About

Matthew Vere Picture

Writing

This website contains two types of content. Book summaries and articles.

  • The majority of my writing is summarizing books. In each summary, I extract ten or more key ideas, provide additional research and include passages from the book. I aim to publish one each week, but never compromise quality for quantity.
  • Three topics unite my articles: philosophy, psychology, and the human condition. Every piece has a running theme of practicality: offering you actionable principles. I publish articles only when I have something worth writing about.

Mind Macros

Every Thursday, I condense the most profound lessons from my 20-hour reading weeks into a four-minute newsletter. View the first issue here.

  • I include two passages for each category:
    - Practical advice
    - Food for thought
    - Quotes to ponder
  • For each passage, I provide context, pose a question or prompt an exercise.
  • My goal is to extract the most valuable content from everything I read and share it with you in four minutes.
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Interests

Reading
Technology
Practical Philosophy
Space and the Universe
Meditation
Music
Creativity
Life-long Learning
Poetry
Books
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels
Writing
Networked thought
Cognition
Strength Training
History
Psychology
Good Memes
Note-taking
Self-development

What I'm doing now

Last update: 19th January 2022. Page inspired by Derek Sivers.

Favourite books

Marcus Aurelius —  Meditations
Neil Gaiman — Neverwhere
Carl Sagan — Comos
Patrick Rothfuss — The Name of the Wind
Epictetus — Discourses and Enchiridion
Eiji Yoshikawa — Musashi
Derren Brown — Happy
Hermann Hesse — Siddhartha
Seneca — Letters from a Stoic
Brandon Sanderson — The Mistborn Saga
Laozi — Tao Te Ching
Douglas Adams — The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Yeonmi Park — In Order to Live
Neal Stephenson — Snow Crash
Confucius — The Analects
Stieg Larsson — The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy
Walter Isaacson — Leonardo da Vinci
George Orwell — 1984
Michael Puett — The Path
Ken Follett — The Pillars of the Earth
Anthony de Mello — Awareness & The Way to Love
Scott Lynch — The Lies of Locke Lamora
Viktor E. Frankl — Man's Search for Meaning
Patrick Rothfuss — The Name of the Wind

Favourite quotes

  • Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. — Marcus Aurelius
  • The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. — Richard Feynman
  • What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic. — Carl Sagan
  • We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. — Seneca
  • Keep the company of those who seek the truth- run from those who have found it. ― Vaclav Havel
  • Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. ― Epicurus
  • The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. ― Confucius
  • Do not wish that all things will go well with you, but that you will go well with all things. — Epictetus
  • I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. — Marcus Aurelius
  • Think before you speak. Read before you think. — Fran Lebowitz
  • We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training. — Archilochus
  • Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents. — Epictetus
  • Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean. — Confucius
  • When you grow up, you tend to get told the world is the way that it is, and your life is just to live your life inside the world and try not to bash into the walls too much. But that's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact. And that is that everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that are no smarter than you. And you can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use. To shake off this erroneous notion that life is just there, and you're just gonna live in it, versus embrace it. Change it, improve it. Make your mark upon it. And once you learn that, you'll never be the same again. — Steve Jobs
  • Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. — Socrates
  • Man conquers the world by conquering himself. ― Zeno of Citium
  • Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. — Lao Tzu
  • Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it. — Epictetus
  • It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. — Theodore Roosevelt