Category Archives: Books

Blogs, Books, and Tools For Money Management

The majority of what I’ve learned about managing my finances I have learned in the past few months. I’m going to list some of the major sources that I have used and are solid sources of personal finance information. So I’ll list some blogs that are good for this, some of my favorite books on the subject, and some sites that can help you manage it.

Blogs –

Get Rich Slowly – This is the best blog on personal finance that I have found. J.D. goes over so many different topics and various projects  that this is one of the biggest repositories for personal finance tips, tricks, and information.

Wise Bread – This blog is written by multiple people so there isn’t the same connection as with J.D. The topics can range widely from the writer’s experience and the quality is sometimes lacking. Good information it’s Lifehacker for finance.

Books –

The Richest Man in Babylon – This book is astoundingly in how simple it is too understand and it’s approach of using a story to achieve an osmotic effect with it’s information and your mind. It teaches multiple lessons in how to handle your finances while also having an underpinning in humility. A great read and also a classic from the 1920’s

Rich Dad, Poor Dad – This isn’t necessarily dedicated towards personal finance so much as street wise thinking on finance. This book isn’t to be taken literally but it does off plenty of good advice for business, and investing outside of the stock market. It makes it on the list because of these facts.

Hackers and Painters – I recommend this book not in it’s entirety, but for one essay that is contained within. You can read this essay entitled “How to Make Wealth” at Paul Graham’s website. A much different approach than what we have been ingrained with.

Tools –

Mint – My personal web tool to help chart my monetary flow. I find it fitting for my lifestyle in that it is simple, it easily connects, and implements multiple security measures. Pluses, SMS, nice tagging feature, allows you to break down bills into their subsequent parts, and handles almost any form of monetary trade, from checking, credit cards, and savings to stocks and loans.

Wesabe – This in the personal finance blogging arena comes out on top. It has community support, allows your to set goals, and update manually to keep it balanced. * I had issues with it miscalculating my credit card and telling me I had $245 on the black rather than $70 in the red so it was screwing the debit/credit balance of by $300 .

Geezeo – Another community connected online management tool. This comes out on top in the user happiness it seems. As far as I can tell, it lets you do what the other two do but it seems to be a more complete package haven’t actually used this but I may look into it.

Spreadsheets – Nothing like handling all the pertinent details yourself. Though this isn’t as easy as the others and will take some time out of your day I would at least recommend knowing how to do this either by hand or using software such as Excel, Quicken, Google Spreadsheets, etc.

Reverse Engineering The Questions

When we are asked a question what do we do and how do we do it? What happens if are giving an answer with out context what do we do then? This is insight into time and narrative fallacy.

So let’s first determine what both are. A question is something that results in an answer, a search for knowledge. An answer is a fact or result of the question. These two ideas are simply that but together they result in knowledge and perceived knowledge that’s incorrect?

What is the result of question? You might be saying, “That’s pretty easy, it’s an answer numb nuts.” I would agree with you. How do we come to the answer of a question and you would ask, “What kind of question?” Does the context of the question matter, not really if I gave it to you, you would most likely be able do give me an answer. How do we come up with an answer? We use what we have observed and memorized as a way to determine answers. We take all the information we have come into contact with and used it to determine the best answer to use.

Now, what if I gave you an answer with out any context you would probably be confused, eventually you would come up with a question. Would your question be right in respect to what I wanted, probably not. You’d probably question your question itself, probing for why it was wrong. Say I gave you the number 42, what’s the question to 42? There’s an infinite number of questions in which you could come up with the number 42 as an answer, your’s most likely would be wrong. Now, you question your question once again becoming more frustrated you continually question the question that came before.

Since, the way we generally think we will always ask the question before we get the answer. The answer therefore should always lie in the future in regards to the question. So when we get an answer without context we can only derive the question from our past experiences. We seek the question that would lead to such a solution, one that we use our prior observations to find. When we find that our question is wrong; we continue our way into the past to determine the question that created the new question, and so on and so forth. We seek so hard, yet every new question is ultimately wrong because it could not have been the only possible question that derives the one we seek to the answer.

Yet, this is how we choose to narrate the past. We start from the answer and continually question it and what created that answer. Eventually, we have decided upon a path that is ultimately wrong and is only a single set of questions that lead to such and answer, out of an infinitesimal amount of questionable sets.

Oh, the question to the number 42 is, “What is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?

Oddly, this post should have already been on here unfortunately somehow it didnt’ make it into the database when I transfered my blog. I hope this gives everyone something to think upon. The question for 42 comes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for anyone who is confused.

Spreading The Idea Of Quantum Libraries

Zenpundit picked up my idea of quantum libraries and it is now starting to spread through his readers. I added my top ten as of this point in my life in a comment and would like to share them here, with the reasons why I chose them as quantum texts.

The Quantum-Library is the layer that co-exists as a member of both the Library and the Anti-Library. It is something you may have read, but when read again with a different perspective it exists in another form. These type’s of books are the ultimate for a bibliophile. It is the layer described above and contains the texts that you re-read.

My List

Think on These Things ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti A very interesting book that delves into multiple philisophical and spiritual topics. It is an insight into different aspects of one’s life that one should think about as one progresses through them. It is the most perfect example of a “quantum text” I have found, thus far.

Moby Dick ~ Herman Melville I can’t come up with anything better than the way Glenn described it another great example:

“You should read Moby Dick when you are 20, 40, and 60 because you take a different perspective of all three major characters from the story because of your own position in life.”

The Richest Man in Babylon ~ George S. Clason This is a book that is filled with multiple parables that not only deal with money but also humility. It is a remarkable reminder on how to live one’s richest life, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I think this should be a mandatory read, it is filled with so much wisdom that still rings true after three quarters of a century.

The Last Lecture ~ Randy Pausch This book is about Randy Pausch and his attempt to leave a legacy for his children. If you ask me, he did a pretty damn good job describing aspects that we should all try and attain. Humility. Respect. Earnestness. Passion. Understanding. Lightheartedness.

The 48 Laws of Power ~ Robert Greene This is something I will be reading the rest of my life, though not in it’s entirety, once is enough for that. This book is filled with so much knowledge it took me 2 months to finish, I just couldn’t sustain reading it constantly day in and day out. This is one of the single greatest texts to learn the basic underlying of social-engineering.

The Silmarillion ~ J.R.R. Tolkien The Bible of Middle Earth, is the text that describes the origins of the world, evil, and the division between men, elves, and dwarfs that occur in the first and second age of the world. Anyone who has read the Lord of The Rings would be doing themselves a great service in reading this text. I find this much more enthralling than the Trilogy.

The Analects of Confucius ~ Lun Yu(Confucius) This filled with a lifetime of wisdom that will require a lifetime of thought and introspection. If you can bust one of these kernels apart so that you can understand it, you can come to some amazing ideas of life. I try to read and understand one a day, though i haven’t purchased the book, yet.

The Art of War ~ Sun Tsu Another I don’t actually own this one either and, merely read the kernels of strategic influence online.  Since, I haven’t finished I’m not going to post a review of it. If some else would like to feel free in the comments. I just find the tactics and strategy of what I’ve read extremely deep.

Tribes ~ Seth Godin (I can’t discuss this one, yet. Pre-order the book it’s well worth it.) Brief idea of it’s text: It’s about leading a community on any level of a network.

Fight Club ~ Chuck Palahniuk This story has so many levels it I’ve read it a dozen times and interpreted differently every time. You have the chaos aspect, non-conformity, anti-consumerism, and the list goes on and on. This one of the few books that remind me of a movie as I read it, with symbolism that entrenches the mind.

Another person who has already made a list is ubiwar. Hope you enjoyed reading about my quantum library and feel free to share your own, I’d love to find some more books to add to my library.

Links From August 11-27

Something extra for you this week. Some links I really enjoyed the past 2 weeks. Decided I needed to post them before they become to old and irrelevant.

Robert Scoble on passionate user adoption and Ubiquity. This is just something that I enjoyed reading especially after using Ubiquity for several hours yesterday. If you want to use it I recommend reading the tutorial and watching the video.

An article, from Business Pundit, on the enlightenment complex that we see stateside also developing in the Chinese culture. A bit of an insight into why my generation, for the most part, feels so damn entitled. Also, suggest why depression is on such a climb.

This is one of several articles that prompted my last post. It is promoting some smart financial advice on steering clear of private lenders. However, it all so shows weak decision making on behalf of the government, in allowing people weakened by the subprime mess increased loans.

A really thorough and thought provoking conversation with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of ‘The Black Swan‘ and ‘Fooled by Randomness‘, provided by Portfolio.com. It looks into his life and how he removes the noise of now.

As somewhat of a bibliophile this last one is just an amazing list of 50 Essential Novels, provided by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits. It is such a substantial list of both classic literature and current hits that are certain to last for a long while. I recommend checking this list out if you enjoy reading.

The Three Hierarchical Layers Of Books

My friend, Glenn, over at My Adventure to Enlightenment is studying-abroad this semester in Morocco. He’ll be leaving in a few weeks and realized he only has room for roughly 6 books in his luggage. He is looking for books that have re-readability, provoke deep, challenging thought, and he is seeking non-fiction. This made me think what determines re-readability in a non-fiction text.

The Personal Library
The Quantum-Library
The Anti-Library

The Personal Library is a the basic layer containing all of your possessed books and other literary works. It possesses those that you have read, re-read, and have yet to read. For the separation of the layers this is the only layer that contains books that you have read only once.

The Anti-Library is something that has become a bit of a buzz word after being mentioned in Nassim Taleb’s, The Black Swan. He quote’s Umberto Eco on his view of a library(quote provided below). It is the layer that holds text that you have yet to read.

‘”Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight read-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an anti-library.”‘

However, there is another layer that is not discussed as of yet. It contains the texts that you have read, but ultimate meaning still eludes it’s readers. A book that shifts meaning depending on the perspective used to percieve it’s words. A layer that contains the ultimate in re-readability. This layer is like a movie, you watch it once and you enjoy it, you watch it several more times and you notice several subtle nuances, and the longer you re-watch the more you notice. These are the text’s that he is wanting to pack.

The Quantum-Library is the layer that co-exists as a member of both the Library and the Anti-Library. It is something you may have read, but when read again with a different perspective it exists in another form. These type’s of books are the ultimate for a bibliophile. It is the layer described above and contains the texts that you re-read.

So if you know of any texts that exist in the Quantum layer leave a comment here or over at Glenn’s blog he’d really appreciate it.

Addendum:

Seeing people come in from Zenpundit, Jay@Soob, OZ Deichman, and Ace Hanna, I have added my own list with reasons for their selection.