to deal with. Maybe I’m just not CEO material?

At the end of the book, Trump kind of summarizes the current condition or results of all the different deals and conflicts he was involved in at the time of writing. One thing I would have appreciated is a maybe a timeline showing the history of all of Trumps activities throughout the book. Making deals, building skyscrapers, and political battles take time. The book is organized around the deals and conflicts Trump was involved in, but much of Trump’s work was happening simultaneously. A timeline at the end could have given a nice bird’s eye view of everything and how everything progressed.

Also at the end of the book was a picture section. However, as someone who did not see the news or pictures of people and buildings in Trump’s life, I would have appreciated seeing the pictures during the telling of the stories themselves. Of course, if I had looked closely at the table of contents and known there was a picture section to refer to, I could have used it as a reference myself. But, my Kindle sent me straight to the first chapter, skipping the table of contents. Maybe I’m just a lazy bastard, but being asked to do a bunch of navigating just to keep the story straight sounds like a mistake on the author’s part.

Images of the characters involved in the story of Trump’s many dealings would have been nice, too. I can see why many of them, like Trump nemesis Ed Koch, wouldn’t have appreciated Trump making money with their images, so there was probably some practical, legal reason why they weren’t included. Still, it would have been nice.



In spite of my small complaints about the book, I felt it was well worth my time. Whether you’re interested in understanding the mind of Donald Trump, or are interested in learning lessons for success, The Art of the Deal should be on your reading list.












ウオーカーさんは「豊富マインドセット」がないと、その流れがないだろう。豊富マインドセットはもともとマイク・サーナヴィッチの「Gorilla Mindset」という本で初めて出た。ザ・ローンチの中にウオーカーさんは少し書いてあるけど、基本的に、世界は情報やお金を稼ぐチャンスでいっぱい。そう思えば、自分を持っている豊富な価値のあることを惜しげなくあげることは当然。他人と共有できる物事がいっぱい!と思っている。





Launch is an online marketing guide written by Jeff Walker. In it, he describes his Product Launch Formula, a method for selling anything online.

Or is it?

Yes, Jeff talks about all of the elements of building and using a email mailing list to launch new products and businesses. However, what the book really describes is an application of the lessons learned from Dale Carnegie, Robert Cialdini, Norman Vincent Peale, and Mike Cernovich. It combines the positive, high-energy mindsets from Peale and Cernovich with the lessons on influence from Carnegie and Cialdini. Then Jeff tells you how to make money with those lessons. And after you’re done reading, you’ll feel prepared to begin making your first list and planning your first of many launches.

Jeff begins by giving his story of going from stay-at-home dad to making six-figures in a week. How? He had a list.

The key element to the formula is having an email subscriber list. Using the list, you will communicate directly with people who have already shown an interest in you and the products/services you provide. The communication will be a series of emails over a period of around a week to ten days. The communication is what Walker calls a Sideways Sales Letter. One of the best ways to get people to buy things is to create anticipation. The SSL builds anticipation prior to a product launch. The way it creates anticipation is by providing a story and high-value content, such as instructional videos or free tutorials, that provide real value to people before they’ve even bought your product.

That last sentence hides a secret. The secret is an abundance mindset and an understanding of one of the pillars of influence: reciprocacy. If you adopt an abundance mindset—a belief in the abundance of value all around and in us—then you are much more likely to give away high-value things away for free. Generosity is a defining feature of the Product Launch Formula. If you are generous to your potential customers, they are more likely to buy. People tend to reciprocate kindness with kindness, value with value.

Of course, it isn’t only the free goods that do all the heavy lifting. Jeff spends chapter five talking about what he calls “mental triggers”. If you’ve read other books like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People, or Robert Cialdini’s Influence, then you are already acquainted with the contents of this chapter. He talks about authority, reciprocity, trust, etc.

In addition to telling the story of his first launch, he gives several other Case Studies that demonstrate other people using his methods to launch their first products, businesses, and gain financial freedom. After reading those stories, I really felt like the results he talked about were entirely achievable for me in the future, if I am willing to do the work to make it happen.

Jeff also provides details on how to get paid to create content, using that content either as free content for future launches, or as paid products in and of themselves. Essentially, Jeff has given the details of a system for continuous product development and launching that is organic and beautiful. Some of the marketing methods and devices you’ll learn about in Launch include:

  1. Opt-in subscription forms
  2. Squeeze pages
  3. A:B testing
  4. Using ads, social media, word of mouth, and affiliates to drive people to your squeeze page.
  5. Questions to get answers to before launching a new product.
  6. Outlines for pre-prelaunch, pre-launch, launch, and post launch emails.
  7. Seed launches (for those without a product to sell currently)
  8. JV (affiliate) launches
  9. Masterminds (business and product idea brainstorming communities)

On top of the pillars of influence, supported by the foundation of an abundance mindset, sits the Product Launch Formula. It is the actualization of that knowledge in the business world.

Do you have a business and want to give it a boost? Buy this book.
Do you have a product that you want to sell? Buy this book.
Do you want to be free? Buy this book.

For those that read until the end, in this video, I talk about what Jeff calls the Seed Launch.

How to Win Friends & Influence People

How to Win Friends & Influence People

Gorilla Mindset, Mike Cernovich
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Scott Adams
Win Bigly, Scott Adams
Pre-suasion, Richard Cialdini
The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale
And now, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

To those that know me, you may be wondering why I am so interested in the “personal development” genre of literature as of late. Of the many inspiring and educational stories, two stories from Carnegie’s book illustrate best what I have in mind while studying the lessons that he and the other great men above have taught. Here I will quote the stories in full. In the chapter titled Make The Fault Seem Easy To Correct, Carnegie writes,

Clarence M. Jones, one of the instructors of our course in Cincinnati, Ohio, told how encouragement and making faults seem easy to correct completely changed the life of his son.


“In 1970 my son David, who was then fifteen years old, came to live with me in Cincinnati. He had led a rough life. In 1958 his head was cut open in a car accident, leaving a very bad scar on his forehead. In 1960 his mother and I were divorced and he moved to Dallas, Texas, with his mother. Until he was fifteen he had spent most of his school years in special classes for slow learners in the Dallas school. Administrators had decided he was brain-injured and could not function at a normal level. He was two years behind his age group, so he was only in the seventh grade. Yet he did not know his multiplication tables, added on his fingers and could barely read.


There was one positive point. He loved to work on radio and TV sets. He wanted to become a TV technician. I encouraged this and pointed out that he needed math to qualify for the training. I decided to help him become proficient in this subject. We obtained four sets of flash cards: multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. As we went through the cards, we put the correct answers in a discard stack. When David missed one, I gave him the correct answer and then put the card in the repeat stack until there were no cards left. I made a big deal out of each card he got right, particularly if he had missed it previously. Each night we would go through the repeat stack until there were no cards left.


Each night we timed the exercise with a stop watch. I promised him that when he could get all the cards correct in eight minutes with no incorrect answers, we would quit doing it every night. This seemed an impossible goal to David. The first night it took 52 minutes, the second night, 48, the 45, 44, 41 then under 40 minutes. We celebrated each reduction. I’d call in my wife, and we would both hug him and we’d all dance a jig. At the end of the month he was doing all the cards perfectly in less than eight minutes. When he made a small improvement he would ask to do it again. He had made the fantastic discovery that learning was easy and fun.


Naturally his grades in algebra took a jump. It is amazing how much easier algebra is when you can multiply. He astonished himself by bringing home a B in math. That had never happened before. Other changes came with almost unbelievable rapidity. His reading improved rapidly, and he began to use his natural talents in drawing. Later in the school year his science teacher assigned him to develop an exhibit. He chose to develop a highly complex series of models to demonstrate the effect of levers. It required skill not only in drawing and model making but in applied mathematics. The exhibit took first prize in his school’s science fair and was entered in the city competition and won third prize for the entire city of Cincinnati.


That did it. Here was a kid who had flunked two grades, who had been told he was ‘brain-damaged,’ who had been called ‘Frankenstein’ by his classmates and told his brains must have leaked out of the cut on his head. Suddenly he discovered he could really learn and accomplish things. The result? From the last quarter of the eighth grade all the way through high school, he never failed to make the honor roll; in high school he was elected to the national honor society. When he found learning was easy, his whole life changed.”

It’s said that Americans love a good comeback story. From poverty to riches, from enslavement to freedom, from failure to success, Americans love the reversal of fortunes. There is something powerful in the idea that humans can overcome overwhelming odds against them. The comeback story tells us that there is strength in humanity, in country, in friends and family, in me. It tells us there’s hope. It tells us when we want something truly, we can have it. It tells us that the fears we have about the future can be defeated.

From brain-damaged to national honor society. From ashamed to proud. From boy to man. I want to have the strength of character to make this happen for myself and my own children if we ever face such adversity.

But, I’m not only looking at my own house. The consequences of not being strong, of lacking strength of character, can be far reaching and tragic. I’m deeply worried about the effects that I can have on the future if I don’t fix myself.

In 1915, in the middle of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to bring peace. William Jennings Bryan wanted to negotiate peace, but Wilson appointed Edward M. House, Bryan’s close friend. When House broke the news to Bryan, Bryan was understandable disappointed. But, House put it this way:

“The President thought it would be unwise for anyone to do this officially, and that his going would attract a great deal of attention and people would wonder why he was there…”

Carnegie writes,

“You see the intimation? House practically told Bryan that he was too important for the job—and Bryan was satisfied.

Colonel House, adroit, experience in the ways of the world, was following one of the important rules of human relations: Always make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.”

Carnegie then tells another story of when Woodrow Wilson made someone feel important and happy to do something for him. Carnegie says of his methods, “He had a delightful way of putting things; he created the impression that by accepting this great honor I would be doing him a favor.”

However, it wasn’t all roses for Wilson. Carnegie writes,

“Unfortunately, Wilson didn’t always employ such taut. If he had, history might have been different.


For example, Wilson didn’t make the Senate and the Republican Party happy by entering the United States in the League of Nations. Wilson refused to take such prominent Republican leaders as Elihu Root or Charles Evans Hughes or Henry Cabot Lodge to the peace conference with him. Instead, he took along unknown men from his own party. He snubbed the Republicans, refused to let them feel that the League was their idea as well as his, refued to let them have a finger in the pie; and, as a result of this crude handling of human relations, wrecked his own career, ruined his health, shortened his life, caused America to stay out of the League, and altered the history of the world.”

The stakes are too high for good people to neglect learning and living the lessons that people like Carnegie have taught. The future isn’t set in stone. We make it. It is the duty of good people to make the future. We can’t let broken, corrupt people make the future, or else we have no future at all.

That’s why I’m reading Carnegie, Peale, Adams, Cialdini, and Cernovich. I believe wholeheartedly that the future of humanity may depend on my actions some day. Will I directly influence the future of humanity, or will I influence someone else who does the influencing? I don’t know.

When Carnegie writes story after story of important people in our history who were influenced by others because they were genuinely interested in other people, I listen. When he tells story after story about the transformative power of praise, I take notes and look inward. I may be able to fix the world through merely recognizing someone else’s achievement. I may be able to destroy the world by ignoring their achievement. That person could be a friend, a student, a neighbor, or a stranger online. I don’t know. Nobody knows what power we have to influence the future. But, we do know that we can influence it. The potential to achieve greatness or cause disaster is there for everybody.

If you want to join the honored ranks of those who have influenced the future toward the good, then you should read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

For those that have made it to the end, here are the top five things I learned from the book.