Know where you’re coming from…

“Know where you’re coming from – be alert to your blind spots and biases.” – Nate Silver

Happy (almost) summer everyone!

Today it was finally good weather – around 75 degrees before it started pouring – and it finally started to feel like summer.

Every year at the beginning of the summer, I make a list of books that I want to read that year, a few business/econ related books, a few of the NYTimes Best Sellers, and a few just for fun.

A few weeks ago I was interviewing for an internship in the summer. My interviewer was extremely relateable, and rather than having the pressure of a typical interview, it was analogous to having coffee with a good friend. In the middle of our conversation about data and legislation, we went off an a tangent to where we started talking about The Signal and the Noise, a book I had the pleasure of reading a few years ago. It was the “first year book” for all UMD students, as every year the school chooses a book to encourage all incoming freshmen to read as it’s intellectually challenging, stimulating, and thoughtful.

Ever since the interview, I’ve had the urge to pick up the book again and reread segments of it, if not the whole thing. Today I finally took it out of the bookshelf and got to sit on my bed and start reading it again. In the front of the book, there was an additional page, signed from the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Maryland, giving a list of previous First Year Book Selections.

  • What Is the What by Dave Eggers (2009)
  • The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (2006)
  • Snow Falling on Cedars (2000)

just to name a few.

I also recently came across an article of a few books that Bill Gates recommend that we read, including “Seveneves,” by Neal Stephenson, “How Not to be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking,” by Jordan Ellenberg,  “The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life,” by Nick Lane, “The Power to Compete: An Economist and an Entrepreneur on Revitalizing Japan in the Global Economy,” by Ryoichi Mikitani and Hiroshi Mikitani, and “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” by Yuval Noah Harari.

Hopefully by the end of this summer, I will have read all of these books, plus some, and if any of you have recommendations for books that changed your life, then by all means, please share them below!!

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